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!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

NFL Week 10 in Review

Well, Crushed Optimist Fans, you knew that it was about to happen. The Scientific Method was due for a dry spell. For one of the first times this year, the Scientist ended with a below .500 record, as way too many teams lost games they had no business losing. Some of these losses we will call "no excuses" losses. More information as we continue. Good week for parity, bad week for prognosticators.

Kansas City 3 at Buffalo 14
Hypothesis: Tentative offenses always seem to sputter in the NFL
Scientific Pick: Kansas City
Our first "no excuse" loss. Any time that Kansas City's defense only allows 14 points, they should win by 10. When your quarterback throws for 220 yards, your running back goes for 132, and Tony Gonzalez even chips in for 81, you should win by 10. What a ridiculous loss. Too many interceptions killed Trent Green. They were all terrible decisions. Buffalo shouldn't be too excited about their performance. You only scored 14 points fellows... at home... against the Chiefs. Where the heck is Willis "best back in the NFL" McGahee? I was a Kansas City believer until this loss. Put a fork in them. They cannot catch Jacksonville and Cincinatti.

San Francisco 9 at Chicago 17
Hypothesis: Never pick a newbie quarterback against a quality defense
Scientific Pick: Chicago
This was one of the wierdest games I've ever seen. The wind was flat out nuts. You have to question Mike Nolan's decision to kick that field goal in that wind. He was almost begging to have it returned, although a 108 yarder was probably not on anyone's mind. Chicago better hope Kyle Orton is healthy because they will not compete for the rest of the season without him. Kudos to Adrian Peterson for showing up finally. The A-Train can still pick up some yards apparently. This game was yet another example of what kind of crushing loss it would be to lose to this 49ers team next Sunday. Please Hawks, don't let that happen.

Arizona 21 at Detroit 29
Hypothesis: Pick the team in turmoil over the team in turmoil
Scientific Pick: Arizona
I have to admit, I didn't see this one coming. Imagine you are Matt Millen, trying to decide on the future of your team. Joey Harrington actually uses his powers for good. He finds those talented wide receivers and hits them in stride for touchdowns. He makes good decisions. Now, here's what we also know. He did it against Arizona... at home. Basically, he has a lot more to prove. If he can turn this around, Detroit might end up catching Chicago in that terrible division. If not, they can start looking in the draft for the next franchise quarterback. For Arizona... you suck.

Houston 17 at Indianapolis 31
Hypothesis: I don't think science needs to enter the equation with this one
Scientific Pick: Indianapolis
Houston still showed some signs of life in this game. Indy's defense continues to look slightly weaker than previously thought. Peyton Manning has decided to pad his stats a little, which I like as his fantasy owner. The Colts are within two weeks of their first loss. Count on it.

New England 23 at Miami 16

Hypothesis: There is one big upset every week
Scientific Pick: Miami
Colin, this was a good upset pick. Anyone who watched the Monday night game last season where the Dolphins, armed with those asinine jerseys, made Tom Brady look foolish in beating the Patriots. This year Brady was armed with desperation, which is when New England is almost a lock to win. They're going to win the AFC East. I'm not convinced that they'll be able to do anything after that, but they are the Patriots, so who knows? Miami is on the right track. I'd actually be pretty excited if I was a Dolphins fan about the future. Nick Saban has them playing the right way. Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams might be a fairly nice tandem. Get a quarterback not named Gus Frerotte and they could be talking playoffs as soon as next season.

Minnesota 24 at NY Giants 21

Hypothesis: Never pick the Vikings this season on the road
Scientific Pick: NY Giants
This is our second "no excuse" loss. The Giants, playing a mediocre Vikings team AT HOME, choke it away. In fact, they create a perfect storm of mediocrity. First you give the Vikings two turnovers inside your thirty (which the Vikings promptly squander). Then you allow a TD returned 90 yards for a touchdown. Then you allow BOTH a punt and kickoff returned for touchdowns. After all that you tie the game and hope for overtime, only to have your defense finally surrender a real drive and a game winning field goal. That is the height of mediocrity. Tom Coughlin had to choke on his spittle while chewing out his squad afterwards. When you're in the NFC East and have to play all those tough divisional games, losing these is not an option. For Minnesota, can you imagine that we could still talk about them and the playoffs in the same sentence? Welcome to the NFC North, land o' hope.

Baltimore 3 at Jacksonville 30

Hypothesis: You should never believe that Kyle Boller will rejuvinate an offense
Scientific Pick: Jacksonville
This was the type of win Jacksonville fans have been waiting for. An easy win over a bad team at home. That wasn't that hard, now was it? This, coupled with Kansas City's loss, probably almost solidifies the playoff participants in the AFC. I know it's still premature, but San Diego/KC have a long way to overcome the gap. As for the Ravens, they should start playing Chester Taylor now and bid Jamal Lewis and his 2.0 ypc average adieu.

