Not a bad day for Matt Hasselbeck, who finished with 329 yards on 39-of-51 passing, including a 2-yard TD pass to T.J. Houshamandzadeh. It didn't start out that great as he tossed an interception to free safety Louis Delmas on the Seahawks' first play of their first drive.
“I was a little bit confused on how they were lined up,” Hasselbeck said. “I think they might have had just 10 guys on the field. But really there is no excuse. It’s a tough way to start.”
To make matters worse, Hasselbeck, fueled by irritation at his mistake and a desire to atone, hustled over to try and tackle Delmas after the interception.
“It’s the perfect time to make the tackle because you’re so angry,” he said.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Perhaps, but anger rarely leads to intelligent decisions. In his haste to make the tackle, an already banged up Hasselbeck took an awkward shot to his right shoulder causing some discomfort.
“I banged my shoulder a little, so I wasn’t feeling that good right away,” Hasselbeck said.
Yet in a way, it turned out to be a good thing. Because he didn’t feel 100 percent initially, Hasselbeck had to rethink his approach.
“I wasn’t taking chances,” he said. “I was just taking what the defense gave me. I was playing pretty conservative, and then it started feeling better again. There's probably a lesson there. Just take what the defense gives you. Don't force it."
And that's how he played the rest of the game .. and it led to some pretty impressive numbers ...
With his 12th completion today, Matt Hasselbeck passed Dave Krieg for most completions in team history.
Most Completions – Career2,124 Matt Hasselbeck 2001-2,096 Dave Krieg 1980-911,593 Jim Zorn 1976-84
With more than 300 yards today, Hasselbeck has the Seahawks first individual 300-yard passing game since he passed for 337 yards vs. Chicago on November 18, 2007. It was his 16th-career 300-yard passing game. It is the first team 300-yard passing game since Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace combined to pass for 334 yards at Atlanta on December 30, 2007.
Hasselbeck had a string of 15-consecuive completions in the first half. That ties for second most in team history with Jim Zorn. Warren Moon holds the record with 17 versus Oakland on November 1, 1998.
Most Consecutive Completions - Game17 Warren Moon 11/1/1998 vs. Oakland15 Matt Hasselbeck 11/8/2009 vs. Detroit15 Jim Zorn 10/12/1980 vs. Cleveland14 Jim Zorn 11/26/1979 vs. N.Y. Jets14 Dave Krieg 9/16/1990 vs. L.A. Raiders
Hasselbeck broke his own franchise record for most completions in a single game with 39. He had 36 at San Diego on December 29, 2002, in overtime.
Most Completions – Game39 Matt Hasselbeck 11/8/2009 vs. Detroit36 Matt Hasselbeck 12/29/2002 at San Diego33 Dave Krieg 10/13/1985 vs. AtlantaHead coach Jim Mora gushed about Hasselbeck after the game ..
I don’t know how many times I’ve said it; I just have so much respect for Matt Hasselbeck and his toughness, both physical and mental. I think today was about both of those things for him. He had to overcome some things physically. You guys are out there every day. He showed his true leadership to me. He showed everything that he is. I don’t know if I have any more respect for any player that I’ve ever coached than I have for Matt Hasselbeck. He’s a veteran, he’s calm, he’s confident, he has great command of the game. It was his idea to do the freeze play on fourth down. It wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t Greg’s idea; it was Matt’s idea. He just has very good command of the game. You guys know him as well or better than I do. He’s a special kind of man.
Here's a few more quotes from Matt's press conference.
(On when he realized the game would be put in his hands… ) Greg Knapp had said something to me, I think we were down 14 or 17 to nothing, and he said, hey, Jim said that he wants to throw it. Sometimes you say that right after something bad happens, and you talk it over with everybody else and change your mind, but that was one of the things that he said on the sideline. We had a couple of drives and a two minute drive, where he was dialing up some passes, I think we were in a no-huddle situation. We started out backed up, pass, pass, pass, and we started moving the ball. It stinks that we had to put ourselves in that situation because that really wasn’t the game plan. We studied film all week, and that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to be balanced and once again we shot ourselves in the foot early in the game. We didn’t capitalize on some opportunities and obviously turned the ball over twice. It was really a terrible, terrible way to start.
