I swear that’s my last apology. You know, I was fully on the “GO RAMS” wagon until Charlie Whitehurst threw that 61 yard bomb to Ruvell Martin. The fact that Charlie Whitehurst got the start instead of Matt Hasselbeck was encouraging enough, but after that play my brain switched to “CHARLIE! CHARLIE! CHARLIE!”, which got me to root for the Seahawks to win by default. This was a bad game to watch for the neutral and nerve-shredding for Seahawks and Rams fans alike. Luckily Jerome Boger and his partners managed to be worse than Seattle and St. Louis with some remarkably bad calls (I’m sure you know of Seattle’s huge phantom first down late in the 4th). Seattle is 7-9, in the playoffs, and now I can’t root for draft position anymore. All I want now is a competitive game against the Saints and I’ll be complacent with the end of the season even though the team is putrid. With that in mind here’s what I concluded strictly from an offensive standpoint:
- Matt Hasselbeck is the problem in Jeremy Bates’ offense. Charlie Whitehurst showed mobility, the ability to roll out of the pocket and competency throwing on the run. Whitehurst was basically everything Hasselbeck hasn’t been at any point in the season. Bates’ system needs a mobile QB and Hass is too old and too poor at this stage in his career to achieve this. I hope Cam Newton fails his Wonderlic test and he drops to #21 because I would be perfectly fine with Whitehurst/Newton/Someone Other Than JP Losman.
- Marshawn Lynch does not deserve to get the bulk of the carries. Lynch is a guy who should be used primarily for grinding out the clock. Otherwise there has to be a better split of this rotation. For the first time practically all season Jeremy Bates used Leon Washington in a meaningful offensive role (in other words he’s not playing in garbage time). Justin Forsett was the recipient of the first pass of the game and had a few carries. Lynch had 20 carries last night but Seattle established the run once they had the lead and were capable of sustaining drives. He’s a liability as a starting back because he’s a slow cut-back runner and he has a fumbling problem, but I think he needs to be used in a different role than Seattle has been giving him.
- The right side of the offensive line must be replaced. Mike Gibson and Sean Locklear are embarrassments and should be binned in the offseason. My favorite play was late in the 4th when Locklear and Gibson were both flat on their backsides on simple pushes.
- Russell Okung is the offensive line. When he leaves this line sucks. When he is in the game he is an absolute beast and he’s a tough SOB. Walter Jones missed nearly all of his rookie season with injury issues. He turned out okay. Okung is following in his footsteps effortlessly.
- Charlie Whitehurst has to start against the Saints. Starting Matt Hasselbeck is counter-productive and bordering on outright insanity. Whitehurst may do a 180 on us this weekend but Hasselbeck is a clear mismatch in this offense and his body is failing him. Whitehurst is fresher, has the better tools, and right now I say he gives Seattle a better chance to be competitive than Hasselbeck. Whitehurst had zero turnovers yesterday and even when under duress did not come close to an INT.
I want Seattle to be competitive against the Saints because a win is bordering on out of the question. Give me a reason to believe there’s hope for the future. Do it by starting Charlie.