Improved Hasselbeck can’t save Seahawks
ERIC D. WILLIAMS; The News Tribune
Seattle – After struggling for three games, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck finally looked like his old self on Sunday.
He was seen making sidearm completions in the flat to avoid sacks, throwing blocks for running backs cutting against the defense and helping the offense play with more of a sense of urgency than had been seen in the previous three weeks.
“At times today we had a good rhythm,” Hasselbeck said. “We made some plays. We were explosive.”
Seattle was again buoyed by a productive running game, finishing with 140 yards rushing on 26 carries for 5.4 average.
Justin Forsett finished with 10 carries for 74 yards, and Julius Jones totaled 61 yards on 14 carries. Seattle rushed for at least 115 yards for a third straight game.
“You know, it’s just a shame that we waited for so long to really get going,” Jones said. “Everybody fought hard, but … that’s kind of been the story all year long.”
Even though Seattle moved the ball efficiently at times this season, the Seahawks struggled to put the ball in end zone.
During the season-ending four-game losing streak, Seattle scored a total of 37 points.
“We’ve struggled to score points,” coach Jim Mora said. “I don’t know that it comes down to just that, but we have struggled to score points, that goes without saying. All you have to do is look at the scoreboard there. We have to figure that out.”
Griffey raises the flag
The loudest cheer Sunday came before kickoff when Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. raised the 12th Man flag.
Griffey was given a No. 12 Seahawks jersey with his name on the back and the stadium video montage of highlights included his mad dash home against the Yankees in the 1995 playoffs. That sent the crowd of 67,002 at Qwest into a frenzy.
With his son, Trey, joining him on the third deck of the stadium, Griffey raised the flag and then emphatically implored the crowd to make noise.
Afterward, Griffey briefly spoke to the media for the first time since the end of the Mariners 2009 season. It was also his first public comments after signing a one-year contract to return to the Mariners for 2010.
“I will always be connected to Seattle,” he said. “I can’t say enough for everything that this city and this organization have done for me.”
Mora hasn’t had luck in official replay challenges this season. He’s 0-for-7 in his first season with Seattle, including losing two more challenges against Tennessee on Sunday. … Olindo Mare
finished the season with a franchise-record 21 straight field goals made, bettering the 19 straight field goals he made earlier in his career with Miami. … Defensive tackle Colin Cole
, running back Forsett and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh
were all injured during the game but returned to play. … Chris Johnson
’s 134 yards rushing was only the second time Seattle allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. San Francisco’s Frank Gore
rushed for 207 yards in Week 2.
Staff writer Ryan Divish contributed to this report.