The Seahawks Signed Brandon Marshall

This feels like more of a news story than it is, I think.  Brandon Marshall is a fringe Hall of Famer who frequently elevated the play of the sub-par quarterbacks around him.  If you had paired him with a Hall of Fame quarterback for the majority of his career – if, for instance, he had played his 12 years with Tom Brady – we might be talking about one of the very best wide receivers of all time.  But, I guess teams didn’t want to deal with his personality or whatever, so he never really stuck with any one team.  Not for longer than 4 years, anyway.

The Seahawks would be his 6th NFL team.  Up until last year’s injury-riddled stint with the Giants, Brandon Marshall had racked up at least one 1,000-yard season everywhere he went, with guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Kyle Orton, and Jay Cutler (again) throwing to him.  Just like Russell Wilson is the best quarterback Brian Schottenheimer has ever had, Russell Wilson is the best quarterback Brandon Marshall will have ever had.

Of course, that’s assuming he sticks.  It’s just too bad he’s 34 years old instead of 24 years old.

It’s a 1-year deal, for up to $2 million with incentives.  I can’t imagine much of it – if any – is guaranteed.  This has the feel of a guy we bring into Training Camp and see if he has anything left in the tank, a la Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards.

Obviously, Doug Baldwin is your #1 and Tyler Lockett is your #2.  The Seahawks brought in Jaron Brown to be the team’s #3, so if anything, this looks like it’s Jaron Brown Insurance.  Brandon Marshall can walk onto this team right this moment (assuming he’s fully healthy from last year’s injury) and be the 5th or 6th best receiver on this roster.  That would take very minimal effort from a fringe Hall of Famer, but you don’t bring in a Brandon Marshall to be this team’s 5th or 6th receiver.  Because, in all honesty, you need more from those guys; you need those guys to be standout special teamers, and that’s absolutely not in the cards for Marshall.  The only way Marshall makes the team is if he’s so much better than you’d expect him to be.  If he’s simply AS good as Amara Darboh, David Moore, or Marcus Johnson, then guess what:  you’re going to keep the younger guys with more cost control and less miles on their legs!  Is he better than those guys right now?  Almost certainly, but that’s not enough.

Brandon Marshall isn’t fighting for a spot against all the other wide receivers on this 90-man roster; he’s fighting for a roster spot against Jaron Brown.  He essentially needs to be BETTER than Jaron Brown to make this team.  I should point out that it doesn’t preclude the team from keeping both; in that hypothetical scenario, it just means both Brown and Marshall will have impressed the coaching staff enough to make a difficult decision (also in that hypothetical scenario, figure that means the team keeps 6 receivers, which – if I have to guess – is not something they want to do; I bet they opt to keep 5 and one of those veteran receivers gets the ax; most likely Marshall, but that’s neither here nor there).

In the end, figure it’s much ado about nothing.  It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Marshall is good enough to make this team, aside from some pretty serious injuries to the wide receiver unit.

Seahawks Throttle Jets Before Well-Deserved BYE Week

The lasting image I’ve taken away from this game – the first thing that’ll come to mind as the season goes on and I’m reminded of the week we went to New Jersey to play the Jets – isn’t Russell Wilson’s heroism, or Jimmy Graham’s demolition of everything in his path, or even the fact that we flew across the country and dominated in a 10am west coast start time that would’ve been unheard of 10 years or even 5 years ago.  While those are all great storylines that I’ll gladly talk about below, the really fascinating part of this game was the Brandon Marshall vs. Richard Sherman matchup, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s fearlessness in trying to exploit it.

Richard Sherman doesn’t follow the other team’s #1 receiver every game.  Part of that is many teams don’t have a TRUE #1 receiver worthy of all the attention, part of that is our scheme is so sound and our other cornerbacks are pretty good in their own rights.  So, when Sherm does the unusual, like he did on Sunday, it’s noteworthy.  Hell, it’s appointment television!  And, this matchup didn’t disappoint.

Brandon Marshall IS a true #1 receiver.  He is, indeed, probably one of the top five most gifted and dominant receivers in all of football.  People don’t usually throw his name into the mix as much as they should because he’s 32 years old, he’s bounced around to now his fourth team in a tumultuous career, and he’s rarely – if ever – had a really elite quarterback throwing him the ball.  But, I’ll tell you this much, he’s had eight 1,000+ yard receiving seasons (including at least one with four different teams, which I believe is an NFL record), and he’s had 6 seasons with 100+ receptions.  This is a bona fide NFL Hall of Fame talent, and maybe a first ballot guy at that.

I mean, just look at the list of quarterbacks he’s made look like Pro Bowlers:

  • Jay Cutler
  • Kyle Orton
  • Chad Henne
  • Matt Moore
  • Jay Cutler again
  • Josh McCown
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick

If that isn’t a who’s who of utter crap, I don’t know what to tell you!

So, when I caught on to what Richard Sherman was trying to do, that game took on another level of intrigue.  Now, it didn’t hurt that Eric Decker was out with injury.  While Decker isn’t in Marshall’s league, he’s still a quality, veteran receiver and a consummate #2 guy who will do his share of the damage if the opposing team focuses too much on Marshall.  I wonder, with a fully healthy Decker, if Sherm still would’ve followed Marshall, or if we would’ve played it straight.

