Seahawks vs 49ers is Gonna Be Great!

Seahawks logo

Though written in March of 2013 this post is still very timely.

The rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers has gone from simmer, to slow boil, to 3rd degree- “Oh My God THAT’s HOT!” burn in the past week. And isn’t it just exceedingly fun to watch? I’m lovin’ it. And what’s most exciting is that it’s likely to last for many, many years. All the evidence shows that this will push historical rivalries for significance. We’re talking Yankees vs Red Sox, Duke-North Carolina, Ohio State vs Michigan,  Steelers vs the Raiders in the 70s, Redskins vs Cowboys, Celtics- Lakers, Ali-Frazier. Welcome to Seattle! Home of the NFL Universe. Folks, it’s here.

English: Picture of the 12th Man Flag at Centu...

What made the rivalries of yesteryear so darn compelling were two things. First, and perhaps most important, the teams were always good….championship level good. Second, THEY HATED EACH OTHER. Does anyone hate each other more in big-time sports right now than

English: Head Coach Pete Carroll leads his Uni...

Pete Carroll led his University of Southern California Trojans football team

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and Niner’s Head coach Jim Harbaugh?

Head coach Jim Harbaugh at the 2010 Stanford f...

Head coach Jim Harbaugh at the 2010 Stanford football open house

Not based on the evidence that we’ve seen. From the time when Carroll was at USC and Harbaugh was at Stanford and Carroll greeted the Cardinal coach with a not-so-politic “What’s your deal?” after Harbaugh had his team go for 2-points late in a blow-out win over the Trojans to last October when Harbaugh complained to the NFL about that Seahawk cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were too physical with his receivers.

As we all know the Seahawks were 30-seconds away from meeting the 49ers in the NFC Championship game this past season with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line; a trip won by S.F. Then the team from the Bay area came oh-so-close to winning the league championship and establishing themselves as a potential dynasty.

This week the rivalry was brought back to the nation’s attention when Seattle traded for elite Minnesota wide receiver-Kick Returner Percy Harvin only to be equalled in the headlines by San Francisco trading for Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Bolden of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Fortunately for Hawk’s fans Seattle came back again yesterday by signing free agent defensive-end Cliff Avril to help bolster the team’s greatest need; an improved pass rush. Important to note that while the Hawk’s achilles heel in the past season, and projecting to the coming season, was their pass rush, they still managed to lead the league defensively in fewest points allowed.

After the trade of the 1st round and 7th round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft for Harvin, Seattle stills owns 8 picks in the April allotment of college talent. But San Francisco has 14 picks, five returning Pro Bowlers and plenty of cash to acquire more free agent help.

Seattle has Russell Wilson; one of the most exciting young quarterbacks to come into the league in years. S.F. has Colin Kaepernick; one of the most exciting young quarterbacks to come into the league in years. Seattle has Marshawn Lynch one of the best running backs in the league. S.F. has Frank Gore; one of the best running backs in the league, and probably a future Hall of Famer. They both have stout defenses. And their two combative coaches both preach a grind it out, smash-mouth style of football. S.F. has won the NFC West each of the past two years. Seattle won it before that. And both teams have among the youngest rosters in the National Football League. So, as excellent as both teams are. They ought to be excellent for years to come.

After this week’s player acquisitions odds-makers have installed Seattle and San Francisco as co-favorites to win this next year’s Super Bowl. And being in the same division they’ll always play each other twice each season. The fact that S.F. is the team that’s geographically closest to the far-away Northwest outpost called Seattle is just the cherry on top of the Sundae.

Woody Hayes

Woody Hayes

Bo Schembechler vs Woody Hayes.

English: Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and ...

Bird vs Magic.

Richard Petty 1984 Photo By Ted Van Pelt

Richard Petty 1984

Richard Petty vs Cale Yarborough. Alydar vs Affirmed.  We’re talking about this kind of historical rivalry, and it’s staring us in the face.

