Just wanted to add some numbers to the debate. Though I was never in favor of him being on the team in the first place, Hasselbeck certainly proved his worth early on and helped keep this team in contention while the other half of the offense was MIA. However, over the last 5 games, it has become abundantly clear that Hasselbeck is no longer the same guy that carried us through the fist half of the season.
While QB rating is an incredibly imperfect stat, it does give at least a broad sense of whether a not a QB is completing a high % of passes, racking up passing yards, and throwing more interceptions while minimizing INTs.
QB rating, first 8 games:
JAX L 14-16 93.1
BAL W 26-13 95.1
DEN W 17-14 119.1
CLE W 31-13 108.3
PIT L 17-38 72.0
HOU L 7-41 38.8
IND W 27-10 98.5
CIN L 17-24 94.8
However, in the past 5 games, Hasselbeck has really declined, and not just by a little bit.
QB rating, last 5 games:
CAR W 30-3 79.1
ATL L 17-23 49.4
TAM W 23-17 53.6
BUF W 23-17 78.7
NOR L 17-22 87.8 (only 7 pass attempts)
All of this is to say that it is very possible, I would even say likely, that Hasselbeck no longer gives this team the best chance to win. He's an old guy with a long injury history that just got a little longer. It appears that as the season has gone on, the wear and tear has begun to catch up to him.
On the flip side, we have a rookie QB in Jake Locker who has certainly looked more than competent in his relief duty appearances. He gives opponents a drastically different set of skills to prepare for, and those skills have very little game tape on them, whereas Hasselbeck is pretty much an open book to the rest of the league.
Matt's play through the first 8 games is the one and only reason that this team has a shot at the playoffs. This cannot be overlooked, and he deserves our gratitude. With that said, he is very clearly trending downward in the most crucial part of the season. It's time to pass the torch to Jake Locker, regardless of what Hasselbeck's injury status is.