(On what happened on his first pass…) I probably looked it off too much. I tried to look to John Carlson in the flat, to draw the flat defender away, to get T.J. the ball, and another guy inside of that came buzzing over and it was really a very easy interception. I was a little bit confused on how they were lined up, I think they might have had just 10 guys on the field. But really there is no excuse, it’s a tough way to start. Luckily we bounced back.
(On whether he was tired from throwing so much…) No, not at all. I actually had no idea. I think Dave or Lane or one of those guys mentioned something, but I really had no idea. I wasn’t focused on that. I was focused on I was missing throws; missing easy throws. I didn’t capitalize on some opportunities in the red zone. We had chances to score touchdowns; we came away with field goals, and really we had to battle a lot of adversity today. The turnovers, starting 17-0, we’ve done that once this year, we didn’t handle it very well. We handled it a lot better today. We made some halftime adjustments. We stayed together on the sidelines, we stayed together in the locker room, and we grew. We definitely grew. I think we built some confidence in each other, kind of a ‘you can count on me attitude.’ When we were down no one was panicked, but there wasn’t a lot of talk, either. It was: we screwed up, but here’s the plan. I thought we did a better job of just going out and executing that plan. It wasn’t plan A, it was kind of plan B, but still. We did a better job with that.
(On the coach calling the team out earlier in the week…) It seems like a long time ago that that happened. That happened on a Sunday, a lot transpired Monday/Tuesday. We went back to work Wednesday. I didn’t practice until Thursday. A lot took place. It was one of those things, where you start out 7-0, 10-0, 17-0, or whatever, I don’t remember, but it was kind of a ‘you have to be kidding me.’ We started out with an interception and then a fumble our first two plays, at home, to really give them a chance. It was not a great way to start. I don’t think anyone had anything to say about it. It was that we have no choice; our backs our against the wall; we have no choice but to fix it right now.
(On the attitude of the team…) Right now, we know that our backs are against the wall. We talked about it briefly; all of our goals are still in front of us, right now. If we screw one of these up, it’s not going to be there forever. You only get so many chances, so winning this game was absolutely necessary. Winning the next game is absolutely necessary. Like I’ve said, we’ve made it hard on ourselves, but we still have a chance; we’re just going to have to do it the hard way.
(On what happened with the running game early…) I don’t know exactly. You may think I’m kidding, but I’m carrying out my fakes after I hand the ball off. So I don’t get to see what has taken place, but when you start out 17-0, it’s tough to commit to the run. The plan was definitely to commit to it; we thought we had some great angles and matchups for certain things, and I think we’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys we’ve got running the ball. I thought we came back and ran the ball better today, once we re-took the lead, or were about to take the lead, I thought we were better with it.
(On what the career best numbers mean for him…) I really didn’t feel like I played my best. I feel like there were a lot of opportunities that I missed, but again there will be a lesson that will come from this. 15 in a row, I didn’t know. But, you can play the game that way, especially in Two Minute; I was really just keeping it simple; trying to take what they gave me. I think this offense works best when we spread it around; they want to do this, we do that. Instead of trying to force it in any certain situation. We’ll review the film and see what we learned.
(On whether he sometimes tries to force things to make the game more exciting for him….) It’s not so much that, but you see the coverage that they’re playing; you know who should be open. But sometimes you can force it. Sometimes you’ll say, oh this could be a huge play down the middle, or we could get this over here. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes it’s better for the team, instead of taking the shot, just to give yourself second and one, or second and three or third and one; those kinds of situations. We’ll see the film.
(On going for it on fourth and one early…) It was a backs against the wall situation; that’s not normal. For those of you who know Jim Mora, he believes in us and he showed us. He said, go for it. I thought it was great. They stacked it inside and stuffed us, so again, one more hurdle that we had to overcome. One more piece of adversity to our puzzle that we had to figure out a way to come back from. Our defense went back out there, I forget the result of that one; but I think after that we got our acts together a little bit.
(On the importance of the win…) We can do the math; we knew that we needed to get this one. We know the next one, again, because we’ve blown opportunities early in the season; this next one, just like this one, is very important.