NY - Long Island - Belmont Park - Affirmed

NY – Long Island – Belmont Park – Affirmed

It’s absolutely delicious for any sports fan. But for the long-suffering fans of Seattle it’s a banquet for a starving man. Thank you Paul Allen for the hasty decision to fire Jim Mora. Thank you Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider for the wisdom and the guts to go after Wilson. And thank you to Seattle tax payers for funding CenturyLink field‘s construction.

I can’t wait, though it’s still 6-months away. I just renewed my Seahawk season tickets for next season. My company Total Broadcasting Service will be giving some of them away, again. I’m predicting a pretty fantastic ride.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks Blew It! And We Ought to be Mad.

Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta

The big bold headlines to the Seattle Times this morning says “End of a Super Season” with a subtitle of “Heartache after fearless comeback; finale to thrilling year”. To me it sounds all to familiar. “That’s OK boys. It’s OK that you blew a chance to bring this city its first ever football title and first major championship in more than a generation. We still love you”. A Seattle sports team gives our city some excitement one week, wins a few games and proceeds to take a bow from adoring fans devoid of much sports success to embrace when ultimately all they did was perform a face plant in front of the entire nation.

In case you missed it let me inform you of all you need to know about yesterday’s 30-28 loss to the Falcons in AtlantaSeattle had the lead with 25 seconds to go in the game and Atlanta had the ball at its own 27 yard line, 34 yards away from the possibility of a LONG field goal. It turns out, Atlanta only needed 12 seconds to complete two long passes to the Seattle 31 where kicker Matt Bryant

Matt Bryant | Atlanta Falcons

Matt Bryant

lofted a chip shot 49 yard field goal for the win. For the uninformed football fan let me inform you: THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Not to a championship caliber team it shouldn’t.

But wait…it has happened before…to this same team. Please recall Chicago, December 2. Seattle scores a wonderful comeback touchdown with only seconds to play to take the lead on the 8-3 Bears and seemingly wins the game remarkably. Only they didn’t. Like Matt Ryan yesterday, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completes a pass of about 50 yards to Brandon Marshal against Richard Sherman and a befuddled Seahawk secondary.

English: Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears warmi...

Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears

Putting Chicago in position to kick the tying field-goal as time expired, forcing overtime. Had it not been for the flip of a coin going Seattle’s way, giving them first possession of overtime, the Seahawks could have lost that game. Having lost that game Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs. Chicago does.

So what does it say about a team that twice in 7 games allows an opposing team to move from deep in their own territory into field goal position in mere seconds and lose a game they led. To me it says some really bad coaching is taking place. When it happened the first time you could blame Richard Sherman for not trying to knock the ball down and instead trying to intercept it. When it happens a second time and it involves other players besides Sherman, you have a pattern and you have a problem.

The thing Seattle fans need to learn and still haven’t is the team had an opportunity and you can’t blow opportunities like that. The team had the momentum and a realistic shot at going to and winning the Super Bowl. I’m not talking about a “punchers chance”; which everyone in the NFL playoffs has. I’m saying, and so were a lot of other people by the way, that Seattle was possibly the best team in the playoffs. Period! Of the 4 teams left in this years playoffs Seattle has already beaten two of the teams this year, and woulda, coulda, shoulda beaten a third, Atlanta, yesterday. Yes, they are THAT good. But they blew it.

The Seattle Times headline this morning is so typically Seattle and so pathetic. I want a championship and am no longer going to settle for “Nice Try”. And if the rest of the city joined me and insisted that our sports teams get their acts together I’m sure a championship could actually come our way.

Being stubborn and demanding and often annoying in ones drive to excellence is a BIG part of what makes champions. Watching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, she said as much. She said, “I’m sure my stubbornness has a lot to do with what success I’ve achieved in life”. She elaborated more…but…there ya go.

