Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Week 3: Hawks vs Arizona

Arizona Cardinals: 0-2
2004 Away Record: 1-7
2005 Away Record: 0-1

Offense:
Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck (527 yds, 4 TDs, 2 INTs) vs Kurt Warner (591 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT)
If you want one reason for our half on half inconsistency, you can look no further than Matt Hasselbeck. When he's on, our offense can be unstoppable. When he's off, the West Coast just can't go down 80 yards. His stats look good, but the results have not been there. Dropped balls cannot be an excuse anymore. Matt looked in the second half last week like he lost some confidence in his receivers and held on to the ball for forever. Kurt Warner has been able to move the ball effectively between the 20's, but hasn't had anything to show for it. He's also taking a savage beating most times he drops back. Advantage: Push

Running Back: Shaun Alexander (217 yds) vs Marcel Shipp (67 yds)
Shaun Alexander had, in my opinion, the best game I can remember last week. His blocking was superb, as Matt was staying in the pocket for too long. The image of him bowling over that Atlanta defender on third-and-one is still running through my head. If he plays like that, then sign him to a deal now. He won that game for us. As for Arizona, JJ Arringon has been a bit of a disappointment and is now hurt. Marcel Shipp is supposed to be the starter tomorrow. Frankly, it doesn't matter if they had Jamal Lewis, they couldn't move the ball behind that offensive line. Advantage: Seattle

Receivers:
Quick, name the best receiving corps in the NFC West. Sit down, St Louis. Arizona is tops, with three game breaking players. Larry Fitzgerald (225 yds) has speed and size. Add Anquan Boldin (181 yds) as a solid possession receiver, and throw in Bryant Johnson as another first round pick, and you have a heck of a trio. They almost made Josh McCown look good last year in Seattle as they singlehandedly kept the Cardinals in that game. I am still a big fan of our set. Darrell Jackson has made two great corners look pretty bad, Bobby Engram has taken his dependability to another level, Joe Jurevicius has been the big end zone target we needed, and Peter Warrick may be able to give us something this week. The wild card is Jerramy Stevens, who hopes to build upon his best overall game as a Hawk. Advantage: Arizona

Offensive Line:
First the bad: Chris Gray is still on our line. I can't wait for Womack to return. The good: our line played a fantastic game last week against the number one pass rush defense in the league. They kept Hasselbeck erect and opened up gaping holes for Shaun. They'll need a similar performance tomorrow, especially against Bertrand Berry. On the flip side, the biggest reason for the disappointing (albeit expected from Colin and I) start for the Cardinals is their offensive line, which ranks somewhere in between terrible and abysmal. They have been flat out awful. Perhaps they can step up. Hopefully not. Advantage: Seattle

Defense:
D-Line: Our line had its second good week, especially Rocky Bernard, although we hope that for once the man can take it beyond the first month. Marcus Tubbs needs to step up and dominate a game, same with Grant Wistrom. For Arizona, Bertrand Berry is an animal, with two sacks already. Chike Okeafor is overrated, and hopefully we can stop writing those absurd articles about what he said after leaving. I'm actually going to go out on a limb here. Advantage: Seattle

Linebackers: Lofa Tatupu had another great game, prompting a run of sappy articles. DD Lewis had a much better game, and Jamie Sharper is once again proving that preseason stats are overrated. Karlos Dansby is a burgeoning playmaker for Arizona, but as long as Orlando Huff is a starter, this lineup is unimpressive. Advantage: Seattle

Secondary: Since I'm going to give this one to us as well, I should mention that Arizona has an excellent defense because they play well as a unit. While they could use a few more playmakers they will keep many teams at bay. Their secondary is basically Adrian Wilson and youth. While Antrell Rolle will become a stud, everyone is to young to be consistent. They will bite on short routes and get burned deep. For Seattle, Marcus Trufant needs to step up. He has too very off-and-on weeks. Ken Hamlin is becoming a playmaker. That tackle of Vick last week was insane. This secondary will be tested, and we will see if they can rise to the challenge. Advantage: Seattle

Special teams: Neil f'ing Rackers and his 50+ yard field goals. Leo f'ing Araguz and his 20+ yard net punts. At least it would be nice if we met a punter who wouldn't pin us back on our ten yard line each time out. Advantage: Arizona

Prediction: Our defense needs to win this game. The line has to pressure Warner so he can't throw the deep ball. Our secondary needs to have good position on taller and bigger wide receivers. Overall, we actually need some turnovers, keep some momentum going, and take this game. Everything says we should. Arizona is an overhyped mess. Keep them that way. Seattle by 13.

posted by Gavin @ 9:52 PM  2 comments

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