Week 15 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 28, Tennessee Titans 24
What you need to know
WR Darrell Jackson returned to the starting lineup for the Seahawks. Jackson led all Seahawks’ receivers in targets and catches. He showed no signs of being slowed down or hampered in any way by his nine week absence.
QB Matt Hasselbeck was very sharp and efficient leading Seattle on four touchdown drives of 70 plus yards. After the Seattle defense surrendered a 14 point lead giving up 24 unanswered points, Hasselbeck calmly responded with two quick touchdown drives.
Many fantasy owners were concerned about RB Shaun Alexander being rested more and backup RB Maurice Morris getting more playing time. Morris saw three plays in the first half, but didn’t see the field in the second half. The Titans were able to keep the game close insuring that Alexander would still be utilized heavily.
QB Steve McNair came to life in the second quarter and led the Titans on four consecutive scoring drives without the aid of a productive running game. RB Chris Brown was held to less than three yards per carry mostly being pounded between the tackles.
Head coach Jeff Fisher called a fake punt on fourth and two from the Tennessee 37 yard line. The play was successful and kept a drive alive, but passing on a chip shot field goal later in the drive to attempt another fourth down conversion changed the dynamic of the game when it was unsuccessful. It forced another fourth down attempt later in the fourth quarter when two field goals could have won the game.
WR Drew Bennett (14) and TE Ben Troupe (ten) each saw double-digit targets in the game. QB Steve McNair leaned on Bennett and Troupe when he needed a big play. The pair was able to pick on backup defenders as Seattle was missing starting LBs and CBs due to injuries.
What you ought to know
Hasselbeck came up big when his team needed him against the Titans. He responded to a ten point deficit by quickly marching the Seahawks 83 yards on three plays for a touchdown that pulled Seattle to within a field goal of the Titans. On the game winning drive he completed six of eight passes eating up the clock and giving his defense a chance to rest. Hasselbeck made great decision all game long with the exception of one play that resulted in a sack. Off a naked bootleg Hasselbeck was spun to the ground by a defensive end, but just after his knee hit the ground he attempted to sidearm a pass downfield that was nearly intercepted. Other than this one play Hasselbeck was composed and in charge.
Alexander ran hard and broke several long runs. His 52 yard run up went up the sideline line after sprinting through the middle of the line untouched darting and slashing away from tacklers. He followed this up with a similar 33 yard carry in the fourth quarter. Alexander disappeared for a bit through the middle of the game. He had only seven yards during the second and third quarters combined. The Seahawks offense came to a halt during this stretch. Alexander went back to being the workhorse in the fourth quarter with 11 carries including two nice first down runs that allowed Seattle to take a knee and allow the clock to run down ending the game.
Morris entered the game on the first Seattle possession and caught a nice over the shoulder pass down the right sideline for 14 yards. He entered the game again late in the first quarter at the start of the third Seattle drive. His only carry went for three yards before being replaced by starting RB Shaun Alexander two plays later.
Strong’s only touch was a 20 yard reception. Strong caught the ball in the right flat and rumbled down the sideline to open the second half for the Seahawks.
Jackson returned to the starting lineup and was immediately worked into the offense. Jackson was targeted on the first two Seahawks’ plays from scrimmage. On the second Seattle possession Jackson ran a beautiful pump and go route down the right sideline. He completely fooled the cornerback and was alone on his way to the end zone, but QB Matt Hasselbeck overthrew the pass. Jackson also contributed with five catches on six second half targets. He made three grabs on Seattle’s last scoring drive including the game winning touchdown from two yards out. Hasselbeck rolled out to his side of the field and Jackson broke free running parallel to the goal line for the score.
Engram caught all six of his targets. He converted several third downs and had one huge play that helped the Seahawk offense break out of a funk. After falling behind ten points in the third quarter on the road Engram pulled in a quick slant and turned it up field after the defensive back slipped and didn’t make the tackle. The play set up a touchdown to WR Joe Jurevicius two plays later. On the next drive Engram caught a short pass in the right flat breaking a tackle setting up another touchdown pass for QB Matt Hasselbeck.
