The Seahawks Were Pretty Great On Offense, Simply Atrocious On Defense

If you take a step back, that was actually a cool, entertaining Thursday Night Football game. If we had no rooting interest in the outcome, how can you beat a game with zero punts, nine touchdowns, and lots of great plays by really talented play-makers? Admittedly, I do like a little more competence out of the defenses I’m watching, but this was the perfect game for a Thursday. I don’t take these games seriously anyway, so why not have a lot of offensive fun?

I’ll admit, I didn’t have a lot emotionally riding on the Seahawks in this one. I picked against them in my weekly pick ’em game, I had plenty of Cowboys in fantasy (Dak in one league, CeeDee and Pollard in another), and I’m at the point of the season where I’d rather we just lose every game going forward. I don’t believe this is a Super Bowl contender, I don’t believe Geno Smith will ever be the answer at quarterback, and I need the Seahawks to go on a significant losing streak to close out the regular season, as that will be the only way Pete Carroll will be able to see that, objectively, I’m right.

That being said, I couldn’t help getting swept up in the action. The Seahawks were once again wearing their throwback jerseys, backs were against walls, and if ever there was hope of winning a game in this gauntlet stretch we’re in, this was it. The Cowboys are good, but flawed. They were ripe for the picking. They were at home – where they were 5-0 heading into this game – they were on a three-game winning streak where they’ve been absolutely dominating the opposition, and I’m sure they were somewhat looking ahead to their showdown with the Eagles next week. Especially if the Eagles lose to the 49ers this week, that game could put the Cowboys in the driver’s seat for the division.

The Seahawks needed this game more than the Cowboys, and they came out of the gates playing like it. Our third play of the game was a third down conversion to D.K. Metcalf that went 73 yards to the house. Right after he caught the ball, he was ten yards away from the nearest defender, yet he turned on the jets like they were right on his heels. That’s what this game meant to us. Going above and beyond.

D.K. was phenomenal in this game, catching 6 for 134 and 3 TDs. Jaxon Smith-Njigba had maybe his best game as a pro (7 for 62). Zach Charbonnet played his ass off before injuring his knee late in the game; he finished with 60 yards rushing and a TD, with 1 reception for 39 yards. More importantly, Geno Smith was on it in this one: 23/41 for 334 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT. With zero sacks to boot, against an extremely ferocious Dallas pass rush.

If we had managed to play this well on offense on Thanksgiving, maybe we would’ve stood a chance against the 49ers!

The problem with this one is that the defense brought nothing to the table. We forced them into a 4 & Out after the interception left them in Seahawks territory, but even that was a clear CeeDee Lamb drop that would’ve otherwise easily kept the drive going. Quite frankly, if it weren’t for a couple of drops (of admittedly tough catches), this game would’ve been a Dallas blowout!

Heading into this game, the Seahawks were 36-0 in the Pete Carroll era when they’ve scored 35 or more points. It should go without saying, but when you score 35 points in a football game, YOU SHOULD WIN THAT FOOTBALL GAME! I know a lot of people are going to point to the Seahawks’ performance on 4th down (0 for 3), in particular our final play of the game, and call for Shane Waldron’s head, but don’t let that distract you from this being an all-time bungled defensive showing.

If I had to nitpick the offense, I’d start with Charles Cross. He totally whiffed on our 4th & 1 play, when Charbonnet was running behind him only to get stuffed. He looked mediocre to bad all game; decidedly not worthy of an upper first round draft pick.

I couldn’t tell you what happened on the second fourth down play. There was immediate pressure, but I don’t remember who that was on. It’s unfortunate that Smith and Smith-Njigba weren’t on the same page. It looked like Geno threw it up to him, but he didn’t see the ball and didn’t seem to be aware that it might be coming his way. Had he had the proper awareness of the situation, he might’ve been on the lookout for a quick pass and adjusted his route accordingly. It certainly looked like a ball he could’ve gotten to, if his head was on a swivel. That’s a play Doug Baldwin in his prime makes 10 times out of 10.

But, it’s the final play, ye gods. Dallas rushed six. We let our offensive linemen single-block the first five, leaving Micah Parsons unblocked on the edge. DeeJay Dallas was in the backfield. He was in the game either because Zach Charbonnet was injured (and couldn’t have played anyway), or because it was a 2-minute offense and that’s DeeJay’s role. I have my doubts about the second part of that, because Charbonnet was in there at the end of the first half, so it would stand to reason he’d remain out there in this situation if he was capable of going.

Almost immediately after the game, we were bombarded with video noting how we intentionally left Parsons unblocked. You know, probably the best pure pass rusher in the game of football today? That guy? Yeah. DeeJay was supposed to peel off in the flat and be the number one read to convert the 4th & 2. Except, another defensive lineman forced his way into the backfield and DeeJay got caught up in the wash. Parsons was in Geno’s face almost instantly, and all he could do to avoid a sack was throw the ball at DeeJay’s feet. At that point – with the game clearly hinging on that one play – I don’t know why you don’t just heave the ball straight up into the air and hope for the best, but that’s neither here nor there.

What a crap play call against that defense! Do literally anything else! Max protect, align DeeJay on that side to try to block Parsons, throw a slant to D.K. Something! Not a play where Parsons can get to the quarterback in 0.2 seconds, because not even Tom Brady himself would’ve been able to convert it with that play call.

But, again, it was an otherwise good-to-great game from Shane Waldron, Geno Smith, and the rest of the offensive crew. 35 points is good enough. Except it wasn’t today, and that’s all on the defense.

I will say that it was tough watching some of the penalties in the secondary. There was A LOT of ticky-tack calls going on. And the call against Bobby Wagner was flat out fucking wrong. If I had one gripe about my overall enjoyment of this game, it was the flags. Let guys play. I’d rather they allow a little extra grabbing and hand-fighting than nothing at all. Or, what we actually got last night, which was three quarters of nothing at all, followed by it being pretty much a free-for-all in the fourth quarter. Which you had to know was coming, either by design, or because refs are gonna ref and let things go late in games.

As much as I love to shit on terrible referee performances, I can’t blame them for this one. The Seahawks’ defense was total ass. Devon Witherspoon, Jamal Adams, and Riq Woolen all had mediocre-to-terrible games. Bobby Wagner isn’t able to cover anyone in space unless they literally run right at him and stop; he’s a fucking statue out there. The pass rush did get to Dak for 4 sacks, but they seemed pretty quiet otherwise (and Darrell Taylor whiffed HARD on another potential sack, having Dak dead to rights before letting him go). The Cowboys were 8/14 on third down and 1/2 on fourth down; that’s all you need to know. They dominated in total plays (79-64) and therefore in time of possession (36:27 to 23:33).

Now we get a little extra rest before going on the road to get decimated by the 49ers again. So, enjoy this Seahawks-free weekend while you can!

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: A Perfect Honeymoon

My honeymoon spanned two fantasy football weekends, and between my three teams, I went a perfect 6-0. It was just incredible! I tried to talk my wife into stowing away on the cruise ship for another week, but sadly she wasn’t up for breaking so many laws.