Either way, he did follow Marshall around, and it was absolutely the right thing to do.  There’s no doubt in my mind – with the way Fitzpatrick was already trying to pick on Sherm, because we left him out there on an island (so to speak) – that had we stuck with our regular defense, Marshall would’ve lined up against Shead probably 80% of the game, and he would’ve destroyed us for 200+ yards and maybe a couple more touchdowns.  And, believe me, I like Shead!  I just think there’s another class of cornerback above Shead (a class that Richard Sherman is in), and it takes a guy IN that class to try to shut down a quality receiver like Marshall.

I mean, hell, as it was, with Sherm on him all day, Marshall STILL caught 4 balls for 89 yards and the first receiving touchdown this defense has given up this season!  You’re telling me those numbers wouldn’t EASILY be doubled with Shead guarding him predominantly throughout the game?  Unless we would’ve shaded our safeties to his side on the reg, which isn’t really the way we like to play defense.

Anyway, it looked like it was going to pay off for the Jets.  Marshall got the lion’s share of his catches and yards in the first half – including the touchdown right before halftime that looked very un-Sherm, as he was unable to get his head turned around to look for the ball – but after a VERY bullshit pass interference call on Sherm in the second half, Fitz was caught with his hand in the cookie jar one too many times, and Sherm cut it off at the wrist with the first of two interceptions for him on the day.  EASILY the most satisfying interception I’ve seen him catch, probably since the 2013 game at Houston, as it came immediately after the bullshit flag.

In the end, the Sherman vs. Marshall matchup went about as well as you’d expect.  Marshall got his licks in early – because you’re not going to COMPLETELY eliminate a guy of his calibre – but ultimately Sherman won the day, and not just because the Seahawks came away with a victory.  Yes, Marshall had 4 receptions, but he was targeted 12 times.  Yes, Marshall got the TD, but Sherm got 2 INTs.  Yes, the Jets were able to exploit that matchup a little bit in the first half, but Sherman put Marshall on lock in the second half, and that was all she wrote.

Honestly, more than anything, I was shocked Fitzpatrick kept trying to go that way!  I understand the rationale – in the NFL, you love to go to a 1 on 1 matchup with a hall of fame receiver all day every day – but it just seems like eventually you’re going to get snakebitten.  I kept thinking that throughout the first half:  one of these times, Sherm is going to get his, and it’s going to be glorious.  It also makes sense in the fact that they really didn’t really have anyone else to throw to.  Decker was out.  Quincy Enunwa is a nice story as a second year possession receiver, but he’s not even at Decker’s level, let alone Marshall’s.  Behind him, there’s no one.  The Jets haven’t even completed a pass to a tight end in over a year!  Other than Enunwa, they had the two running backs to throw to.  While Bilal Powell had a nice game, and a couple of catches for first downs, that’s essentially playing right into our hands if they do that all day.  So, really, Fitzpatrick had no choice but to go to Marshall as if he was being guarded by Just Another Guy!  Nevertheless, it doesn’t make him look like any smarter of a person (Harvard education or not), but them’s the breaks in the National Football League.

***

Moving on to other things, Russell Wilson looked phenomenal.  Again, he was hampered by injuries, but I gotta think his ankle – if it’s not back to normal yet – will be fine by our next game in a couple weeks.  And, wearing the brace on his knee, while it slowed him a little bit – and most certainly took away a lot of our zone read plays – still allowed him to move around a little bit when he needed to.  I don’t think we’re going to see Wilson go full Tarkenton for a few more weeks yet (maybe in the second half of the season), but he’s upright, he’s mobile enough, and he’s making enough plays in the pocket to re-introduce the narrative of him taking that next step to Elite status (regardless of what many national pundits think; which, do they even bother watching ANY tape before crafting their hot taeks?).

Wilson completed 23 of 32 passes for 309 yards and 3 TDs.  8 of those 23 completions were of 15 yards or more.  He was, for the most part, on time, and dropping dimes into windows only our receivers could get to.

One of those receivers taking the bulk of the yards in this one was Jimmy Graham, who caught 6 more balls for 113 yards, which puts him on a 2-week run (since we opened him up to the full playbook and the full allotment of offensive plays) of 12 receptions for 213 yards and a touchdown.  He came up particularly huge in yesterday’s game, given the fact that Baldwin was held to just 4 catches for 54 yards.

As usual, Wilson did his thing when it comes to spreading the ball around.  8 different players caught at least one pass, including Tanner McEvoy’s first-ever reception (a WIDE open 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter), and C.J. Spiller’s first-ever Seahawks reception for a touchdown (after having just been signed earlier this week off the streets).

The offensive line did its job against a remarkable defensive line.  It wasn’t able to open up as many rushing lanes as you’d like, but that’s to be expected.  What was awesome was how much time it afforded Russell Wilson to pass the ball.  Sure, there were some pressures, and a couple sacks, but this O-Line isn’t ever going to be perfect.  As long as it can limit the damage as it’s been doing for the most part this season, and (even bigger) avoid excessive penalties that put us behind the chains, we’ll be just fine with this much-maligned group.