I have a brother one year older than me, raised in the same house, same parents, and we are as completely different as two people can be. My brother is a millionaire. He’s also a stubborn bull-headed, my-way-or-the-highway jerk. He always has been. Even when we are kids. I’m no pushover. But I would never be accused of being a sore loser, or poor-sport. I have always tried to be positive and complimentary to my teams, my opponents, and in every situation. Not my brother. As a child he used to cry whenever his team lost. He still can’t stand losing. A few years ago while spending a New Years Eve at his 4500 square-foot home we were playing pool. Pool is a game I can play. Not my brother. I was beating him repeatedly. At one point after 3-5 game after he missed another shot he threw his cue stick on the table scattering the balls and ending the pool play for the night. I’ve played pool in bars ever since lying about my age at 19 and being a frequent customer at the Mustard Seed Two tavern in Bellevue. I have a table in my home. I have never seen anyone do that before…show such poor sportsmanship. For my brother…it was predictable.

So what I’m saying is don’t be so accommodating Seattle. Expect more. The Seahawks blew it yesterday and deserve to be criticized not praised . They lost a very important game they should have won and we have no business patting them on the back. We ought to be kicking them in the ass and saying…“Don’t mess up next year! We’re sick of your mediocrity. And we deserve better”. By the way…same goes for you Mariners.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seattle Sports Doldrums. Time to get Mad.

 

 

 

English: The top of the Space Needle in Seattl...

 

 

 

A weekend of ineptitude from the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners has me frustrated and wanting to take a pound of flesh from some of the teams administrators.

 

 

 

The Seattle Mariners wrap up another losing season in the next three days with a young team that has some promise, but none of it in the vicinity of an acceptable Major League offense. Our swabbies were swept in Oakland the past three games by an equally young Athletics team. The Athletics youth is just about the only resemblance they bear to our Northwest 9. Oakland will play in the American league playoffs, probably as a Wildcard entrant. But given they possess the best record in baseball since the start of June they can be counted on to make some noise.

 

 

 

The Mariner’s too have had a better second-half of the season than they had in the first half. Since July 5 Seattle actually has a winning record at 38-37; compared to a miserable 35-49 in the first half. But as reporter Geoff Baker writes in this morning’s Seattle Times the league worst offense has only gotten worse, scoring just 3.63 runs per game compared to 3.87. It’s a familiar story too many Northwest baseball fans have become used to. Seattle has been at the bottom of the Major League offensive categories for 4 straight years. Their losing record reflecting accordingly.

 

 

 

What’s sad is during this time they’ve possessed arguably the best pitcher in the American League in Felix Hernandez. During this time Hernandez has won a Cy Young Award, finished second in the voting another year, and is likely to be among the top 5 vote getters again this year. Seattle’s other pitching has been less impressive but good enough were the offense not so completely inadequate.

 

 

 

First Baseman Justin Smoak is an unquestioned failure. He has blown up his batting average over the past two weeks with some solid hitting; but for the season that’s only lifted his average to a woeful .214 with 19 home runs and 50-something RBI (no I’m not looking up the exact number. What’s the difference between 51 and 59?). My only hesitation in making this proclamation is that outfielder Michael Saunders has rectified his carrier with a .250 average and 19 homers this season. I would have written him off before the season after he’d managed more yawns than thrills during parts of four seasons with the Mariner’s prior to this season. But seriously, how excited should we be about a fourth year player who’s best season is .250 with 19 home runs? At best he’s a fourth outfielder on a good team.

 

 

 

The number of disappointing Mariners doesn’t stop with Smoak and Saunders. Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp, Franklin Gutierrez, Casper Wells, Brendan Ryan, and Miguel Olivo arte all hitting what used to be considered pathetic offensive numbers. Seattle not only doesn’t have a .300 hitter this season. They don’t have a .290 or .280 hitter. They have catcher John Jaso as a part-time player hitting .277 as the only representative north of .260.

 

 

 

As we watch the playoffs this October with young American League teams like the A’s and Orioles competing for a championship, devoid of a Seattle representative for an 11th consecutive year, let’s forget the pathetic cliche` “wait until next year”. Next year won’t be any better if Mariner management doesn’t get its act together and throw out some of the young experiments that didn’t work. Specifically any of Seattle’s outfielders could be a solid forth outfielder. The rest can be discarded. We need a whole new outfield. One that can hit. Smoak should also be shown the door in favor of a 1st baseman that can hit for power and at-least a respectable average.

