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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Scientific Method, Week 16

A great week of football last week, but sadly not one that followed the boundaries of science, which stumbled to a .500 mark for the week. Not that great. The good news is that Seattle is one Jim Sorgi-led win over the Colts to receive home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs. They already have a playoff bye, which is just strange to write, and they are actually gaining more respect after a hard road win over the Titans, who played extremely well. Steve McNair especially looked ten years younger. Give that man time in the pocket and he can still pick you apart.

Good news about the Hawks not facing all the Colts have to offer has to center on our decimated secondary. Thinking about Marvin Harrison matched up against Jordan Babineaux makes me ill. Thinking about Brandon Stokely matched up against Kevin Bentley makes me ill. Come back, Dyson! Come back, Herndon! Come back, Lewis!

Merry Christmas, everyone! This post is coming up early because of family coming down tomorrow, and posting will effectively cease for a good while.

Last Week: 8-8 (not 7-9, as Gavin stated earlier. Learn to do math, engineer)
Overall Record: 132-92

Saturday:
Buffalo at Cincinnati
Hypothesis: Go against teams in turmoil
Buffalo is still in turmoil, as evidenced by that horrific performance they put up against Denver. Gavin and I will do some extended end of season posts on this, but Buffalo has to rank, for me, as perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season. I admit, I was fooled by this team at the beginning of the season, but the run defense is bad, Willis McGahee has been underwhelming, and the offense has never been able to get going. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is one of the feel good stories of the year. How awesome would a Seattle/Cincy Super Bowl be? Two laughingstocks playing for all the marbles....
Scientific Pick: Cincinnati

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

Hypothesis: Veteran teams win these games at the end of the season
The team that was ALMOST the most disappointing team in the NFL seems to have found itself in these last few games. The Steelers are once again running around and through opposing defenses, and there is basically no worse team at stopping the run then the Browns. I commend Romeo Crennel for what has been a pretty good first year coaching job, and I am extremely interested in how Charlie Frye plays in these last few games, but let's be honest here. This game shouldn't be close, and won't be if Big Ben plays.
Scientific Pick: Pittsburgh

San Diego at Kansas City

Hypothesis: Go with the team who knows how to tackle
I am completely off the KC bandwagon after watching them try to tackle Tiki Barber last Saturday. That was one of the single worst tackling performances I have and probably will ever see in my lifetime. The Giants were giving them that ballgame. Eli was off and LJ was tearing through the Giants defense. All they had to go was stop Tiki, and they couldn't. Meanwhile the Chargers kind of beat the Colts last week, and looked pretty darn good going it since LT did basically nothing, emphasizing the note that Drew Brees has turned into a franchise quarterback. Say goodbye, Phillip Rivers....
Scientific Pick: San Diego

San Francisco at St. Louis

Hypothesis: Never pick Alex Smith
I have not liked Alex Smith as a #1 pick since I heard that the 49ers were closing in on picking him in the draft last year, and he has just looked awful whenever he has played. Supposedly he is a very smart person, but he looks overwhelmed with his puny small hands. Ken Dorsey, frankly, looks like a much better quarterback. Even Cody Pickett looked better in his limited appearances this season. Smith still has time, but I would at least THINK about Matt Leinart in the draft next year if I was running the 49ers. Leinart, RIGHT NOW, is better then Alex Smith. Right now. By the way, the Harvard QB has regressed after the stunning comeback over the Texans, to little or no surprise. Marc Bulger is still the only QB worth anything on the Rams roster, and it is hard to imagine him ever making it through an entire season.
Scientific Pick: St. Louis

Tennessee at Miami
Hypothesis: There is at least one upset per week
This is a pretty lame upset pick, but I really liked what I saw from Steve McNair last week, and I can see both teams putting up some points in what could actually be a pretty entertaining game. Ricky Williams has quietly become a quality running back once again, and the Dolphins are playing to get above the .500 mark, but Jeff Fisher is a great coach and has his young players improving throughout the season. He is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and should be recognized as such. I see McNair engineering a comeback drive in the 4th quarter as Gus throws a few key picks to let the Titans back into the game.
Scientific Pick: Tennessee

Detroit at New Orleans

Hypothesis: When two turmoil teams play, pick the home team
Yeesh. No teams have had to deal with as much turmoil this season as these two teams, though obviously New Orleans has had to deal with the most turmoil of perhaps any NFL team in history. Both teams seem to have quit on each other, and Dick Jauron has, for some reason, reinstated Joey Harrington as the starting quarterback going into this game. I have no idea who will win this game because of all this, so I will assume that the home team will pull this one out.
Scientific Pick: New Orleans

Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Hypothesis: Great defenses don't get rocked twice in a row
Tampa Bay just got absolutely owned by New England, while Atlanta just got absolutely owned by Chicago. This week we find out if either of these teams want to get to the postseason. Tampa Bay has the history of being able to handle Michael Vick with ease, and Derrick Brooks can negate the running game of Dunn and Duckett. Meanwhile, Atlanta has a porous run defense that Cadillac Williams should be able to take advantage of. Both teams will be fighting for their playoff lives, but Tampa Bay actually has more balance in their offense then Atlanta, and that should push them through this one. Atlanta will be knocked out of the playoff hunt, and Jim Mora will talk about how much he loves this team, his guys, Atlanta, and "Starsky and Hutch" reruns.
Scientific Pick: Tampa Bay