I defeated the first place Beasts in Week 11, 147.75 to 125.65. I got great production out of Jordan Love and Justin Fields, a red hot game out of Tank Dell for my flex, and the combo of Lamb and Pollard came through with flying colors. This compensated for a Kenneth Walker injury and almost nothing from the Jets defense.

Then, in Week 12, I had the most points in the league, defeating Turd Sandwich 192.05 to 176.80. Once again, Jordan Love looked amazing, Pollard and Lamb were awesome, Dell and Hockenson were great, and Kyren Williams returned to obliterate the competition.

The two victories broke the Cousins Curse, and got me back up to 6-6 on the season. That’s good for fifth place in the league (top six go to the playoffs), with a 1-game cushion over the two teams directly below me (as well as around 100 points of tie-breaking cushion as far as total points are concerned). With two weeks left in the regular season, I only have one guy to worry about. He’s right there with me in total points, but he’s two games behind me in record. So, all I need to do is win one more game, have that guy lose one more game, or have one of the 5-7 teams lose once more, or just score no fewer points than the 4-8 team over the next two weeks. My point being: a playoff spot is all but guaranteed, unless the absolute unthinkable happens (unfortunately, none of those three teams play one another).

The highest I can get is fourth place, but I would have to win out and he would have to lose out, so that seems unlikely. The top four teams have already clinched playoff berths though, so there’s four teams fighting for two spots. Interestingly enough, I have the third-most points scored in the league. No one considers me a threat to win it all, which feels appropriate.

With Williams back in the fold, and with Jordan Love playing positively Cousins-esque, I do think I have a fighting chance. But, this is fantasy football, so of course anything can happen.

This week, I’m going up against last place Toot Cannons. I’ve got my Vikings and Bears (Hockenson, Addison, Fields) on a BYE, so if ever there was an opportunity to blow my winning streak, this is it. Here’s my lineup:

  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. KC
  • Bryce Young (QB) @ TB
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Sea
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) vs. Mia
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. Sea
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. Cle
  • Trey McBride (TE) @ Pit
  • Tank Dell (WR) vs. Den
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) @ LAR
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Atl

I love what Love has been doing the last couple weeks, but Kansas City poses quite a threat for him. They didn’t play very well against the Raiders last week, but they still have a lot of talent in their secondary, and can make life difficult up front, so I’m not expecting another 30-point performance. The last thing I want to do is start Young, but I have no other options at the position. On the plus side, Carolina just fired their head coach, so maybe there’s a bounce-back opportunity there. Plus, Tampa’s secondary has been a joke for a while now, so if there was ever a chance for Young to bust out, this might be it.

I like any Cowboys player against this Seahawks defense, but then again, it wouldn’t totally shock me if our defense finally got it together. Williams will have a tough go against the Browns. I do like McLaurin against the Dolphins; Washington should have to throw a lot in this game. And the Jets have a pretty juicy matchup against a turnover-prone Falcons team.

My concern at this time has to do with injury designations to Tank Dell and Trey McBride. McBride is a highly-coveted tight end prospect who has done quite well in the absence of Zach Ertz. If he can’t go, I’m screwed, as there are no other decent TE options on the free agent pile. Dell’s injury sounds minor, but he didn’t practice yesterday, and my problem is having an alternative for him. With Addison on BYE, all I have left is Charbonnet (assuming Walker will miss another week with an oblique injury). With Charbonnet going tonight, I would have to commit to him right now, which means I’d either have to bench Dell (who has been one of the hottest receivers in the league over the last few weeks) or maybe Kyren Williams (if we bank on the Browns’ defense being amazing; he’s nevertheless a snap-hog for the Rams when he’s in there). I don’t want to play Charbonnet against the Cowboys, because I kinda think they’re going to dominate the Seahawks.

So, we’ll see what happens. Hopefully Dell returns to practice later today, and I won’t have to worry about it.

Here’s who Toot Cannons has to offer:

  • Kyler Murray (QB) @ Pit
  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB) @ Was
  • Marquise Brown (WR) @ Pit
  • Chris Olave (WR) vs. Det
  • Jerome Ford (RB) @ LAR
  • Jaylen Warren (RB) vs. Ari
  • Jake Ferguson (TE) vs. Sea
  • Najee Harris (RB) vs. Ari
  • Cameron Dicker (K) @ NE
  • San Francisco (DEF) @ Phi

He’s got a number of injuries (including Justin Jefferson) as well as Saquon Barkley on a BYE. He’s also got De’Von Achane, Tee Higgins, Dallas Goedert, and Tyler Boyd to throw in there in place of Najee Harris. Any way you slice it, Toot Cannons is in rough shape. I would love nothing more than to take care of business this week and not have to worry about the regular season finale.

The Mariners Traded Eugenio Suarez For Junk

I’d be lying if I told you I understand what the Mariners are doing. Usually, when it’s this early in the offseason, I’ll sit back and say, “Let’s wait and see what other moves are coming. Because surely THIS can’t be the plan!”

The last move that made sense from a roster construction perspective was a little over a year ago, when we traded for Teoscar Hernandez. Your miles may vary on whether or not the move actually worked out, but at least it made some kind of sense. Then, starting with us giving away Kyle Lewis for nothing, trading for Kolten Wong, and bringing in A.J. Pollock and Tommy La Stella – while extending Dylan Moore and essentially guaranteeing him a near-everyday spot in the lineup – the moves started to get blurry to me. They stopped making sense. I kept waiting and TRYING to see, but the closer we got to the start of the season, the more it became clear that this was it. This was the team. We were done making moves, and content to suck it.

We all saw how that turned out.

There hasn’t been a lot going on with the M’s so far this offseason. We let Teoscar Hernandez go away without a fight, which seemed like a bad move at the time, considering I figured there was little risk of him signing his qualifying offer. I haven’t heard of him signing anywhere, but I also don’t think he’s finished as a Major League baseball player. In conjunction with that, comes the news that the Mariners traded away Eugenio Suarez to the Arizona Diamondbacks, just as they did with Kyle Lewis, Ketel Marte, and Paul Sewald. In return for this deal, we get back Carlos Vargas (a relief pitcher) and Seby Zavala (a backup catcher). Pretty much the least you can get in return for a viable starting third baseman.

If I squint, I can sort of see what’s going on here: the Mariners just shed themselves of 425 strikeouts between Hernandez and Suarez. They were the second and third-most strikeouts in all of Major League Baseball last year. Nevertheless, they also accounted for a combined 4.3 WAR between them. That’s not an insignificant amount of production we need to recoup somehow, someway.

There was another deal that happened a couple weeks ago – indeed, on the first day of my honeymoon – that I was going to let slide under the rug and never think about, because it seemed so inconsequential. However, in the wake of the Suarez deal, there have been rumblings. Distressing rumblings.

