Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 15

So, Seahawks fans, who would you rather play?  Washington or Dallas?

There are reasons to fear them both.  First and foremost, either one we play will be on the road.  Remember all those teams bitching about a 7-9 Seahawks team hosting a playoff game?  Chickens coming home to roost, my friends.  How do you feel, as a potential 11-5 team, going on the road to face a 10-6 Redskins team or a 9-7 Cowboys team?  Kinda like you got gypped a little bit, right?

Yes, the Seahawks are vastly improved, but that still doesn’t mean going on the road is an easy thing to do in the NFL.  The question is:  which team has the better Home Field Advantage?

Well, the Redskins are 4-3 at home this season, with one game left to play against the Cowboys this Sunday.  The Cowboys finished 4-4 at home this season.  Ostensibly, this game on Sunday could go a long way in determining who has the best home field advantage.  But, if we take records out of it, what are you left with?  Well, the Dallas Cowboys are the Dallas Cowboys.  They’re “America’s Team”.  You can scoff at that all you want, but there’s still a history and a mystique surrounding the Cowboys.  They’ve got that gaudy stadium and that ridiculous jumbo-tron and they can cram 80,000 fans, which has to be the most intimidating sight in the NFL.

Except, hold the phone.  FedEx Field, where Washington plays, holds anywhere from 85,000 to over 90,000 (depending on which website you believe).  And, given the recent history of the Redskins, you have to believe that fanbase is STARVING for some action!

Neither team is all that impressive, especially on defense.  They both give up over 24 points per game, while the Seahawks are best in the league, giving up only 15.5 points per game.  However, the Redskins are amazing on offense, averaging 27 (while Dallas only scores 24).  For the record, the Seahawks are up to 26 points per game (and climbing each and every week).

The Redskins have won 6 in a row coming out of their BYE week, including four division wins and an impressive takedown of the Ravens in overtime.  The Cowboys have won five of seven, but it just feels like most of those wins were by the skin of their teeth.

That having been said, against the Redskins we have the element of surprise.  We played the Cowboys earlier this year in Seattle and whupped them handily.  I can’t remember the last time we went into Cowboys Stadium and won a football game; I’m beginning to wonder if it’s EVER happened.

The bottom line, though, boils down to matchups.  Both teams can be scored upon, so I’m not too concerned there.  If either team happens to limit our point total, I would have to assume that it’s because we fucked up as opposed to them stepping up and beating us.

On offense, though, I think there’s a lot more to worry about when you talk about the Redskins.  RGIII is an animal, and one we really haven’t tangled with before.  You can compare him to Cam Newton all you want, but I think he’s better.  He’s got a stronger arm, he’s more accurate, and he plays under a coordinator that’s as inventive as they get.  The only question here is:  how healthy is RGIII?  I noticed in his return this past weekend, they limited his carries to 2 for 4 yards.  But, that was against a terrible Eagles team, so they were probably just being cautious.  We’ll know more about RGIII’s overall health this upcoming Sunday.  If he’s still banged up, then they won’t run him as much.  If he’s better, then watch out.

The problem with the Redskins is how they run their offense.  A lot of zone read.  They’ve got a great young running back in Alfred Morris to go along with their dynamic quarterback.  They’ve got receiving weapons, but it’s not even about how good their receivers are; it’s about how quickly they get rid of the football.  Admittedly, I haven’t watched a ton of Redskins games, but I have taken away a very speedy passing game from what little I’ve seen.  They don’t screw around.  If they’re passing, it’s a play-action, 2-3 step drop, and the ball is out.  RGIII isn’t afraid to throw down the middle of the field, just as he isn’t afraid to throw deep crossing patterns.  With as much play-action as they throw into their offense, it’s GOT to drive the defense crazy.  I can see us really struggling to get any kind of pressure on RGIII.  If you give him ample time, he’s going to carve you up like a turkey made of butter.

Dallas, on the flipside, has some weapons, but they don’t strike me as a team that’s impossible to shut down.  Their receivers will get their share of attention, but we have a solid secondary (and a fresh Brandon Browner returning from suspension).  Of course, you worry about Jason Witten, but if that’s the scariest monster you have going against us, I like our chances.  Granted, had Witten had a better game earlier this season, that game wouldn’t have been the blowout it eventually became.  Nevertheless, Tony Romo is a train wreck waiting to happen.

If it’s up to me, I want to face Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.  I won’t say that it’ll be easy, because no playoff game is easy, especially when you’re on the road.  But, between the two, I want no part of the Washington Redskins.