Germain Ifedi got his first start in replacing J’Marcus Webb, and had some good times and some bad times, but I have no doubt in my mind that he was better than what we would’ve gotten with Webb against that group.  Furthermore, going forward, we’re in MUCH better hands with Ifedi, as long as we can keep him off the trainer’s table.  We have this week off, which is a godsend to everyone with nagging injuries, but even better:  we face a much more reasonable slate of D-Lines going forward.  In the Nothing Special department, we face:  Atlanta, Arizona, New Orleans, Buffalo, New England, Philly, and Tampa in the next seven games.  The rest of the way, depending on injuries, we only have to be concerned about the D-Lines of Carolina, Los Angeles, and maybe Green Bay, and that’s it!  So, grey skies are gonna clear up, folks.

Great games by Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas (who got his first pick of the season), K.J. Wright, and our D-Line as usual.  We ended up with 4 sacks on the day, a bunch of QB hits, and we held them to 58 yards rushing on the day.  If it weren’t for a crazy play involving the quarterback being strip-sacked, fumbling the ball about 10 yards forward, where a receiver picked it up and ran it into the endzone while everyone else on the field thought it was an incomplete pass, our points-against number would look a lot better than it does.  With that, and those two garbage time TDs by the 49ers last week, that’s a good 22 points we’re going to have to make up if we want to hold onto our championship belt of fewest points allowed in a season!

This one was fun.  Now, let’s all rest up and get ready to put the whuppin’ on the Falcons in two weeks.

What The Seahawks Should Do At Backup Quarterback

Recent news indicates that Tarvaris Jackson is likely to test the free agent waters this year, in hopes of getting into a situation that either pays him more money and/or gives him a chance to compete for a starting job/puts him behind a quarterback who might be a little more injury-prone than Russell Wilson.  Your guess is as good as mine as to what Tarvar has been doing in recent offseasons.  This story makes it sound like he’s been settling for being Seattle’s backup because it’s comfortable and familiar.  My guess is that Seattle has indeed been giving him the best possible deal, as I can’t imagine the market is too hard-up for a guy who’s proven he’s a backup in this league and nothing more.

Granted, he’s one of the better backups across the league, but a backup he remains.

Still, if you’re Tarvar, you’re looking around at some of these teams in 2015 – struggles in Dallas, Philly, St. Louis, Frisco, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Houston – and you’ve got to be thinking that you’re better than the backups for those teams who were forced into action (Dallas and Baltimore, particularly) and in other cases, better than who they’re running out as starters (Cleveland, Houston, St. Louis and the rest).  So, yeah, it makes sense – if you want to give it a go as a real live NFL quarterback (and not just a seat-warmer on the bench) – to put yourself out there as a veteran alternative for some of these teams who don’t land their Quarterback of the Future in the NFL Draft or free agency.  At the very least, he’d be likelier to see the field playing behind someone a little less durable than Russell Wilson (boy, am I putting the whammy on our boy with this sentiment).

So, what we’re talking about is, for the first time in years, looking for a non-Tarvar backup.

All else being equal, I’d like to have Tarvar back again.  That’s going to mean many multiple teams pass him over for other alternatives, leaving him with a pretty bruised ego, but so be it.  If, however, for the sake of argument we’re talking about a Tarvar-less future, then there are two obvious routes you can take:  bring in a veteran, or draft/sign a rookie.

Seattle’s in a wonderful position in this regard, because we have Russell Wilson.  He’s a solid, franchise quarterback, still in the early-prime of his career.  We don’t necessarily NEED to bring in another starting candidate to push him.  Which means, obviously, backup quarterback is a position that you can save some money on (which is important, considering how much money Wilson is taking in).  Therefore, you won’t see the Seahawks using a high draft pick, and you won’t see them blowing out the bank on free agents like Cousins, Fitzpatrick, Osweiler, or Bradford (who will all be looking for opportunities to start somewhere anyway).

That puts us in the range of a low-round draft pick (maybe 5th or lower), an undrafted rookie, or one of the other veteran options out there on the market.

In looking at those veteran options … woof!  What a bunch of dogs!  When you think of a backup quarterback in our kind of situation (i.e. someone who is a clear backup and has no chance to be this team’s starter when all players are healthy), your BEST CASE scenario is a guy who will fill in for a few weeks and somehow manage to keep the team in/around .500.  A guy like Seneca Wallace back in the day is a perfect example of this.  We were lucky to have drafted him to play behind Hasselbeck, so he was cheap for many years.  If we can somehow do that again, that’s probably the most realistic ideal situation.  Looking at veteran options, someone like … Matt Hasselbeck last year with Indy.  He was able to fill in for a few games and led them to some quality wins!  Then, as the season dragged on, as Luck was unable to return and the games piled up, Hasselbeck was less and less effective.  Old guys getting hit a lot tend to break down, shocking I know.

