- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2008

Tight end John Carlson has 12 catches, fullback T.J. Duckett a team-high three rushing touchdowns, no defensive lineman more than 14 tackles and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck a 57.8 passer rating.

No wonder the Seattle Seahawks are one of the NFL‘s most disappointing teams after getting routed 44-6 by the New York Giants, the most lopsided loss of Mike Holmgren‘s coaching career.

It can’t be the start Holmgren envisioned during the offseason when he announced this would be his final year with the Seahawks and Jim Mora Jr. was named his replacement.

The Seahawks are 1-3 for the first time in six years and if the season falls apart, there are sure to be rumblings about why Seattle didn’t consider Jim Zorn and instead gave the job to Mora.

The hiring seemed sensible at the time. Mora removed himself from consideration for the Washington Redskins’ job, Holmgren announced his intention to take at least a year off (here’s guessing he ends up running San Francisco’s football operations by 2010) and the Seahawks beat other suitors by promoting Mora.



But Zorn, who likely would have stayed if hired as the offensive coordinator, is 4-1 with the Redskins and the Seahawks are a woeful team in a woeful division.

The losses have left Holmgren in a grouchy mood as the Seahawks prepare to host Green Bay.

“He’s definitely tense, there’s no doubt about that,” Hasselbeck said. “Mike got up [Wednesday] and really laid into the offense. I mean, he gave it to us hard. That was tough to take.”

Said Holmgren: “I put people on notice.”

The offense ranks sixth in rushing yards a game but 28th in passing and 29th on third down.

Holmgren, who is tied with Joe Gibbs for the 10th-most wins in NFL history (171), could have also ripped into a defense that the Giants shredded for 536 yards. The Seahawks rank 25th or worse in the four major categories and have allowed 24 plays of 20-plus yards.

Holmgren might have been privately critical, but remains publicly confident.

“I think they watch how I respond,” he said. “That’s part of being a head coach. I might feel some things deep down inside that would never come to the surface, hopefully. But at the same time, you must be honest with the players.”

Playing in a bad division since St. Louis’ run ended, the Seahawks have taken advantage by beating up on the Rams, San Francisco and Arizona. Seattle has won four straight NFC West titles and made the playoffs five consecutive years. During that span, they posted a 21-9 record in the division.

Seattle has been beset by injuries - receivers Bobby Engram and Deion Branch missed the first three games and linebacker Lofa Tatupu is playing with a bad right thumb. But the Seahawks haven’t been able to overcome the injuries. And now they need a win over the struggling Packers ( who have three straight losses) before going to Tampa Bay and San Francisco.

“We’ve got no time to mess around,” linebacker Julian Peterson said. “It’s not necessarily a panic situation, but it is almost.”

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