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!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Week Six Recap: Wowsers.....








Those thoughts, and more, ran through my head in what just might be the turn-around game that we have been waiting for this entire season from the Seattle Seahawks. I have several thoughts about this game, but they are all over the place, so I'm neglecting my usual format and just writing off the cuff:

-- Huge goat in this game? Scott Linehan, or whoever is calling the offensive plays for St. Louis. Let me show you how the Rams scored their early 21 points, on three of their first four drives (and they really should have scored on the fourth drive as well).

Drive 1:
1st and 10 at SL 26:(14:56) M.Bulger pass deep right to T.Holt pushed ob at SEA 36 for 38 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 36:(14:34) S.Jackson right end to SEA 36 for no gain
2nd and 10 at SEA 36:(13:59) M.Bulger pass short left to J.Klopfenstein to SEA 27 for 9 yards 3rd and 1 at SEA 27:(13:20) M.Hedgecock up the middle to SEA 25 for 2 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 25:(12:41) M.Bulger pass short left to T.Holt to SEA 20 for 5 yards
2nd and 5 at SEA 20:(12:05) S.Jackson left guard to SEA 12 for 8 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 12:(11:24) (Shotgun) S.Jackson right guard to SEA 10 for 2 yards
2nd and 8 at SEA 10: (10:44) (Shotgun) M.Bulger pass short left to I.Bruce to SEA 4 for 6 yards
3rd and 2 at SEA 4:(10:03) PENALTY on SL-O.Pace, False Start, 5 yards
3rd and 7 at SEA 9: (9:42) (Shotgun) M.Bulger pass short left to T.Holt for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Drive 1 Summary: 5 pass, 4 rush

Drive 2:
1st and 5 at SL 28:(4:19) S.Jackson right guard to SL 31 for 3 yards
2nd and 2 at SL 31:(3:45) S.Jackson right guard to SL 32 for 1 yard
3rd and 1 at SL 32:(3:05) M.Bulger pass deep right to J.Klopfenstein to SEA 40 for 28 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 40:(2:23) M.Bulger pass short right to S.Jackson to SEA 35 for 5 yards
2nd and 5 at SEA 35:(1:44) S.Jackson right guard to SEA 26 for 9 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 26:(1:10) M.Bulger pass incomplete short right to M.Hedgecock
2nd and 10 at SEA 26:(1:03) S.Jackson up the middle to SEA 23 for 3 yards
3rd and 7 at SEA 23:(:27) (Shotgun) M.Bulger pass short right to I.Bruce pushed ob at SEA 15 for 8 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 15:(15:00) S.Jackson left tackle to SEA 9 for 6 yards
2nd and 4 at SEA 9:(14:25) M.Bulger pass short right to T.Holt to SEA 5 for 4 yards
1st and 5 at SEA 5:(13:47) S.Jackson up the middle to SEA 2 for 3 yards
2nd and 2 at SEA 2:(13:06) S.Jackson right tackle for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Drive 2 Summary: 5 pass, 7 rush

Drive 3:
M.Bulger pass short right to S.Jackson to SEA 34 for 8 yards
2nd and 2 at SEA 34:(5:35) S.Jackson up the middle to SEA 33 for 1 yard
3rd and 1 at SEA 33:(4:50) S.Jackson right tackle to SEA 29 for 4 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 29:(4:08) M.Bulger pass short right to T.Holt to SEA 12 for 17 yards
1st and 10 at SEA 12:(3:26) S.Jackson left tackle to SEA 10 for 2 yards
2nd and 8 at SEA 10:(2:47) M.Bulger pass short right to T.Holt for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Drive 3 Summary: 3 pass, 3 rush

Total offensive balance: 13 pass, 14 rush

Our defense didn't know, at any particular point, what type of play would be coming at them. Would it be Stephen Jackson running hard down the middle of the field? Would it be a quick route to Isaac Bruce? Would it be a deep ball to uber-receiver Tory Holt? We had no idea, and it showed. We were completely on our heels.

Then....... their offense slowed down. Sure, we can take some defensive credit for that, but here's the balance summary for drives after the third touchdown.

Total offensive balance: 23 pass, 5 rush


I was at a sports bar, talking to a genial Rams fan the entire game, and we both were amazed by how the Rams forgot that they had Stephen Jackson around to carry the football in the second half. Remember, most of those plays were chosen with a lead. They only had two drives where they were behind, and one of them only took two plays before Tatupu picked off Bulger. Our theory was that Mike Martz REALLY wanted back into this rivalry and was controlling the Rams coaches telepathically from Detroit. No other explanation made sense.

But, seriously, this was absolutley stupid. Suddenly, our defense knew how to handle the Rams offense. Blitz, blitz, blitz. And blitz. 4 times during those 23 pass plays, with an interception to boot. These were the Rams that we knew and loved from previous years, and, thus, we knew what to do. I have absolutely NO IDEA what got into Scott Linehan, but I have a theory. There's something about having these nice pretty offensive weapons like Bulger, Bruce, and Holt. You want to play with them. They're exciting, and you REALLY want to use them when it seems like everything is clicking. This is also BAD Holmgren syndrome. This was a LARGE part of how the Hawks got back into this ballgame after being squashed for an entire half.

