Wallace believes he’s proved he can play

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seneca Wallace didn’t need another good passing rating to prove that he belongs in the NFL.

Oh, the Seahawks’ quarterback knows that others still may not believe he can hack it in this league, but Wallace certainly does.

Wallace started his fourth straight game Sunday because of injury to starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and he continued to be one of the brighter points in a dark season.

Wallace completed 24-of-43 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Although his rating of 68.9 wasn’t close to the 104.6 he posted in the Hawks’ previous game against the Jets, he leaves this season hoping he showed what he’s capable of.

“I wanted to go out and prove some things,” he said. “I think I proved to the people that thought I couldn’t play. I’m pretty sure there are some doubters out there. Just going out there and playing every Sunday and making plays to win games, it’s satisfying.

“It would have been more satisfying if we’d have won.”

Wallace threw two interceptions, and the first ended a streak of 184 straight passes without an interception. He also was intercepted on the Seahawks’ final possession with less than two minutes remaining.

In between, though, Wallace helped make up for a battered offensive line with his ability to run away from trouble and find his receivers.

His first touchdown pass was a 30-yarder to Deion Branch on a throw deep into the end zone that Branch grabbed with cornerback Roderick Hood draped all over him.

“I just wanted to give it a shot and hope Deion would make a play, and he did,” Wallace said. “He battled for it up in the air and made a great catch.”

The two connected again early in the fourth quarter when Wallace, on fourth-and-goal at the Arizona 2, stayed patient and found Branch alone near the back of the end zone.

“He was wide open,” Wallace said. “I just tried to use my legs to make a play, try to extend the play and he did a great job just getting open.”

As coach Mike Holmgren praised many of the players who were elevated into starting roles this season because of injuries, Wallace was near the top of his list.

“I’m very happy for him,” Holmgren said. “He’s watched Matt play a lot. He got a chance to play and did some really fine things.”

Not next year: Holmgren continued to say he won’t coach next year, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got calls from teams with openings.

He admits the urge may be there to listen to those who call, but that his wife Kathy may have the final say.

“It all depends on who gets to the phone first,” Holmgren said. “If Kathy gets to the phone first, I might never know they called. It’s flattering, but I’m pretty committed to this.”

Hasselbeck will be ready: Matt Hasselbeck said he’s on a conservative timeline in his recovery from a back injury, but he’s not worried about any long-term effects.

“I feel like I’ll be ready to go,” he said. “First minicamp, even before then, opening of winter workouts on March 31 or whenever it is.”

After spending a final game on the Seahawk sideline with Holmgren, Hasselbeck praised the coach for what he meant to his career.

“He turned the Green Bay franchise around and I was fortunate enough to get on board the train after they had gone to a couple of Super Bowls,” Hasselbeck said. “And here in Seattle, he turned this franchise around. I got here in time for the hard times and was able to go through the journey of turning it around with him. I think that’s his legacy. I’m really happy that I got to be a part of it.”

Of note: The Seahawks will pick fourth overall in the NFL draft in April, behind Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City. … The 4-12 record is tied for the second-worst in Seahawks history. The Hawks, who also went 4-12 in 1980, were a franchise-worst 2-14 in 1992. … Lofa Tatupu’s interception helped the Seahawks avoid the lowest interception total in team history. They finished with nine, tying with the 1989 team for fewest ever.

… Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner finished with 31 touchdown passes this season, breaking the Cardinals’ 35-year-old franchise record. Charley Johnson threw 30 TD passes in 1963 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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