Jurevicius only saw one target in the first half, but was a big contributor after Seattle fell behind by ten points. Jurevicius abused a defensive back at the goal line and caught a short slant for a four yard touchdown. He used his size well keeping his body between the defender and the ball. He also had two nice receptions late in the game to keep drives alive.
Stevens was targeted early and often, as has been the norm for the Seahawks for several weeks now. Stevens got the Seahawks on the board running a deep cross from right to left behind the linebackers. Stevens was able to use his speed to run away from LB Peter Sirmon to break free. He had to reach low to make the grab, but was able to keep his feet and slide into the end zone.
The Seahawks were able to keep RB Chris Brown from breaking out. They held him to only 56 yards on 20 carries and didn’t allow a run of more than nine yards in the game. Also, they didn’t allow QB Steve McNair to scramble for any significant yards. Backup OLB Kevin Bentley filled in for starter DD Lewis leading the Seahawks in tackles but was no match in pass coverage head to head with TE Ben Troupe.
QB Steve McNair went untouched for the majority of the first three quarter. Both times the pass rush was able to put a hit on him were close to personal fouls for roughing the passer with a late hit. Seattle was held without a sack for the first time this season. Their previous low was two in a game. The secondary had a rough time with WR Drew Bennett and LB Kevin Bentley playing without starters at OLB and CB due to injuries. Play action fakes by McNair consistently pulled the Seahawk linebackers and safeties up to the line of scrimmage allowing TE Ben Troupe to slip behind them for big plays.
|QB Steve McNair, Pass: 23 - 38 - 310 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 0|
McNair had his second best statistical day of the season picking on backup LB Kevin Bentley and backup CB Jordan Babineaux. He did a nice job of finding TE Ben Troupe in single coverage in the middle of the field and WR Drew Bennett on the outsides. McNair was able to stand in the pocket and survey the field without very much pass rush to deal with. With ample time, he was able to pick apart the Seattle secondary.
Brown struggled to find a rhythm early in the game. He was able to pop a few solid runs on first down, but the Seattle defensive front seven were stacking the line of scrimmage far too often for Brown to find much running room. Brown was replaced by backup Jarrett Payton at the end of the Titans first scoring drive. Payton scored, but only had one more carry in the game. Brown handled all the running back duties in the second half.
Payton entered the game at the end of the Titans third possession. He scored on a three yard run, but only had one more carry from that point on. His target statistics were inflated because QB Steve McNair was twice throwing the ball away in his direction.
|WR Drew Bennett, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 8 - 93 - 2 (14 targets)|
Bennett was matched up with backup CB Jordan Babineaux for most of the game. Bennett was easily able to gain separation and burned him for two touchdowns, and nearly two others. Of note, Bennett didn’t start the game, but was on the field shortly after Tennessee began their first drive.
Calico caught a few short underneath passes through the first three quarter. In third quarter with tons of momentum in the game after four straight scoring drives, Calico dropped a sure third down conversion in the left flat. The Titans didn’t threaten again after that play.
Roby started the game along with TEs Scaife and Troupe. Roby pulled in a 32 yard bomb from QB Steve McNair after making a nice adjustment to the ball. McNair lofted the ball deep down field in an “up for grabs” situation.
Troupe ate up backup LB Kevin Bentley. He didn’t see his first target until midway through the second quarter, but once QB Steve McNair started to find him he went to him often. The Seahawks didn’t adjust well to play action fakes allowing Troupe to get behind the defense for big plays. Troupe bested his previous career high (75 yards) with 116 yards in this game.
Scaife started the game along with TE Ben Troupe in a two TE formation. The Titans kept both Scaife and Troupe on the field together for a large part of the game. Scaife only recorded two receptions, but his other target was a designed inside screen for him.
The Titans front seven weren’t able to stop RB Shaun Alexander. The 183 rushing yards they allowed was the most since week one of the season against the Steelers. The Seattle offensive line allowed Alexander to break into the secondary untouched for too many big plays manhandling the Titans.
QB Matt Hasselbeck was able to pick the Titans defense apart without much of a pass rush to worry about. Also, Seattle receivers were able to run wild through the secondary unchallenged.