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!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What....... Game Recap?

There was only one possible avenue that would have resulted in a game recap being posted either Sunday or Monday. That would be me, Colin, getting paid to write it by some sap, Gavin. No money meant absolutely no desire to relive the catastrophe of the Vikings coming to Qwest Field.

I almost titled this post, "The End of Respect". In a way, that's where I feel the Seahawks went. This site made a HUGE point last year about the lack of respect given to Seattle by the various Peteys of the mainstream media. We were picked to lose against Washington. We were definitely picked to lose against Carolina. And then...... we were in the Super Bowl.

Here's where the story gets a little interesting. Yes, during the lead up to the big game there were a plethora of stories about Jerome Bettis, Big Ben, Dick LeBeau, etc., etc. There were simply more storylines about the Pittsburgh Steelers. I admit that. However, when it actually came time for the experts to choose sides, a fair number sided with Seattle to become champions of the NFL. I really didn't feel disrespected going into the game.

Well, since that change of heart, the media continued to shower us with some love, ranking us #1 in the ESPN preseason power poll, getting Shaun on the cover of Madden, and generally counting us as one of the few title-hopeful teams. Sure, most predicted Carolina to go to the Super Bowl, but it was a pick over us in the NFC Championship Game. That's not a problem of respect, it's a guess pick before the season starts.

Our actual record since we started to get some love? 4-3. With those four wins, one was a squeaker over the Detroit Lions (who, by the way, are terrible and I'm going to stop picking for them to win NFL games), one was a win over an overhyped Cardinals team (who just lost to Oakland), one was a blowout of the Giants before they started to get good, and one was another squeaker against the St. Louis Rams.

In those wins, and certainly in those losses, we really haven't looked all that great. Seriously. We haven't. There was a reason why this site was not one to complain about how the refs cost us the Super Bowl. Sure, they didn't help, but the Hawks didn't appear to want to win that one. We have allowed more points than we have scored this year. Our offensive line has been abysmal, to the point where I wonder if Steve Hutchinson didn't play LG, C, RG, and RT by multiplying himself like that jagoff in the recent X-Men movie. Michael Boulware was on his way to becoming a star until he started guessing wrong. Constantly. Shaun couldn't get going and then he was injured. Walter has been hobbling since Week 1. Ditto Chris Gray and Sean Locklear. Stevens has been out. Hasselbeck is now out.

You want a list of teams in the NFC who simply look better right now?

1. Chicago Bears
This is the obvious one, what with that killer defense and improved offense, though I do think that they will lose a few before all is said and done.

2. New Orleans Saints
Don't hate me, but the Saints offense looks more consistent than ours right now. McAllister is running hard, and Drew Brees has been cool and efficient.

3. NY Giants
I agree with Gavin that this team has found a little something the past few weeks, especially on the defensive end. They continue that, and they can go places.

4. Minnesota Vikings
Do I WANT to include them on this list? Of course not. But I have to, because they kinda just beat us by 20, even though virtually all their scoring was due to brain farts by various Seahawks (two by Boulware).

5. Philadelphia Eagles
Put it this way. Would YOU want to face them in the playoffs right now? With that blitzing defense against our porous offensive line?

6. Carolina Panthers
I know they just lost again, but they outplayed Cincy and should have won. The defense looked as good as they had all year.

You could, I guess, make an argument for St. Louis, or possibly Atlanta, but I'm trying to be a realist here, not stupid. My point here is not to be a wet blanket, or to overemphasize the downside of the loss. I'm just looking at the NFC and noticing that the Hawks aren't playing like a top-tier team. Not right now, and not this season. MY respect for them has dropped. Forget the media. I'm hoping for a playoff berth now instead of booking plane fare for Miami in February. I'm hoping for ONE home playoff game instead of two.

Those hopes hinge on the fact that this is still a very talented football team. A VERY talented football team who might have relaxed once that respect started to come about from the national media. The pressure to succeed just might have relaxed, even by a little, but just enough to lose the chip on the shoulder, the push to prove the doubters wrong.

The good news is that the Seattle Seahawks are 4-2 so far this season, the same as last season at this time. They have beaten the Rams once, which is HUGE as the division title goes. They have already won two road games, which helps negate the blow of losing a home game already. However, this is gut check time. Gavin already posted on the upcoming games without Hasselbeck. Someone has to step up. Not next week, that's a lost cause. Arrowhead with Wallace and Morris? No. But after that? I, at the very least, want to see some of the fire back in this team. I saw it during the second half against the Rams, but it faded and was nowhere to be found against the Vikings. In fact, it appeared that the entire team gave up after Matt went down.

It's time to earn that respect. Once again. Earn it while everyone comes at you with the best they got because YOU have the target on your uniforms that say defending NFC Champions. Earn it without your best players. Earn it by, once again, playing the stifling defense that really was the difference for us last year. Earn it by doing your job. Just earn it.

posted by colin_hesse @ 3:20 PM  0 comments

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