Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck shared a laugh on the sidelines Monday Night as his team clung--and you must use that term when speaking of Seattle--to a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game. But it was the Cowboys that had the last laugh as they had an improbable comeback in the final minutes to beat the Seahawks, 43-39.
Hasselbeck should have known better.
The Seahawks took a 17-point lead deep into the fourth quarter against St. Louis earlier this season, only to see that lead disappear like the club's championship hopes. Remember when the Seahawks where the "chic" pick to win the NFC? The Seahawks were supposed to walk the yellow brick road out of the Emerald City and all the way to Jacksonville and the Super Bowl.
Now the Seahawks are tied in the worst division in the worst conference in the NFL. Seattle might end up winning the NFC West by default--remember the Seahawks are battling St. Louis for the division title--but they are a clear one-and-done in the playoffs.
"I felt pretty good when we were up by 10 with a couple of minutes to go," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "Let's just say it: You should win those. We've lost two of those this year, and it might prevent us from getting into the playoffs."
Holmgren also has a clear shot at the Hater Nation genius of the year, edging ahead of St. Louis coach Mike Martz. And that's no easy feat. But it's been quite a week for resident geniuses named Mike in the NFL.
Martz called for a fake-field goal trailing big to Green Bay last Monday night. That's pretty dumb.
Denver coach Mike Shanahan from the pole position in the AFC West to outside of the playoffs in only two weeks after division-losses to the Raiders and Charger. That takes skill.
But Holmgren and his team clearly are the front-runners in this category.
The Hater Nation has grown to expect this from Martz, but what happened to Shanahan and Holmgren as both coaches have won Super Bowls in the past? Shanahan has not won a playoff game since 1998. Funny, that's the same year that John Elway retired. Holmgren hasn't managed the same kind of success in Seattle that he enjoyed in Green Bay. Maybe Brett Favre had something to do with that?
Both Shanahan and Holmgren have been intent on winning their way--with mediocre quarterbacks. Shanahan tabbed Jake Plummer as the successor to Elway in Denver, despite the fact that Plummer has never been able to capture the magic that made him a star at Arizona State. Holmgren turned to Hasselbeck, who can't match the charisma of his sister-in-law, Elisabeth Filarski.
It's hard to be a genius when you don't have the proper tools, and Shanahan and Holmgren have nobody to blame but their egos and self-inflated sense of worth.
If it takes a good quarterback to win, what does it mean when you have a great quarterback and you lose? It means that you are Mike Sherman.
IN HONOR OF PETER KING, HERE ARE 8 THINGS I THINK I THINK
1. How many people thought it was a mistake for the Cowboys to pass on Stephen Jackson and draft Julius Jones? Maybe Jerry Jones is a genius afterall.
2. Peter King said in his Tuesday column that the Giants, if they continue to lose, might move into position to draft USC receiver Mike Williams. Good idea. Too bad the Chargers own that pick. Williams would give San Diego a pretty good receiving corp. of Williams, Antonio Gates, and Keenan McCardell. And don't forget, LaDainian Tomlinson is a pretty decent receiver, too.
3. Coffee sucks.
4. If the playoffs started today, two NFC teams with .500 records would make the plalyoffs, Seattle and St. Louis.
a. It's pretty clear that a St. Louis playoff berth would keep Martz employed, and the Hater Nation with material for another year. But can you count on Martz and company to win? St. Louis plays at Carolina this week and ends the season with home dates with Philadelphia and the NY Jets. Those are three games that St. Louis could easily loss.
b. How does Holmgren motivate his team in the next four weeks? If he can't keep their focus in the final minutes of two pivotal games, what chance does he have? It has gotten so bad, Jerry Rice is looking for another team to gravy-train into the playoffs.
c. Chris Chandler will be the starter for St. Louis this week. Chandler was the starter for Los Angeles--when the team was known as the Rams--in 1994. He got hurt in one of the worst game in Rams history, an 8-5 snoozer against Atlanta .The Hater Nation paid 10 bucks to get into that game.
5. Coaches have no business being general managers. Holmgren left Green Bay because he wanted to be both coach and general manager. Sometimes you should be careful of what you wish for.
6. Biola upset No. 3 Azusa Pacific in the GSAC men's opener for both teams last week. Biola could be a player in the NAIA's toughest basketball conference, but Concordia still looks too strong.
a. Sorry, the Hater Nation does not have any athletic daughters.
7. Dodgeball is released on DVD today. The Hater Nation only endorses Ben Stiller movies that involve Owen Wilson. And Meet the Fockers? Too late.
a. What ever happened to the fat guy that wrote Swingers?
b. Is Ben Stiller the Mike Sherman of Hollywood? Stiller parlayed one great movie, There's Something About Mary, into the head coaching role of an endless line of bad movies. Of course, the real star of Mary was Brett Favre, so there you go.
c. The Hater Nation does not want to hear which Ben Stiller movies you thought were great. They all sucked.
8. LaDainian Tomlison voiced his support for the return of Drew Brees for next season. The smart thing to do, still is, to bring back Brees for another season. But again, this is the Chargers.
Compared with their peers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, U.S. 15-year-olds are below average when it comes to applying math skills to real-life tasks, new test scores show.
That means that some 15-year-olds think Seattle won last night.