Well, we got hit by the storm moving toward the Northeast. I have had two plane delays and don't get back into Seattle until about 6 tonight, assuming my planes go where they are supposed to go. I saw Clare Farnsworth in the airport and he has already had four flights canceled and had been standing in line for an hour trying to find another route home. I hope he makes it OK but the weather is a drag. Needless to say, I will not be at Holmgren's afternoon news conference, scheduled for 2:15. I think Darrin Beene will be there for that.
I have to admit, I thought there was a pretty good chance the Seahawks would go into Philly and get smacked by a bigger, strong NFC East team that had built its confidence in that New England game. But Lofa Tatupu made some incredible plays -- and the Seahawks were very fortunate. That interception that Takeo Spikes dropped should have been returned for a touchdown. I wonder how the game would have played out if he had actually made the catch. He was blasted this morning in the Philly papers because I guess he has done that same dropsy thing all season. Maybe SF will trade for him and put him opposite DJack next year. Also, if the Eagles has been able to recover that fumble around Seattle's 15 instead of the Seahawks, that may have severely altered the course of the game. That's the difference between 5-7 and 8-4 though, the bounce of the ball goes your way when you are a good team.
That goal line stand was huge, the Seahawks' third in two games. Personally, I don't think there is anything more electrifying than a goal line stand, especially a fourth-down play. It would seem to be rather easy to get 1 yard, but when a defensive line makes the kind of push that Seattle's did -- and remember, Philly's offensive line averages 330 pounds -- it's pretty exciting to watch. That they have done it three times in two weeks is pretty amazing. Julian Peterson made a great play to stop Westbrook going over the top, and Peterson also had an interception and a sack, and he was a footnote in the game because of Lofa.
Give Kevin Bentley and Mike Green credit for chasing down Westbrook on that final punt return. I think Green came all the way from the other side of the field, using the angle to chase him down. If those two weren't there, he would have scored, or at least gotten it closer. Andy Reid was criticized this morning because Westbrook didn't touch the ball once in that final series even though he had a great game.
I thought the offensive line did a good job of protecting Hasselbeck. He was mediocre, but it was not because he was pressured. I'm interested to see how this Pork Chop-Rob Sims rotation might work. Cynics would suggest it will last only one more quarter because that is Chop's capacity for getting injured, but he did a nice job on Sunday, especially since he played three different positions. This should be a wake-up call to Sims. Maybe it will work, who knows.
I thought Shaun ran pretty hard. He missed some holes that looked pretty obvious, cutting left instead of going right. But he seemed to hit the hole harder, though his average still was down, some of which had to do with fourth-quarter running when they were trying to run down the clock. It was good to see him break off that 16-yarder in the first quarter and then score. It had to be a big relief for him too. I did not get a chance to speak to Mo Morris after the game, but a couple writers said he was downright engaging, given what he usually says. Maybe he is liking this new role, even when Shaun plays.
My big question is why was the play-calling so balanced? Was it conditions? Or is Holmgren trying to establish the run in the final weeks to get ready for the playoffs? Or maybe he was using the run more because he thought Jim Johnson was going to blitz so often. Whatever the case, it bears watching in the next game.
Speaking of which, the Hawks can clinch this week with a win over Arizona. That would put them three up with three left, and the tiebreaker because they have a better division record than the Cardinals, who were swept by SF. If they clinch, you have to think Holmgren keeps the foot on the gas with the chance that they can catch Green Bay. The Packers have Oakland at Lambeau in a game they should win, but you never know with Oakland.
That's it for me for the rest of the day. I'll be in transit hell, avoiding as many angry, stranded passengers as I can.