Seattle This 49ers-Seahawks pillow fight tonight could be the worst thing on prime-time television since "Celebrity Boxing."
Seattle (4-4) leads the miserable NFC West by one game, in spite of itself. Coach Mike Holmgren is changing his offense in the middle of the season, promising to rely more on his one constant - Matt Hasselbeck's passing - instead of his biggest headache, a running game to nowhere. Shaun Alexander has his fewest yards rushing through eight games since he became a starter in 2001. The league MVP of 2005 also has a twisted left knee and ankle below his already broken wrist and may miss this game.
The Seahawks' bend-and-often-break defense has been too inconsistent to bail out the offense, resulting in three losses in the last four games.
"No, I am not comfortable," Holmgren said. "Now that it's an eight-game season, if there wasn't a sense of urgency before - which there should be all the time - there certainly is now."
It has been so bad, Hasselbeck this week called some of his team's play "unprofessional."
"I feel like we are fortunate to still have whatever game lead we have in our division," said Hasselbeck, who ranks in the NFC's top five in attempts, completions, yards, TDs and passer rating.
"To still be in position to get it done ... at some point, we have to make the most of it."
At least they aren't in San Francisco.
The 49ers were the trendy pick to end Seattle's run of three consecutive division titles this season after a breakout year from running back Frank Gore in 2006, then a spending spree to upgrade the defense. Instead, they have lost six consecutive games after opening with two wins.
"Yeah, maybe we just all ought to shut up and play," coach Mike Nolan said of his flopping team, the middling Seahawks and their entire division.