View Full Version : Seahawks grounded by Steelers' long drives

10-08-2007, 12:42 AM
Seahawks grounded by Steelers' long drives
Monday, October 08, 2007
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For the first time in a football history of low and high altitudes, the Seattle Seahawks began traveling on Hawaiian Airlines this fall, cruising on a sumptuously appointed Boeing 767 from the fleet of the nation's top-rated carrier for service and quality (2007 Airline Quality Ratings), feasting on its extra-large meals, relaxing to one-to-three first-run movies, and lounging luxuriantly on an aircraft so capacious it affords every player his own personal row of seats.

So far they're 1-2 on the road, and the longer the flight, the worse they get beat.

None of that likely had much to do with why Seahawks' coach Mike Holmgren looked so thoroughly uncomfortable in the minutes after the Steelers pitched a 21-0 shutout at his fellas yesterday at Heinz Field, but a sudden change in comfort level was evident. Holmgren finally made it to the interview room with his lather of sweat still in full glisten, looking like someone who'd been trying for an hour to light the grill and had just come in to call for some pizzas.

"For anyone who didn't realize what it takes to compete in this league, to compete against a good football team," Holmgren said, "they learned it today."

The Steelers were beyond any doubt a very good and very deep football team yesterday, but it was Holmgren as much as anyone in Seahawks Blue Which Is Actually Grey who seemed to forget some of the things necessary to compete, such as the surprising usefulness of your three allotted timeouts per half.

"You can't take them with you," quipped losing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Holmgren went to the halftime locker room with all three of his timeouts tucked in his fanny pack (no I didn't see it, he just looks like he should have one, all right?). That was despite the fact the Seahawks had just driven 69 yards in the final 1:52 of the second quarter with Hasselbeck throwing an interception to Ike Taylor at the goal line on the half's final play. A timeout or three would certainly have made that drive a little less chaotic, particularly when 23 seconds ran off the clock when Hasselbeck was sacked at his own 47 with 40 seconds left.

"We kind of got caught in between right there," Hasselbeck said. "We were not in our two-minute offense, but there did come a point near midfield where we sure could have used one. It was like we didn't know whether we were competing against the clock or against the defense."

Even at that, they were just an Ike pick from a 7-7 halftime tie on the road against the Steelers, who were running on a balky offensive missing its top two receivers.

"The clocked stopped a couple of times, and we had the play we wanted at the end," Holmgren protested.

But what about all the lost time after the sack?

"If I didn't call it, then I didn't think about it."

It was hard to tell what Holmgren thought of Hasselbeck's performance after halftime, because Hasslebeck was rarely on the field after halftime. In fact, after the first quarter, Seattle's offense was on the lawn for only 9:48 of the remaining 45 minutes. Still, with 7:09 remaining, Holmgren yanked his starter in favor of Seneca Wallace, whose presence generally implies some kind of trickeration. None was forthcoming.

"You never want to come out," Hasselbeck said. "But that's not my call, it's the coach's call. I guess it was a very fitting ending to a very disappointing day."

Holmgren's major disappointment wasn't so much with Hasselbeck as with a defense that allowed Pittsburgh to play keep away despite the absence of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, who injured his hamstring in warm-ups.

"I was a little disappointed, but I'm not really surprised by anything anymore," Holmgren said. "I was disappointed that we were not able to handle some of those third-down situations."

In the 10-minute opera that was the Steelers' 80-yard scoring drive to start the second half, it was instead Cedric Wilson who handled the specific situations needed to turn this event irretrievably Pittsburgh's way.

Wilson got 15 yards on a third-and-13, then exactly 17 on a third-and-17 later in the drive that made it 14-0.

"Their receivers did a good job of getting right to the sticks," Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson said. "But the biggest thing was Ben [Roethlisberger]. We had the opportunity to get him down and we didn't. That's what Ben does best, he buys some time."

Seattle thus dropped to 3-2 after measuring so poorly against the team it last saw in Super Bowl XL. Worse, the trip home would be the last dose of extended Hawaiian Airlines luxury until a November flight to Cleveland.



10-08-2007, 01:10 AM
Once again, Holmgren's sloppy time management (He did it in XL) helped do him in.

I'm wondering if he's on the hot seat...

10-08-2007, 01:17 AM
The Steelers holding the ball for the first 10+ minutes of the 2nd half: now there's time management!

10-08-2007, 01:39 AM
The Steelers holding the ball for the first 10+ minutes of the 2nd half: now there's time management!

Yep... about the same as the Steelers holding the ball for what was it... 100 plus minutes of two games back to back against the Pats and Colts, knocking out both undefeated teams in 04?

Galax Steeler
10-08-2007, 03:47 AM
I was really impressed with the long drives we had and also converting on 3rd and long a few times.

10-08-2007, 04:56 AM
Once again, Holmgren's sloppy time management (He did it in XL) helped do him in.

I'm wondering if he's on the hot seat...

I checked out 3 different Seahawks forums last night and all of them had the token "Fire Holgrem" thread. :sofunny: