Chants of “Char-lie Char-lie Char-lie” cascaded down from Qwest Field after backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst gave new life to the Seattle Seahawks, leading an 11-play, 80 yard touchdown drive. On fourth down, Whitehurst kept it himself, picking up a first down on a quarterback draw. It was Whitehurst again, using his legs to find the end zone and bring the Seahawks with 16 of the Falcons, 34-18.
Whitehurst is 4-9 with 61 yards for the day, nearly equaling Matt Hasselbeck’s production on one drive. Hasselbeck finished the day with 71 yards, two interceptions and a fumble in three quarters of play. Whitehurst also carried the ball two times for seven yards, including his one-yard touchdown run. His performance has clearly pleased a restless crowd at Qwest Field looking for a sign of hope with two weeks to go and the playoffs still within reach.
With Whitehurst performing and looking like a capable quarterback, we may have seen the end of the Hasselbeck era in Seattle. It’s been clear over the course of 2010 that Hasselbeck is on his last legs, and Whitehurst has been waiting in the wings since Seattle traded for him in the offseason.
With just over eight minutes to go in Seattle, the Seahawks trail the Falcons, 34-18.