 

 

 

Safeco Field in Seattle.

Safeco Field in Seattle.

 

And Mariner management needs to do three more things unrelated to on field personnel. Chuck Armstrong needs to go as Mariner President. Outfield fences need to be moved in. And a policy to keep the Safeco Field roof closed unless it’s sunny and 60+ degrees needs to be established. Everyone from Ken Griffey Junior to Jesus Montero knows the ball carries better with the roof closed. And it’s warmer, for better fan comfort.

 

 

 

Speaking of missed opportunities. We’re watching a big one with the Seattle Seahawks this season. The Seahawks possess a championship-caliber defense, running game and special teams. All three of those areas of the team have performed spectacularly in the teams first four games. And yet all the team could manage was a 2-2 record that’s one controversial call away from being 1-3.

 

 

 

An active volcano, Mount Rainier is one of thr...

 

It was acknowledged by everyone that the choice to go with Russell Wilson at quarterback to start the year would require some sacrifice while the young player grows into an NFL caliber QB. Coach Pete Carroll was and is enthralled with the potential of his 5′ 10″ third round draft choice. But here is one thing Carroll seems to have ignored, Matt Flynn is young and loaded with potential too. But Flynn has something Wilson doesn’t…four years in the NFL. Flynn also has a Super Bowl ring, and an NCAA National Championship. Put those two together, along with some other factors, and what do you have? A WINNER. Matt Flynn is a proven winner. Having him stand on the sidelines while Wilson slowly learns his craft is a waste of the other very talented aspects of this Seahawk team.

 

English: Green Bay Packers back-up quarterback...

Quarterback Matt Flynn 

 

The argument that Wilson gives Seattle a better chance to win in the long run is simply stupid since Flynn too possesses plenty of attributes that would lead a reasonable football fans to conclude his growth is currently ahead of Wilson’s and could potentially be great too.

 

 

 

There is no question Wilson is an outstanding young man worthy of respect and praise. But with the worst passing attack in the NFL, a-quarter of the season is long enough to determine that the Seahawks need better play at quarterback right now or they could blow a season the is rife with promise and potential. Flynn is just as capable of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch as Wilson, he can see and read the field better, and he CAN throw the ball extremely accurately according to most observers.

 

 

 

Please Pete Carroll; make the change. Install Flynn as the starter this week against Carolina. A trip all the way across the U.S. is tough enough. Tougher still, when you’re a rookie. It’s time to see Matt Flynn.

 

 

 

Thanks. I had to get that off my chest.

 

 

 

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Seahawks owe no apologies to anyone.

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers last night in a football game that ended on a controversial touchdown call that is destined to be remembered for a long time after this season. It’s impact not yet fully known; but I predict it will become controversial again at the end of this season. With both Seattle and Green Bay likely playoff contenders one loss or one win could provide the difference between making the playoffs or not, winning a division or not, hosting a home field playoff game or not. We have just begun to feel the ramifications of the Fail Mary Pass that had Seattle’s Golden Tate awarded a touchdown on the games final play that so many believe should never have been awarded and should have instead resulted in an interception and Green Bay victory on Monday Night Football.

Let me start by acknowledging there is no doubt, NO DOUBT, that were I a Packer fan I would be as outraged as anyone and like so many argue for the final play’s call to be overturned an a victory awarded to my team. But I’m not a Packer fan. I’m a Seahawk fan who was at the game enjoying my team from my season ticket location, up until the end of the game when I left.