The Mariners traded reliever Isaiah Campbell – one of our bevy of rookie arms from this past season who was fine at times, but far from great – to the Red Sox for infielder Luis Urias. I had assumed Urias was just another Quad-A utility infielder to throw on the pile. I think I had good reason for this assumption: he’ll be 27 next year, he hasn’t done much of anything at the Major League level, he’s coming off of really a nothing season, and his good numbers were from 2-3 years ago when he played for Milwaukee. That’s a prototypical guy you take a flier on in Spring Training, who maybe ends up as your 25th or 26th man.

However, once the Suarez deal went down, there were some people In The Know saying that this paved the way for Urias to be our starting third baseman, which is absolutely shocking to me! I really want to dismiss it, and again retreat into my cocoon of Wait & See, but coming off all the inaction of our previous offseason, I have to at least somewhat take this threat seriously.

I guess Urias doesn’t strike out as much. That’s something. He also doesn’t hit for average, hit for power, walk a ton, or steal any bases. Maybe his defense is good? That’s fine, but so was Geno’s. This feels like a significant downgrade, and that’s before you consider the hit to morale in the clubhouse. A clubhouse that’s been pissing and moaning for the better part of two years, whenever we get rid of highly-regarded teammates (Graveman, Sewald, now Suarez).

The fact of the matter is, the 2023 Mariners already had at least one significant hole to fill in our everyday lineup (probably more like two or three, but let’s not be greedy). Now, with the loss of Hernandez and Suarez, that’s a MINIMUM of three major holes (and, again, probably more like four or five). We’re going the wrong direction. Our goal was supposed to be improving upon the 2022 playoff squad, to start fighting for a World Series. We sat on our hands last season and regressed our way right out of the playoffs. Now, we’re actively ridding ourselves of productive players, and potentially replacing them with cheap nobodies who will do nothing for us.

Granted, in defense of Mariners brass, both Hernandez and Suarez took steps back in 2023 compared to 2022. If either one of them had managed to just maintain their level of production, we easily would’ve been in the playoffs. But, you can’t dismiss the possibility that they just had down years, and will bounce back in 2024. These are pros, and baseball is wonky as hell. Sometimes you have a bad season for unexplained reasons. That doesn’t mean you’re just finished forever.

As for our return in the Geno deal, Seby Zavala looks like a disaster at the plate. Maybe I’m being a little hard on him, but we’ll see. This surely means the end of Tom Murphy, which I’m fine with. I like Murph as much as the next guy, but he can’t stay healthy, and this team (and Cal Raleigh in particular) is severely taxed whenever he goes down. Zavala appears to be a quality defensive backstop, and if he can just be better than Brian O’Keefe, or whoever in the hell we had in 2022, then bully for us. But, a backup catcher isn’t going to move the needle on this team’s playoff chances.

Carlos Vargas has appeared in exactly 5 Major League games, all in 2023. He’s only 24, and allegedly throws the ball hard, but he also doesn’t seem to have great command yet. This trade will work out if we can harness his power and get him in the strike zone (without getting hit too hard in the process), but I read somewhere that there isn’t a lot of movement on his pitches. It seems like we just traded Isaiah Campbell for an Isaiah Campbell clone. Which means we traded Suarez for Urias and Zavala. Which feels like an absolute massacre for the Mariners.

My faith in the Mariners was already dwindling. Now it’s almost gone completely. I hope they do something awesome soon.

The Huskies Have Kind Of Been Playing Like Shit, But Still Winning

When the Huskies beat the Beavers 22-20 on the road, I was knee deep in a Broadway musical in New York called & Juliet. My wife loved it; it might be her new favorite. I thought it was very good, but I’m admittedly not the biggest musical guy in the world, and I still think the Moulin Rouge musical is my favorite. That’s neither here nor there; as this was the first full day of our honeymoon, there was just no way I was going to be able to see this game. And, by all accounts, it seemed like an aggravating, frustrating win that we barely clung to. Zero points in the entire second half! We just couldn’t put ’em away, even though we had ’em dead to rights all game.

The following Saturday, when the Huskies beat the Cougars 24-21 at home, we were on the home stretch of our 7-day cruise. We’d done pretty much everything we wanted to do both on and off the boat, and this was a day dedicated to nothing but relaxation. I read a lot of The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub. And, by the time 4pm rolled around, it was wet and freezing outside where the giant poolside television lived. On Thanksgiving, they had been showing ample football games, so hypothetically I could’ve asked them to put on the Apple Cup. But, luckily, one of the cable channels had it in our room, so I was able to watch it from the warmth and comfort of my bed.

This was another one of those games, man, I don’t know what to tell you. Just so annoying! I was particularly pissed off right before half, when we could do nothing with our 2-minute offense, and the Cougs immediately rammed it down our throats to tie it at 14-all at the break. We managed exactly one impressive drive in the second half to go up 21-14, but then it took basically a miracle 4th & 1 call where Penix tossed it back to Odunze on the end-around – rather than hand it off to Dillon Johnson for a second consecutive run stuff up the middle – for a 23 yard gain to help set us up for the game-winning field goal.

The Huskies are 12-0, but damn, it doesn’t feel like an undefeated season. It feels HARD. Overly complicated. We haven’t had an easy, runaway victory by over 10 points since Week 4 vs. Cal. They haven’t all been world-beaters! I keep seeing ASU and Stanford and Wazzu getting DESTROYED, yet here are the Huskies barely scraping by. THIS is a team that’s supposed to beat the Ducks a second time? THIS is a team that’s supposed to contend for a national championship?

It makes me wonder how we beat the Ducks in the first damn place. What have they done since their only loss of the season? They’ve proceeded to win by an AVERAGE of 26 points per game the last six weeks. Other than their loss to us, they have just two games decided by single digits (the closest being 8 points). It almost blows my mind at this point that we were even able to hang with them, let alone prevail. Every team we’re eking out victories against, they’re rolling over like a fucking monster truck.

I just don’t get it. You can’t even really blame it on the game being in Seattle, because we also beat them last year down in Eugene, and these are pretty much the same teams year over year. It makes me wonder: did the Ducks get some infusion of talent after their only loss of the year, that helped them go on this run? Was it a fluke that we beat them in the first place? Are we poised to go down to Las Vegas and get destroyed?

It sure feels like it. It’s a real shame, because we’ve managed to claw our way up to #3 in the AP Poll, passing Florida State (#4), Oregon (#5), and Ohio State (#6) who lost to #2 Michigan last weekend. The only other viable playoff candidates at this point are Texas at #7 and Alabama at #8 (ranked as such – even though both have one loss – because the Longhorns defeated the Crimson Tide).

Given the way we’ve played the majority of this season, it feels like this week is a Must Win. We can’t afford to be a 1-loss team, because we’ll almost certainly be leaped over by any number of teams. It’s kind of interesting – for a moment – to see what it would take. Georgia over Bama, Louisville over Florida State, Oklahoma State over Texas, and maybe even Iowa over Michigan! That’s a lot. But, because I’m always going to believe that the Buckeyes would make it over us (both teams having 1 loss), it might be necessary, and even then, they could always side with Michigan over us as well and have two teams from the Big 10 in the playoffs.

