Seahawks Destroyed The Chargers’ Backups

Ahh, the first pre-season game of the year!  Is there anything like it?

If all pre-season games were exactly like this one, I’m sure I’d be sickened, but see, that’s how they get you.  The first one, you’re so starving for football, you’ll sit through anything.  So, yank the starters after one series and go to town with all the backups.  Then, little by little, increase the playing time of the starters to get you to stick around for the next two weeks.  Then, by the fourth week, you’re hooked, and from then on, they’ve got you by the balls!

I dunno.  I do actually like the pre-season.  I like getting to watch all the young guys play, particularly when the games don’t matter.  If I had to watch all these backups out there in the regular season, I’d probably shit myself, but in the sterile environment that is the pre-season, it’s fine.

I’ll just rattle off a bunch of random thoughts in a row, before I’m too swayed by the opinions of others.

I didn’t like anything about the first team defense’s lone drive, but I also know that the Chargers’ offense is the absolute WORST for the Seahawks’ defense to play.  Philip Rivers is more than happy to dink and dunk his way down the field, and some of their receivers (and particularly their pass-catching tight ends) are more than happy to gobble up all those short passes.  They’re big and physical and they can play and play well against this type of defense that encourages underneath throws.  And, when the Seahawks start to make adjustments to take this away (assuming this were a regular season game, for a moment), that’s when Rivers can strike against you deep down field.  It’s the perfect storm, and I’m glad we don’t have to play the Chargers twice a year every year, because I know for a FACT that they would be what the Rams have been against us, only with an offensive bent vs. the Rams’ defensive prowess.

That having been said, I think I was more disappointed by the first unit’s run defense.  I know that sounds stupid – because the Chargers’ longest rush on that first drive was for 5 yards – but here’s my rationale:  you know, with Rivers in there, the Chargers like to throw quick, short passes.  Because that’s what he’s good at, and in this situation, you KNOW they don’t want him holding the ball all that long, in a meaningless first pre-season game.  As such, I would’ve liked to have seen this team be stouter against the run on that drive.  Four out of seven rushes went for 4 yards or more, and one of those shorter runs was to convert a 3rd & 1.  So, really, five out of seven rushes were successful for the Chargers.  Instead of pinning them into multiple 3rd & Longs, more often than not the Chargers had easy conversions to make.  Granted the 3rd & 9 play went for 15 yards, but I just think if you could’ve gotten them behind the chains, you could’ve at least forced a field goal, if not a punt.

But, it was one drive.  It’s not the end of the world.

I liked what I saw out of the offense, particularly the wide receivers.  Paul Richardson picked right up where he left off, by snagging a beautiful diving catch for 25 yards to get the team into field goal range.  Unfortunately, Paul Richardson picked up right where he left off, by getting immediately injured and being forced to sit out anywhere from 1-4 weeks.  Not a great start for a guy entering his first contract season.

Obviously, I was blown away by Kasen Williams, and believe you me, I was not expecting to be.  4 catches, 119 yards, and each one more impressive than the last!  Well, maybe not the one where it looked like he landed out of bounds, but the refs blew the call so all the better!  I couldn’t be happier, for a lot of reasons.  First and foremost, Paul Richardson.  I mean, if we gotta worry about him being healthy – yet again – then there are issues.  I think Doug Baldwin will be fine, but obviously he was out with a strained foot.  I think Tyler Lockett is a valid question mark; I think he’ll play eventually, but will he be back to his usual self at any point this year?  Will he come back only to get immediately re-injured?  And, if THAT’S the case, we’re back to this unit being Baldwin and Kearse and dot-dot-dot.

I know everyone is just convinced that Amara Darboh is going to make this team, because of his draft position or whatever, but why?  Why is everyone so sure he can have his roster spot written down in pen?  I mean, for starters, he was injured yesterday!  Gotta play in the pre-season if you’re going to make the team, right?  I know there are other factors at play, like team control and all that, but in Kasen Williams you’ve got a guy who’s mature, who knows the system, who’s FINALLY healthy and capable to show his full potential.

