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 22, 2005

NFL Week 11 in Review

This was a great week if you liked close football. Many games went down to the wire, and the playoff implications are starting to create some cool situations. Next week the stakes will really be raised, but this week was yet another where science can't always win, even if Colin did bounce back from a sub-par week.

Tampa Bay 30 at Atlanta 27
Hypothesis: Every quarterback has a team he sucks against
Scientific Pick: Tampa Bay
Michael Vick did end up throwing for 300 yards but, as Len Pasquarelli wrote so eloquently, he has this penchant for fumbling if a defender so much as breathes on him. This time it really cost him. Still, this loss should be pinned on Atlanta's defense. Vick was finally able to put up significant points against the Bucs defense, but Atlanta was unable to stop Carnell Williams and company. Giving up 30 points to Tampa Bay at home is inexcusable. If Atlanta loses at Detroit on Thanksgiving they are done.

Carolina 3 at Chicago 13
Hypothesis: In a battle of great defenses, go with the team with the better offense
Scientific Pick: Carolina
To quote Colin, "Everyone needs to stop slurping the Bears. They haven't beaten ANYONE of any note." Now, I'm not entirely sure what "slurping the Bears" entails, but they have now beaten someone of note. In fact, I still can't believe this game. 8 sacks by a team's defensive line? Unbelievable. Here's my problem with jumping fully aboard the Bears' bandwagon. They were still only able to score one touchdown and that one came off of an interception return. When they have to play a good team on the road, I don't see them winning. Still, Baltimore won a Super Bowl, so it can be done. Carolina has to be disappointed with this result. A third loss at this stage was unfortunate with two games against Atlanta still to come.

Miami 0 at Cleveland 22
Hypothesis: Blah. IF a certain team sticks with the run, the better running attack will win
Scientific Pick: Miami
Every time Romeo Crennel gets a win out of Cleveland I'm more impressed with him. Cleveland is simply playing the right way, disciplined football. Reuben Droughns is running with authority, and he doesn't get hurt like the last three/four feature backs in Cleveland. With some additional offensive line help and maturation of playmakers like Braylon Edwards and the Browns could make some noise next year. As for Miami, this game is a giant step back in their rebuilding process. It is obvious that they need a quarterback, which has been true ever since Dan Marino left. Until then, they will never be competitive on a weekly basis.

Detroit 7 at Dallas 20
Hypothesis: Bad quarterbacks don't play well two weeks in a row
Scientific Pick: Dallas
The Scientific Hypothesis sure picked this one correctly. Joey Harrington did not play well two weeks in a row. In fact, he was pretty mediocre. At the end of the day, I would be more disappointed if I was Dallas. Sure, Julius Jones finally ran for close to 100 yards, but Drew Bledsoe couldn't get anything going and they were only able to put up 20 points at home against a fairly porous defense. And yet, Dallas is now the "best team in the NFC". Go figure.

Jacksonville 31 at Tennessee 28
Hypothesis: There is a least one big upset in the NFL every week
Scientific Pick: Tennessee
This feels like about the third upset pick in a row that Colin's had that ended up going against him at the end of the game. Again, Jacksonville pulls out a game they shouldn't. This season they have eked out wins against Houston and the Jets. They are going to make the playoffs... can they play up to the competition they will find?

Arizona 38 at St. Louis 28

Hypothesis: Go with the team that hasn't given up
Scientific Pick: St. Louis
Apparently the team that had given up was the Rams, because they came out with absolutely nothing defensively or offensively. Then Marc Bulger goes down yet again (will he ever have a healthy season after Martz killed him?) and any hope for a comeback was lost. At this point these are two beaten teams who are barely competitive. We should have the division wrapped up shortly.

New Orleans 17 at New England 24

Hypothesis: Just shut up and pick the right team
Scientific Pick: New England
If I was New England, I would be disappointed I only won by seven against a Saints team that has given up and sucked on the road. New England will win their division only because of how awful the rest of the teams are. This is a two game win streak that pundits will start rooting over but shouldn't. The Patriots have a lot left to prove.