This post by Field Gulls has a nice little list of free agent quarterbacks.  If you remove Tarvar (for the sake of argument), and you remove the four starting candidates (Bradford, Cousins, Fitzpatrick, and Osweiler), you’re left with the crap of the crap (obviously, it’s still really early in the offseason, and a lot of cuts/trades are out there to be made; this post won’t include guys likely to be released/already under contract).  Among guys with significant starting experience, you’re talking about:

  • Cassel
  • Clausen
  • Gradkowski
  • RGIII
  • Hasselbeck
  • Henne
  • Lindley
  • McCown
  • McCoy
  • Moore
  • Schaub
  • Stanton
  • Vick
  • Weeden
  • Whitehurst
  • Yates

Cassel is old and grossly over-valued.  I have zero confidence in his abilities to guide a team to a .500 record in the absence of this team’s starter (see:  his stint in Dallas last year).  Clausen is horrible; Gradkowski hasn’t had significant starting experience in half a decade; Lindley & Stanton are who we think they are; Vick is as done as done can be; the best thing Whitehurst has ever done is somehow trick Jewel into going out with him (aside from tricking multiple teams into giving him multiple millions of dollars, including the Seahawks, and now this is making me even more upset); and Yates apparently only has value to the Houston Texans, so that’s a stay-away in my book.

Of the guys I didn’t list in that paragraph, Hasselbeck is obviously the most interesting.  Who knows if he’s even in the market to continue his career after the thrashing he took in Luck’s absence last year?  Odds are, since Wilson does a better job of avoiding contact, he probably doesn’t suffer the same lacerated spleen or whatever the hell it was that Luck had.  Then again, if you’re Hasselbeck, would you ever expect a tough hoss like Luck to get injured in the first place?

RGIII might be another someone looking to compete for a starting job.  In fact, I’m almost sure of it, so I don’t know why I kept him here.  Obviously, I worry about injuries with him.  I also worry about his mindset.  By all accounts, he was a quality teammate last year and didn’t cause any trouble in the lockerroom.  But, for a guy drafted as high as he was, who still has a lot of the skills that made him so highly sought after (minus the legs, obviously), he’d make an ideal backup candidate.  BUT, maybe not for the Seahawks.  I just have my doubts as to his willingness to come in and be the clear #2.

If I’m being honest, I don’t totally hate the idea of Chad Henne as this team’s backup.  When he first got a crack to be a team’s starter, it was in Miami in 2009 & 2010.  Those weren’t great teams, but they were sort of middle-of-the-road, .500-ish teams, and he led them to .500-ish records accordingly.  His career started to go down the shitter when he went to Jacksonville, playing on some truly horrendous teams.  On the right team (i.e. on THIS team, the Seahawks), I think Henne could be a .500-ish quarterback again.  He’s going to complete upwards of 57-60% of his passes, and if you instruct him to refrain from taking too many chances, you might be able to coax his interception percentage down to reasonable levels.  He is getting on in age, though, so he’s probably not all that mobile, which obviously is going to be an issue for most of these veterans we’re looking at.

Luke McCown had 1 start in 2015, and played brilliantly in a losing effort.  Against Carolina, he completed 31 of 38 passes for 310 yards and a pick.  Before that, he hasn’t started a game since 2011, so I don’t know what you’d expect here.  That one start for New Orleans really skews his career numbers, but he could be an interesting buy-low candidate with some semblance of upside as a backup.

Colt McCoy might honestly be the best of the bunch.  Drafted by Cleveland, I tend to discount whatever anyone does in Cleveland, as they’ve been a trainwreck ever since the NFL let them back into the league (and for many years before they went to Baltimore to boot).  In 2014, McCoy had a string of games with the Redskins that showed everyone why he was thought of so highly coming out of college, as well as why he’s now exclusively a backup.  He had two and a half really good games (including an impressive Monday night victory over the eventual division champion Cowboys), and a couple of real stinkers (albeit, I believe that last game he was injured and had to leave the game early).  He’s definitely not going to blow anyone away or win any shootouts, but I think he could manage a game effectively well.  What more can you ask for?

Matt Moore has been backing up Tannehill these last few years, and honestly I don’t know how he can stand it.  Moore, in his starting efforts early in his career, was the epitome of a .500 quarterback.  Hovering around 59% completions, with slightly more touchdowns than interceptions.  He strikes me as another semi-ideal candidate.  Like Henne, he’s getting on in years, so I don’t know how mobile he is, and he hasn’t started a game since 2011, so that’s tough.  Maybe he’s like another Whitehurst, who loves being a backup and living in a tropical climate!  If that’s the case, I wonder if Seattle is the right spot for him.

Matt Schaub scares me.  A lot like Vick, I think he’s done.  A lot like Cassel, I think he’s over-valued.  He strikes me as a guy who, personality-wise, wouldn’t fit in on a team with this many alpha dogs.