Denver 31 at Oakland 17

Hypothesis: Sometimes.... there are two big upsets a week
Scientific Pick: Oakland
Denver apparently read my column this past week where I called them "most overrated" team in the NFL. This was the type of victory I was looking for. A dominant road win over a good opponent. Kerry Collins finally had a Kerry Collins game, throwing a few bad picks while still padding his stats with some deep balls. I think this game solidifies Denver as the AFC West division winner. They'd really have to choke it away to lose it.

NY Jets 3 at Carolina 30
Hypothesis: Teams with horrific rushing defenses struggle on the road
Scientific Pick: Carolina
When exactly does Carolina have to play good teams? While they are finally starting to put away bad teams they keep on getting to face the Jets or other dregs. Just like after we pounded Houston, don't look at the stats here and get excited, other than that Carolina put up 30 with Steve Smith only having 30 receiving yards. Here's where Carolina will prove itself... at Chicago, Buffalo and Atlanta. Home against Atlanta and Dallas. Five of their last seven games are big and then we'll see who is the best in the NFC. Until then their best victory is that home one against New England, which doesn't look as impressive now.

Green Bay 33 at Atlanta 25
Hypothesis: At some point, you have to realize that losing teams are losers
Scientific Pick: Atlanta
Green Bay is a losing team. That's why this is the third in our "no excuse" loss series for this week (at this point Colin would have been 9-5 this week). Look, Atlanta and Michael Vick fans, you can love the man's athleticism. You can love the superhuman plays he can make. Eventually though, you have to admit that he cannot move the ball down the football field with consistency. Atlanta's offense is simply not good enough to hold up in a playoff atmosphere game. You don't lose football games to a team starting a back named Gado, much less allow Gado to have 103 yards rushing. Brett Favre gets another win to prove why Terrell Owens was right... the Eagles would be at least three games better with him at quarterback. Again, please come back next year.

St. Louis 16 at Seattle 31
Hypothesis: Pick the team with the most to prove
Scientific Pick: Seattle
Good triumphs.

Washington 35 at Tampa Bay 36
Hypothesis: Laugh at Chris Simms. Long and loud.
Scientific Pick: Washington
Joe Gibbs may have a point about the offsides call and two point conversion. Here's my problem... giving up 36 points to Tampa Bay and Chris Simms. No way that should ever happen. That's a clear case of putting yourself in position to lose. When Washington's defense is supposed to carry it through the season, having huge lapses such as this one or at New York are not options. I may have been wrong about Washington, and the reason will be that 1-4 road record. They still have chances, but they need to win more on the road. As for the Bucs, they're still in the hunt. They'll need to take it to both Atlanta and Carolina, though, and hopefully the three will beat one another down sufficiently for Seattle to grab that home field advantage.

Cleveland 21 at Pittsburgh 34
Hypothesis: Laugh at ESPN. Long and loud.
Scientific Pick: Pittsburgh
Games like these are why football really does need to take a page from other sports and reschedule their prime time affairs. Does anyone care about Cleveland/Pittsburgh? Everyone knew who was going to win. This wasn't much of a game. Please, Ben Roethlisberger, come back next week so we can avoid watching the Antwaan Randle El quarterback experiment.

Dallas 21 at Philadelphia 20
Hypothesis: Rumors of demise were a tad premature?
Scientific Pick: Philly
Our final "no excuse" loss. This was the ultimate "kitchen sink" game. If Philadelphia lost, they would be under .500 and booking offseason travel plans. If they won, they would be one game out of first. While them finally using the running game successfully was admirable, it was yet another game that illustrated the huge loss of Terrell Owens. The Eagles cannot move the ball down the field. They could not get touchdowns and so put themselves in the position to lose. Dallas finally gets a last second win after tough losses to Washington and Seattle. The Cowboys are not a bad team... I'm pretty interested to see how they continue to play against good opposition.

The Scientific Method ends up at 6-8 this week, spurred on by all those "no excuse" losses. November is when the contenders start to separate themselves, and too many teams didn't take the opportunity to win easy games. It's going to take a 12-4 mark to earn homefield advantage in the NFC, and Atlanta and New York lost the chance.

Next week games with NFC postseason implications:
Tampa Bay at Atlanta... HUGE
Carolina at Chicago... HUGE
Detroit at Dallas
Philly at New York Giants... HUGE
Seattle at SF

Which of the above teams should gain ground next week? You sure better, Seattle.

posted by Gavin @ 2:35 PM  3 comments


At 3:15 PM, Anonymous rf said...

Interesting post. I am an avid online gambler and fantasy sports player and place most of my bets online. I find the internet to be a great tool and even use resources like StatShark to help me make my picks. What a great tool.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Son of Brock Landers said...

Are you guys picking against the spreads? Entertaining post. I think your 'Hawks should re-sign Alexander right now and get some of the contract to hit this year's cap number. I actually posted on Alexander as I think he is an outstanding back, and has been since his days at 'Bama.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

Colin and I aren't quite good enough gamblers to use such tools as the "spread". That would probably involve putting a lot more thought into our posts. I agree that Shaun needs to be resigned... even if I didn't think so at the beginning of the year. Checked out your site, liked what I saw, even if you picked the Rams to beat the Seahawks last Sunday!


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