If we have to worry about Lockett and P-Rich, it’s nice knowing Kasen is there, because I sure as shit trust him over guys like Darboh, David Moore, Kenny Lawler, and the rest.

That having been said, I did like the upside on guys like Moore and Lawler.  Moore had that nice crossing route that he was able to turn up for a big gain.  He showed good size and speed.  Lawler could’ve made an even bigger impact if he’d reeled in that second TD, but as it stands I like what he brings to the table.  I’ll also be curious to see what Cyril Grayson can do; he had that TD in the corner of the endzone that was overturned on replay because he could only get one foot down.  Great athleticism for a guy who’s pretty raw.

Also, before I move on, I want to see Kasen Williams keep it up.  This game got his name back into the mix when everyone had written him off, but now he’s got to parlay that into an actual 53-man roster spot.  That means not immediately disappearing into the ether after one great game.  You double down on that and you FORCE this team to keep you.  And, if they don’t, you go sign with the Rams and you shove it down our throats for the next five years.  God Awgs!

As for the rest of the offense, I wasn’t thrilled with the running game.  The Seahawks won this game 48-17, and this team couldn’t run for more than 133 yards?  It’s not like the team was avoiding the run; there were 36 carries, for a 3.7 yard per carry average.  It wasn’t great.

Mike Davis was the mop-up runner, leading the team with 33 yards.  Rookie phenom Chris Carson bulled through the line for two goalline TDs.  Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls got some work in, but didn’t do much.  Alex Collins did even less.  Honestly, the best runners by a million miles were the three quarterbacks.  Russell Wilson had a scramble that he ALMOST broke for a first down.  Austin Davis had a huge scramble when the middle of the field totally opened up for him.  And Trevone Boykin was an absolute baller.

Gotta devote more time to the #2 QB, because he earned it.  Boykin’s first drive was absolute garbage; he had a fumble on his first drop back, that he was able to recover, then he looked indecisive on the third down incompletion.  It led me to think, “Here we go again.”  I was fully expecting this to be a LONG day of Boykin holding the ball too long, running around in circles, and not getting anything done until the 2-minute drill at the end of the first half.  When, in reality, Boykin looked GREAT after that drive!  He started to get the ball out on time, he ran when he should have, but he also made some quality throws.  Kasen, obviously, bailed him out quite a bit, but there were some other good decisions mixed in there as well (it’s always a good decision to throw a jump ball to Kasen when he’s being guarded one on one, FYI).  All in all, 12 for 15, 189 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT (on an ill-advised deep ball on his final drive, into double coverage, very badly underthrown due to pressure coming up the middle).

He very well may have solidified his spot on this roster, even though Austin Davis didn’t look bad.  7 for 9 for 108 yards is nothing to sneeze at.  Of course, it was against third stringers, and if you thought San Diego’s the Chargers’ second unit was bad, their third unit was THE WORST.  We’ll know if the Seahawks are serious about its backup quarterback competition if they play Davis with the second stringers and hold Boykin for the third stringers next week.

The question on everyone’s minds was, of course, the offensive line.  Did they look better than they have in the last two pre-seasons?  Yes.  But, I wasn’t really watching them all that closely.  I’m trying to get a sense of the whole game, so I don’t want to sit there and try to focus on just the lines.  But, you could tell the quarterbacks had a lot more time to throw; they weren’t being immediately bombarded with defenders in their faces, which is a huge improvement over 2015 and 2016.

It’s hard to get a sense of the best individual players, but I’m sure we’ll learn that as we read the deep dives this week on the various Seahawks blogs and Twitter and whatnot.  Fant looked better, Joeckel looked solid, Britt was Britt.  It seemed like Glowinski and Aboushi were battling pretty good on the right side.  And, it looked like Ifedi will certainly have some growing pains, but is also vastly improved over his rookie year.