Brandon Weeden is probably the last interesting name on the list.  He’s young enough to where you don’t totally worry about his durability (even though, let’s be honest, he’s like a tree back there in the pocket).  And, in spite of his Cleveland roots, I think it’s probably set in by this point that he’s going to be a career backup.  Last year was interesting for him, as he was the next man up after Romo went down for Dallas.  He proved to be underwhelming at best, leading to the Cowboys to over-pay for Matt Cassel (who managed to play even worse).  Weeden landed in Houston, where he ran circles around Cassel in his two appearances (though, he ended up relinquishing the job to Brian Hoyer for the playoffs, so make of that what you will).

So, in conclusion, I’ll rank my favorite options for the Seahawks’ backup quarterback:

  1. Talk Tarvaris Jackson into returning for another year
  2. Colt McCoy
  3. Matt Hasselbeck
  4. Rookie QB (either low round pick, undrafted free agent, or guy already on a futures contract)
  5. Brandon Weeden
  6. Henne/Moore (tie)
  7. Luke McCown
  8. Fuck it, give the job to Jon Ryan (also, make sure to re-sign Jon Ryan)
  9. No one/all Wildcat all the time
  10. Schaub
  11. Cassel
  12. Fan (open tryouts every week for a local Seahawks fan)

Should NFL Teams Trade For Wide Receivers?

There have been countless trades for wide receivers in the NFL.  Countless in the sense that I refuse to try and count them all.  I’m sure the information is out there, but I’m not in the business of compiling a complete list.

I do have AH list, though.  It’s a not-insignificant list, dating back a little over a decade.  Without further ado:

February 12, 2000 – Seattle Seahawks trade Joey Galloway to Dallas Cowboys for 2000 & 2001 first round picks

From the day Joey Galloway stepped onto a football field in 1995, he was a super-stud.  Per season, through 1999, he averaged 57 receptions for 891 yards and 7 touchdowns, with a 15.7 yards per catch average.  He topped 1,000 yards receiving in three of his five seasons, with his only down year taking place in 1999 when he held out for 8 games, hoping to push newly acquired Mike Holmgren around into giving him a new contract.  On top of that, Galloway was a massive success in the punt return game, returning four for touchdowns in his first four seasons.  When Holmgren came to Seattle, everyone thought two things:  that we would FINALLY have a franchise quarterback very soon, and that Joey Galloway would flourish in the West Coast Offense.  However, much like the new inmate who stabs his cell-mate on his first day, Mike Holmgren was looking to show everyone that he was nobody’s bitch.

So, he flipped Joey Galloway for two first rounders, one of the greatest fleecings in NFL trade history!  Galloway promptly tore his ACL in his first game in a Cowboys uniform and was never the same.  He was okay, but no longer the elite burner he had been with the Seahawks.  Didn’t prevent him from having a long, lasting career, which ended after the 2010 season, but he certainly didn’t live up to the cost in Dallas.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks turned those draft picks into Shaun Alexander (pick #19 in 2000), Koren Robinson (pick #9 in 2001), Heath Evans (pick #82 in 2001) and some dumb skank in the seventh round, thanks to trading that Dallas pick (#7 overall) to let San Francisco move up two spots.  Not a bad haul, and the first of many cautionary tales of trading for wide receivers in the NFL.

March 7, 2003 – Buffalo Bills trade Peerless Price to Atlanta Falcons for 2003 first round pick

And birthed about a billion “Price Was Right For Buffalo Bills” jokes and headlines.

You know, I had completely blocked out of my memory that Drew Bledsoe played quarterback for the Bills.  But, it’s true!  It happened!  From 2002 through 2004, he kept a mediocre franchise wallowing in mediocrity.  His last truly great season was 2002 when he threw for 4,359 yards and led the Bills to an 8-8 record.  On that team, he had two primary targets:  Eric Moulds (very underrated wideout), who caught 100 balls for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns; and one Peerless Price (very overrated wideout), who caught 94 balls for 1,252 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Price came into the league in 1999 and for the most part underwhelmed.  However, he parlayed a career year in 2002 into a Franchise Tag designation.  The Bills eventually traded him to the Falcons for that aforementioned first round pick, which was turned into Willis McGahee.  The Falcons, meanwhile, finally decided to put some receiving talent around Michael Vick.

Except, Price was pretty awful (to be fair, so was Vick, who was more runner than thrower back then) and was released after two sub-par seasons.  Hefty PRICE to pay indeed …

March 2, 2005 – Minnesota Vikings trade Randy Moss to Oakland Raiders for Napoleon Harris & 2005 first & seventh round picks

April 29, 2007 – Oakland Raiders trade Randy Moss to New England Patriots for 2007 fourth round pick

October 6, 2010 – New England Patriots trade Randy Moss to Minnesota Vikings for 2011 third round pick

Good God, Lemon!

I’m still trying to wrap my head around why Minnesota traded Randy Moss in the first place; probably because he was a real Grade-A prick to deal with, but that’s neither here nor there.  The bounty Oakland gave up is the closest thing approaching what Seattle just gave up for Percy Harvin, except it was for a first, a seventh, and a player instead of a third round pick.  Oakland’s first round pick ended up being the #7 overall choice, which the Vikings used ostensibly to draft his replacement – Troy Williamson (a real dud), but that’s also neither here nor there, because what Oakland gave up doesn’t even come CLOSE to how this trade ultimately backfired for them.

