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, September 12, 2006

Ultimate Explosion!! - Week One Thoughts

Hi all-

Comin' straight up out the hizzy in Mountain View, CA, preparing to give the seminar presentation of a lifetime... all the way to the bank!

I did thoroughly enjoy Week One in the NFL, except the Seahawk portion of it, which was vaguely reminiscent of having to sit through three hours of lectures on Electromagnetic Theory. Seriously, could the offensive line look much worse? Now we have all these gloaters commenting on sites like Football Outsiders about how we lack O-line depth... and I have no response. Womack, you better prove me write about the level of awesomeness you possess. I will find your address and leave you a disapproving letter under the windshield wiper of your car.

The Scientific Method (which next week will attempt to actually write using words/sarcasm/depth, instead of excuses about computer failings and personal ineptitude) ended this past week with an awe-inspiring 11-5 record, so Colin's off to a "must destroy Petey Prisco and Bill Simmons" sort of start. I'll actually be tracking this through the year, especially because we have officially declared Bill Simmons a "hater". And you do NOT want to get on our bad side. We hurt with our words.

Scientific Method: 11-5
Petey Prisco: 8-8
Bill Simmons: 6-10

Slightly different format this year, as I fully admit that I do not watch every single game that happens on a Sunday (although I wouldn't mind, I am that pathetic). Still awesome, though. Never forget that.

What In The World Were They Smoking?

In this section I, your faithful writer, with the advantage of hindsight, make fun of the poor prognosticators for the worst, most heroin-induced picks ever.

For example, to those who actually picked Green Bay to beat Chicago. I don't care if it was at home. We spent this whole offseason criticizing the Packers for creating an absolutely awful football team. Colin wasn't the only one who went down this awkward and potentially libelous path... both Simmons and Prisco also picked the Bears to lose. Isn't that just plain nutty? Frankly, if I was putting together a Scientific Method, I would find ANY upset that both Prisco and Simmons picked and stay the hizz-ell away from it. Are the Packers really that bad? Well, it doesn't get much better than the Bears defense, and I'm not sure exactly how installing the Mike McCarthy offense was supposed to revitalize the attack. Let's see... new head coach... who was the offensive coordinator for THE 49ERS... not exactly a recipe for success, especially at the beginning of the year. On the flip side you have the Bears who are probably just itching to start putting the doubters to rest. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a pretty big chip on their shoulders.

Next up on the "What The..." list would be Petey and Bill's pick of Detroit over Seattle. Yes, it was close... but really?

Simmons actually picked the Bills to beat the Patriots. I don't see how you make this pick at all, as long as JP Losman is the starter for Buffalo. Again, I know it was close, but that's just moral victory talk for losers. Now, the Patriots definitely have questions... more on that later.

Finally, a special award has to go to Petey Prisco for his pick of Houston over Philadelphia. I know, even I have written that the Texans would be better... but Philly is just an improved football squad.

Best Picks of the Week

I'm not sure how this happened, but all three prognosticators called the St Louis upset over Denver. Really. That game happens 10 times and Denver wins 8 of them. I'm personally wierded out not just by the victory, but how it happened. The Rams didn't have a great offensive attack going, you never do if you settle for six Jeff Wilkins field goals (although my fantasy team appreciated it). Instead, their defense actually showed up and stuffed the Denver rushing attack. I'd panic more if I was a Broncos fan except that this was exactly what happened last year at Miami. New head coach at home wanting to put on a show (maybe I'm too hard on those who picked Detroit to win... except they are HATERS). The Broncos and Jake Plummer responded well last time, let's see how this year goes. There is far too much talent on both sides of the ball on that team for them to have a collapse. The "Put in Jay Cutler" talk needs to end. It always happens when you draft the hyped kid with the golden arm. You put him in before he's ready and he gets abused. Let's see if Mike Shanahan is smarter than that.

Also mad kudos go to Colin and Bill Simmons for picking Atlanta to beat Carolina, in what was, to me, the biggest upset of the week. Carolina, at home, Steve Smith or no, does not lose this game, not and think they are a legitimate Super Bowl team. Again, more on that as we continue.

While this may not have seemed like a big upset to many, I do like that Colin and Prisco picked Jacksonville to beat Dallas, as yet another preseason Super Bowl fave went down the tubes.