I’ll be honest, I know every Husky fan is out there touting this line (Oregon -9.5) as the ultimate disrespect, which we’ll hopefully parlay into the extra motivation we need to truly crush them, but I dunno. I think we’re gonna lose. And I don’t even think it’s going to be particularly close.

There’s something that just isn’t quite right with this Husky team, and I can’t put my finger on it. The offense has looked legitimately terrible for long stretches of some of these games. Then, they do what they did against USC and Stanford, and you think everything’s okay again. The defense looked abysmal in those games, and the first half of Utah, making you wonder if that’s going to be our undoing. Then, they come out and shut teams down for long stretches.

But, when was our last Complete Game? It’s been two straight months of being the cardiac kids, and it’s starting to drain my confidence.

I should also point out that me and my friends are planning on watching the game together, which rarely – if ever – goes well for us. In the big games, that is. In the games that truly matter. But, I know that’s all in my head. We’ve been together for big wins in the past. And we’ve been apart for plenty of devastating losses. I’m no weak-willed motherfucker! I’m not going to let that stand in the way of a good time!

It’s also kind of a shame that Michael Penix’s Heisman Trophy chances have dwindled to almost nothing. He’d need to win this game and put up a monster performance in doing so, but I just don’t see it. Dillon Johnson has become too important to our chances, and part of me feels like Penix is hiding some sort of nagging injury that is sapping his usefulness.

You know what’s a bad sign heading into the Pac-12 Championship this Friday? When you try to point out Oregon’s weaknesses and you say, “Well, I guess their kicker is shaky”. That’s all you got? Granted, he missed a pretty important kick in the first game, but if he’s the only weakness, I got news for you: this game won’t come down to a field goal.

I just think, you know, we can’t have nice things. We can run the table in the regular season and that’s all well and good, but we can’t beat a team like Oregon twice in the same year. That’s asking too much. We know each other too well by this point, they’re our most hated of all-time rivals, so of course they’re going to kick our asses when it matters most. We’ll have to settle for some other New Years Power Six bowl and maybe get our 13th victory that way.

But, it won’t come this week. I’m resigning myself to it now; I suggest you do the same.

The Seahawks Were The Lightning Rod For All Of My Sports Trauma During My Honeymoon

Considering what was at stake, I’ll take it.

The Seahawks are frauds. That’s just all there is to it. They went from 6-3 and in a share of first place in the NFC West, to 6-5 and barely clinging to a wild card spot.

The 17-16 loss to the Rams could’ve been avoided, except Geno Smith got knocked out for a good chunk of the game, necessitating a Drew Lock appearance to try to hold onto the lead. He finished 2 of 6 with a pick and 3 yards passing, just in case anyone had any inkling that he might be better than Geno, who did return for the final drive, only to set us up for a 55 yard field goal that was missed as time very nearly expired.

The problem here is, Geno Smith clearly isn’t the answer either, as evidenced by a Thanksgiving night massacre to the 49ers, 31-13. He looked just as inept as he looked the three times we played the 49ers LAST year, en route to a pointless first round wild card defeat. Once again, the Seahawks aren’t anywhere CLOSE to the league the 49ers are in, and it’s stupid to even think about competing for the playoffs this year.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you the Seahawks have absolutely no shot to nab one of those three wild card spots. If they win just one of the next three in this gauntlet stretch we’re in (beating the Cowboys in Dallas would be my bet, if I believed it to be possible), and then take out some bad teams in the Steelers, Titans, and Cardinals, that gets us to 10 wins, which almost certainly gets us a wild card. Hell, even if we settle for 9-8, there’s still a decent chance that’s good enough, as it was last year.

But, this isn’t a Super Bowl team. This isn’t even a team that can win a game in the playoffs, let alone three or four in a row.

Geno Smith is terrible in the face of a defensive front like San Fran’s. The problem is, just about every team making the playoffs in the NFC will have a defensive front that’s – if not AS good – at least close to it. He gets flustered as the pocket closes in around him, he holds the ball too long looking for the big play, and he gets set on his ass on every fucking 3rd down imaginable. Remind you of anything? Because it sure as shit reminds me of Russell Wilson’s last year here.

Turns out, Geno’s 2022 was the high point of his career. It’s only downhill from here. He needs some kind of super awesome offensive line to be the kind of quarterback we need him to be, and unfortunately the guys we’re rolling with just aren’t cutting it. Charles Cross is a JAG. Our interior linemen are more of the same. Abe Lucas might be decent, but he’s also spent the vast majority of this season injured and even if he comes back sooner rather than later, my money is on him re-injuring himself again. If nothing else, it’ll be too little, too late.

Knowing that Geno isn’t the guy, and knowing for damn sure he’s the best quarterback on the roster, that leads us to only one conclusion: the Seahawks need to be thinking about drafting their replacement. So, from now until the end of the year, I’ll be rooting for the Seahawks to lose. I’ll be rooting for Geno to play like total and complete ass. I want there to be no remaining whisper of a doubt: I want him to play himself out of the league if possible. I want it to get through Pete Carroll’s and John Schneider’s thick heads that we need to draft the quarterback of the future if we want to succeed. There are plenty of options coming into the NFL next year, go get one. I don’t care how old Pete is; we can’t cling to his aging and feeble wishes. We need to take what young talent we have on this roster and infuse it with a young, promising quarterback, in hopes that we can FINALLY get over this .500 hump we’ve been in for ages now.

Seattle Sports Hell Goes On His Honeymoon!

The blog will be dark for Thanksgiving week as I will, indeed, be on my honeymoon. Now, I know what you might be thinking: who in their right mind would get married to this jaded, bitter Seattle sports fan with all of his rational and irrational sports insecurities and delusions? Well, it helps that she’s not much of a sports fan! She doesn’t get to enjoy all of the mood swings and obsessiveness of my sports mania, which frankly is probably the best for all involved.

As a result, though, I’m going to miss writing about a pretty pivotal stretch in Seattle sports. The Huskies will play two football games in that span, against a Top 10 Oregon State team, and in a potentially all-important final Apple Cup as a member of the Pac-12 conference. As I wrote about previously, this game against the Beavers – while important, as all college football games are this time of year – isn’t necessarily a Must Win. That being said, you have to win ONE of these next two, to at least guarantee a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Not to mention the fact that, as we saw in the latest playoff rankings, the Huskies don’t necessarily command the respect of the top four teams (the top four, as we all know, advance to those playoffs). If Florida State runs the table, if Alabama beats Georgia, and/or if the Ohio State/Michigan game is close, a 1-loss Husky team could find itself on the outside looking in, even if we manage to beat the Ducks a second time. So, you know, it’s tough to say. Maybe this Beavers game IS a Must Win affair. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it from the cruise ship we’ll be on, but I’m going to try my damnedest.

