How fucked are the Seahawks without Sherman & Browner?
That’s a question on everyone’s minds this week as the Seahawks face a do-or-die matchup with the Bears in Chicago. Make no mistake, this game this week IS do-or-die, thanks to the utter choke-job down in Miami. Maybe they were caught looking ahead to a more-impressive opponent? We’ll see. If they start out as stagnant on offense, and if they finish as lamely as they did last week, it’ll be hard to use that as an excuse.
For the time being, Sherman & Browner are playing. But, for how long? Because there isn’t a sliver of a doubt in my mind that both will be found guilty and both will face their 4-game suspensions at some point. Whether they’re guilty or not, whether it was a simple misunderstanding or not, whether they intentionally tried to cheat the system with performance-enhancing drugs or not, they will be found guilty. Because that’s how it works with these things. The League has all the power and leverage; all Sherman & Browner have are their stories and their alibis. Excuses for possible momentary lapses in judgment; if you choose to believe them.
Everyone has a story for why their piss came back tainted. Of course, there are reasons to believe them and reasons to not. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that a professional athlete was careless with what he put into his body. We’re not exactly dealing with a bunch of Einsteins here. Then again, on the flipside, you’d have to think a guy who is in peak physical condition, whose job is to be one of the best in the world at what he does – professional athlete – if he is going to know ANYTHING, it would be what he puts into his body.
But, maybe I’m off base, on both accounts. I don’t want to get in the habit of generalizing these guys as “Dumb Jocks”. I likewise don’t want to assume they’re out there counting calories and controlling their portions and all that. Maybe they thought they’d be shrewd and would get away with their cheating … or maybe they’re just lucky and can consume anything they get their hands on while remaining in peak physical condition.
Regardless, it’s best to keep your hopes low on this one. There are many other reasons to be disappointed in life, but holding your breath and crossing your fingers over a couple of sure-thing suspensions shouldn’t be one of them. You’re looking at anywhere from 95-98% of these appeals being denied and suspensions being upheld, so it’s time to start focusing on “when”, not “if”.
WHEN they get suspended, how fucked are we?
Well, first of all, you should probably hope beyond hope that these suspensions happen sooner rather than later. Even before the loss to Miami, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this season being a Championship one. Ergo, it’s probably better we get these 4-game suspensions out of the way now. So we can go into next year with a legitimate hope for a title run (or, at the very least, a deep playoff run).
I know there’s the argument out there that we should hope that this appeal drags out for as long as possible, but frankly I just don’t see it. Yeah, the team could plan ahead if they were suspended for the first four games of 2013, but do you think that whatever contingency plan they come up with is going to be as good as simply having Browner and Sherman back there doing their things? Because I don’t! Honestly, I don’t think any contingency plan is going to be all that much better than what we’d do THIS year with them gone.
Likely, that will involve Walter Thurmond in a starting role. Likely, Marcus Trufant will be moved back to whichever side of the field suits him as a starter. And likely, whoever’s left over will be moved into that nickel corner role. With Earl Thomas also likely playing a bigger part as a cover corner.
I’m asking you, is that REALLY that bad? Yeah, in an ideal world, Trufant will be retired before next year; but what if we need him next year because Sherman and Browner are out? Do you really want to see what Trufant looks like 9 months from now? Is it even REMOTELY possible he will have gained back whatever step he has lost? Because, I highly doubt it.
This year, however, I think you can lean on him for one final push. He is a veteran, after all. He knows how to play his old position, utilize the sideline and all that. I’ll take him starting the last four games of a mostly-lost season over him starting the first four next year.
In short, yeah, the Seahawks are probably fucked. But, I think we’ll be a lot LESS fucked if we can burn off these suspensions this year as opposed to next. Either way, I’ll be interested to see how the defense adjusts. Won’t be as much press-coverage, I’ll tell you that much.