As for the backups, I can’t even begin.  Pocic got a ton of playing time and looks solid.  I think we’ll be calling for him to be a starter on this team before too long.  Jordan Roos got a lot of playing time as well and could be a nice little project for this team long term.  I wasn’t blown away by Odhiambo, but I was encouraged to see him play both left guard and left tackle.  I hope the deep divers have some positive reviews for these guys, because overall I came away encouraged.

I will say that I’d like to see these guys improve on the run blocking side of things.  Seems like every big run was called back due to a clipping penalty, which is beyond frustrating.

On the defensive side of the ball, I’ll just say that I’m glad no one of import got hurt.  The starters made it through their series unscathed, on to Minnesota.

That’s really it!  I mean, we know what this defense is going to look like; there aren’t a lot of spots up for grabs.

I thought Shaq Griffin looked solid.  It’s very encouraging to see our rookie play as well as he did, particularly when you factor in how important this rookie class is going to be to our depth for the next few years, and when you factor in Malik McDowell’s idiocy.  We need SOMEONE to pop, and who better than a guy who could be starting opposite Richard Sherman a month from now?  I’ll be glad to see him get more play with the #1 defense in the coming weeks.

I thought Naz Jones looked solid.  Again, I wasn’t there close-watching the lines, but he had that tipped ball, and he looked like he got some pressure up the middle at times.  Without McDowell, that interior pressure is going to need to come fromm somewhere.  I would’ve liked to have seen more from Jarran Reed – because I’ve heard he’s been awesome in Training Camp so far – but the pre-season is young.

Obviously, I thought Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin looked outstanding.  Wilhoite with the hit on the intended receiver to pop the ball up in the air; Garvin with the INT returned for a TD.  But, these guys got a lot of play and really showed up.  It’s nice having backup linebackers who aren’t just Special Teamers.  Brock Coyle is an okay story, but he was never a guy I was comfortable counting on in a base defense.

Cassius Marsh had a great tackle for loss.  Some of the deeper D-Linemen had some nice pressure numbers.  Tedric Thompson was the single-high safety who gave up the 74-yard touchdown from Kellen Clemens of all people, and honestly Thompson looked slow.  Maybe that’s being a rookie and he’ll improve when the mental aspect of the game catches up to him, but it was discouraging when you consider the Seahawks are a team that wants to eliminate the deep ball above almost everything else.

In the Speical Teams, J.D. McKissic got a lot of the return duties – both kickoffs and on punts – and looked okay.  He didn’t break anything, but he looked natural and like he COULD have broken something if he’d just gotten a key block.  I, for one, hope he makes the team as a sixth receiver, and as a guy who could fill in for C.J. Prosise if and when he gets injured.  I mean, a guy who can play receiver (most likely a slot guy), a guy who can run the ball, AND a guy who can handle all return duties if we want to save Lockett from that sort of exposure, is a guy I want on this team!

Finally, Blair Walsh made all his kicks.  2 field goals, 6 extra points.  Keep it up, kid!

Overall, I came away pretty impressed.  I know this is the pre-season and blah blah blah, but this team looked talented, looked deep, looked fired up, and honestly looked like the team from 2013.  We’ll see what we’re thinking this time next week, after the Minnesota game, but for now I’m encouraged.

Seattle Sports Hell 2013 NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

Normally, I’m of the opinion that winning is the only thing that matters to me as a fan.  I don’t necessarily care what type of person you are off the field, what your beliefs are, what you do in your free time, whatever.  I’m not a fan of Local Sports Athlete, The Person.  I’m just a fan of Local Sports Athlete, The Member of Local Sports Team.  And when you leave the Local Sports Team, I tend to immediately lose interest in you.  Even the all-time greats!  I rarely took the time to see what Ken Griffey Jr. or Gary Payton did after they left Seattle.  Unless they were involved in a playoff run, in which case I would root from afar, but not too hard, because it’s impossible to root hard for a team that’s not your own.