I will also miss a couple of huge Seahawks games. You could argue – though they lack the importance of either of the Husky games – that these too are Must Win. The Rams, while not likely to be playoff-bound, still are a divisional and conference opponent, which makes it important for tiebreaking purposes. Then, there’s the 49ers on Thanksgiving night; it’s always fun to play on Thanksgiving, and obviously they’re our direct rivals for the divisional crown. I’ll try to at least watch that one, but again, I can make no promises.

There will be a number of Kraken and Husky basketball games going on – two teams I’ve written nothing about in the early going of their respective seasons – during pivotal seasons for their future growth. The Kraken seem to be swirling down the toilet bowl fast and furiously, and it’s fair to wonder where they’ll be by the time I get back. Will Dave Hakstol still have a job? Seems like, the way they’re playing – after an inspirational playoff run last season – he has to be on the hottest of seats. As for Mike Hopkins, his seat has been on fire for the last few years, and this thing feels as hopeless as it’s ever been. Feels like more than anything, we’re just waiting and riding out this string of seasons until it’s less prohibitive to shit-can him and pay off the remainder of his fully-guaranteed salary. With the way this squad turns over every year, there’s really no joy or fun to be had by Washington college basketball – let alone college basketball in general – so I’m hard pressed to say I’ll be missing it, Bob.

And you just know – what with me being on vacation and away from my computer – that the Mariners are poised to make a big move or two, that will rattle this region to its core. The Mariners are always interesting to think about, especially in the offseason, but even moreso when you factor in how they underperformed in 2023.

And that’s not even mentioning how much my fantasy teams affect my day-to-day life. I’ve got some humongous matchups coming up! In one of my leagues, I started out 0-4, biding my time until my studs got healthy (Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp, Breece Hall), then I won 3 straight, before dropping the subsequent 3, putting me in a position where I pretty much have to win my last five games (and catch some breaks along the way) just to crack the playoffs. In another league, I’m in pretty good shape – having scored the second most points in the league – but I’m still only in third place at 6-4, and can ill afford to drop too many more winnable games. And, in my main league – that I write about on a weekly basis – I’ve fallen into the Consolation Bracket realm, and am in serious danger of suffering yet another lost season, with no end in sight to my quarterback woes (VERY serious woes when you consider it’s a 2-QB dynasty league).

So, yeah, my mind will still be here, at least in part. But, I’m not going on this honeymoon to try to recreate my sports life. It’s a chance to get away! A chance to be alone with the woman I love! If anything bad happens, so what?! I’m in a Caribbean paradise! But, if anything great happens with the teams I follow, it’ll be all the sweeter.

Until I get back home and am smacked in the face with stupid reality.

Have fun while I’m away. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Or, you know, do it anyway! Let me know how it goes, maybe I’ll join you.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: The Cousins Curse Continues

I lost 188.35 to 180.62 to You Dropped Your Dildo. Bryce Young scored 11.05 against the Bears of all teams. You’re telling me I couldn’t have gotten a measly 19 points from Cousins in a game where Josh Dobbs put up 29.8 on the Saints?

Not for nothing, but Jordan Love threw two late interceptions in Green Bay’s loss to the Steelers. Interceptions in our league are -4 points. That’s the difference. That’s technically DOUBLE the difference, because my opponent had the Steelers’ defense, and they get +4 points for INTs! One fewer interception by fucking Love would’ve won me the game!

I hate my fantasy life.

It’s especially galling because there were so many teams I would’ve easily beaten this week with 180. Only two would’ve gotten the better of me, so OF COURSE I have to be playing one of them. That’s just the way it works for me.

CeeDee Lamb had another monster game of almost 40 points. Hockenson had 30+, Walker and Tank Dell had nearly 20 apiece, the Jets got me a respectable 15 (but, alas, couldn’t hold it down against a pretty inept Raiders team), and even my kicker got me 13. I’m solid! At every spot but quarterback. Broken record, playing on repeat, until the end of time.

This week, I’ve got a date with Beasts, who is 9-1 and in first place. I have fallen to 4-6 and am now in seventh place, one spot outside of the playoffs. It’s getting real dark! I can’t believe I’m going to be playing in the Consolation Bracket once again!

Here’s my lineup:

  • Justin Fields (QB) @ Det
  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. LAC
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Car
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) vs. NYG
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ LAR
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ Car
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Den
  • Tank Dell (WR) vs. Ari
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) vs. Pit
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ Buf

God bless Tank Dell! I knew last week would be my last chance to pick him up, and he really looks like a stud! Alexander Mattison was a last-minute benching last week, which is a rare moment of prescience for me. He sucks! His team knows it, which is the worst part. Granted, they were going up against the Saints’ defense – generally stout against the run – which is what scared me off in the first place. But, seeing his carries fall to the next man up, and seeing the other moves the team is making to bolster their RB room, it seems unlikely Mattison will ever be That Guy for me. He’s Just A Guy instead, which is someone I can ill-afford to start unless in an emergency.

As such, he’s essentially useless to me, so I ended up dropping him and picking up Trey McBride as a free agent. I don’t have an immediate need for a tight end, however Hockenson does have a BYE coming up in Week 13. Frankly, it’s silly that McBride was still out there to be had by anyone; are there 9 better fantasy tight ends in the league right now? I don’t think so. This is his second year in the league, and he’s already taken over for Zach Ertz (thanks to injury, but he’s also better than Ertz, so there’s that). After starting off as the team’s #2 TE and doing very little the first five weeks, he’s really come on, scoring over 20 in two of the last three weeks. The sky seems to be the limit for him. In an ideal world, I would trade one of my tight ends for a more competent starter (especially at QB), but the trade deadline is this week and I just don’t think there will be time. Really, it might be prudent just to hang onto him, since it seems like Hockenson is a little banged up and is on the injury report every week. You never know when he might go over the edge, or have to otherwise sit out a week. And, you know, if I can hang onto McBride through the end of the season, it gives me an option as far as keepers go heading into next year. That’s one less quality keeper for someone else.

When Kyren returns, I’ll have a legitimate decision to make on Tony Pollard. He ALSO stinks! I can’t explain how invisible he’s been this year, but it’s starting to become absurd. The Cowboys are doing pretty well on offense – and going up against some pretty miserable defenses – but Pollard is nowhere to be found! I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

Addison and Dell are the two flexes for me, going forward, depending on who the Commanders are playing. I’ll sit Scary Terry against an elite defense, but otherwise he’s pretty reliable. I just have my doubts about Dobbs as a passer of the football to NFL wide receivers. I’d like to see Addison really blow up one time before I start him again. Also, not for nothing, but Justin Jefferson is coming back soon, and will surely command the lion’s share of the targets again (targets that figure to diminish due to Dobbs’ ineffectiveness as a passer).

Fields returns this week; it’s not a moment too soon. If Young can’t get it going against the crappy Bears, what hope does he have ever? This week, Young is at Dallas, and there’s no way in hell I can start him there; he’s a negative points day waiting to happen! Aidan O’Connell followed up a mediocre start against the Giants with an even more mediocre start against the Jets. Not totally surprising there, but he’s also not giving me a whole helluva lot of confidence. As such, with Deshaun Watson being lost for the year, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson being named his replacement, I decided to cut O’Connell and pick up DTR.

