With apologies to Peter King of SI.com, who apologized long ago to John Steadman of the Baltimore Sun for borrowing his idea, here’s a look back and a look ahead at the week that was and the one that will be for the Seahawks:
Anatomy of a preseason victory:
Matt Hasselbeck’s back: The best thing that can be said after the team’s starting QB absorbed three sacks against the Broncos on Saturday night is that the post-game discussions were more about his arm than the back problem that forced him to miss nine starts last season.
Hasselbeck completed 16 of 23 passes while leading two touchdown drives, and was 6 of 6 on third downs during those possessions – which ended with his 34-yard TD pass to Deon Butler and a 2-yarder to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
On those drives, Hasselbeck completed passes to five different receivers – Houshmandzadeh, Butler, tight end John Carlson, running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Courtney Taylor.
Good stuff, no matter how you dissect those stats.
Even better, when you consider that he followed the three sacks with some of his best throws – and his usual candor.
“I forgot how hard these people hit in here,” he said. “It is like a car wreck. It’s just part of the game, but it was fun. And, like you said, it was probably good that it happened.”
Houshmandzadeh’s hands: After signing with the Seahawks in free agency, TJH said he was eager to prove that he is a complete receiver. That’s saying something for a guy who averaged 89 receptions the past five seasons with the Bengals.
But his determination is as refreshing as his hands are sure. His touchdown catch was a prime example.
Just wait until TJH and Hasselbeck are completely on the same page.
Max Unger’s chest: It was heaving by game’s end. Again. The rookie offensive lineman played the entire game in the opener against the Chargers. In Week 2, he came close.
Unger didn’t start the game (Mansfield Wrotto got the nod at right guard), but he played extensively at center and right guard. Again, without any glaring mistakes or missed blocks.
His efforts loom even larger now that center Chris Spencer is out after injuring his left thigh during the first half against the Broncos. Unger or Steve Vallos will move in at center. If it’s not Unger, he still factors into the battle for the starting right guard spot.
Nick Reed’s arms: They slash. They chop. They push. They pave the way for the rookie defensive end to get around whoever is trying to block him.
He followed his one-sack, one-interception debut against the Chargers with a 1½-sack, forced-fumble performance against the Broncos. All in the second half, of course, but that’s when the Seahawks have generated seven of their eight sacks in the preseason.
What’s next for the undersized wonder? The Seahawks travel to Kansas City this week to play the Chiefs on Saturday night, and it’s time to take a look at what Reed can do against a team’s No. 1 left tackle.
The week ahead:
The players are off today. But, with the end of training camp last week, they’ll switch to their regular-season schedule when they return. That means 11 a.m. practices on Tuesday and Wednesday and an 11:15 session on Thursday.
The team flies to Kansas City on Friday.