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Originally published December 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM | Page modified December 22, 2009 at 11:16 PM

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Seahawks' chances hinge on Matt Hasselbeck bouncing back

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returns early to practice ready to work — after an apology for his performance Sunday.

Seattle Times staff reporter


Seahawks @ Green Bay, 10 a.m., Ch. 13


RENTON — Matt Hasselbeck was at the team's headquarters before coach Jim Mora on Monday after Seattle's 17-point loss to Tampa Bay.

Seattle's quarterback watched the footage of Sunday's game before he spoke to offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

But diagnosing last week's defeat is one thing, bouncing back from it is another.

"He showed me enough already this year to show that I know he'll bounce back quickly," Knapp said.

Hasselbeck has to if Seattle hopes to avoid another dead-in-the-water performance.

Seattle has scored a single touchdown in each of the past two games, hasn't scored a point in the second half of the past two games and now plays Green Bay, which has forced the second-most turnovers in the league.

That's not exactly a recipe for recovery after Hasselbeck was intercepted four times in one game for the first time since 2004.

"Matt did not have one of his better days," Knapp said.

And no one needed to tell Seattle's quarterback that. He said as much himself when he reported to work the day after the loss to Tampa Bay.

"He came in this morning and he told me, 'Jim, I'm sorry,' " Mora said.

Sorry also describes the state of Seattle's point production the past two weeks.

The Seahawks rushed for 80 yards in the first quarter against Tampa Bay, they had 128 yards of total offense and nothing to show for it in terms of points after Hasselbeck fumbled away the ball, costing Seattle one field goal and a botched snap submarined a second field-goal attempt.

Hasselbeck was sacked only once, but he was under pressure — pressure to produce points. Once Tampa Bay took the lead in the third quarter, he was reduced to throwing the ball deep in hopes of a big completion or a pass-interference penalty.

"Part of the turnover issue was we didn't score points the week before," Knapp said. "There might have been a little pressing."

That would be disastrous against the Packers, whose defense has been as stingy as opportunistic. Green Bay is allowing 290.9 yards, fewer than every team in the league but the New York Jets.

The Packers have 33 takeaways this season, third-most in the league. Only the Saints have picked off more passes this season than the Packers, who have 23.

Green Bay switched to a 3-4 format this season under Dom Capers, the Packers' new defensive coordinator, and the transition has produced immediate results.

Knapp called Capers, "One of those legendary Pittsburgh, zone-blitz coordinators."

That means a quarterback can't always trust what he sees at the line of scrimmage, but after what happened last week Seattle must trust the ability of its quarterback to rebound.


• WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh was excused from Tuesday's practice to attend the funeral of former Cincinnati teammate Chris Henry. The services were in Louisiana.

• As expected, Seattle signed long snapper Jeff Robinson to replace Kevin Houser, who has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a collapsed lung in Sunday's game.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or

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