O’Connell has, like, zero upside. He doesn’t run, he doesn’t throw deep, he’s helming an offense that’s run first, run second, run infinity. He’s like a dumpier version of Mac Jones (and now that I say that, watch him turn into the next Tom Brady). At least DTR theoretically has some wheels. If nothing else, he’s more of an unknown than O’Connell, since he has one fewer start. On the plus side, Will Levis has had back-to-back not-good games, so I don’t have to be totally devastated anymore.

I actually like Love’s matchup against the Chargers; if he can’t blow up this week, I don’t know what to tell you. I like Scary Terry against the Giants, I like the Cowboys against the Panthers, I like Hockenson against the Broncos. Give me all the Dell against Arizona, and all the Hopkins against the Steelers’ defense. I’m a little unsure about Walker against the Rams, but that’s no slight against him, rather an acknowledgment of the weird mastery the Rams have over the Seahawks.

Here’s who Beasts has going:

  • Justin Herbert (QB) @ GB
  • Russell Wilson (QB) vs. Min
  • Cooper Kupp (WR) vs. Sea
  • Tyler Lockett (WR) vs. LAR
  • Derrick Henry (RB) @ Jax
  • Josh Jacobs (RB) @ Mia
  • Mark Andrews (TE) vs. Cin
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB) vs. TB
  • Jason Myers (K) @ LAR
  • Detroit (DEF) vs. Chi

Look at all the studs! He’s also got Calvin Ridley if he wants to swap out Lockett. Hard to love Russ the Fantasy Quarterback anymore, but he has been better this season. Also Minnesota’s defense is no great shakes. Herbert is a points monster, and always blows up when he plays against me. Kupp is a stud, Henry and Jacobs are both studs, and CMC is like a god at this point. He’s even got Andrews, probably the best fantasy TE in the game, if that all wasn’t bad enough! To boot, he gets the Lions’ defense to rub it in my face when Fields either sucks or doesn’t end up playing. I’m going to get massacred.

Do The Seahawks Seem Like A Playoff Team?

The Seahawks are 6-3 right now. They’re tied for the division lead with the 49ers (who own the tiebreaker edge based on divisional record) and are technically the best of the wild card bunch (with the tiebreaker edge over Dallas based on conference record). That’s a fifth seed, for those keeping track at home. If that were to hold until the end of the regular season, we would almost certainly be facing the winner of the NFC South in the wild card round, who will almost certainly have a worse regular season record.

But, I dunno. When I think of playoff teams, I think of teams that can legitimately win it all. I know that’s not the case (that’s never the case), but to me, there are capital P Playoff Teams, and there are teams that just so happen to make the playoffs. Someone’s gotta be fodder for the legitimate Playoff Teams, until we get to the point where there are only legitimate Playoff Teams left standing.

The Seahawks made the playoffs last year, but they weren’t a Playoff Team. They also started 6-3, and were actually in the lead for the NFC West before the 49ers got their act together and went on a huge run to close the regular season at 13-4. The Seahawks finished 9-8 and were the aforementioned fodder for those very 49ers in the opening round of the playoffs.

You could make an argument that the Seahawks were a Playoff Team in 2020, finishing 12-4, winning the NFC West, but Playoff Teams don’t lose in the first round to a Rams team playing two backup quarterbacks (starting with John Wolford before he got hurt and was replaced by the benched Jared Goff, who obviously would go on to better things with the Lions, but was still a mess at the time).

In reality, the Seahawks haven’t been a Playoff Team since 2015, when they got buzzsawed by the eventual Super Bowl runner ups in Carolina.

Playoff Teams have real strengths that stand out against elite competition. Playoff Teams don’t just feast on the mediocre and the bottom-dwellers. Playoff Teams find ways to win against the best of the best.

Before this past weekend, I would’ve told you our only quality victory was at Detroit in week two. The longer this season goes, the more impressive that’s going to look; the Lions feel like a Playoff Team. With Cleveland advancing to 6-3 after beating the Ravens, I think that victory gets elevated a little bit (even though we beat their backup QB); at least the Browns have an amazing defense, and we were still able to move the ball and put up some points on them.

We can’t write this Seahawks team off yet, without seeing how they do in the games going forward. There are going to be plenty of opportunities for us to show up against the best of the best: two against the 49ers, the Eagles, the Cowboys, all in a row. Right now, I would say we’re 2-2 against quality opponents, with a hard-fought loss at Cincy, and a drubbing at Baltimore. If we finish that gauntlet stretch going 2-2, splitting with the 49ers and splitting with the NFC East teams, that gives us a 4-4 record in such games, and puts us in good shape the rest of the way. I might buy us as a team that can make some noise in the post-season.

That being said, A) going 2-2 in that stretch is a HUGE “if”. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if we went 0-4 against those teams. All of them have amazing defenses, and if Geno doesn’t show up, they could be significantly ugly losses like we had against the Ravens. And B) even if we go 2-2, that doesn’t automatically guarantee we’re going to take care of business against the four other teams who aren’t very good. The Rams are always a nightmare, Pittsburgh has a terrific defense, Arizona has played hard all year and are getting healthy at the right time, and Tennessee is extremely well-coached. Going 2-2 during the gauntlet does us no good if we also go 2-2 against the dregs, finishing 10-7 and probably in a lesser wild card spot that has us facing one of the top dogs again.

I keep coming back to the concept that the Seahawks don’t really do anything great. They’re okay in a lot of areas, and they’ve feasted on most of the teams they should’ve beaten, but that only gets you so far.

The rushing attack is fine; I like both of our backs and think they bring some diverse and impactful things to this offense. But, they also feel underutilized; we tend to steer away from the running game for long stretches. And by the time we get back to it, it feels like teams have adjusted to what we were doing.

Our passing game is okay, but Geno has been hyper mistake-prone, it seems like guys are having trouble getting open (or we’re having trouble scheming them open), and we’re not really winning a lot of 50/50 balls. This team turtles up in the biggest spots (on third down, and in the red zone), and when we’re going bad, everything snowballs for entire quarters, halves, or even games. Playoff Teams don’t do that!

No one can say the run defense isn’t improved, but you don’t win championships on stout run defense. I would say the pass rush is better than expected, but we also lost our best pass rusher for the year in Nwosu, and had to trade significant draft capital just to bring in Leonard Williams to try to shore things up. When have these trades ever worked for us? Williams seemed to make an impact last week at times, but one guy isn’t going to automatically take this team to a top level.