NY Giants at Washington
Hypothesis: Go with the team firing on all cylinders
I was more impressed with Washington than I was with any team last week, including the Patriots. It was absolutely unbelievable how they sliced and diced the Cowboys, who are not a bad team. They sure looked like a bad team, though, and Washington didn't look just good. They looked great. Cooley has turned into a tremendous player, and Mark Brunell looks as good as he did in the middle of the season. Meanwhile, Eli has not looked that great the last three weeks, but the Giants whupped this team earlier in the season, and Eli was a large part of that. Can they do it again? No.
Scientific Pick: Washington

Dallas at Carolina
Hypothesis: Never trust Drew Bledsoe in a must-win game on the road
A lot of pundits (Michael Irvin) elevated Dallas into the best team in the NFC even after we beat them in the middle of the season. Drew Bledsoe was the comeback player of the year, Dallas had a dominant defense, and Marion Barber was giving them the power running game. Well, not anymore. The running game has stagnated even with the return of Julius Jones, the wide receivers aren't getting open anymore (and Terry Glenn is dropping some balls when he does get open), and the offensive line can't protect Bledsoe. This is a team on the decline, while Carolina has been the single most Jekyll and Hyde team in the NFC. You almost never know what to expect from these guys, especially because they still don't have a prominent running game. Here's a shout out to the Carolina defense, who I feel will be the dominant unit on the field Saturday.
Scientific Pick: Carolina

Jacksonville at Houston
Hypothesis: Go....... Reggie Bush!
What on Earth were you doing winning last week, Houston? Don't you know that Reggie Bush is coming into the NFL? This is Reggie Bush, man! Reggie Bush! I know that Domanick Davis is a nice player, and your offensive line sucks, but Reggie Bush is a franchise-changing player. You must get him. Jacksonville, great teams that deserve respect don't win by 1 AT HOME to San Francisco and Alex Smith. That was pathetic. I think it is safe to say that you will reach the postseason, but I bid you adieu in the 1st round at New England. No way you break Brady's streak in the playoffs.
Scientific Pick: Jacksonville

Philadelphia at Arizona

Hypothesis: When you lose to Houston, you deserve never to win again
I didn't think Arizona was THAT BAD, but a loss to Houston plummets them to a worse team then the 49ers in my book. Good job, Denny Green. You have completely changed the culture in Arizona. Completely. And all those pundits who picked Arizona at the beginning of the season? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Scientific Pick: Philadelphia

Oakland at Denver
Hypothesis: Go against the team in turmoil
Only Norv Turner could screw up an offense with a good offensive line, Kerry Collins, Lamont Jordan, Randy Moss, and Jerry Porter. I mean, this offense has underperformed to catastrophic levels, and Turner has obviously already tuned out. This hire didn't make sense when it happened, and this will be the single most interesting job search of the offseason. Best person for the job? Obviously Rick Neuheisel, who would fit in to a "T". Here's a shout out to the Broncos, who I made fun of before the season and have turned into a dominant team this year. Jake Plummer has been great, the running attack has been special once again, and the Cleveland Browns defense has been much better in Denver.
Scientific Pick: Denver

Indianapolis at Seattle
Hypothesis: Pick against the Sorgi-nator
I'm going to be honest here, as a Seahawks fan. I was going to pick against us if the Chargers had not beaten the Colts last Sunday. Now we are playing Jim Sorgi for most of the game. Harrison, Wayne, Manning, James, Freeney, June, et al, will not be playing significant of any time this game, so we will basically be playing the JV squad of the Colts. If we can't beat that, we don't deserve to be in Super Bowl consideration.
Scientific Pick: Seattle

Sunday:
Chicago at Green Bay

Hypothesis: Pick the team with the better quarterback
Well, that's obviously Brett Favre, right? Wrong. At this point in time, it sure looks like Rex Grossman is a better QB then Favre. Harsh? Absolutely. But anyone who watched any of that Monday night game against Baltimore knows what I am talking about. Sorry, Brett.
Scientific Pick: Chicago

Minnesota at Baltimore
Hypothesis: One of these teams just got exposed
Besides Kansas City, no team hurt their playoff chances last week as much as the Vikings, who lost in abysmal fashion, at home. I watched that entire game while also watching the Hawks play last week, and I couldn't believe how bad they looked in every facet of the game. Meanwhile, Baltimore finally looks at least similar to how we expected this team to look at the beginning of the season. Boller is showing improvement, Derrick Mason is stretching the field, and the defense looks dominant. All signs point to a season ending loss for the Vikings.
Scientific Pick: Baltimore

Monday:
New England at NY Jets

Hypothesis: Never pick against the champs in December and January
All I need to say is that the Patriots looked like champions last Saturday. Wow.
Scientific Pick: New England

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