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!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Land of Conclusions: Seahawks vs. Redskins

Well, the week has finally come where the media has no choice but to pay attention to a game at Qwest Field. Heck, there are only four games on the schedule! Of course, the Pats and the Colts will get roughly 80% of the ink, but the Washington Redskins should get another 15%, and the Seahawks will find themselves discussed in those articles, so that’s pretty good, right?

Yes, the Hawks are playing the Washington Redskins, and that means plenty of conclusions will be reached by erstwhile Hawks experts. Some will be right, most will be wrong. Most will lead certain experts a long ways towards picking the Redskins in this game. In fact, I wouldn’t be at ALL surprised if the majority of “experts” picked Washington. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

The Seahawks are a soft team
Let’s do a little experiment about that. I want you to walk right up to Steve Hutchinson, look him square in the eye, and say that to his face. Just do it, I’m sure he won’t hurt you. He’s soft. No? How about Chuck Darby, Michael Boulware, or Leroy Hill on defense? How about you say that to their faces? You see, that’s just not the truth this year. Most weeks we are winning by being more physical than the other side. Even Shaun Alexander became a decent blocker this season, Marquand Manuel stepped in for Ken Hamlin and laid in a few great licks of his own, and Mack Strong was elected to the Pro Bowl for his excellent play from the fullback position. People just believe that teams with “finesse” offenses like ours or like the Colts are thus soft teams. Just watch. Watch the game and you’ll understand just how soft we are.
Conclusion: Incorrect

The Redskins defensive line will overwhelm our offensive line
One of the main reasons that the Redskins beat the Bucs last week was the outstanding play of the defensive tackles, including journeyman Joe Salave’a. Now the popular notion is that those defensive tackles and linebackers Levar Arrington and Lemar Marshall are going to be able to stuff Shaun Alexander all game long. One of my favorite stories all year focused on the offensive line and Holmgren’s play-calling during a game. They talked about how Holmgren didn’t play-call based on the defensive front. He would simply call for their best play, blasting it left-side, and challenge the offensive line to outperform the defense. It’s not that the Redskins won’t make some good plays. I just expect our offensive line to outperform their defensive line. We got Shaun 98 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries when we played them earlier this year at Fed-Ex Field. That’s almost 5 yards a carry. That’s not too shabby.
Conclusion: Incorrect

The Redskins beat Seattle earlier this year
Much already has been made of this fact. Just read some stuff on ESPN or Patriot-lover Peter King, who, SHOCKER, files his report from Foxboro. You mean he went to the Patriots game instead of, say, the Giants/Panthers tilt? Wow. I would have bet at least THREE latte’s he would have wanted to see Jake Delhomme over Tom Brady. Here’s what won’t be looked at with that game and the differences to this game.

1. That game was in Washington, a noted “House of Horrors.” – If this playoff game was being played at Fed-Ex Field, I would be scared. I mean, we lost there when Steve Spurrier was coaching the Redskins. We can lose there anytime.

2. Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram were beat-up entering the game – They still managed 160 yards between the two of them, but their subsequent injuries helped this offense improve even more. The Redskins aren’t prepared for the number of wide receivers that we will throw at them at various points of the game, especially because Shaun Springs will be hampered coming off of that injury. Don’t be fooled by his talk. He’s still hurting. That means that a nickel cornerback will be on Joe Jurevicius. Excellent.

3. Our defense is a better defense – Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill are better. Marcus Tubbs is better. Grant Wistrom was ensconsed in an early-season slump that only the Texans could shake off. There will be improvement there.

More differences to come through the analysis…
Conclusion: Correct, but pending….

The Redskins will be able to pressure Hasselbeck
They’ll what in the what now? First things first, we can erase Phillip Daniels from the game courtesy of Walter Jones. It will be like he doesn’t exist. Well, the other defensive end, Renaldo Wynn, is injured and out. Ouch. That leaves Nic Clemons and Demetric Evans to try to stir up some pressure. Last time the Redskins managed one sack, and that was linebacker Lemar Marshall. No, Hasselbeck will have time to throw, and that should be encouraging for Seahawks fans.
Conclusion: Incorrect

The Seahawks will have trouble stopping the Redskins on third down

This was, perhaps, the ugliest stat all season for the Seahawks, allowing the Redskins to convert 13 of 18 third downs, including three in overtime. Even worse was some of the yardage allowed in those plays.