Tangents aside, in getting back to my original point:  NORMALLY, I could care less about who these athletes are.  If you’re kind of a creep, I’m probably going to put up with your antics, because as the axiom goes:  You would absolutely LOVE everything Richard Sherman says and does if he was on YOUR team.

I’m sure Richard Sherman has his fair share of fans who aren’t necessarily Seahawks fans.  It is possible to overlap in this Venn diagram.  For instance, I always liked whenever Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens or Randy Moss made waves with whatever controversial things they said or did.  Even the Sharpie Incident, which happened during a game against my beloved Seahawks; I LOVE that shit!  I think it’s hilarious.  Now, in the heat of the moment, I was most likely enraged, but taken objectively, I think there IS a place in the game for these types of characters, and I wish we had more of them.

Nevertheless, Richard Sherman has an inordinate amount of haters because of who he is and what he says.  Golden Tate, too, has an inordinate amount of haters, because of the Fail Mary, and more recently the taunting spectacle in the Monday Night Rams game.  And, I guess because he went to Notre Dame and it’s always popular to hate on the Fighting Irish.

I contend that I would be fans of these guys even if they’d never once worn a Seahawks uniform, because they’re entertaining.  They’re not boxed into some white-bread formula for what a professional football player is supposed to be.  I don’t need a league full of cookie-cutter athletes.  I think Mark Schlereth is the most boring analyst on television and I’d rather there be MORE players who ruffle his feathers.  I don’t subscribe to the Mike Golic way of thinking, and I’m better for it.

That having been said, there’s another type of professional athlete who I can’t stand.  And I want to believe I’d hate this type of player even if he donned the Seahawks’ unis.  This player is no better exemplified than by one Richie Incognito.

This guy is a fucking asshole of the highest order.  What’s worse, the bulk of his value isn’t derived from his skill at the offensive guard position, but rather in how dirty he is as a player.

There have been dirty players I’ve enjoyed and rooted for in my lifetime.  Dennis Rodman was always pretty dirty; but he also rebounded the ball like a madman and was ultimately an asset on the floor until his personality got in the way and the team soured on his antics.  There have been any number of cheaters in baseball who I’ve rooted for at one time or another.  I even have a generally postive opinion of Barry Bonds; but don’t get me started on that dickhead Roger Clemens.  Even Brandon Browner is more imposing enforcer than NFL cornerback; but he still has a skillset and for the most part plays within the rules.

Richie Incognito, on the other hand, is damn near a psychopath.  How he has never played for the Oakland Raiders is anybody’s guess.  Being billed the Dirtiest Player In The NFL isn’t something to be proud of!  What’s more, if he wasn’t so dirty, he wouldn’t even be in the league!  The guy is a mediocre lineman at best, and that’s while using every dirty trick in the book.  He’s often one of the most-penalized players in the NFL.  And now, we’ve got this hazing incident.

If the Seahawks went out and signed him to the minimum for next year as some added depth, there is no way I’d root for the man.  I’d actively criticize this front office every chance I got.  Hell, if the Seahawks would’ve signed him in his supposed-prime, I still would have criticized the move!  He’s a terrible football player, a wretch of a human being, and I hope he has played his last down in the NFL.  And, if he gets another chance to play again, I hope he tears both ACLs in his first practice.  Incognito is scum; that is all.

On to the rankings.

***

  1. Denver Broncos (7-1) – WOW, look at this schedule the next four games:  @SD, KC, @NE, @KC.  There’s your gauntlet, my friends.  This is also the stretch that likely decides the AFC West and the AFC top 2 seeds.
  2. Seattle Seahawks (8-1) – The best team in football doesn’t let a team like Tampa put up a 21-point lead; I don’t care if we came back in the second half.