Granted, Minnesota didn’t really benefit from Moss’s departure (as Harris didn’t have much of an impact either), but Oakland got royally hosed.  Moss showed up, caught just a touch over 1,000 yards in 2005, then completely tanked it in 2006, which forced the Raiders to rid themselves of this pain in the ass once and for all.  They essentially gave him away to the Patriots for a 4th round pick, and SURPRISE, Moss magically returned to form.

Randy Moss was the best player alive in 2007 as the Patriots’ record-setting offense saw them go undefeated up until the Super Bowl, where they lost by mere inches as Tom Brady overthrew a streaking Moss in the waning seconds for a potential 80+ yard touchdown bomb.  Moss continued to be top-notch through 2009, until things got real cancerous in 2010, whereupon Moss was traded BACK to the Vikings for a third round pick.

Yeah, you read that right.  New England traded away a fourth rounder, got three amazing years out of a potential Hall of Famer, then traded him away for an even BETTER draft pick in the 2011 draft.  Holy Frijoles!

April 29, 2006 – Green Bay Packers trade Javon Walker to Denver Broncos for 2006 second round pick

Walker had one good season in Green Bay, in 2004, going for nearly 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns with Brett Favre throwing him the ball.  This was after a couple of so-so seasons to start his career.  With one Pro Bowl under his belt, OF COURSE it was time to stick it to the man for a huge pay raise!  Because the Green Bay Packers have built up their dynasty on the foundation of over-paying for flashes in the pan.

Walker hired Drew Rosenhaus, talked a whole truckload of shit in the offseason, threatened to hold out and/or retire in 2005 if he wasn’t granted a trade or release, and finally came to his senses.  This led to him playing in Game 1, tearing an ACL, and being placed on injured reserve (I guess that’s one way to accrue a year’s service time).

Somehow, there was a market for this trainwreck, with the highest bidder being the Denver Broncos.  They not only gave away a second round draft pick, but they signed him to a HUGE 5-year deal.  Again, a guy coming off of an ACL injury, who lost a full season, and who had serious getting-along-with-others issues.  With Jake Plummer and a rookie Jay Cutler at the helm, Walker bounced back in 2006 to catch 69 balls for 1,084 yards and 8 touchdowns.  But, he faltered hard in 2007, became untradeable, and was ultimately released.  Oakland picked him up for the 2008 & 2009 seasons (after the Randy Moss experiment failed), but they got nothing from him and he never played a down thereafter.

September 11, 2006 – New England Patriots trade Deion Branch to Seattle Seahawks for 2007 first round pick

See this post for full details.

March 5, 2007 – Miami Dolphins trade Wes Welker to New England Patriots for 2007 second & seventh round picks

If this article teaches you anything, it’s that the Patriots should be the ONLY team allowed to participate in trades of wide receivers.

Essentially, Miami got nothing out of this deal.  New England got six years of a guy who caught over 100 passes and over 1,000 yards in five of those six seasons.  He has, in short, been a total and complete stud out of the slot.  Even though things appear to be ending acrimoniously, it’s pretty safe to say the Patriots dominated this trade.

April 28, 2007 – Detroit Lions trade Mike Williams and Josh McCown to Oakland Raiders for 2007 fourth round pick

This was how desperate the Lions were to trade erstwhile first rounder Mike Williams (out of USC).  They packaged him with a journeyman backup quarterback and STILL could only get a fourth round pick back from Oakland.  Williams was released after 6 games with the Raiders, played 2 more games with the Titans that season, then didn’t return to the NFL until 2010 with the Seahawks.  All the promise in the world, gone to waste.

April 29, 2007 – Seattle Seahawks trade Darrell Jackson to San Francisco 49ers for 2007 fourth round pick

Jackson put in seven seasons with the Seahawks of varying quality.  He was here for our rise and our best extended run of football.  But, he was constantly battling nagging injuries and was pretty much unable to practice by the time his run in Seattle ended.  So, the Seahawks opted to trade him for whatever they could get, to save a little cap and save themselves another season-ending injury.

I wouldn’t say anyone really “won” this trade – he caught less than 50 passes in his lone season with San Francisco for less than 500 yards before moving on with his career – because the Seahawks didn’t exactly make the best use of their fourth round pick (Mansfield Wrotto, because Tim Ruskell, obvs).  I would say expectations were higher for the 49ers; they were likely expecting a quality starter who would push them over the top in 2007.  What they got was a guy nearing the end of his run.  Too bad, because I always thought Jackson was a good guy.

October 16, 2007 – Miami Dolphins trade Chris Chambers to San Diego Chargers for 2008 second round pick

Chambers was always a super-talented receiver who, for whatever reason, couldn’t kick it up that notch to elite status.  In his first six seasons with the Dolphins, he only surpassed 1,000 yards one time (though he was over 650 yards in each of those seasons).  He made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and everyone thought he had turned a corner.  Except, in 2006, he took a giant step back.  In the middle of 2007, he was traded, which is the ultimate cautionary tale:  you never trade for a wide receiver in the middle of a season.