3rd and 9 – 14 yard completion to James Thrash (JAMES THRASH!!)
3rd and 1 – 8 yard completion to Santana Moss
3rd and 13 – 15 yard completion to Santana Moss
3rd and 2 – 11 yard completion to Chris Cooley
3rd and 10 – 10 yard completion to Royal
3rd and Goal – Touchdown completion to Royal
3rd and 9 – 12 yard completion to Clinton Portis
3rd and 2 – 6 yard rush by Clinton Portis
OT
3rd and 10 – 13 yard completion to Santana Moss
3rd and 9 – 18 yard run by Mark Brunell
3rd and 10 – 30 yard completion to Santana Moss


The other two conversions were due to pass-interference penalties, including one that set up a touchdown. I hope the Seahawks notice that most of those conversions were third and long, plays that the defense should own. I ask because this is my one worry for this game.
Conclusion: Correct

That whole home-field advantage thing doesn’t mean much
Heck, three of the four home-field teams lost last week, right? The Seahawks lost at home in the postseason last year, right? I can’t believe it’s not butter, right? Slow down. Simply put, Qwest Field has become one of the hardest places to play on the road, sort of like Fed-Ex Field. Seahawks fans are loud, proud, and into the game from start to finish. I can’t wait to see who they get to raise the 12th Man flag, but you know it’s going to be someone awesome who will work the fans into a lather. I almost cried in anticipation of the Seahawks/49ers game before my brain caught up to my adrenaline and I remembered that these were the 49ers. That’s how worked up people will be. Now, if the Seahawks get off to an awful start, the fans will get worried awful fast, because we all know that a playoff game has not been won here since 1984. But it’s time. It’s time to change that.
Conclusion: Incorrect

The Redskins are a team of destiny/hottest team in the league
Shut up. Just…. shut up. The team of destiny line is brought to you by Skip Bayless, servant of Lucifer and absolute hater of the Hawks. The Redskins beat St. Louis, Arizona, Dallas (at home), NY Giants (at home) and Philly to reach the postseason, where they beat the worst #3 seed in history. The last six games for the Seahawks included wins over the NY Giants (at home), Philly, San Francisco (at home), Tennessee, Indianapolis (at home), and a loss to Green Bay. I’m not saying the Redskins are hot right now and all that. I’m saying that if there is a team of destiny in the NFC this year, they are your Seattle Seahawks, who, all year, have won games they always lose, come back in the face of adversity many a time, and went 13-3 over the course of the regular season.
Conclusion: Incorrect

There is no better team for the Hawks to be playing this week
Absolutely. Both Gavin and I were just pleased as pink when the NFC games worked out the way they did. Both of us were scared of the Giants, and they proceeded to get squashed. The 2nd team we were scared of was the Panthers, and we won’t play them unless they beat the Bears. That left the Redskins, who, while a tough team, aren’t as tough, I believe, as either of the teams listed above. Let me put it this way. This is the most winnable game we could have hoped for this week. You have a beat-up team coming to town (I mean honestly, did you see how Tampa Bay just injured them up and down the field?). Clinton Portis is really hurting. Shaun Springs is really hurting. Mark Brunell is really hurting. Santana Moss is banged-up. Meanwhile, we will be as healthy as we have been in weeks. Thank you bye week! We’ll obviously talk more about this later, but if the Seahawks take care of business, they will win on Saturday.
Conclusion: Correct

posted by colin_hesse @ 10:44 AM  2 comments

2 Comments:

At 1:34 PM, Blogger TheWizOne said...

Nice post, but--

Is any unbiased prognosticator really picking my Skins in this one?

I doubt it. I love the Skins and everyone here in the DC area is very proud of what they've accomplished after being 5-6 going into December. But come on, Seattle didn't win the NFC for nothing. Against us, if you recall, your kicker hit the left goalpost on a miss that should have won the game for you in regulation.

It's my understanding the your Hawks are favored by 9. That's reasonable for a well-rested team with a seasoned QB and a great running game. As you said, the Skins are banged up (although Springs says he feels better than he's felt in a month). Portis is a real concern. Brunell hasn't been the same since tweaking his knee against the Midgets (I mean, the giants).

The Skins can likely only win if they are plus two or better in the TO department. Otherwise, you guys should be playing Chicago next week for a trip to the Superbowl.

Of course--GO SKINS!

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

Alright, a Skins fan with the reponse!

Basically, this post was as much in response to how long it took for the nation to even start paying attention to the Hawks as anything else. I agree, hopefully very few unbiased prognosticators not named Jason Whitlock should choose the Skins, who have some serious injury concerns with Portis and Brunell.

Don't remind me about that missed field goal. It's still too painful.

Keep on checking us out each day for further previews!

 

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