The Rest:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) – They’re just steady, what can you say?
  2. Indianapolis Colts (6-2) – Boy, that Andrew Luck is simply a baller.  It’s going to hurt him not having Reggie Wayne around, though.  They’re going to need to find a #2 receiver in a bad way.
  3. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) – You chickenfuckers thought you were going to get one on us!  Not sorry to let you down, assholes!
  4. New England Patriots (7-2) – Whoop-dee-doo, they beat up on the Pittsburgh Steelers, BFD.
  5. New Orleans Saints (6-2) – They’ll still end up with a good record, but I just can’t see the Saints as a Top 2 team in the NFC.  I still think Green Bay steals that #2 seed in the end.
  6. Green Bay Packers (5-3) – Like so many teams, the Packers are one injured quarterback away from being totally worthless.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) – And, Andy Dalton follows up his best game ever with three interceptions and a safety to end the game in overtime.  This is why we can’t have nice things!
  8. Detroit Lions (5-3) – So, have you seen Detroit’s second-half schedule?  Look at these cupcakes:  @Chi, @Pit, TB, GB, @Phi, Bal, Giants, @Min.  This team could EASILY be 12-4 at season’s end!
  9. Carolina Panthers (5-3) – Panthers are riding a 4-game winning streak and absolutely had to win that game against the Falcons.  Their upcoming schedule is pretty rough, with the next three:  @SF, NE, @Mia.  If they figure out a way to go 2-1 in that stretch, I would legitimately be afraid of this team.  Also, not for nothing, but they still play the Saints twice.
  10. Chicago Bears (5-3) – Matt Forte is a national treasure.  This year of fantasy dominance totally redeems him for his last two years of utter sucktitude.
  11. New York Jets (5-4) – J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!  They beat the Saints for us and we ALMOST blew it.  Either way, way to go!  You’re earning more points in my book every week!
  12. Dallas Cowboys (5-4) – Wow, Tony Romo in the clutch … what is the world coming to?
  13. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) – This team could finish 10-6 or 6-10 and it wouldn’t totally shock me.  Home games against Texans, Indy, Rams, and 49ers.  Road games against Jax, Phi, Ten, and Sea.  I could see 6 wins in that slate, and also 6 losses; guess it just depends on whether or not Palmer has enough in the tank.
  14. San Diego Chargers (4-4) – Like the Dolphins, we’re not talking about a good team.  One of these two teams (Chargers or Dolphins) will take that 6th spot in the AFC playoffs, but they will lose in that first playoff game, without question.
  15. Miami Dolphins (4-4) – They beat an inconsistent Bengals team.  Who cares?  They’re still not very good.
  16. Houston Texans (2-6) – Boy, I tell you, that Case Keenum fella is going to be fun to watch for the next 5-6 years.  Houston kinda lucked out this year.  If they can finish with a crappy-enough record, maybe they get a high draft pick and immediately reload for next year.
  17. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) – Matt Ryan is KILLING me right now.  You can’t be throwing all these interceptions!  Well, except for next week, when Seattle comes to town.  but, after that, NO MORE!
  18. Cleveland Browns (4-5) – Oh those resilient Browns!  I never had a doubt that they’d beat the Ravens.
  19. Buffalo Bills (3-6) – Tuel looked kinda okay against the undefeated Chiefs.  In the end, he cost them the game, and he’s clearly the third-best quarterback on that team, but still.  He should hold his head reasonably high.
  20. Baltimore Ravens (3-5) – There is something seriously wrong with Ray Rice.  Well, there are five things seriously wrong with Ray Rice, and that would be his offensive linemen.
  21. Tennessee Titans (4-4) – Didn’t have Locker’s best game, but still went in and put a pounding on a decent Rams team (on the road, no less).
  22. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) – Nick Foles, you have single-handedly won me my fantasy game on an otherwise down week!  I love you!  You may have also saved my season and pushed me through into the playoffs!  I want to have your babies!
  23. Oakland Raiders (3-5) – Pretty stinky performance, Raiders.  My fantasy team thanks you for that.
  24. Washington Redskins (3-5) – That goalline stand against the Chargers was bigtime to force the field goal that forced overtime.  I’m pretty skeptical that the Redskins are going to turn it around two seasons in a row after starting off ultra-shitty, but this might be the spark they need.
  25. New York Giants (2-6) – Everyone in the crappy NFC East won on Sunday.  And yet the Giants are still in this thing at 2-6.  Ye gods.
  26. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) – Maybe the only offensive line worse than the Seahawks’.
  27. St. Louis Rams (3-6) – They looked decent, but you’re still talking about a team headed by Kellen Clemens.  No thanks.
  28. Minnesota Vikings (1-7) – I had to play Nick Foles in my fantasy league this week (2-QB league) and I ALMOST swapped him out when I saw Christian Ponder on the waiver wire.  In the end, I stuck with Foles, believing that while Ponder was probably the safer play, Foles had the higher upside.  Had I gone with the swap, you’d be looking at a dead man right now, because I would have jumped out of a 10-story building before the end of the afternoon games on Sunday.
  29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) – Still a bad team.  They just caught the Seahawks at the right time.  Maybe if they had the same dedication to the run, they’d start winning some games.  Ya think?
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) – Your 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Seahawks Play The Rams On Monday Night Football