It’s bad news!  If I had the time, I would devote a post just to this, because it’s absolutely asinine.  You 100% need that time in the offseason and pre-season to get acquainted with your quarterback.  Learn his tendencies, anticipate where he wants you to go when a play breaks down.  San Diego had none of that, so of course the rest of his 2007 season was a lost cause.

Of course, with Chambers, a full offseason probably wouldn’t have done a lick of good.  My guess:  he dogged it and got too lazy to keep up in the rigorous NFL.  Either way, his 2008 was absolutely piss-poor, and he was released 7 games into 2009.  He finished his miserable career in Kansas City, where he belonged.

October 14, 2008 – Detroit Lions trade Roy Williams & 2010 seventh round pick to Dallas Cowboys for 2009 first, third, and sixth round picks

Man, don’t speak Roy Williams’ name around Cowboys fans; they might murder you!

Roy Williams was another decent-to-good receiver on a bad team traded in the middle of a season.  Dallas obviously didn’t learn its lesson from the Joey Galloway debacle and were rewarded thusly:  two and a half seasons of drops, fumbles, and all-around crappy play.  I don’t think anyone could have foreseen him stinking as badly as he did – especially when you consider he was surrounded by a talented quarterback and some talented receivers in Miles Austin and Jason Witten, but there you go.

April 11, 2010 – Pittsburgh Steelers trade Santonio Holmes to New York Jets for 2010 fifth round pick

After Roy Williams and Deion Branch, I thought it was safe to say we’d seen the last of teams trading first round draft picks for wide receivers.  Still, it was pretty shocking to see what little the Steelers actually got in return for a fairly productive fourth-year veteran.  You’d think with the Jets’ dearth of talent on offense, they could’ve squeezed a second or third rounder out of ’em.  But, considering what Holmes has become – injured and only so-so performance-wise – maybe a fifth rounder was OVER-paying.

April 14, 2010 – Denver Broncos trade Brandon Marshall to Miami Dolphins for 2010 & 2011 second round picks

March 13, 2012 – Miami Dolphins trade Brandon Marshall to Chicago Bears for 2012 & 2013 third round picks

Miami!  Did anyone ever tell you you’re THE WORST at dealing wide receivers?

Marshall was a pain in Denver’s God-foresaken ass pretty much from day 1, when it was apparent that he would be a stud and a diva at the same time.  When Jay Cutler officially took over as the starter in Denver – in Marshall’s second season – Marshall was the primary beneficiary.  Three consecutive seasons, from 2007-2009, Marshall caught over 100 passes.  But, since the Broncos were tired of his bullshit, they took the best offer they could get and they ran with it:  two second rounders.

The Dolphins hoped, by bringing in Marshall, they’d provide Chad Henne with the elite receiver to boost their overall passing game.  Unfortunately, they backed the wrong horse, as Chad Henne continued to suck dick in the endless Dolphins parade of dick-sucking at quarterback since Dan Marino retired.  When the Dolphins realized they sucked at life, they decided to trade a guy who caught back-to-back seasons of 80-plus passes for them to the Bears for considerably LESS than what they paid to bring him there in the first place.

The Bears, with Cutler en tow, enjoyed Marshall’s return to form, catching over 100 passes for over 1,500 yards in his best-ever season stats-wise.  The Dolphins, conversely, just overpaid for Mike Wallace so he can try to catch balls from Ryan Tannehill (see:  endless dick-sucking parade from before).

March 5, 2010 – Arizona Cardinals trade Anquan Boldin & 2010 fifth round pick to Baltimore Ravens for 2010 third & fourth round picks

March 12, 2013 – Baltimore Ravens trade Anquan Boldin to San Francisco 49ers for 2013 sixth round pick

The Cardinals were looking ahead in their attempt to pay Larry Fitzgerald insane gobs of money to keep him there (even though they trick-fucked him by letting Kurt Warner retire and not having a proper heir to replace him set up and ready to go) and knew they couldn’t afford to keep both him and Boldin, so there you go.  They got what they could from Baltimore and let the Ravens give him a big-money deal.  The Ravens were rewarded with three adequate, sub-1,000 yard seasons (as an offense that wasn’t really all that high-scoring anyway) and a Super Bowl victory this past February.  I’d say:  not too bad of a deal for the Ravens.  And, it’s hard to blame the Cardinals too much for this particular move.  I mean, when you compare it to literally EVERY OTHER MOVE they’ve made since losing that Super Bowl to the Steelers, trading away Boldin for a couple of mid-draft picks is pretty not-bad by comparison.

The Ravens are in a similar boat right now, having just signed Joe Flacco to the biggest deal in the history of ever.  Boldin was counting too much against the cap, so he had to go.  It’s pretty disingenuous of Flacco to publicly root for the Ravens to keep their other stars when he selfishly signed such a crippling contract, but I guess he got the “respect” he was looking for (money, respect = money).

And this is an AMAZING deal for a 49ers team still in their prime and looking to make it back to the Super Bowl.  I’m sure Boldin is licking his chops at the chance to go to back-to-back Super Bowls, only this time with the team he just beat LAST season.

