Any chance of the Seahawks making an improbable playoff run was eliminated on Sunday with Arizona defeating Seattle 26-20 at Qwest Field. With the loss, Seattle is now five games back, with Arizona having a chance to clinch the division next week.
This is definitely not the way Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren envisioned his final season in Seattle. But with six games left, the Seahawks must begin evaluating their roster for next season so they can plan for the future.
The play from youngsters like cornerback Josh Wilson, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and defensive end Darryl Tapp gives you hope for the future. Rookie tight end John Carlson continues to show promise, but dropped another critical pass. Justin Forsett looks solid returning punts.
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More young guys probably will see the field as the season comes to a close. I'm not sure what's going to happen with Matt Hasselbeck this season. He's obviously still injured and playing through pain, and tried to grind it out on Sunday. At times he looked OK, but we know he can play better. And you would think that Hasselbeck, even though he's banged up, isn't going to want to watch from the sidelines for the rest of the season.
But the next six weeks should be a time for the Seahawks to start figuring out who they want to keep around next season, and who they want to let go.
It's also time to start looking at the draft and who the Seahawks might take in 2009. I believe Seattle needs to either draft a dynamic playmaker at receiver like Michael Crabtree, giving Hasselbeck another weapon outside, or a stout defensive tackle to plug the run. You can take a look at some of the mock draft boards here, here and here. And let me know what your thoughts are on how Seattle should play out the season, and who they should be looking for in next year's draft.
Frank Hughes describes an exhausted Matt Hasselbeck at the end of the game.
Dave Boling says the king is dead, and Arizona now rules the division.
Even with Hasselbeck and Deion Branch back, Seattle's offense still sputters.
Hasselbeck anticipates Arizona defensive back Adrian Wilson may be fined after taking some tough hits on Sunday.
Cornerback Josh Wilson's play was one of the few bright spots for Seattle.
The Seahawks' defense can't contain Arizona's big receivers.
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the torch has been passed from Seattle to Arizona.
Chuck Stark of the Kitsap Sun has similar thoughts.
San Francisco 49ers
Mike Singletary gets his first win as a head coach as the 49ers dominate the Rams at home, 35-16.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ray Ratto says Singletary is savoring the victory.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat attempts to answer two questions -- will Singletary will get the head coaching gig, and why wasn't Shaun Hill the starting quarterback from Day 1.
San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis catches his second touchdown in as many games.
They had to hang on at the end, but the Cardinals get a win over the Seahawks, Arizona's first win in Seattle since 2002, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley says Arizona's playoff hopes are even closer to reality.
Arizona safety Adrian Wilson comments on the hit against Hasselbeck, which the Seattle quarterback believes may draw a fine from the league.
The Cardinals prime-time players come up big against Seattle, Darren Urban of azcardinals.com writes.
Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie comes up with the first two picks of his professional career.
Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune writes that Arizona's defense finally emerged from the offense's shadow.
St. Louis Rams
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams once again struggled as they were rolled by the 49ers in San Francisco.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon says the Rams keep finding ways to lose.