The results weren't all positive for Seattle on Sunday. As far as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's wrist goes, that's a good thing. A very good thing...
ATLANTA — The results weren’t all positive for Seattle on Sunday.
As far as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s wrist goes, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
Hasselbeck injured his right wrist early in the second quarter when he fell awkwardly. He returned to the game and while Hasselbeck did not play in the second half, coach Mike Holmgren said that was the plan for playing time and not because of an injury.
Still, Hasselbeck underwent X-rays after going to the locker room, and no fracture was detected.
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“I was throwing the ball away and hit the ground,” Hasselbeck said. “I don’t know if I landed on it or somebody landed on it, but just kind of fell awkwardly.”
Hasselbeck had some tape applied in the second quarter, and iced it afterward. He doesn’t anticipate it will cause him to miss any practice time. In fact, he threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Engram after the injury.
The one that got away
Nate Burleson caught seven passes for 119 yards — both season highs — and he scored two touchdowns. It was the play that got called back that stuck with him after the game, though.
Burleson scored on a 13-yard touchdown catch with 54 seconds left in the game, allowing Seattle to cut Atlanta’s lead to three points. He recovered the ball when Seattle executed an onside kick. Burleson and safety Deon Grant found themselves at the bottom of a scrum for the ball.
“We’re kind of talking to each other,” Burleson said. “Don’t let them get it.”
Instead, the Seahawks lost the ball because officials ruled Burleson was offside on the play. Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White recovered Seattle’s next kick.
“I felt like we got the thing turned around after we got the ball back,” Burleson said. “I honestly felt like we were on our way to win the game. Then for the ref to say offsides. Not only that, but then call my number, regardless of what I did previous to that, I felt like I let the team down. It’s going to be a tough flight home.”
Josh Brown made two field goals of more than 50 yards in the first 15 games. He made two in the 16th game, including a season-long 54-yarder in the second quarter. His previous best this season was a 52-yarder against New Orleans.
Brown has made all six field-goal attempts since the Seahawks signed Jeff Robinson to be the long snapper Dec. 11. Brown also made two special-teams tackles, including one that might have prevented a touchdown on a 61-yard return by Adam Jennings.
“Tackling is a bad thing when I have to do it,” Brown said. “There’s not much satisfaction in it.”
Linebacker Leroy Hill got to his feet and shook his head from side to side, the universal sign for denial. That’s just what Hill and Seattle’s defense did, tackling Jason Snelling for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-one.
It was the ninth time Seattle’s defense stopped an opponent on fourth down this season. It has allowed four fourth-down conversions.
Just wing it
Hasselbeck had seen the alignment the Falcons’ defense used several times in the first half, putting 10 men at the line of scrimmage.
“It’s called a punt return,” Hasselbeck said.
The Falcons used that formation to produce the pressure Hasselbeck saw throughout the first half.
“It’s definitely a risk-reward situation,” Hasselbeck said of the alignment. “I thought early on they had some success with it, but if you can make them pay that one time, it helps.”
The Falcons tried all sorts of different looks in the first half, but at the end of the second quarter, Hasselbeck caught them. The Seahawks were in a five-receiver formation, Hasselbeck in the shotgun and the Falcons’ defense pressed close to the line of scrimmage with no one playing safety to defend over the top. Engram ran down the middle, and flared to the outside.
“I threw it up not knowing if he was going to look,” Hasselbeck said.
Engram did, turning to catch a 30-yard touchdown pass. The offensive line did a great job blocking the pressure coming up the middle on that play, allowing Hasselbeck time to get the ball off.
“Thank God that we go to shotgun now because that’s the only way that play gets off,” Hasselbeck said. “Bobby did the rest. He won his one-on-one matchup.”
Tight end getting loose
Marcus Pollard caught more than two passes only once in Seattle’s first 13 games and that was the season-opener against Tampa Bay.
He caught three passes in the first half Sunday, his third consecutive game with at least three receptions.
• D.J. Hackett returned after missing the past four games because of an ankle injury. He caught four passes for 41 yards.
• CB Josh Wilson returned from a quadriceps injury.
• WR Deion Branch missed the game. He did not practice Thursday or Friday because of a calf injury, but he made the trip.
• LB Niko Koutouvides did not travel. He suffered a knee injury in practice last week.