Philly 17 at NY Giants 27
Hypothesis: Every year, at about this time, a good team completely falls apart
Scientific Pick: NY Giants
That good team which completely is falling apart is Philadelphia, who don't have any identity offensively and are starting to spring leaks everywhere defensively. They let Eli Manning and that young offense destroy them. Brian Westbrook can't be a focal point of an offense. He is too small. While Mike McMahon made a few good plays, he is clearly not enough to move this offense down the field on a regular basis. They will still win a few games this year, in fact they will win a few games against NFC East teams, but it is time to start planning for next year.

Oakland 16 at Washington 13

Hypothesis: Time to stay away from Norv Turner
Scientific Pick: Washington
This is why Norv Turner is such a frustrating coach for fans. After throwing up an absolute stinker at home to Denver, the Raiders play with heart on both sides of the ball in beating Washington on the road. How do you pick that? Basically, Oakland is one of those teams that if I was a contender I wouldn't want on my schedule, because they will be a spoiler. As for Washington, they are one loss away from counting themselves out of the playoff hunt. At some point the injuries at wide receiver will take its toll, teams will triple team Santana Moss, and the Redskins simply won't be able to score.

Pittsburgh 13 at Baltimore 16
Hypothesis: It doesn't matter who's playing quarterback for the favorite
Scientific Pick: Pittsburgh
This was not a smart hypothesis on Colin's part. It does matter who is playing quarterback if that person is Tommy Maddox... on the road... against Baltimore. The Ravens came that close to beating the Steelers at Pittsburgh, so this win shouldn't be incredibly shocking. What is shocking is Pittsburgh's inability to consistently put up points. I'm starting to doubt a bit about them, but am willing to withhold judgment until after the Indianapolis game with Ben Roethlisberger.

Seattle 27 at San Francisco 25

Hypothesis: Go with the team with the incredible disparity in talent
Scientific Pick: Seattle
Games like this happen. The cool thing about this Seattle team is this is the first game we've almost blown to a really bad team. Contrast that to Jacksonville. We are a strong team, and we'll be around to the end.

Indy 45 at Cincinnati 37

Hypothesis: It usually takes a year for a team to make the leap
Scientific Pick: Indy
And now the true Indianapolis team shows itself. All offense, no defense. Still, at the end of the day it is a 10-0 team. I'm almost hopeful they're still undefeated when they head to Seattle in a few weeks. As for Cincinatti, they have had two games at home to step up and they've lost both of them. While they can claim moral victories in both losses, at the end of the day they were both losses. They really do remind me of the Seahawks from the last couple of years. Their defense is just not good enough to beat upper echelon teams.

NY Jets 0 at Denver 27

Hypothesis: Go with the running attack against the horrific rushing defense
Scientific Pick: Denver
I don't have anything to say about this one. The Jets are done. I'll be surprised if they win another game this year.

Buffalo 10 at San Diego 48

Hypothesis: Pick the team with the most to prove
Scientific Pick: San Diego
Colin called this one right. Even if the Bills looked good against Kansas City, they were just as awful against San Diego. The Chargers knew they had to win, knew that they are one loss away from being out of the playoffs, and played like it. Every AFC contender is hoping that the Chargers will slip up one more time and not have to play them come the postseason. Who wants to face Drew Brees, Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson? The defense is starting to come together as well. I still like the Chargers, and can't wait for the game against Denver coming up soon.

Kansas City 45 at Houston 17
Hypothesis: Pick against the ESPN announcers and whoever scheduled this game
Scientific Pick: Kansas City
Sunday Night Football has been awful all year. This game was no exception.

Minnesota 20 at Green Bay 17
Hypothesis: Hall of Famers step up at least a few times a season
Scientific Pick: Green Bay
What is up with Minnesota? They are now square in the playoff hunt with scoring only one offensive touchdown in three games. Their defense is actually starting to play well, especially up front with Pat and Kevin Williams. Fans have to be wondering where that's been all season. Brett Favre is forcing the ball way too much, but everyone not named Donald Driver is dropping the ball, so you can't blame him a ton.

The Scientific Method ends up doing a fairly decent job, going 9-7. Back to mediocrity!

posted by Gavin @ 3:20 PM  0 comments

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