I still haven’t figured out if this secondary is the team’s strength or not. It feels like it should be. It was certainly projected to be heading into the season. But, guys were injured early and they got off to a pretty horrid start. They’ve picked it up significantly with Devon Witherspoon, Riq Woolen, and Jamal Adams back in the fold. But, what happened the last two weeks? Baltimore was able to do whatever they wanted against us, and Washington definitely found large swaths of green grass in the intermediate zones of the defense, with their running backs and tight ends dominating. Is that on the secondary? I would say somewhat. Where were our safeties? How atrocious was the tackling? It’s not the L.O.B. and comparisons to such are lazy and pointless. But, if you want to be a true Playoff Team, you need a unit like the L.O.B. to give you some real validity.

Good, not great, seems to be the mark of this Seahawks team. This is the time of the year where pundits like to point out all the flaws in every team, to give people like Seahawks fans hope that maybe we’re in that calibre as the Eagles, 49ers, etc. The Eagles are 8-1, and yet you’d think they’re the Saints or something. They had a mistake-prone game against the Jets’ elite defense on the road, and still only lost by one possession. No, they haven’t been running up the score like they did last year, but I would also argue that none of their victories have felt in jeopardy. The 49ers famously had that 3-game losing streak to dip below the Seahawks for a week, but then what happened? They had their BYE, they got guys healthy, and they absolutely stomped the Jags into smithereens. They might conceivably not lose again the rest of the way; they did something VERY similar last year! As for the Lions, they’re 7-2 and the biggest knock against them seems to be the fact that they’re the Lions. Sure, they got roughed up by the Ravens like we did, and they lost to us, so they might be at a similar level to the Seahawks. Their schedule is so easy, they might not be discovered as frauds until the playoffs, but there’s a lot to like about the way that team is set up. Their offense is no joke, both running and throwing, and they’ve got some quality players up front on defense that can make lives miserable.

The Seahawks feel like a second-tier team, on par with the Lions and Cowboys. Of those three, I think I have the least amount of faith in the Seahawks. That’s a tough thing to feel about a team that’s highly likely to be involved in the post-season in some capacity. We’ll probably make the playoffs, sure, but I don’t think we’ll win a game once we get there. In that sense, what’s the point? It’s like we weren’t even there at all!

The hope, then, has to be that 2023 is a jumping-off point. A la 2011 or 2012. But, by the end of 2012, we were one of the best teams in the league, who got beaten by a bad first half of football in the divisional round. I don’t see that kind of finish happening fo this squad. There’s a ceiling with Geno Smith that there wasn’t with a rookie Russell Wilson. And that, as we all suspect – as much as we hate to admit it, because we all generally like Geno – is going to be our ultimate downfall, and the reason why not only this team isn’t a Playoff Team, but it won’t be a legitimate contender until we find his eventual replacement.

The Huskies Won In Extremely Exciting Fashion To Stay Perfect Against The Utes

That was quite the fun and thrilling game we were treated to on Saturday! I was busy all afternoon, so I had my dad and brother record the game for us to watch that evening. We managed to avoid all spoilers – going so far as to mute a group text thread I’m in – to get to watch this game fresh, and boy did it deliver!

The Husky defense got the job done on the first couple Utes drives, leading me to wonder if we’d fixed some things after two straight weeks of giving up points like they were going out of style. The Huskies subsequently marched right down the field to take a 7-0 lead, and then the points bonanza was on.

Utah answered to tie it, the Huskies had to settle for a field goal to go up 10-7, then there were five consecutive touchdowns scored to make it 28-24 Utes going into halftime, and this looked like the USC game all over again.

When the Huskies had to settle for a punt coming out of the break, I thought that was an extremely ominous sign. At that point, I was hoping that there would be somehow, someway, we could at some point hold them to just a field goal. As it turned out, the Utes never scored again!

We got the ball back, drove for a field goal to give us a 1-point deficit. We got the ball back again and drove for the go-ahead TD (missing on the 2-point conversion), and for the next drive it looked like the offenses might take over the game again. Utah brought it back into our territory and looked like they may re-take the lead, before The Interception happened.

Usually, when you name a play like that, it’s a good thing. But, that’s probably a pick Alphonzo Tuputala would like to forget. He brought it back 76 yards, but unfortunately he needed to bring it back 77 yards, suffering from a nasty bout of Premature Celebration in dropping it on the ground at the Utah 1 yard line. A heads-up Ute lineman landed on it, giving the ball back to Utah, and taking away what would’ve been potentially a 40-28 lead (in a game where UW was favored by 9.5 points, that was a significant swing for bettors).

I’ll admit, I was cheering and going crazy with my family and our excitable border collie, so I didn’t actually see the fumble. I just heard the announcers say something to the effect of “Oh no!” and immediately was confronted with the worst possible outcome. The good news, however, was that they were backed up at their own 1. That had the potential to be a major talking point this week; instead, the Huskies stuffed their run for a safety on the very next play to make the game 35-28. We didn’t do anything with it, and punted soon thereafter, but the Utes punted again, giving us one more chance to cover the spread.

Instead, predictably, our normally sure-footed kicker – Grady Gross – shanked a 32 yarder that was easily blocked. It didn’t have a prayer. The day was windy, and quite frankly it seemed like we were lucky to have made ANY kicks, but I don’t know what happened here. It should’ve been the easiest of the bunch. Maybe he slipped? Maybe he tried to compensate so much for the wind that he just whiffed? I dunno, but it was predictable because nothing can come easy in a situation like this.

The defense, to their credit, stood strong one more time, giving up 0 yards on the final drive, before picking it off on fourth down to seal it.

Michael Penix was great again, though he was relatively off-target, especially early on, throwing lots of balls high and wide. He finished with 332 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs (while adding another rushing TD), but only 24/42 in completions. Again, it’s not a game where he cost himself the Heisman, but he also has yet to really take hold of the award and wrench it away from all comers. It’s a tight race! He’s still undefeated, which is a big feather in the cap, and he’s undefeated in a premium conference (after 3-4 big wins, depending on your opinion of USC or Arizona, who I feel are pretty equal at this point); but it’s still Washington, it’s still the west coast, and there are a couple of other undefeated quarterbacks who are playing on more highly-regarded teams. He needs to assert himself in these last few games, which might mean it will come all the way down to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Dillon Johnson followed up his smashing USC game with another great one: 104 rushing yards on 23 carries with a TD (and another 28 yards receiving on 2 receptions). Odunze had a monster game in this one, catching only 3 balls, but for 111 yards and 2 TDs; Jack Westover had 7 bigtime catches for 64 yards. And Germie Bernard had 6 for 63 as well; Penix didn’t spread the ball around quite as much this week, but they got the job done.

I wish I had the breakdowns handy between the first and second halves, because the defense really impressed me with how they adjusted. It just looked like Utah could do no wrong! And then all of a sudden, nothing. No sacks or anything, but there was some pretty good pressure at times. It’s looking unlikely that this D-Line is ever going to take over a game, but it seems like they’re just plucky enough to force teams into bad plays at the most opportune times.

The win brings us to 10-0, still fifth in the nation. Ohio State throttled MSU, Georgia laid the woodchipper on #9 Ole Miss, Michigan had very little trouble with #10 Penn State, and Florida State won a 1-score game over Miami to all stay perfect ahead of us.

