Up next: Seahawks stunned at 1-5

The Seattle Seahawks don't have much to look forward to. Only six games into the season, they are stunned that they are 1-5. Worse, they have no inkling how to get out of their self-imposed malaise.

Even if they defeat the 49ers on Sunday in San Francisco, the best they can hope for is a tie for last place in the NFC West. And they are playing against a team that they already lost to, 33-30. At home.

Their best bet for a victory is if quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returns from a bulging disk in his back, because without him their offense has been putrid.

Two weeks ago, third-string quarterback Charlie Frye threw for just 83 yards against the Green Bay Packers. This past week, against Tampa Bay, second-string quarterback Seneca Wallace threw for just 73 yards.

That's less than 160 yards TOTAL in two games.

"Our offense is just not playing with a lot of confidence right now," Holmgren said.

Holmgren will have special incentive for this game because it will be the last time he will get to go home as a coach.

He started with the 49ers under Bill Walsh. He still has a home in the area and he gets especially revved up to go back to Candlestick. Last season, after the Seahawks were swept by the Niners in 2006, Holmgren ratcheted up the intensity en route to a 23-3 victory.

This also could be a job interview of sorts for Holmgren because there is always the speculation that he will go back to the Niners and run the organization. Certainly he does not want a poor showing there as his final impression.

But the difficult thing for the Seahawks right now is that they are simply not a good team, and no manner of rhetoric that insinuates they are about to turn around the season necessarily makes it that way.

Hasselbeck's health is a concern because the Seahawks have said all along his bulging disk is not an issue.

Then they came out and said the disk is actually the reason that he can't participate, because it is pinching a nerve that is creating weakness in the leg.

When Holmgren was asked after Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Buccaneers about Hasselbeck's status, he said he still doesn't know if Hasselbeck will be able to play.

He is getting rehab. They are hopeful he can go.

He better, because they have absolutely no rhythm without him. They are 2-for-10 in third-down conversions against the Buccaneers, and are seven for their 32 attempts on third down. Their three-and-outs are causing the offense to stagnate, which places additional pressure on the defense to not make any mistakes.

Meanwhile, their defense continues to get torched by even mediocre quarterbacks. Jeff Garcia was the latest, throwing for 310 yards.

The last time the Seahawks faced J.T. O'Sullivan, they made him look like an incredible talent, and they made 38-year-old Isaac Bruce look 15 years younger.

It would be easy to say that Hasselbeck's return could be a quick fix. But it is not that easy for Seattle, which dropped three games behind Arizona in the division.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're not used to this. Quite frankly, we're having a heck of a time moving the ball. At times, you can overcome a player or two and get it done. But the combination of who we've lost and what position, it's hard to overcome. We're able to run some, but we can't sustain that." - Coach Mike Holmgren, talking about all the injuries at the skill positions.

BY THE NUMBERS: 147 -- Julius Jones' rushing yards over the last three games combined. Jones rushed for 127 in Week 2 against the 49ers, Seattle's next opponent.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES
--- LB Lofa Tatupu suffered a concussion and was knocked from Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
--- RB Justin Forsett returned both punts and kickoffs, sharing kickoff duties with Josh Wilson and fielding punts in place of Michael Bumpus, who was sent to the practice squad.
--- LB D.D. Lewis, who stepped in for Lofa Tatupu and led the Seahawks in tackles with 11, dislocated his finger.
--- OT Ray Willis did not start, but he shared time with starter Sean Locklear, the two alternating quarters.
--- DT Red Bryant was active for the first time since the season opener and played well. He had two tackles and played special teams.



Niners Digest Top Stories