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!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Week Two: Arizona at SEATTLE

We are one day away from one of the best days of the year... the home opener for your Seattle Seahawks! Entering the sphere of pain is one overhyped team, the Arizona Cardinals. Our team, a bit battered and bruised from an unimpressive week one, is ready to put some questions to rest... and me, your faithful writer, will be rocking it from the 300 level from the minute opening lineups are given.

I can guarantee a few things about the pregame festivities...

1. I will tear up several times
2. Alana will not have any idea what she's getting herself in for
3. Colin will be insanely jealous for missing everything
4. The place will be going absolutely nuts insane

Frequent commentor (at least during football season, when apparently we're actually readable) Eric has pointed out that many people make their predictions based on the gambling spread. That would be why Petey Prisco picks us to win on one page, but picks Arizona to beat the spread on the other. Frankly, I feel that's an insanely cheap way to pick NFL games... way to take a stand, Petey.

On to the preview!

Five "Gut" Reasons For Optimism

1. The Hawks have to be just aching to play this game. The offensive line especially looks to drastically improve on an unimpressive (to put it mildly) week one, and since the Cardinals lack anyone with the playmaking skills of Shaun Rogers, that seems as a likely proposition.
2. The Cardinals let the 49ers put up 27 points against them... at home.
3. The crowd is going to be unbelievable, and if you think that has no effect on a game, you weren't at either of the playoff battles.
4. Leroy Hill should be back, and make our defense that much faster and stronger (I wasn't very impressed with DD Lewis a week ago).
5. The karma gods are on our side, as long as Arizona remains such a hyped team prior to actually deserving it.

Five "Gut" Reasons For Pessimism

1. Pork Chop Womack looked like a giant pork chop, and now he's going up against Bertrand Berry. Can he step up? Can Walter Jones, who also looked like he'd lost a step?
2. Can Nate Burleson, Darrell Jackson, and yes, even Deion Branch get open down the field? Our leading receiver sure better not be Mack Strong.
3. Who's the long snapper? Losing JP Darche is an underrated blow to an already weak field goal unit... our confidence can't be too high this week especially if Josh Brown is asked to kick a deep game winning field goal.
4. Our cornerbacks are short, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are tall... and dominated us the past two seasons. This is our first huge secondary test.
5. We looked especially turnover prone against Detroit. At home that's giving Arizona all they need to come away with the victory.

It's All About The Stats!

1. That darn Arizona offensive line. We've gone over this multiple times, so no need to really rehash the statistics, but...
Since they haven't been able to rush in either the preseason or Week One (against SF) the addition of Edgerrin James doesn't appear to have made a significant impact.
2. If you think Shaun Alexander is going to be stuck below 60 yards for two weeks in a row you're a mental patient. Still, Arizona ranked #2 in STUFFED themselves defensively, so it won't be as easy as we'd like to think.
3. With the return of Leroy Hill, that #1 sack unit (#6 in adjusted sacks on FO) will be able to generate more pressure... necessary pressure to force Warner into bad decisions and interceptions.
4. The Hawks allow true #1 wide receivers to go nuts (12.9% DVOA), so expect a big day from Larry Fitzgerald.
5. 10-0 at home in 2005. 10-0. Time to start a new streak.

Since we're still a few weeks away from having a true statistical analysis of where teams stand, we still are too much into "guess mode", which I don't particularly like. This game boils down to a simple fact... if Arizona still can't run the football, they lose this game. I don't see them doing it, not against a run defense that looked as strong as ours. So we win, and probably by double digits.

posted by Gavin @ 10:05 AM  0 comments


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