The weekend just isn’t the weekend without Seahawks football.  On Sunday, sitting in front of the TVs, knowing that you won’t have much of anything invested in the goings on of the day (aside from fantasy implications, of course), just doesn’t feel right.

Speaking of fantasy implications, let’s get to the reason why you’re all here.  I need 25 points out of the Seahawks’ defense tonight to win my game.  If they did nothing except shut out the Rams, I’d get 20 points, so there is work to be done.  And, let’s face it, shutting out someone in the NFL is one of the toughest things you can do.  Considering the Rams have the kicker with the strongest leg, this is an even more difficult chore.  But, make no mistake:  the Seahawks should absolutely throttle the Rams tonight and I should have no problem getting 25 points out of this defense.

I do have a couple of concerns.  They’re small, but they’re there.  First, the Seahawks don’t really have any good tape of Kellen Clemens to watch.  How do you prepare for a man who hasn’t started in years, and even then that was with a different coaching staff?  How do you lock in on his tendencies and anticipate where he’s going to throw the ball?  This doesn’t mean I’m necessarily scared of Kellen Clemens; he’s a backup quarterback for a reason.  I’m just saying, this has an element of when you see a brand new pitcher who has been called up to start in his first-ever Major League game.  Who’s to say Clemens can’t get a hot hand?

Which leads into my second concern:  what if the Rams just go super-conservative?  My defense needs points, yo!  That means turnovers, that means deep drops so we can get sacks, that means lots of opportunities that my guys can use to MAYBE bring one all the way back to the house and not trip and fall down inside the five yard line.

Let’s not forget that the Rams also have a pretty good defense.  So, if they go super-conservative on offense, and their defense is able to hold us at bay, we could be in for a long, low-scoring, boring, yet frustrating night.  Because yes, their game plan is to probably limit Kellen Clemens’ involvement.  They want to make this the ugliest, most grind-it-out game we’ve played all year.  We have to dictate the tempo.  We have to generate a good-sized lead like we did last week, and we have to force them out of their gameplan.

No one should be overly freaking out about the St. Louis Rams.  They’re pretty terrible.  I know we’re just coming off of a nationally televised game and these are becoming old-hat for us, but we still have to go out there and show off for the masses.  Let that inner-vanity shine!  Let’s go out there and show the world that the Seahawks are the best team in the game!

And let’s go win me a fantasy football game!

