Is it time to see what Charlie Whitehurst can do as the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks?
This is a question that was posed yesterday and it’s a reasonable one.
In the past two Seattle losses, the Seahawks have lost by a combined 35 points. That margin could have been as high as 49 had the team not scored two garbage-time touchdowns two weeks ago in San Francisco.
During that time, starter Matt Hasselbeck has had one of the worst stretches a quarterback can have. The 12-year veteran has personally accounted for nine turnovers. Six of them were interceptions. Two were fumbles lost. The other? An incomplete pass on fourth-and-four from within San Francisco territory in the first half of the Seahawks’ 40-21 loss to the 49ers.
All of that goes with his 31.6 quarterback rating average during the two games.
However, despite the lackluster performances, Hasselbeck needs to remain under center.
According to head coach Pete Carroll, some of his turnovers recently haven’t been because of outright poor play. Instead, the first-year Seahawks head coach insisted that his quarterback had merely been competing and had tried a little too hard to right the team’s ship.
Hasselbeck also has had to deal with a supporting cast both on offense and defense that’s been plagued by injuries. Recently, he had a game where his top wide receivers were Golden Tate and Brandon Stokley – arguably the team’s fourth and fifth options on the receiving totem pool.
Then there’s the fact that the Seahawks are still in the hunt for a playoff spot – something the team hasn’t been able to say since it won the NFC West in 2007.
And it’s not like Hasselbeck has been a bum his entire career. Earlier this decade, he took Seattle to five consecutive playoff appearances, including one Super Bowl trip. During that time, he also earned a ticket to Hawaii to play in the Pro Bowl three times.
The last reason? Charlie Whitehurst.
Prior to this season, Whitehurst had, for the most part, been the equivalent of a rookie quarterback in the National Football League. He hadn’t thrown a regular-season pass in his first four seasons in the league and hadn’t even stepped foot on the field during a regular season game since his first season with San Diego in 2006.
In his first year as a Seahawk, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Whitehurst has played in four games and thrown at least one pass in three. In those three, the quarterback’s inexperience has shown. He’s completed just 53.3 percent of his passes. He’s thrown one touchdown compared to three interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 49.2.
Hasselbeck hasn’t been perfect. In fact, he’s been almost as far from perfect as humanly possible, but everything that’s gone wrong can’t be heaped solely onto his shoulders.
Besides, the other option hasn’t shown he can be any better.
In a playoff situation in which anything short of winning the team’s remaining two games – at Tampa Bay and at home against St. Louis – could spell the end of the season, who would you rather have throwing the football?
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