After the game, Seneca Wallace mentioned how everyone told him when he coming out of Iowa State that he wasn't an NFL quarterback, but Mike Holmgren gave him that chance. So it's fitting that in Holmgren's final home game, Wallace rewards the faith Holmgren showed in him by outplaying Holmgren's most well-known pupil, guiding the Seahawks to a win in Holmgren's final home game as the Seahawks head coach. Wallace was 18-of-25 for 175 yards and a beautiful touchdown pass to John Carlson towards the end of the 1st half. More importantly, Wallace was once again turnover-free, as it's been 183 pass attempts since Wallace has thrown an interception.
Running Backs: B
Against the NFL's 9th-ranked run defense, Maurice Morris grinded out 116 yards on 29 carries. Morris didn't bust any long ones, but he consistently gained positive yardage. Seattle's "Sprinkle Backs", T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones, saw little action. Duckett got two yards to pick up a key 1st on the game's only touchdown drive. Fullback Leonard Weaver carried the ball three times for 5 yards, but fumbled on a 3rd down carry inside the Jets' 10-yard line.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B
Lost amid the Holmgren storyline was that today may very well have been Bobby Engram's final home game as a Seahawk. Engram's contract, which he wasn't very happy with this summer, is up and Holmgren was the main reason why Engram was re-signed after the 2006 season. If today was Engram's last home at Qwest Field, he went out in style. Engram led the ‘Hawks with 6 receptions and 65 yards, making a few nice grabs on low throws and, as always, keeping the chains moving. Today may have also been Koren Robinson's final home game as a Seahawk, and he came up with three receptions for 38 yards. Courtney Taylor (Yes, that Courtney Taylor) got his name on the stat sheet with a pair of receptions for 35 yards, including a remarkable sliding catch at the Jets' 2-yard line. Deion Branch was quiet, catching a pair of screen passes for 6 yards. Tight end Will Heller entered the game with 2 catches for 11 yards, and today he doubled that production, though he'd fumble on his first reception. Rookie sensation John Carlson continued his record-setting season, hauling in a pair of passes, including his team-high 5th touchdown of the season.
Offensive Line: B+
Aside from a pair of false starts by Kyle Williams, the Seahawks makeshift offensive line was very impressive on Sunday. This quintet of backups didn't allow a sack and helped the Seahawks rack up 120 yards rushing against the NFL's 6th-ranked run defense and gave Wallace ample time in the pocket. For a group this inexperienced and with just three days of practice together, what they did today was nothing short of amazing.
Defensive Line: A-
Darryl Tapp had perhaps his finest game of the season, as he was credited with 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three hits total on Brett Favre. Brandon Mebane had a whopping four hits on Favre, including the 0.5 sack he shared with Tapp. Rocky Bernard and Craig Terrill both provided pressure up the middle, with Terrill adding a sack and Bernard shutting down an escape route on Josh Wilson's 4th quarter sack. Rookie defensive Lawrence Jackson got a nice shot on Favre and added three tackles in run support. Even newcomer Brandon Miller got in on the action, coming up with a nice tackle of Leon Washington.
Lofa Tatupu was all over the place, leading the Seahawks with 8 total tackles. Tatupu was also solid in pass coverage, breaking up a pair of passes. Julian Peterson chipped in with four tackles and second-year linebacker Will Herring made his 1st NFL start and made 5 tackles.
The New York Jets had 10 possessions on Sunday. Josh Wilson ended three of them, including two in the 4th quarter. Wilson had without a doubt his finest game as a pro, making 5 tackles, intercepting Favre twice and picking up his 1st NFL sack. Needless to say, he'll be getting some NFL Defensive Player of the Week consideration. Marcus Trufant had a solid day, as once again the opposing quarterback opted to throw away from him. Much-maligned cornerback Kelly Jennings also came up big, breaking up a fourth down pass to Laveranues Coles that would've gone for big yardage. Safeties Deon Grant and Brian Russell combined for 13 tackles.
Special Teams: A-
Olindo Mare and Jon Ryan deserve credit for kicking well in less-than-ideal conditions. Mare's excellent season continued, as the veteran went 2-for-2 on field goals and had good depth on his kickoffs. Ryan's net average of 36.0 isn't spectacular, but with Pro Bowl return man Leon Washington back deep for the Jets, the stat to look at is that three of Ryan's four punts went unreturned and landed inside the Jets' 15-yard line. Thanks to excellent play by the coverage units, the one was returnable went for just 4 yards. Seattle held Washington to 17.8 yards per kick return, nearly 10 yards below his season average. Owen Schmitt and Lance Laury were outstanding on special teams today.
Mike Holmgren's home finale was always going to be one of the saddest days, not just in Seahawks history, but in Seattle sports history. That the players, coaches and fans brought their "A" games today, on a cold, snowy Sunday at the tail-end of a 3-11 season, is a testament to how great a head coach Mike Holmgren has been and what he has meant to the city of Seattle.
So consider today's grade a cumulative one. This franchise has come along with under Holmgren's guidance, it's fitting that the last time he walks off Qwest Field, he does so as a winner.
Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for Seahawks.Net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.