Seahawks’ playoff hopes rest on Charlie Whitehurst

The Seattle Seahawks’ season comes down to Sunday’s game against the Rams. Beat St. Louis at home and win the worst division in football. Lose and watch the Rams get destroyed by the Saints or Falcons next weekend.

The choice is yours, Seahawks.

With Matt Hasselbeck dealing with a hip injury, coach Pete Carroll told the media on Monday that the Hawks are planning to start backup Charlie Whitehurst. Hasselbeck won’t practice and would be a game-time decision, so it makes sense for Carroll just to get Whitehurst ready and to start him. (If Hasselbeck is deemed healthy enough to play, he can still suit up and be Whitehurst’s backup.)

Given how poorly Hasselbeck has played of late, the Seahawks may benefit from playing Whitehurst, even though the former Chargers’ signal caller hasn’t been very productive himself this season. He’s completed just 55% of his passes (35-of-63) on the year for 315 yards and one touchdown. He’s also thrown three interceptions and despite giving the Seahawks a shot of life off the bench against the Falcons two weeks ago, he was horrendous in his only start versus the Giants earlier in the season.

The good news is that Whitehurst is more mobile than Hasselbeck and therefore can buy himself extra time by moving around in the pocket. The bad news is that he isn’t accurate and can kill drives with the best of ‘em. He’ll face the 20th ranked pass defense in the NFL on Sunday, but any secondary can look good when the opposing quarterback only completes 55% of his passes. But at least he’ll be at home.

Whether or not the Seahawks win on Sunday, at least Carroll will have the opportunity to evaluate his quarterback position. If Whitehurst is a disaster again, the Hawks may need to draft a quarterback next year or retain Hasselbeck for at least another season. If he plays well on Sunday and again next week in the playoffs (assuming Seattle beats the Rams), then maybe Carroll will feel comfortable turning the offense over to Whitehurst in 2011.

This will be a huge week for Whitehurst.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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