I did see the final 2 minutes of the game, including the play in question. But like so many at CenturyLink Field I got up to leave after Seattle failed to score with just under two minutes to play inside the Green Bay 10 yard line and gave possession up on downs. As I was making my way through the stadium, just before ducking into a tunnel out of sight of the field, I glanced back over my shoulder and saw the Packer fumble inside the 5 yard line on first down after taking possession. Green Bay recovered the fumble. But with my brother, who I attended the game with, we watched the green-and-gold fail to get even one first down necessary for running out the clock and the game for the Seahawks, and then punt from their own end zone.  Giving the ball back to Seattle with plenty of time for them to win.

Seattle won that game. And nothing will convince me that they didn’t. First off, I am in no way convinced that the controversial play was THAT controversial. It was ruled a simultaneous catch; which by rule is awarded the offensive player. Tate had at least one hand on the ball from the moment both players received it while jumping in the air. And he had both hands on the ball when he/they fell to the ground. The argument that he didn’t catch it would have clout with me the moment you show me a rule that says a catch is not a catch unless you pull the ball fully into your chest. He didn’t. But he doesn’t have to. The fact that all the complainers have the benefit of slow motion instant replay also dramatically changes the perspective of what you’re seeing. The referee on the scene, facing the play, not the one behind the play who initially started to signal an interception, only had live full speed action in front of him at field level for just a moment to make his judgement. And as the NFL stated in its press release today, the morning after the game, a regular (not replacement) instant replay official did review the play and ruled not enough evidence existed to overturn the ruling.  And unlike what the pundits claimed the NFL cleared up that a simultaneous catch is by rule reviewable if it occurs in the end zone, as this one did.

I am really surprised to hear and read the volume, and bitterness at the outrage over this play. Surely the fact that replacement officials made the call is 90% responsible for the extreme nature of the sentiment.

But let’s get this straight. Seattle should apologize to no one at any time for taking this victory. If Green Bay felt they should have won they should have scored more than just 12 points.

Rookie Bruce Irvin had two sacks of Rodgers

Not a lot of teams win scoring only twelve points. It’s only the second time since the 2010 season the Pack has failed to score 20-or-more points.

Green Bay should have run out the clock. They had the ball, with a first down, with under two minutes to play and couldn’t do it. The Seahawk defense is proving quite the force so far this year. They really are looking awesome. They had nine sacks last night; eight in the first half when the Packers failed to score. Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Tweeted that he’d never seen such a mauling put on another team the way the Hawks defensive front four mauled the Packer offensive line.

And let us not forget at about the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter on a third-down Aaron Rodgers was stopped on a scramble at the Seahawk 2 yard line and ruled short of the first down. Green Bay was trailing 7-6 at the time. They were going to kick a field goal. But Packer coach Mike McCarthy successfully challenge the ruling of the placement of the ball and had it moved forward far enough to give Green Bay a first down and then a touchdown. The replay that I saw seemed to indicate that Rogers’ knee was down prior to him stretching for the necessary 1st down yardage. With just a Green Bay field goal Seattle would never have had to attempt that Fail Mary pass at the end. At the 27 yard line they were plenty close for a chip shot field goal to win the game.

And lets not forget that after Green Bay’s only touchdown they failed on a two point conversion attempt. Had they succeeded Seattle’s last second touchdown would only have tied the game. Yes, Green Bay had plenty of chances to win, both earned and questionable, and they failed to do it.

And lastly, Seattle is long, long, LONG overdue for some luck to come their way like this. The Emerald City has long been the town in which sports dreams go to die. If you go back to 1998 the New York Jets were awarded a last-minute touchdown, beating the Seahawks, when Vinnie Testaverde was ruled to have crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak. It’s 14 years later. He STILL has not crossed that goal line. The loss was part of what ended in an 8-8 season. Seattle failing to make the playoffs by one game. THAT game. It also resulted in Coach Dennis Erickson losing his job.

In the biggest single sporting event in Seattle history our Seahawks got screwed by officials. Super Bowl 2005 is one in which countless officials penalties handed a victory to the Pittsburg Steelers, a victory they didn’t win.