On to the rankings:
- San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1): The 49ers are an elite team with Alex Smith. With Colin Kaepernick, they might be a fucking dynasty! I shit you not. They also might be nothing special, but something in my gut tells me Kaepernick is the real deal and we as Seahawks fans should be scared shitless. We’ll see. (Last Week: 1)
- Atlanta Falcons (10-1): Nice road win against a surging Tampa team. It doesn’t get much easier the rest of the way; they can thank the Rams for giving them a good 2-game cushion over the 49ers for that #1 seed. (Last Week: 2)
- Houston Texans (10-1): They should’ve lost that game on Thanksgiving. Lucky bastards. Lucky that Jim Schwartz is such a tool! (Last Week: 3)
- Baltimore Ravens (9-2): They ALSO should have lost and are ALSO lucky bastards. Lucky that Norv Turner is a God damn dickhole! (Last Week: 5)
- Denver Broncos (8-3): They just keep winning. (Last Week: 6)
- Chicago Bears (8-3): What a difference a healthy Cutler makes. Still, I know the Seahawks suck dick on the road, but they shouldn’t take this week’s game for granted. Their offensive line will REALLY need to step up. And someone better be around to pick up the slack when Brandon Marshall goes on lockdown. Given the matchup fits and their latest round of injuries last week, the Seahawks will be no cakewalk. (Last Week: 7)
- New England Patriots (8-3): Run up the score all you want, it’s not going to mask how shitty your defense is. (Last Week: 8)
- New York Giants (7-4): HUGE win over a Packers team that came in with a 5-game winning streak. Who knows, this game might determine who gets the 3-seed and who gets the 4-seed. Also known as: who gets to play Chicago in the first round of the playoffs. (Last Week: 9)
- Green Bay Packers (7-4): I like their schedule going forward. Minnesota is on the fast decline. All they have to do is win in Soldier Field to take the head-to-head tiebreaker and thus the division. (Last Week: 4)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5): This team is going to be a chore for every team they play the rest of the way. Very deserving of their Top 10 ranking. (Last Week: 11)
- Indianapolis Colts (7-4): Fucking smoke and mirrors does it again. I can’t believe they’re going to make the playoffs with this team … (Last Week: 12)
- Cincinnati Bengals (6-5): SURGING! With no end in sight! (Last Week: 13)
- New Orleans (5-6): Their nice little run ended with a thud at home against the 49ers. Now they hit the road to face Atlanta and the Giants. Are you familiar with the phrase “tits up”? (Last Week: 14)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-5): This team is NOT a Top 10 team. Top 10 teams win on the road against shitty Dolphin teams. (Last Week: 10)
- Washington Redskins (5-6): Impressive road win against an unimpressive Cowboys team on Thanksgiving. If they can do it at home against the Giants on Monday night, I’ll buy them as For Real. (Last Week: 19)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5): Man, Charlie Batch? Seriously? The Seahawks just waived Josh Portis, I SERIOUSLY suggest you consider starting him this weekend. It will be a VAST improvement. (Last Week: 15)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-5): Lamest 6-5 team in the NFL. (Last Week: 16)
- Dallas Cowboys (5-6): Their last three victories were against Cleveland, Philly, and Carolina. And the Browns took them to overtime! (Last Week: 17)
- Detroit Lions (4-7): They had opportunities to win each of their last three games. They lost them all. And so ends the Lions’ season. (Last Week: 18)
- St. Louis Rams (4-6-1): Yeah, you beat the Cardinals, BFD. (Last Week: 21)
- Miami Dolphins (5-6): Yeah, you beat the Seahawks, BFD. (Last Week: 26)
- San Diego Chargers (4-7): Yeah, you … wait, you LOST? They converted 4th and WHAT??? (Last Week: 20)
- Tennessee Titans (4-7): They went into Miami, absolutely destroyed them, had a BYE week, then went into Jacksonville and lost. THIS is why the NFL is retarded. (Last Week: 22)
- Buffalo Bills (4-7): Someone needs to take their coaching staff and front office behind the stadium and put bullets in their heads. (Last Week: 24)
- New York Jets (4-7): Yeah, if I was their unofficial mascot, I’d quit too. (Last Week: 25)
- Cleveland Browns (3–8): In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the
IndiansBrowns have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar. (Last Week: 28)
- Carolina Panthers (3-8): Oh, there was a professional football game on last night? (Last Week: 29)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9): Chad Henne: savior. What are “words no one has ever thought to utter, ever”? (Last Week: 31)
- Arizona Cardinals (4-7): It’s like the Whis is TRYING to get himself shit-canned! (Last Week: 23)
- Oakland Raiders (3-8): Sometimes it’s just better to implode the whole fucking thing and start over from scratch. (Last Week: 27)
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-8): Ditto. (Last Week: 30)
- Kansas City Chiefs (1-10): Brady Fucking Quinn. I mean, “ditto”. (Last Week: 32)