Seattle QB gets his wish, will face Bears
By Mike Mulligan firstname.lastname@example.org January 9, 2011 8:56PM
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
Updated: April 24, 2011 4:46AM
SEATTLE — Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck got just what he wished for when his former team, the Green Bay Packers, defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 21-16 on Sunday: a trip to Chicago.
While most NFL quarterbacks are careful not to reveal what they wish for, Hasselbeck didn’t hesitate to state a preference on the NFL Network shortly after eliminating the defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints 41-36 on Saturday at Qwest Field.
‘‘If we get to play Chicago, then I think there is a chance we could still host another game here in the playoffs,’’ Hasselbeck said. ‘‘So It has nothing to do with Chicago or Atlanta. I would love to come back and play a game at Qwest.’’
If the Seahawks defeat the Bears and the Packers get past the Atlanta Falcons, the Seahawks will host the NFC Championship Game.
Hasselbeck, 35, is in his 12th year and doesn’t have a contract for next season.
Hasselbeck made $6.75 million this year, including a $1 million roster bonus, but the Seahawks moved down 20 spots in the second round — from 40 to 60 — and sent a third-round pick to the San Diego Chargers to acquire Charlie Whitehurst as the heir apparent.
If the Bears game is Hasselbeck’s Seattle swan song, he’ll want to replicate his performance from a Week 6 victory over the Bears when he completed 25 of 40 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions or sacks.
Hasselbeck used veteran guile, sleight of hand and 6-5 wide receiver Mike Williams (10 receptions, 123 yards) to terrorize the Bears. His description of the victory against the Saints could have applied to the earlier Bears game.
‘‘We got a rhythm going, with pass protection, and I was using my cadence pretty good, and quick counts and sort of quick counts, normal count, hard count, double count,’’ Hasselbeck said. ‘‘Using all those things in our toolbox.’’