Karma is a bitch when it finally turns on you, and such an angel when it turns for you. Could it be that after long-last, and years of disappointment last night’s Tate Touchdown signals a turn in karma for Seattle’s long-suffering fans and teams? Time will tell.

In the mean time Seattle has been everybody else’s lap dog for so long we refuse to apologize for a questionable officials call that went our way at the end of a Monday Night Football game in September. We’ll just say thank you. “Next!”

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks need to Sign Some Free Agents

Seattle Seahawks logo

At 1pm today the NFL opens its free agency season. When they do some rumors have it that the Seattle Seahawks will be very involved in early activity. It’s a good thing. With San Francisco having won 13-games and missing the Super Bowl by a fumbled punt; the St. Louis Rams having landed a plethora of draft picks by trading the number-two overall, and rumor that Arizona is Peyton Manning‘s first choice

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; the Seahawks suddenly look like the fourth best team in the four team NFC West. To be clear, they are already the third best team having lost the regular season finale to the Cardinals and closing the 2011 season with a 7-9 record for the second straight year. Without a good draft next month along with the signing of some key free agents Seattle is doomed to mediocrity at best. And I wonder if Pete Carroll can survive a third straight losing season.

The Seahawks have one glaring need in order to assure their rapid improvement. A blind man without a stick or a dog could see it. They need a good quarterback. They haven’t had one in at least three years. Matt Hassellback’s injury filled last two years don’t count as Seattle having a good quarterback. And Tarvaris Jackson just plain sucks and cannot be an option going forward. To be fair to Jackson he played to his statistics, posting a 79-passer rating compared to a 77 career passer rating. His problem, in my opinion is that he is the worst 2-minute drill quarterback I have ever seen. Not just at the end of the game, but at the end of the first half time and again this past season he showed himself completely incapable of managing a team or completing passes when it was most urgent to do so.

Wide spread speculation has Seattle making a play for Green Bay backup Matt Flynn. Quick…answer this question: Who holds the Green Bay Packers record for most touchdowns and most passing yards in a game?:

A. Brett Favre

English: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett F...

B. Aaron RogersAaron Rogers

C. Bart Starr

D. None of the above.

 

 

 

Remarkably the answer is “D”. Matt Flynn has started two regular season NFL games in his career. Given that he backs up last season’s league MVP that can’t be too much of a surprise. But in one of those two games last season against the playoff bound Detroit Lions Flynn led his team to a win while throwing 6 touchdowns, and nearly 500 yards…in Green Bay…in January. His resume is more substantial than just one game. Flynn was a 7th round draft pick out of Louisiana State in 2008. He led the Bayou Bengals to a National Championship in his one season as a starter. This guy is a winner. Sign him Seahawks.

If the Hawks don’t sign Flynn Arizona’s possible signing of Peyton Manning would free-up Kevin Kolb for the 2nd straight season. He would be an improvement over Jackson. Possibly a big improvement.

Seattle also has a need to improve its pass rush which was amazingly weak for such a strong defense. Imagine how much better our strong young secondary will look when quarterbacks have 1-2 fewer seconds to hold the ball and wait for receivers to come open. We placed two defensive backs on the NFC Pro Bowl team while having only 33 sacks on the year compared to 50 allowed to the opponents.

Free agency does seem to offer a possible solution for Seattle that the draft is not likely to. Seattle picks 12th in the 1st round of the draft, and historically all the impact pass rushers (and quarterbacks) are long gone by the 12th pick; like former number one draft pick Mario Williams. The Houston Texans All-Pro Defensive End is now a free agent. He could be a big solution for a team not needing too many answers on the defensive side of the ball. You CAN get excited too. ESPN football guru John Clayton says the Seahawks signing Williams is a better than 50% possibility. That’s huge!

If the Seahawks can address their two biggest needs in free agency than their draft next month can go a long way toward filling the need for strong backup performers and building a team that can compete in the increasingly strong NFC West. Call me crazy, but I’m optimistic.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks will be in the playoff race!