Seattle Sports Hell 2013 NFL Power Rankings – Week 7

I hate to break it to you, but with the Seahawks playing next Monday night, this will probably be my last chance to write about the Seahawks the rest of this week (unless something incredibly newsworthy happens in the next three days).  If you’re not interested in what is going to be a 3-part recap of the 2013 Seattle Mariners season (which, frankly, I have put off for long enough), I would probably check out of this website if I were you.  I’ll see you back here next week.

Let’s look at what’s new this week.  The Seahawks are 6-1 for presumably the first time in franchise history.  That’s something!  Through the first seven games, we have never seen a better professional football team!  We’ve maintained our 1-game lead over the 49ers, we’ve got a half-game lead over the Saints for the #1 seed.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

So, let’s pile some more happiness on the ol’ gravy train.  Percy Harvin is practicing again!  WOOO-HOOO!  If you’ll recall, when we first heard about him going down with this injury, our most-optimistic take was that he would return to the team after our BYE week, in time to play the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.  Now?  He can return as early as this week, Week 8.  Or, the latest we can bring him back is for the Minnesota game in Week 11.  Or, somewhere in between, which would be my guess.  I’m officially predicing he comes back for the home game against Tampa.  Not that we would need any additional reason to get excited for a home Seahawks game, but just imagine the explosion that would erupt from the stands when his name gets called in the opening run-out onto the field.

It really makes the most sense.  For starters, he wouldn’t be practicing right now if he wasn’t fully healthy.  This gives him a full week of practice, followed by another full week of practice.  Plus, with any high-priced, highly-touted free agent signing, you want him to make a good first impression with the home fans.  To allow him his accolades from the fans with his first game in a Seahawks uniform being a home game is just the trick to endear him to Seattle.  AND, Tampa provides a nice, soft landing, because they’re terrible.  Which then leads us into the Atlanta game – a biggie on the road – with him having a full game under his belt.  It lets the team work out any kinks there might have been the week prior, so we’re ready to go full-throttle against the Falcons.

So, it’s decided then.  Glad we had this talk.

Next up, we’ve got Michael Robinson back!  Well, according to various sources, none of which are the Seattle Seahawks themselves, but it’s still early in the morning.  This makes me happy because this 2013 Seahawks championship run wouldn’t be the same without the team’s heart out there on the field.  Michael Robinson is the man.  He’s an asset to the run game, he’s an asset in special teams, and he’s a huge asset in the clubhouse.  I always kind of thought he’d be back when I realized that he didn’t sign with anyone else following his release.  While it’s a shame other guys had to get injured to make this happen, at some point you just like having your cake and eating it too.

In “Ehh, Whatever” News:  Ricardo Lockette has announced he’s back.  Most likely on the Practice Squad.  Like I said before:  ehh, whatever.

Finally, I’m sure I’ll get to this more in my game preview on Monday, but Kellen Clemens has officially been named the starter for the Rams next week.  This is his third year with the Rams, mostly as a backup.  Before that, he knocked around with the Jets.  You may remember him as The Guy Who Couldn’t Beat Out Mark Sanchez.  He got 8 starts back in 2007 and went 3-5, with 5 TDs and 10 INTs.  This is not a guy to fear.  We should all remember that as we have another leisurely, Seahawks-free Sunday afternoon.

On to the rankings.

***

  1. Seattle Seahawks (6-1) – So, has anyone taken a good look at the schedule the rest of the way?  This regular season is going to be FUN.
  2. Denver Broncos (6-1) – Don’t worry about it, Broncos.  It happens to the best of us.  Losing to the Colts in Indy, that is.