Biggest Questions out of the Week

This has to start with Carolina. The method of defeat was just bizarre, as that hyped defense got gashed by the running game. However, we probably should remember that there was a reason the Panthers were the sixth seed last year in the NFC... because they just lost games like this. For all the love John Fox gets (and he apparently is almost into the Belichick zone), the Panthers choke away an absurd number of games. Last year they absorbed losses to New Orleans and Miami early in the season. As for all the hype surrounding Deshaun Foster and the running game, 54 yards a star does not make.

Next up comes the first true QB controversy surrounding Dallas. Tony Romo has looked impressive, like when he gashed us in the preseason. Drew Bledsoe is most definitely still Drew Bledsoe, and I have to say that the Dallas defense looks extremely fast and powerful. If the offense can become a legitimate force I do see Dallas being able to make it out of the NFC East, even if it's just as the wild card. That was a very winnable game against Jacksonville, who (as we guessed) still have an awful long way to go offensively. They needed a lot of Dallas mistakes to pull that one out.

Washington as well has some offensive questions. Now, I do hate jumping to conclusions after Week One, but the Redskins had sputtered offensively going through the end of last season. It's not a good comparison with a week like Seattle had. They weren't able to effectively establish the run against a mediocre defense in Minnesota. That has to be worrisome.

The Oakland Raiders may only win two games, one lower than I picked last week. What an abysmal offense, although to their credit, Michael Huff and Thomas Howard are two nice young defensive studs. Way too early to tell what the story on Philip Rivers is... he wasn't asked to do anything for San Diego.

What in the world was up with Tampa Bay? We may not like Chris Simms here, as we've made clear multiple times, such as when we called his critical interception against Seattle two years ago (before the establishment of this site, but it still counts), but we really thought a good steady dose of Cadillac Williams should have been enough to at least put points on the board.

Also questionable...

Indy's running game: apparently AWOL. Joseph Addai may be the starter sooner rather than later.
NY Giants and Eli Manning: still missed a lot of open receivers, stats were padded by two incredible catches by Plaxico Burress.
Arizona Cardinals defense: no way you let the Niners put up 27 on you at your home and stadium opener. No way you give them a chance to tie.
New England offense: Do you think you might miss that Deion Branch guy a little? No matter, we'll find a use for him.

Most Impressive Performances of the Week

This has to start with Baltimore's offense, who did something I sure didn't expect in putting up 27 against a terrific Tampa Bay unit. I'm not sure if aging stars like Steve McNair, Jonathan Ogden, Jamal Lewis, and Derrick Mason can keep it up for a full season, but football appears to be a little more fun for Ravens fans.

The St Louis defense gets huge props for their work stopping a good Denver rushing attack. Not sure where that came from. Wil Witherspoon might have been a bigger offseason acquisition than I gave them credit for.

I'd give the Chargers defense more credit for all their sacks if I didn't basically see the Raiders quit midway through the 3rd quarter. Welcome back, Art Shell!

The Detroit Lions have an absolute monster in Shaun Rogers. Yeesh.

Speaking of comebacks, was that Donovan McNabb finding a legitimate WR in Donte Stallworth? Now, that first long touchdown was an AWFUL blown coverage. A blind monkey could have completed that touchdown, but it sure must have been nice to see for the Eagles.

Yes, Michael Vick had a good fantasy day and I do love Warrick Dunn, but let's cut down early the Mike Vick is back hype. When you only have to complete 10 passes to win, you haven't exactly been asked to take over a game. Still, he managed the game effectively against that vaunted Carolina corps.

Byron Leftwich made some incredible throws against Dallas. Some absolute lasers into traffic right into receivers' chests. They were so hard the targets had to catch it or lose a kidney. I was actually impressed by a quarterback I don't like that much.

Welcome back Chad Pennington. Now do it against a legitimate defense.

Remember all, let's not make too many assumptions until at least Week Four. Then more will become clear. Still, what a great week! 16 more to go!

posted by Gavin @ 8:16 PM  3 comments


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Tash said...

Patriots have questions?

I agree - like who's going to be playing right tackle for them in the Super Bowl...

Good luck with Deon Branch. But you'll soon find out that he wasn't worth a first rounder let alone 40 billion.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

Yes! I get a Tash comment!

Take a look at my picks below to see that (in general) I agree with you, but still... Buffalo?

Thanks for Branch. NE fans are funny sometimes.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Eric said...

I pointed this out in your other thread, Simmons picks vs the Spread, which makes it a lot tougher and by the way he was right about Detroit and the Bills, of course he didn't expect the Hawks to lose, but they didn't come close to covering.

In my yahoo Leagues I was 10-6 in simple winners, but 4-12 vs the Spread


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