Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll put an end to the rumblings of a quarterback controversy quickly on Monday, declaring Matt Hasselbeck the starter for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hasselbeck has struggled as the 2010 season progressed, hitting rock bottom in the last three weeks. In total, Hasselbeck has accounted for 10 turnovers in the last three games, and eight in just the last two. Opponents have cashed-in on Hasselbeck's mistakes, generating 38 points off his eight turnovers in the last two games.
It appeared Carroll had seen enough last week, benching his starting quarterback after a stretch of three straight possessions ending in turnovers by Hasselbeck during the third quarter. The Atlanta Falcons took advantage, turning a seven-point halftime lead into a 24 point lead by the end of the third quarter. Enter Charlie Whitehurst.
Whitehurst took over to sarcastic cheers from the Qwest Field crowd, but matched Hasselbeck's production in just one quarter of work. After a three-and-out on the first possession, Whitehurst got the offense going, finding the end zone on a one-yard scramble. Fans that hadn't left early saluted Whitehurst, chanting his name after the touchdown.
At his Monday press conference, Carroll got straight to the point, addressing the quarterback situation in an effort to head off any rumblings of controversy (via The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil).
"We're going with Matt," Carroll said Monday afternoon. "Matt has been our quarterback. He has been the guy that has given us a chance all throughout, and gives us our best chance to finish off right."
There you have it. We're, apparently, going with Matt, in good times and in terrible times.