The Rest:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-0) – The remaining Seahawks schedule is about as easy as the previous seven games the Chiefs have played.
  2. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) – I’d say beating the top two teams in football, plus going into San Francisco and winning, makes up for a couple duds against the Chargers and Dolphins.  No one in the AFC wants to go through Indy.  That place is pretty much Hell on Earth.
  3. Green Bay Packers (4-2) – All you need is Aaron Rodgers.  You could line up his receivers against a wall and execute them one by one and he’d still find a way to win ballgames.
  4. San Francisco 49ers (5-2) – Four game winning streak.  But, don’t worry, these are the 49ers.  They’ll blow one they had no business blowing sooner or later.
  5. New England Patriots (5-2) – I still like you, Pats.  You beat the Saints for us, I got you!
  6. New Orleans Saints (5-1) – When your only concern is a 3-3 Panthers team, I’d say life is pretty good.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) – This is where the Power Rankings start getting hairy.  Are the Bengals a good team?  Or are they a “good” team?  Can you say, first round playoff defeat?
  8. Detroit Lions (4-3) – Awesome offense, kinda poor defense, questionable coaching, idiot players.
  9. Chicago Bears (4-3) – Prepare for free fall!  They showed moxie hanging with the Redskins after Cutler went down, but if he’s out for any length of time, their playoff chances are going right along with him.  4 games is already 4 too many.
  10. San Diego Chargers (4-3) – Whoop-dee-doo, they beat up on the Jacksonville Jaguars, BFD.
  11. New York Jets (4-3) – It’s going to take me a while to get over the fact that I can’t stand the Jets.  Because this team, with Geno Smith, is legitimately fun!
  12. Atlanta Falcons (2-4) – I don’t care what anyone says, Matt Ryan is a stud.  Give him any healthy receiver and watch him go to work.
  13. Dallas Cowboys (4-3) – Grabbing that NFC East bull by the HORNS!  How ’bout dem Cowboys?
  14. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) – Grabbing that 8-8 finish by the horns.  How ’bout dem Ravens?
  15. Carolina Panthers (3-3) – These Panthers are looking to go on a tear!  Just in time to save everyone’s bacon on the coaching staff once again.
  16. Buffalo Bills (3-4) – Yeah, shit if I know.
  17. Miami Dolphins (3-3) – Why is it that people keep trying to talk me into the Dolphins and Tannehill?  They’re all the worst!
  18. Houston Texans (2-5) – Case Keenum!  This is what happens when your starting QB doesn’t keep killing your chances with turnovers:  your defense plays tough and you have a chance to win it at the end.  I like the Texans going forward if they keep giving Keenum the ball.
  19. Cleveland Browns (3-4) – Well Weeden, the time is now.  Time to start kicking ass or you’ll be in the Arena League before you can say, “First Round Bust”.
  20. Tennessee Titans (3-4) – They’ll be better with Locker, but not good enough to beat a team like the 49ers.
  21. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) – Won’t be good if your QBs can’t stay in the game.  I know defense is a concern, but maybe they should look towards O-Line in next year’s draft.
  22. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) – Thanks for the hospitality last Thursday.  Glendale:  Seattle’s home away from home!
  23. Washington Redskins (2-4) – Is this where they turn their season around and win 8 in a row?  Gonna need the ol’ offense to keep putting up video game numbers.
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) – Break up the Steelers!  Two game winning streak … all the white people say “Ho!”
  25. Oakland Raiders (2-4) – The Broncos lost, but the Chargers and Chiefs both won.  Let’s not focus on other teams; let’s just focus on getting better.  Maybe look to NEXT year as a playoff possibility.
  26. St. Louis Rams (3-4) – You go here now.  Sam Bradford is gone, which part of me wants to believe is a blessing in disguise, but the rest of me understands that this team is going to start Kellen Clemens.
  27. New York Giants (1-6) – That football game was the reason why I don’t bother to have cable.
  28. Minnesota Vikings (1-5) – You can’t start a quarterback two weeks into his tenure on your team.  You just can’t.
  29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) – The next coaching staff is REALLY going to enjoy that #2 draft pick.  Maybe they’ll even find a decent quarterback to put around the awesome talent they already have.  Will the 2014 Bucs be the 2013 Chiefs?
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7) – Your 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars.