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, January 11, 2006

Seahawks/Redskins - Mid-Week Analysis

The biggest Seahawks game in over twenty years is only three days away. That causes me to break out in a cold sweat. Of course, the sweat could also be caused by the fact that I am taking my master's comprehensive exams starting on Friday, but..... no, it's the Seahawks. I'm sure of it.

Numerous enlightened individuals have begun to discuss this game, some already reaching some of the same "conclusions" that I wrote about earlier this week. Here's a brief summary of what I've been reading....

David Locke - The Redskins might easily seize ball-control in this game. Points well taken. I was especially impressed by the point that the Redskins allowed the Seahawks only SEVEN offensive possessions during the game earlier this season. SEVEN! Wow. No wonder we only scored 17 points. Of course, Locke also posts the ridiculous statistic that in the four games we played against teams Locke deems NFC final four worthy, the Hawks were outscored 77-68. Newsflash, Locke. That's not the way you work statistics. You COULD say that against the THREE games we played against ACTUAL NFC TEAMS (Locke includes the Jaguars in his Final Four calculation), the Hawks outscored the opposition by three points. Or you could say that in the SEVEN games the Redskins played against those sort of teams (they have played more due to being in the NFC East) they outscored the opposition 148-136. Or you could say that, while the Seahawks only lost to two playoff teams except for playing their scrubs against Green Bay, the Redskins lost to Oakland at home. But, seriously, all those stats and facts are meaningless. It's just fun with numbers that mean absolutely nothing to the game at hand.

The actual point that Locke throws out there (seriously, stick with Sonics articles, mmmmkay?) is my biggest fear about this game. We need to limit third-down conversions like there is no tomorrow, especially early on in this game. Our offense likes to play fast and efficient football, but they need to have more than seven attempts at scoring, because the Redskins defense is very good. Hopefully Ray Rhodes can throw out some better schemes then what was on display Week 4.

The idea of a blowout is ludicrous - This point, brought up by Locke, was also expounded upon in several articles, including the esteemed Dr. Z of CNN and Petey the Magic Prisco of CBS. I happen to agree on this point. This will be a close game. I have no idea why the oddsmakers are putting us as 9 point favorites. The last thing I wanted was any hint of "DISRESPECT" for the Redskins to use to their advantage, coming into Qwest Field with a chip on their shoulders.

Steve Kelley - Master of the one word sentence, Kelley looks at the infamous Engram drop that ended the playoff game against St. Louis last year. He spends most of the articles reliving the play, but hastens to inform us that Engram would not like to relive the past. We know this because Steve-O asks Engram several questions about it. That's called "irony", folks. Irony. Two comments I have about this. First, the reason we lost the game last year was not Engram's drop, and it was not the Rams stuffing Shaun or any other tidbit you might glean from a sportswriter who hasn't paid attention to the Hawks the past few years. The reason we lost the game was that our defense didn't make the Rams punt once in the second half and generally looked lost, confused, and angry the entire time. I never blamed Engram for that loss, and hope he didn't either. It was VERY likely that, even if he had made that catch, that the Rams would have won the coin toss, immediately driven down the field, and scored to win the game. It just never seemed like we wanted that game. Second, I trust that our receivers will not regress to the dropsies during this game because of a certain receiver I will simply call "Joe". "Joe" is clutch, and "Joe" will be there, in the end zone, when Hasselbeck is rolling to find somebody. "Joe" will make the necessary catch.

Fun Time Last Year - The Washington Post quotes Hasselbeck as saying that last year players came to practice with alcohol on their breath and some players doubted injuries claimed by other teammates. Oh oh! See, this is what anyone with eyes could see come gameday. The Hawks last year were a group of people that didn't like each other, didn't trust each other, and predictably fell apart when the going got tough. I'm surprised Holmgren didn't walk out after last year. Could you imagine putting up with that stuff?

Dr. Z Prediction - I could have written this game summary, which predictably reads like an East Coaster who doesn't really like the Seahawks forced against all he holds dear to pick them over the Redskins. He also predictably calls the Redskins the "tougher team." Wow, would never have guessed that someone would have written that. What exactly about the Seahawks makes them less tough? The grinding running game of Shaun? The physicality of Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, and Marquand Manuel? Walter Jones and Hutch? Mack Strong? Man, now I understand how the Colts have felt the last couple of years. The one good point Dr. Z does bring up is to remind us all of Holmgren's overly conservative play-calling at the end of regulation against the Skins after Herndon's interception. That was one of the few times this season that I was actually upset at Holmgren's play-calling. Hopefully this time he plays to win the game instead of tie the game. By the way, Dr. Z predicts us winning 27-20.

Greg Garber - Great article on the resurgence of Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan, two coaches who were on the hot seat last year. A good reminder that the Hawks are blessed to have an excellent coach patrolling the sideline.

Petey the Prisco - I never link to Pete, but he finds us plenty vulnerable heading into Saturday's game. You could almost take Dr. Z's column and find Petey saying basically the same things. This is what I knew would happen, except most of the columnists still can't quite find it in themselves to actually pick the Redskins, just ripping the Hawks even while picking them.

Three More Days! Three More Days!!

posted by colin_hesse @ 11:03 AM  0 comments

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