And, on to the rankings:

  1. Denver Broncos (12-3):  What can I say?  They just keep winning and winning comfortably.  A win at home over the hapless Chiefs combined with a Texans loss at Indy and they’re the #1 seed.  (Last Week:  1)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (10-5):  They’ve beaten Green Bay, San Francisco, New England, Minnesota, Chicago, and Dallas.  Have they dumped away some games they should’ve won?  Absolutely.  But, this team gets up for the big ones and they’re only getting better as the year goes on.  Meet the Official Team Nobody Wants To See In The Playoffs.  (Last Week:  6)
  3. Green Bay Packers (11-4):  OK, we did everything we could possibly do to get you a first round BYE.  The last step is up to you.  (Last Week:  3)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (13-2):  Meet the Official Team Everybody Wants To See In The Playoffs.  (Last Week:  4)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1):  I would sell my SOUL for a 49ers loss and a Seahawks win this week.  (Last Week:  2)
  6. New England Patriots (11-4):  Again, THANKS for taking a big ol’ dump last week against the 49ers.  APPRECIATE IT!  (Last Week:  7)
  7. Houston Texans (12-3):  Hard to believe the team with the inside track for the #1 seed could be ranked this low.  But, they just have NOT looked good lately.  They’ve lost 2 of their last 3 to potential playoff teams.  If I’m a Texans fan, I’m dreading the playoffs like the plague.  (Last Week:  5)
  8. Washington Redskins (9-6):  When you think about it, last week’s game was essentially pointless.  Winning that game has them in the exact same position this week:  They have to beat Dallas to win the division.  Makes you wonder if risking RGIII was a wise choice.  (Last Week:  9)
  9. Baltimore Ravens (10-5):  Paper Tiger:  noun, a person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual.  Example:  the Baltimore Ravens are the biggest paper tiger in this year’s playoffs.  (Last Week:  8)
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6):  I can’t believe the Steelers blew that game.  Hell of a time for the Bungles to get over the hump against their division rival.  (Last Week:  10)
  11. Minnesota Vikings (9-6):  I am legitimately shocked that the Vikings are in a position to make the playoffs.  This is NOT a good team!  (Last Week:  14)
  12. Chicago Bears (9-6):  They probably have the best chance of the three (Vikings and Giants being the others) to get that last Wild Card.  Still, couldn’t you see the Bears blowing it in Detroit?  (Last Week:  15)
  13. Indianapolis Colts (10-5):  Gotta wonder if the Colts making the playoffs is actually a bad thing in the long run.  This team could use a lot more help through the draft.  Picking in the 20s probably won’t be the help they need.  (Last Week:  13)
  14. St. Louis Rams (7-7-1):  You know, I kinda like these scrappy Rams!  I mean, I hate them this week, but in general this team isn’t that intolerable.  (Last Week:  17)
  15. New Orleans (7-8):  Pretty pretty pretty pretty good.  (Last Week:  18)
  16. Dallas Cowboys (8-7):  Please win this week.  PLEASE!  (Last Week:  12)
  17. New York Giants (8-7):  I hate you, Eli Manning.  I hate you so, so much.  I hate you with every fiber of my being.  (Last Week:  11)
  18. Miami Dolphins (7-8):  Yeah, you beat the Bills, BFD.  (Last Week:  20)
  19. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8)You are one pathetic loser!  (Last Week:  16)
  20. Carolina Panthers (6-9):  Catching fire at the end of the season!  Boy, is that bad news for Panthers fans who want a new coaching staff.  (Last Week:  21)
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9):  Nothing in the rule book that says you can’t play drunk … (Last Week:  19)
  22. San Diego Chargers (6-9):  Swedish Porn saved my life in Vietnam … (Last Week:  24)
  23. Cleveland Browns (510):  Did you just call me a Jive Turkey?  (Last Week:  23)
  24. Buffalo Bills (5-10):  I’m pretty sure you called me a Jive Turkey.  (Last Week:  22)
  25. New York Jets (6-9):  He just said you suck cock!  (Last Week:  26)
  26. Tennessee Titans (5-10):  Who’s the Jive Turkey now?  (Last Week:  25)
  27. Arizona Cardinals (5-10):  I did call you Jive Turkey.  (Last Week:  27)
  28. Detroit Lions (4-11):  This team needs help in a big way.  Just don’t ask me what kind of help that is.  Cornerbacks, probably.  (Last Week:  28)
  29. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11):  OK, I got nothing.  (Last Week:  29)
  30. Oakland Raiders (4-11):  Merry Christmas, everybody!  (Last Week:  30)
  31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13):  And, Happy New Year, I guess.  (Last Week:  31)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-13):  God Bless America & God Bless the Seattle Seahawks.  (Last Week:  32)

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