Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Final Countdown!!!....

Really it's not the FINAL countdown, but if you talked football to anyone in the state of Washington, you'd think it was the final countdown.

In less than 12 hours from right now (as I'm typing), the Seahawks (forever known as the team that can't win) will be playing the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton, Marvin, Edge, and Reggie are bringing their show to town, and it's Christmas Eve to boot. What's the prediction? Who wins this game?!

I've been going John Kerry on this pick; I picked against the 'Hawks before I picked the 'Hawks.

I can hear you now, saying something along the lines of, "wha....?" Here's the explanation.

Everyone knows that Seattle is tough as nails at home (unless it's a playoff game against the Rams), and everyone knows that Indy is the best team in the league. So how does all of this breakdown?

While people here in Washington like to point out that Seattle has "the NFL's #1 offense," they don't watch football. I do. On top of that, I spend all week analyzing it. Seattle is ranked like that because they've got possibly the easiest schedule in modern NFL history. My high school alma matter would provide as much challenge to the 'Hawks as teams like SF and ARZ have. So, the 'Hawks have a great record, and Shawn Alexander has put up really good numbers. But, THEY HAVEN'T PLAYED ANYONE.

  • They lost to the Jags, a team which is in the AFC playoff picture.
  • They squeaked by ATL, here at home, by a field goal.
  • They beat Arizona, which they probably could have done with me playing RB.
  • The week after their win against ARZ, they lost to Washington, who was a good team at the time.
  • Then they got past STL and HOU, both terrible teams.
  • Then Dallas came to Seattle and actually beat the 'Hawks, only their kicker didn't get the memo that the football goes BETWEEN the goal posts (I didn't mind SEA winning that game, since I picked them, but they shouldn't have won). DAL released their kicker after that.
  • Then wins against ARZ, STL, and a 2-point-squeaker by SF. They beat a 2-12 team by 2 points (and there was some question as to whether or not the SF player crossed the goalline at the end of the game)!!
  • Following that week came what was essentially a repeat of the DAL game, better team (NYG) comes into town, vastly outperforms the 'Hawks, but their kicker forgets how to kick, missing 3 field goals! Any one of the three missed FGs would have given the Giants the win. Seattle ends up barely getting by in an overtime win. New York had: more passing yards, more rushing yards, a better 3rd down conversion percentage, fewer turnovers, and a longer time of possession.
  • After that stinker, there was a 42-0 blowout at Philly. This was where pretty much everyone got on the 'Hawks bandwagon, and I can understand the logic. "They just blew out the NFC Champs, at home, in a shutout?! They must be GREAT!" was the line of thinking that many people had, as they jumped on the Seahawks' bandwagon. Problem is, PHI was done before Seattle got there to play that game. Everyone knows that Terrell Owens was suspended by the team, TO being the top WR in the NFL. On top of that, PHI was playing their 3rd string QB. PHI lost their starting RB, only to have their 5th string RB make a fumble which was returned by SEA for a TD. So to believe that Seattle shutdown a powerhouse team, as so many people who are now on the bandwagon believe, is misinformed.
  • Following that Monday Night win was a blowout against SF, and then last week a 4 point win against a team that was 4-9 heading into the game! They let Steve McNair have 310 yards passing and two TDs! McNair should be in a wheelchair, not putting up those kinds of numbers.

On ESPN's Sportsnation Coach Approval Rankings Holmgren is 4th. He's behind Nick Saban, coach of the 7-7 Miami Dolphins, and the other coaches that are ahead of him also have worse records than the 'Hawks. People know that SEA isn't all they appear to be. Seattle has the 16th ranked defense in the NFL right now. Taking that, and the ease of their schedule into account, along with the performance so far this season, I gave IND the win, especially since they were unbeaten at the time I was thinking all of this. So first I picked against the 'Hawks.

Then Indy goes and loses a game to San Diego. That changed everything. Then Tony Dungy's (Indy's coach) son dies. Now, on top of dealing with their grief (everyone on the team liked James Dungy, and he was a regular at games), they also don't have anything to be playing for (from an "on paper" standpoint). Having their division and homefield advantage wrapped up, Indy doesn't have a whole lot to be playing for, and isn't going to want to get any of their starters injured. So the scale tips Seattle's way.

I foresee Indy's offensive starters playing approximately until halftime (this is assuming there isn't a blowout), and then the team putting their second or third string guys out there in the second half, essentially giving Seattle the win. They don't need the win now! People don't seem to understand that, especially 'Hawks bandwagon people. For those people who really are 'Hawks fan, the people who've been watching and cheering all season, this year and in the past, I am happy for them. To see fans getting rewarded for putting up with such a terrible franchise is nice.

I have now officially picked the Seahawks to win tomorrow's game, but I don't like to do so. In fact, even though I've picked the 'Hawks, I wouldn't mind seeing Indy win the game.

If the 'Hawks can wrap up homefield advantage, they'll certainly be tough to beat in the playoffs. But being that SF, ARZ, and STL are not going to be the teams they play in the playoffs, maybe Seattle won't be so tough to beat? Everyone wants to think that this Christmas Eve game is a Super Bowl preview, but it's not. Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, and an assortment of other players won't be making the trip, and everyone knows that the starters aren't going to play the whole game. This isn't a Super Bowl preview anymore than watching Texas vs USC is going to be a Super Bowl preview. It's too bad too, since if this was a REAL game, then it would be great to watch.

If you want to see a good game tomorrow, watch something like ATL v TB, SD v KC, or NYG v WAS. Those are games where something is really on the line, and the teams involved are good (not really WAS, but the others are).

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