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!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Scientific Method, Week 11

The Scientific Method is a tad late today, because I was out doing the Christmas shopping for the better half. We'll see if the shopping was a success on Christmas, but it was fun for the most part, except for one store where the salesperson was INCREDIBLY overbearing to the point where I had to duck out just to escape her relentless sales pitch for some board game or something.

The Seattle Seahawks rule. I just thought I would say that, and this is one of those in-between weeks where the Hawks don't have a big game (I mean, we still need to win, big time, but it's not like we're playing the Rams) and there really aren't as many games on the schedule that interest me.

Early Thanksgiving will come with an 8-2 record on Sunday, playing hard for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Our standing amongst various pundits has rocketed to where we are considered to be the 2nd best team in the NFC, under only Carolina. I can live with that. Carolina has been playing some rock-solid football, and I would much prefer playing them at home then at Carolina. However, I still remember Carolina almost blowing it against Brett Favre on Monday night. They certainly did not look like a championship team at that point, and they recently have been playing an incredibly puff-piece schedule. That begins to change this week against the Chicago Bears, who have been playing an even MORE incredibly puff-piece schedule.

On to the picks!
Last week: 6-8

Overall Record: 80-64

Tampa Bay at Atlanta:

Hypothesis: Every quarterback has a team he sucks against
The Tampa Bay defense has had Michael Vick's number ever since he came into the league. He struggles every single time, and has for years. Even though Chris Simms will not continue to play out of his mind like he did last week, I actually have to go with the Bucs in this game. Warrick Dunn might prove me wrong, but I'm giving the Bucs defense the benefit of the doubt in this one.
Scientific Pick: Tampa Bay

Carolina at Chicago:
Hypothesis: In a battle of great defenses, go with the team with the better offense
Let's see. Both teams have terrific defenses. Carolina has Steve Smith, Stephen Davis, and Jake Delhomme on offense. Chicago has Kyle Orton, Muhsin Muhammed, and a hurt Thomas Jones. Who has the better team? By the way, remember John Fox? Yeah, he's pretty good, and he's a better coach then Lovie Smith. Everyone needs to stop slurping the Bears. They haven't beaten ANYONE of any note.
Scientific Pick: Carolina

Miami at Cleveland:
Hypothesis: Blah. IF a certain team sticks with the run, the better running attack will win
I have a third road team in a row winning here, mostly because I am liking the Miami Dolphins rushing attack more and more. Of course, Nick Saban has shown an alarming capacity to forget he HAS a great running team when he gets to crunch time, but I like what I see there. Meanwhile, Cleveland has finally figured out that they have no talent. I expect Romeo Crennel to get the job done there and turn the team around, but it sure won't take place this year. A nailbiter, but Miami should ground this one out.
Scientific Pick: Miami

Detroit at Dallas:

Hypothesis: Bad quarterbacks don't play well two weeks in a row
Let's see. Joey Harrington against a blitzing, ball-hawking defense. Hmmmm. This is still Joey Harrington, not the second coming of Steve Young, remember. He had one good game. He usually has one good game every year. And this WAS against the Arizona Cardinals, who have perhaps the most disappointing defense outside of the Jets this year. Parcells will be ready for this one.
Scientific Pick: Dallas

Jacksonville at Tennessee:
Hypothesis: There is a least one big upset in the NFL every week
I'll be honest. I didn't see much of a chance for any kind of upset this week, but this one is a possibility, so why not? Steve McNair is still the quarterback down there, and Chris Brown is finally healthy, so that Titans offense should be able to pick up some yards even against a good Jacksonville team. The Jags have not been playing well on the road, losing to the Rams and Jamie Martin, while Byron Leftwich just can't play with any sort of consistency and Fred Taylor is still hurting. Matt Jones isn't ready to be a #1 receiver, and the Titans pass rush is actually quite good.
Scientific Pick: Tennessee

Arizona at St. Louis:

Hypothesis: Go with the team that hasn't given up
I watched most of Arizona's game against Detroit last week, and they look like a team that has given up on this season. I admit I gloated over their defeats earlier in the season, but now it's just sad, and that defense is a GREAT disappointment. They were talking top-5 before the season, but instead they can't stop anyone, and Clancy Pendergraft just can't devise any new schemes to disguise the fact that all his talent is injured. St. Louis is even healthier then they were last week, and should throw the ball all over the field.
Scientific Pick: St. Louis

New Orleans at New England:

