Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was asked about his team’s 10-game winning streak against the St. Louis and what that means in terms of his team’s chances for a win on Sunday.
Hasselbeck’s answer was simple – not a lot.
“It probably means that they’re hungry, and we’ve got to be ready,” Hasselbeck said.
Asked further if it means anything to the team that they’ve beat St. Louis five straight times on the road, Hasselbeck had this to say:
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“I think it helps knowing we’ve played there a bunch,” Hasselbeck said. “A lot of us have played there when it was real hostile and crazy and they had this unbelievably explosive offense, No. 1 in the NFL in just about every category.
“Then we’ve also played there when they’ve been down. They’ve had guys on the IR and they’ve kind of played with replacement players and the (St. Louis) Cardinals were the biggest game of that weekend or the Missouri-Kansas game or something like that, so you almost had to create your own atmosphere.
“But it’s a whole new team right now. They’ve got some young talent. They’ve got some new life in terms of their coaching staff and a new energy. You see teams working on silent count against them on the road. So you can tell that there somewhere in the middle but definitely a team on the rise.”
So what does matter? Turnover ratio according to Hasselbeck – St. Louis is +1 (tied for 11 overall) and the Seahawks are at 0 (T14).
“Last week teams that were even or +1 I think went 15-1,” Hasselbeck said. “So it’s a huge stat. It’s something we’re focused on. And they’ve done a nice job with it”
Still, Hasselbeck said he’s still struggling with coming to terms with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s overall philosophy about protecting the ball. Carroll’s top priority is keeping turnovers to a minimum offensively and forcing turnovers on defense.
“I think everyone had to adjust a little bit, change a little bit,” Hasselbeck said. “I don’t know if we’ve realized the fulfillment of what we’re trying to get us to do and what he’s trying to get us to be. But like I said before, there’s a fine line.
“He wants to protect the ball, but he’s also very aggressive and he wants to take shots. And on sudden change situations and all of those situations he wants to take advantage of them. He wants big plays. He wants explosive gains. So you’ve kind of have to give him both things.”
One thing the Seahawks continue to be focused on is running the ball on offense and creating balance. Having Russell Okung and Chester Pitts available should help in Seattle’s quest to create a more consistent run game.
“It’s probably the No. 1 thing we talk about, being balanced that way,” Hasselbeck said. “Justin’s done a great job. We’ve had some moving parts, but I think everyone’s communicated pretty well. Michael Robinson's done a good job coming in also.
“I think the difference in stats though is just going to be those explosive gains. If Justin can break through and our receivers can get a block down field, that’s when touchdowns come, that’s when explosive, 12, 20 and 30-yard runs come. And that always makes the stats look better.’