In the Pac-12, #6 Oregon had no trouble with USC, Oregon State thumped Stanford, and Arizona got by Colorado to give the Buffaloes their sixth loss of the season (after they were such hot shit the first month). Cali knocked WSU down a peg (both teams have six losses and are both on the brink of missing out on any bowl action), and ASU made ugly work over UCLA in a 10-point victory.

As it stands now, USC and Utah both have three conference losses, and are all but eliminated from the championship game. Utah only fell to 16th in the AP Poll, and Arizona climbed to 19th. Both Arizona, and #10 Oregon State, are sitting at two conference losses, hypothetically still in the hunt. The Wildcats host Utah this weekend, which I would assume means the end of the road for them (they close against ASU, who is no gimme).

Oregon State has the hardest road remaining, as they host the Huskies this week, then finish at Oregon. And, of course, Oregon – with the one loss – goes on the road at ASU before hosting the Beaves.

Oregon State’s season is on the line these last two weeks. They can’t afford to lose this week, or else it’s the end for them. The only way they can make it is by winning out – which would give them the tiebreaker over the Ducks – and having the Wildcats lose one more. The caveat being: I don’t know what the tiebreaker scenarios are if the Huskies, Ducks, Beavers and/or Wildcats all have two conference losses. Seems like a nightmare I’d simply rather not have to think about.

So, here’s where my mind is at.

I am, of course, rooting for the Huskies to win this weekend at OSU. That being said, there’s a small part of me that’s worried. I’m a worrier! That’s why my friends call me Whiskers. The weak-willed motherfucker in me thinks that if the Huskies go undefeated in the regular season and head into the Pac-12 Championship Game at 12-0, against what will presumably be either a 1-loss or 2-loss Oregon Ducks team, fresh off of back-to-back years beating the Ducks in the regular season, that will mean the Ducks get the better of us when it matters most: when it means a spot in the college football playoffs.

If there’s a way to break my heart in the most agonizing way possible, that would be it. They’d give us our first loss, knock us into some lesser New Years Six bowl, and we’d watch them probably play for the championship.

With that line of thinking, I have a couple of off-shoots. First, losing to the Beavers will give them something to play for in the erstwhile Civil War. If there’s a scenario where we can knock the Ducks out of the Pac-12 Championship Game, I would gladly take it. Now, for starters, I know the Beavers will be motivated to win that game no matter what. But, I would also like for that game to have some meaning in the standings. If the Beavers are heading into that game with 3 losses, then it won’t matter if the Ducks lose the Civil War, because they would presumably have the edge over Arizona even though they didn’t play one another this year.

My other thought is that a loss to the Beavers might sap away any of that bad juju. The pressure would be off a little bit; we would cease to be perfect, and therefore know what it’s like to lose, and that might give us some sort of psychological advantage in our rematch with the Ducks. Quite frankly, it feels like the Huskies have been inordinately lucky this season. The Ducks were terrible on 4th down in our game with them; ASU had that back-breaking pick-six they gave up to us; Stanford literally dropped a 4th down conversion that could have propelled them to a game-winning score; and we literally overcame a dropped pick-six at the 1-yard line against the Utes to find a way to hold on. That’s not even factoring in how we somehow managed to hold USC scoreless in the fourth quarter in a shootout to end all shootouts. It’s felt shaky in the second half of this season!

Of course, the concern with dropping this game against Oregon State is that we somehow suffer a hangover the following week in the Apple Cup. The Cougs sure seem broken, having lost six in a row after what now looks like an improbable victory over the Beavers to start the season 4-0 and ranked in the Top 25. If they blow it to Colorado this weekend, the only thing the Cuogs will be playing for is to knock us out of the playoffs. Which I’m sure they’d be all too happy to oblige.

I won’t be blogging next week – as I’ll be on my honeymoon – and I don’t even know if I’ll get a chance to watch either of these games live. Do cruises have sports bars? My wife seems to think so. Even so, would they televise the Pac-12 game du jour? We’ll see, but I don’t know if I’d even be interested, if I’m being honest.

If the worst happens, I’ll be glad that I’m on my honeymoon in a Caribbean paradise. Either way, I’ll be home for the Pac-12 Championship Game. Here’s to hoping it all works out perfectly from here, and I’ll have no complaints this time next month!

The Seahawks Barely Beat The Commanders

What a strange game! The defense was nowhere to be seen on that first drive, then they settled down through the third quarter – limiting the Commanders to just two more field goals – and then they fell apart again in the fourth quarter.

The offense, meanwhile, scrabbled together three field goal drives in the first half – once again struggling in or near the red zone – only to pick it up a bit in the second half, and came up huge late in the game to eke out a 29-26 victory.

We looked at times both great and terrible in this game. In the end, talent won out, but I think what this game showed us more than anything is that the talent level of the Seahawks is much closer to the Commanders than it is to the 49ers or the truly elite teams in the NFC.

It was good to see the huge, crushing mistakes were eliminated in this one. I don’t think the Seahawks could’ve afforded any turnovers, and thankfully they managed to avoid them. Geno Smith had a good game, throwing for 369 yards and 2 TDs. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both had strong performances (7 for 98 and 8 for 92 and a TD, respectively). Kenneth Walker had some big plays (127 yards from scrimmage and a receiving TD), and Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a solid 4 for 53.

Defensively, the big story was Boye Mafe, with his seventh consecutive game with a sack. Leondard Williams had his first sack with the Seahawks. And the cornerbacks seemed to clamp down pretty good on the Commanders’ receivers. But, we also let their running backs run roughshod both on the ground and through the air, with lots of missed tackles/assignments.

It was critical for the Seahawks to limit pressure on Geno, and he ended up only taking one sack. This seemed to be his least-pressured game of the season, and his numbers looked pretty good accordingly.

Jason Myers came up huge, with five field goals, four from 40+, on a not-great weather weekend.

This brought the Seahawks back to 6-3 on the year, keeping pace with the 49ers. Now, we head to L.A. to take on the Rams in a rematch of that week 1 debacle. It’s hard to predict what that game is going to look like, without knowing the status of their key players.

The Rams are coming off of a BYE, and Matthew Stafford has been nursing a thumb injury. The Rams are, predictably, 3-6 on the year and look like they’re going nowhere. However, Stafford looks to be on track for his return this week, and as we all know, the Rams always play us tough, no matter how bad they are on paper.

I don’t think the Rams are any worse than the Commanders. That should, at the very least, give us pause. I don’t see any reason why this game shouldn’t be closer than the 30-13 drubbing we suffered at the start of the season, but I also see no reason why we would feel remotely confident. It’s really kind of a no-win situation. If we beat them, we were supposed to beat them; if we lose, then it’s going to be another miserable Sunday losing to the hated Rams in a game where we’re severely out-coached.

My official pick is somewhere in the realm of 27-24 Rams. I hope I’m wrong. But, I’ll also be on my honeymoon when it’s taking place, so if all goes according to plan, I won’t see one iota of this matchup.