Hypothesis: Just shut up and pick the right team
New England will finally win two times in a row for the first time this year as they play New Orleans, a team that has no identity and is also playing out the string. Tom Brady will dice the opposing defense, while Aaron Brooks will rack up the yardage but also rack up the picks. The interesting aspect about this game, especially if Corey Dillon doesn't play, will be the complete lack of a running attack on either side. This might be Heath Evans vs. Aaron Stecker. Ouch.
Scientific Pick: New England

Philly at NY Giants:
Hypothesis: Every year, at about this time, a good team completely falls apart
Listen, Andy Reid will have this team ready to compete for the NFC title again come next year. But they are done. The T.O. situation has taken a ton out, plus they now have a devastating injury to Donovan McNabb, thus putting McMahon in at quarterback and needing to rely on a bad rushing attack. You better believe that Tom Coughlin has been spewing spittle all week in pushing his team to win this game after they completely bombed against the Vikings. The Giants will be 7-3 heading into the showdown at Seattle.
Scientific Pick: NY Giants

Oakland at Washington:

Hypothesis: Time to stay away from Norv Turner
I did it last week. I trusted in Norv Turner to get the job done against the Broncos, egged on in no small part by Gavin. Well, I'm sick and tired of trusting Norv Turner, and I vow to never listen to Gavin again. Seriously, I don't know how in the world the Raiders still haven't figured out their identity as a team 9 games into the season. They win when they hand the ball off to Lamont Jordan. They still don't seem to understand that. Expect Joe Gibbs to school his counterpart in this game.
Scientific Pick: Washington

Pittsburgh at Baltimore:
Hypothesis: It doesn't matter who's playing quarterback for the favorite
Can't we just pretend that Baltimore doesn't exist as a team right now, so that we don't have to talk about Kyle Boller anymore? Speaking of disappointing defenses, I have no idea what happened to the vaunted Ravens defense, but they are playing about 10 times below their talent level. I know that Tommy Maddox will play, but I expect him to actually throw the ball about 10 times while Staley and Bettis ram the ball down the throats of the Ravens. Don't watch this game. Please. For both our sakes.
Scientific Pick: Pittsburgh

Seattle at San Francisco:

Hypothesis: Go with the team with the incredible disparity in talent
In Shaun we trust.
Scientific Pick: Seattle

Indy at Cincinnati:

Hypothesis: It usually takes a year for a team to make the leap
The Bengals are still trying to get that swagger to them, telling the world that they are a superior team. The Colts are firing on all cylinders, as Peyton Manning's numbers have begun to rise the last few weeks. I like the Bengals, but I just see the Colts as a little better in every facet of the game, from the running attack to the pass rush to the quarterback position.... This will be an excellent game to watch, and Cincy might have a chance if they get off to a hot start, which they did not do against the Steelers.
Scientific Pick: Indy

NY Jets at Denver:

Hypothesis: Go with the running attack against the horrific rushing defense
Another huge disappointing defense. The Jets were ALSO supposed to be top-5, but runners have been gashing them all season. Denver plays out of their minds at home, and a victory here would get them to the 8-2 mark, 2-3 wins away from a postseason berth. The Broncos will be ready to play.
Scientific Pick: Denver

Buffalo at San Diego:

Hypothesis: Pick the team with the most to prove
J.P. Losman is returning to start for the Bills, but the real story here is whether the Chargers will remain in the playoff hunt. This is a team that has perhaps the most overall talent in the entire NFL, and yet they are struggling to make it as a wildcard team. A win here would put them at 6-4, perhaps only 1 game behind the Jags if they do end up losing to the Titans. A loss here would put them as much as 3 games behind the Broncos, and they might as well start planning for next year at that point. The Bills looked impressive against the Chiefs, but this is the NFL. Teams can look plenty good one week and suck the next.
Scientific Pick: San Diego

Kansas City at Houston:
Hypothesis: Pick against the ESPN announcers and whoever scheduled this game
Do I have to analyze this game? This is just terrible. Whoever scheduled the Texans for multiple Sunday Night games should sit in the corner with a dunce cap. I don't care if you thought they might win 8 games this season, there is no way that team should be on prime-time multiple weeks. I really think the NFL should have a bigger say over what games get on prime-time, especially Sunday night, because the overall schedule on ESPN has been a joke.
Scientific Pick: Kansas City

Minnesota at Green Bay:
Hypothesis: Hall of Famers step up at least a few times a season
I finally gave up on Green Bay last week, and they stepped up and beat the Falcons behind the running of Gado, a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Obviously Jesus is on the side of the Packers at this point, and even more obviously the Prince of Darkness is on the side of the Love Boat, so that leaves me picking the Pack. Favre hasn't had a Hall of Fame game in several weeks.
Scientific Pick: Green Bay

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