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 26, 2006

Ultimate Explosion!! - Week Three Thoughts

First off, a few thoughts on this Shaun Alexander scenario...

1. This is no time to jump off a cliff. Shaun hasn't exactly been a total stallion in the first few games here, and we're a good enough team to survive three games without him. Remember, we beat the Redskins (a darn good defense) without him.

2. He wasn't going to play a big part against that good Chicago defense anyways. Seriously, you think Brian Urlacher was going to let Shaun run wild?

3. That 4 WR spread offense is pretty sweet.

4. Maurice Morris has run as well this season as I've ever seen him. He's hitting the holes quickly, and although I shudder to think of the situation if he goes down, between he and Mack Strong we'll make do.

Overall, if this was going to be for the whole season I'd be throwing random items against the window and considering changing religions to Scientology, because there would be a lot of thetans taking over my body. Four games? Bad, not awful.

Okay, on to the week in review, and what a week again for the Scientific Method. I'm not quite sure how he's doing it this time, but Colin is insistent on not making decisions that I can then make fun of. Seriously, that's the whole point of doing this post. I'm looking forward to this coming week, where I believe Colin is going to hit the skids.

Week Three Results:
Scientific Method: 12-2 (Ridiculous)
Petey Prisco: 6-8 (Sucker)
Bill Simmons: 9-5

Overall Standings:
Scientific Method: 34-12
Petey Prisco: 25-21
Bill Simmons: 24-22

The Scientific Method lengthens the lead. How did it occur?

What In The World Were They Smoking?

Colin gets a full pass on this. The games he picked wrong? Green Bay over Detroit AT Detroit, which I'm still a little wierded out by. Where was the team that we played in Week One? Did the Seahawks really play that badly? I suppose so. The second game? Arizona losing to St Louis with the infamous Kurt Warner fumble (more on that below). Both of those picks were what I would have done, so it's difficult to take exception (basically, he also made some picks that turned out to be right that I wouldn't have made, but I tend to forget those when crafting this work of art).

The other jokers aren't so lucky. Petey took the stab and the Giants over Seattle. Here's my problem with that pick. The Giants were one huge 4th quarter comeback from being an 0-2 team going to one of the toughest places to play in the league. You just don't favor them in that game, no matter what. Both Colin and I originally picked us to lose Sunday when the schedule was released but I had no doubts about victory for most of last week (this week is an entirely different matter). At least Prisco was finally somewhat impressed... it only took two years.

Bill Simmons took Houston over Washington. Look, I don't care how bad Mark Brunell has looked to open the season. The Redskins are far too talented a team to go 0-3 (since we picked them to win the NFC East... bad CO!). Since Gary Kubiak's magic apparently is less potent than previously believed, the Texans are back on track for pick #1 this year as well. True to form, the Redskins picked up the pace and throttled the Texans.

It's hard to laugh off too many picks, there were a ton of toss-up games this week (another reason why the Scientific Method's success was impressive). I would call about 10 of the 14 games "pick-em's" where either team could legitimately win.

Best Picks Of The Week

There were some huge games this past week.

Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh AT Pittsburgh in an enormous game with serious AFC Championship connotations. Now the Steelers are already 1-2 and facing more tough games down the road, while the Bengals can enjoy their two game cushion and the knowledge that the next game against the Steelers will be at home. Colin... picked this right.

Indianapolis beat Jacksonville for current supremacy in the AFC South. When I began watching this game, it was the beginning of the second half, and the game was tied at 7-7 even though the Jaguars had utterly dominated it statistically. I turned to my friends and said, "Indy wins this. No doubt." And they did. You just don't contain Peyton Manning and that offense for 60 minutes, and you have to take advantage of your opportunites when you have them. Jacksonville needs to give Byron Leftwich the keys to the offense, because it looks inept and the reason they aren't yet Super Bowl material. Colin... picked this right.

Denver beat New England in a rematch of last year's Divisional matchup, and I have to admit it was an ugly game. More on that below, but Colin... picked this right.

Seattle annihilated the Giants. Colin... picked this right.

Carolina salvaged their season against the Bucs, who apparently lost theirs when Chris Simms went down with that spleen (prayers for his safe recovery). The Panthers still look very beatable and are a far cry from a Super Bowl team yet, although the talent is still there. Colin... picked this right.

Finally, Chicago beat the Vikings on that late fumble recovery in a statement game in the NFC North. Again, Colin picked it. Nutty.

Biggest Questions Out Of The Week

I'm going to start with New England (again), because that offense looks lost. Even the last scoring drive, where Tom Brady was only looking for his tight ends and Kevin Faulk (although Doug Gabriel did catch the eventual touchdown). It turned into a six minute "hurry up" drive, because he couldn't find a wide receiver open down the field. Now the Broncos do have a decent secondary, but that's ridiculous. It is obvious he misses Deion Branch and the sooner Pats fans actually fess up that fact the better off we'll be (also, isn't it ridiculous that one of their reasons is that Branch has never had a 1000 yard season when last year he had 998 yards? Talk about missing the forest...) At this point the Patriots are still the best team in the AFC East, since the Dolphins are BAD, but look for them to have more stumbles along the way.

The Ravens and their new "improved" offense with Steve McNair have now had three mediocre weeks to start the season. Until that "improvement" starts showing up on the scoreboard, the Ravens are only a borderline wild-card unit with no shot at going deep into the postseason.

The Giants... have issues. That secondary performance was one of the worst I've ever seen, not that I didn't appreciate it.

Kurt Warner gave his job away with a bad performace against the Rams, and the Cardinals still were in it at the end because the Rams can't score in the red zone. The Hawks will go at least 5-1 in the NFC West.

The Jaguars, as I wrote above, need to take advantage of the defense they've created by actually opening up their playbook. They have way too much offensive talent to play this bad.

The Bears finally showed some offensive woes of their own and have their defense to thank for a win... sounds a little familiar to last year.

The Steelers have yet to put it together offensively either. In fact, there are very few teams who have looked good moving the ball consistently. Maybe, just maybe, the Hawks aren't the only team who are going to improve.

Finally, the Atlanta Falcons just got exposed last night. That idiotic spread option offense is not suitable for the NFL. There's a reason the option/wishbone/gimmicky offense hasn't made the leap from college before. NFL defenders are too smart and fast to fall for a single dimension attack when given time to prepare. New Orleans just sent their defensive ends up the field to hem Michael Vick into the pocket and force him to hand off to Warrick Dunn, and then used the linebackers and safeties to hold it to a short gain. They played single coverage on the outside almost all game, and Vick was unable to make them pay since... he can't throw the football worth anything.

Most Impressive Performances of the Week

Although they didn't look great doing it, I was very impressed with what the Bengals were able to do in Pittsburgh. I thought they were going to take a step back (not a big one, but a step nonetheless) this year, and I may have been wrong on that one.

Of course New Orleans looked good, but we'll see how they play when they don't have quite the wave of emotion. Remember, they beat Carolina on opening day last year after Katrina, and then promptly sucked for the rest of the season.

Jake Delhomme wasted no time finding Steve Smith often, and Keyshawn Johnson was also a beneficiary. If Johnson and Smith are able to become a useful tandem, that Carolina offense will be scary good. There's a reason everyone was picking them...

Javon Walker singlehandedly won the game for the Broncos on the offensive side of the ball against New England Sunday night. That long touchdown run after the catch was beautiful and showed the combination of speed and power that made him such a factor in Green Bay. Broncos fans have to be salivating over his potential with Rod Smith (if Jake Plummer decides to un-suck).

This was quite the week. I don't care what else happens next week, but everyone better be on the couch (or standing up) by Sunday night!

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