-- On the flip side, Bad Holmgren showed up to play in the first half, with predictable results:

1st half offensive balance for Seattle: 16 pass, 5 rush

That's pathetic. Morris had a total of 2 yards, and the Rams were just blitzing everyone because they knew that Hasselback was passing. FOR SURE.

So Holmgren gets mad at the entire team (hopefully including himself) at the half and.... VOILA!! Brand spanking new offense (best show of the early season).

2nd half offensive balance: 24 pass, 21 rush

All of a sudden Morris has 70 yards, we rush for over 100 yards for the game, and the offense clicks. This isn't rocket science, people. The Hawks aren't the Colts. Heck, the Colts aren't even the Colts this year until Addai comes into his own. You need to have balance in the NFL, or else defenses will eat you alive. We had balance. We scored a lot of points. It's that simple. Hasselbeck, all of a sudden, looked calm and collected again. The pass protection actually held up. Receivers were getting open. It clicked. Now we can only hope that Holmgren continues this against the Vikings next Sunday, even without Shaun (it looks like we're without him for another two weeks, according to Pro Football Talk). It's the only way for our offense to succeed.

-- Game ball to Deion Branch, who was worth a first round draft pick today, my friends. He was all that and a bag of chips, catching the hard balls, being a deep threat down the field, and looking like the gamebreaking #2 receiver that we have never had. Outstanding performance.

-- Real game ball goes to Tory Holt, who was unconscious today. Just an unbelievable performance by someone who seems to always find an extra gear against the Hawks.

-- We had no sound for the game in the sports bar, so I honestly thought the game was over after the illegal formation penalty against the Hawks. Trust me when I say that you might have seen a grown man close to tears if that had held up.

-- Bestest sight of the game? Scott Linehan getting crunched. The Rams fan chuckled and said, "Good thing he was wearing his headset." My response, "Kinda wish it would have happened to Holmgren. Seems like that would have been funnier."

-- We still need Stevens back. Badly. Hopefully he will be ready to go by Sunday, since it was a surprise that he was scratched for this game.

-- Can we find a punter, anywhere in the United States, who knows how to be consistent with his punts? Anyone? This can't be that complicated, people. I refuse to believe that.

-- To those of us who were complimenting the Seahawks secondary after the first two weeks.... the fun is over. Trufant and Herndon? Owch.

-- To those of us who were complimenting Chris Spencer after his sub in week 2..... the fun is over. Spencer? Owch.

However, big props to Josh Brown, who has done us consistently proud after missing the potential game winner in Washington last year. That field goal would have been good from 60. No question.

Any other thoughts? Tell me. This was a game that vaulted us into a solid lead in the NFC West, and back into contention for home-field advantage (the only other 5-1 team is the ultra-surprising Saints). Let's take care of business at home, Hawks. We should beat the Vikings, if we don't let down after a very emotional win.

posted by colin_hesse @ 9:25 PM  5 comments


At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Ryan said...

To my great chagrin, the game was not broadcast here in Ohio. I forgot till too late about the whole sports bar thing.

Sounds like a great game, what was with the whole illegal formation thing though?

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Eric K said...

Its not a 10 second run off because it wasn't a stop the clock penalty (ie false start), it is only a penalty once they snap the ball, Burelson was lined up too far behind the line, but at any point before the snap he could have moved up and been ok.

Which makes him the 2nd most relieved guy after Brown nailed the 54 yarder, the other being Morris of course.

Shows you just can't trust a Duck. I don't care that Holmgren wasted a TO on a challenege he had no chance of winning, or the secondary let the Rams complete a 3rd and forever just before the TD pass to Holt. As bad as those things were the bottom line is the game is over if friggin Morris puts boths friggin hands on the friggin ball when he dives into the tacklers. Sheesh, what an absolute bone headed play, he already had the first down, all he needed to do was go down without losing the ball!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

No arguments here on Morris. I still can't believe he coughed that one up. That would have been THREE games the Rams would have won on late fumbles.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Mariner Optimist said...

Sports bars are the saviors of us out-of-towners who do not wish to purchase the Sunday Ticket package.

The conservative playcalling when up 3, the Morris fumble, the just-missed safety were all there making me know the Holt TD was inevitable. I was just happy that the Rams scored so quickly and gave us time to go back down the field.

The draw play was a terrible call, and my heart when into the toilet when I saw the Rams celebrating the penalty. I was likewise without sound so I thought it was over, but I kept a keen eye on the refs and none were signalling game over.

Once we got that second life, I knew we were going to win it. As Josh Brown was moving back five yards, I raised my arms in victory, waited for the inevitable good kick, found the other Seahawk fan (in Largent uniform) in this Austin, TX sportsbar, and shared the pitcher of beer I won with a halftime bet with a Rams fan.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

It really doesn't get much better than a Monday where you are doing nothing but skimming other websites trying to find their reactions to an improbable victory for your team... not unlike what the Cardinals are doing right now to the Bears.


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