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, October 21, 2006

Game 6: Minnesota at SEATTLE

For some reason, Blogger has been down for a while, so for all those who have been desperately awaiting this preview... my apologies.

Congratulations to the UW Huskies for yet again coming "this close" to knocking off a top 10 opponent on the road. They are now 0-3 in such opportunities, and each time have been closer. At some point for the program to be taken seriously they should actually try winning.

Also, if anyone hasn't seen the NFL Replay or NFL Films Game of the Week of the St Louis game, then shame on you. The NFL Replay might be one of the coolest new inventions for football fans in years.

Oh yeah... so Minnesota is playing Seattle tomorrow. Anyone hear that Steve Hutchinson plays for the Vikings? Well, he does... and that means extroardinarily litle in terms of who I think will win.

Five "Gut" Reasons for Optimism

1. Qwest Field. Now that we've had two games on the road, fans might have a tendency to forget how good how team, and especially our defense, can be at home. We have had two completely dominating home performances. No reason we can't have a third.

2. Brad Johnson quarterbacks the Vikings. Frightened? Only if you are a three year old girl.

3. Jerramy Stevens is back. I know I wrote this last week, but seriously, we could really use his big play ability up the middle and in the red zone. He will definitely help the running game by helping us pass in run formations.

4. We won't have to see Isaiah Kazcyvenski (however you spell his friggin' name) every other minute.

5. Minnesota lacks anyone with big play ability on either side of the ball, which forces them to play ball control offense, which completely plays into our hands.

Five "Gut" Reasons for Pessimism

1. Chris Spencer got totally abused last week. He has seemed to get progressively worse as the starts have continued. We simply can't have this constant battering of Hasselbeck continue... he will go down.

2. Which Holmgren will show up? Bad Holmgren, from the 1st half last week, or Good Holmgren, from the second half? Can we run?

3. Is our pass rush going to come alive again? Will Grant Wistrom EVER get one in a big moment? I make fun of Brad Johnson above, but if given time he can very quietly and smartly pick a defense apart.

4. There is the potential for an emotional letdown after such a big win last week. We can't allow for that to happen and must get to 5-1.

5. We had WAY too many penalties last week... definitely not Mike Holmgren football.

It's All About the Stats

1. Minnesota may have Hutch and the offensive line hype, but their rushing attack is not very good. They are 23rd in Stuffed at 26.8%, and 30th in Power Success at a measly 33.3%. They are simply not picking up tough yards, and of course this plays right into our defense's hands.

2. What about Minny's passing attack? They are really good at protecting the passer, a terrific adjusted sack rate of only 3.8% (compared to 9.7% for us). Their number one WR in DPAR is Troy Williamson, a terrible 62nd in the league. That's right... 62nd. After all these weeks of dealing with Roy Williams, Larry Fitzgerald and Torry Holt, this does not present an inordinate challenge for the "D".

3. Why is getting Jerramy Stevens back important? Well, last year Stevens was the 6th rated TE in DPAR in the league, 7th in DVOA at 24.3%. That is a huge weapon back in the arsenal. Huge.

4. Darrell Jackson is the 3rd most valuable receiver in the NFL right now, and Deion Branch, after missing the first few weeks, is rocketing up the charts himself (currently at 40th). While the rushing attack is still lacking in consistency, the passing work is really clicking. What does Minnesota do against the pass? The Vikings are allowing a league worst 80.6% DVOA for the opponents' #1 WR. While they are better against the #2, the #3 is getting a 31.7% DVOA, 26th in the league. This is good news.

5. Finally, the Vikings don't get consistent pressure on the QB, which a mediocre 6.0% adjusted sack rate, right in front of the Houston Texans. However, they do have a good rushing defense. It's probably going to be a passing type of game.

This should definitely be a win... these Hawks should ride the crowd to 5-1. Let's rock it tomorrow!

posted by Gavin @ 9:14 PM  2 comments


At 1:17 AM, Blogger colin_hesse said...

I'm talking to a Vikings fan tonight and he pulls out the usual and Scouts Inc. lines about this game, and specifically how the Vikes will be able to run the ball against our "smallish" defensive line. I had to tell him, "Look, man. It's entirely possible that you guys might win, but if you win, it will NOT be because of the rushing attack. Ask Tiki Barber, Stephen Jackson, or even Thomas Jones how that worked out." If you want to beat the Hawks defense, the simple choice is to throw, and to throw deep. Brad Johnson CAN do that, though he doesn't get any credit for that, but people refuse to believe that the Hawks have a pretty doggone good rushing defense, espeically with Marcus Tubbs (NOT SMALLISH) clogging the lanes.

Actually, if we lose, it will be because of turnovers. Seriously. The Vikings have a nice ballhawking defense, and the Seahawks have loved to give other teams the football this season so far. Give Brad Johnson a short field and he can do some damage. If we lose the turnover battle, it's likely we lose the game.

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys should really stop with all the omens. Pretty much everything you said about the Vikings came true......ugh did anything good happen for the Hawks today?



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