By the time late December rolls around Seattle Seahawk fans will once again be dreaming sweet dreams of playoffs, and victories and Super Bowls. All the Pete Carroll

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks return from the dead

detractors will be silenced and Tavaris Jackson will have some people wondering if HE shouldn’t be our quarterback of the future. The Seahawks will be on a five game winning streak, and have a winning record. And if you believe that…you’re not a dreamer…just a knowledgable football fan.

Yesterday’s surprising win over the playoff bound Baltimore Ravens didn’t make me delirious. There is really good cause to predict that the 3-6 Seattle football team will reverse its thus far lackluster season and become a playoff contender. Let’s look at the evidence.

  • In the past 7 games Hawks are an unremarkable, but not embarrassing 3-4
  • They should be 4-3 having had the Cleveland game stolen from them by a bad officiating call that took away a late game touchdown.
  • They lost two of their last four losses by a combined 5 points.
  • They’ve been competitive in every game.
  • They beat a playoff bound NY Giants team in New York.
  • They beat division leader Baltimore one week after the Ravens beat the defending AFC Champion Steelers in Pittsburgh.
  • The Seahawk defense has been stout all year.
  • The Seattle offense is improving in exactly the areas in which it needs to improve.
And, the number one reason for my optimism that the Seahawks can become playoff contenders by the week before Christmas…their schedule. Seattle plays its next four games against teams with an equal or worse record and three of them are at home. Seattle’s schedule gets considerably easier from this point forward. Seattle plays four of its last seven games at home at CenturyLink Field (still doesn’t feel right calling it that). They play two of the next four games against the St. Louis Rams, who have won only 2 games this season. After next weeks trip to St. Louis the Washington Redskins travel across country with their losing record, and Mike Shanahan‘s job slipping from his fingertips. Then on a Thursday night primetime game when the Seattle sellout crowd will be at its most fever pitch the 3-6 Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick come to town. I am quite certain that the Puget Sound’s dog loving, liberal protest-loving, environmentalist wacko population will rain some seriously bad karma down on the Philly QB, with a history of animal abuse. And the Seahawks defense will make Vick’s erratic throwing pay big dividends for the home team, with turnovers. Following Philadelphia the Hawks will be riding a four game losing streak and will be hosting the Rams. They won’t lose THAT game.
That takes us to late December; December 18th specifically. On that date Seattle will be in Chicago playing the increasingly tough Bears. And it WILL BE COLD!!! I do expect Seattle’s win streak and playoff hopes to end in the Windy City. But if they don’t….if they somehow manage to pull that game out of their hats…well…Seattle could run the table. The 49ers will be in Seattle the next week, having long ago clinched the division crown. Then they close the season in Arizona. Win!
Ultimately though I don’t think Seattle will make the playoffs, I do think they can make the late season interesting since they now seem to know how to run the football, and Jackson will continue to play at a level that will compare reasonably well with the Matt Hasselback of the past couple years. And having something to cheer for late in any sports season in Seattle is a Christmas present no matter what the time of year.
Go HAWKS!
11/19/11- Since writing this post the Seahawks have lost the right side of their line. It doesn’t change my opinion. Since starting right guard John Moffitt and starting right tackle James Carpenter were declared out for the year the Seahawks have received news of the Rams losing a starting tackle and another cornerback. The Rams have 9 count ’em, NINE cornerbacks on the injured list this year. And as was pointed out above the Seahawks play the Rams twice in the next four games.
Since the blog was originally posted it’s also been revealed that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has cracked ribs. Seattle plays Vick and the 3-6 Eagles in 2 weeks.
Seattle WILL be in the playoff race four weeks from now riding a five game winning streak. Then who knows…
Optimism beats pessimism.
11/20/11- One down, three to go. Did you see anything today that would lead you to believe St. Louis could beat Seattle when they come northwest December 11? Nope. So with great confidence in that game the Seahawks still need to win home games against a 3-7 Redskins team, and a 3-6 Eagles. I may be crazy but I think the 4-6 Hawks can beat those teams, both of whom are flying all the way across the country.