March 12, 2013 – Minnesota Vikings trade Percy Harvin to Seattle Seahawks for 2013 first & seventh round picks & 2014 third round pick

I’m not going to get into some of the other guys I had jotted down (Brandon Lloyd, Mike Thomas, etc.) because this post is long enough as it is and I’ve got other shit to do.

I’m also not going to get too deep into this whole Harvin deal, because I’ve spent the whole fucking week talking about it.  I will say that the Seahawks are the first team to pony up a first rounder since the Cowboys did so for Roy Williams.  In fact, if you’ve been paying attention to this post, you’ll notice that not one single team got the value they were looking for when they gave away first round pick(s) to get wide receivers.  They all THOUGHT they were getting something amazing.  But, one way or another, they all got fucked.

So, something to look forward to.  Don’t necessarily buy into the gambler’s fallacy; just because the last ten flips of the coin were tails doesn’t necessarily mean this flip is destined to be heads.  Just put your money down and hope, that’s all you can do as a Seahawks fan.

***

There have been some miserable failures on this list, to be sure.  But, let us not forget one of the greatest success stories of all time.  A reason for hope!  Probably the greatest/most-lopsided trade in the history of the NFL:

August 26, 1976 – Houston Oilers trade Steve Largent to Seattle Seahawks for 1977 eighth round pick

That’s right.  The greatest Seahawk who ever lived, the first-ever Hall of Famer in franchise history, and the guy who retired with almost every wide receiving record in NFL history (before Art Monk, and later Jerry Rice blew right on past him) was drafted by the Houston Oilers and traded for a draft pick who never played a down of regular season NFL football.

So, you know, trading for a wide receiver isn’t ALL bad …

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 13

Running up the score.  It almost always evokes a visceral reaction, one way or the other.  Either you’re rabidly against it and wish nothing but the illest of harm upon the perpetrators, or you’re proudly FOR it, decrying those on the other side of the fence as having the pantiest of waists.

I don’t know that I have a strong reaction either way.  I know what it feels like when the team I root for is losing by dozens of points – especially when I’m confined to the same stadium as that team, forced to watch because I already spent all that money on the ticket and tailgating.  I feel bad.  Who wouldn’t?  I feel angry.  Again, who wouldn’t?  But, mostly I feel angry with my own team.  If we didn’t suck so hard, we wouldn’t be in this position!  Likewise, if we didn’t make all these mistakes (because you don’t lose by 40+ points without making some pretty egregious errors), this game wouldn’t be so ugly.

Usually, though, you’re dealing with coaching staffs who are sensible.  Every once in a while, you’ll be confronted with some prick who leaves his starters in through the fourth quarter, throwing deep bombs long after it’s been decided.  Those guys are assholes and should be tarred and feathered.  But, if you’re like most head coaches, when you’ve got a 30- or 40-point lead, you take your starters out and you try to milk the clock.

At that point, at the point where you have a new quarterback on the field and most of the supporting players are primarily reserves, the game is over.  You have essentially conceded that game, pushed the re-set button, and have started a new game.  And whatever you choose to do with your backups is fair game.

You want to throw Matt Flynn in there and start chucking it into the endzone for Jermaine Kearse?  Be my guest!  Because, at this point, the regular season game is over, and the 5th pre-season game has just begun.  You’re never going to have a better opportunity to get your backups some serious reps (aside from, you know, actually playing them in a game that’s NOT already a laugher) than by having them go hard in a game like last Sunday’s.  At that point, if I’m Arizona, I WANT the other team to do that.  Because, likewise, I want MY reserves to experience some real game-type situations (even if the game has already been decided).

So, if you’re upset with Seattle for “running up the score”, don’t be.  I’m not even trotting out the manly-man argument of, “It’s your job to stop us.”  Fuck that.  Once the game is that out-of-hand, the score is irrelevant.  Does it really matter if you lose 38-0 or 58-0?  Those are both embarrassing scores!

Also, not for nothing, but if you’re mad at us, why don’t you look at your own team?  I’m not just talking about how much the Cardinals suck at offense.  I’m not talking about how their front office has neglected the most important position on the team ever since Kurt Warner passed away, trying to fill his void with rejects from the draft or other teams.  I’m not even talking about their offensive coordinator’s inability to get their best football player (Fitzgerald) the ball when that should be priority number 1 (seriously, run some bubble screens, end-arounds, SOMETHING, ANYTHING).

I’m talking about when the game is 38-0, or 45-0, or 48-0, or 51-0, or 58-0 … WHY ARE YOU STILL THROWING THE BALL?  OK, obviously, you’re doing what I was just talking about above:  getting your reserves some live-action reps in a setting that’s more than just practice.  But, if you’re a Cards fan and you’re upset with the Seahawks for running up the score, then you have to ask, “Why is my team still trying to throw the ball?”  Arizona could have just as easily ran the ball three times and punted on every drive in the second half if they so chose.  It would’ve kept the clock running and ended the game sooner.  But, they didn’t do that; yet they expected us to do that?  They expected us to keep giving the ball back to them … for what?  So we could let them eventually score?  So their feelings wouldn’t be hurt so bad?

I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit and you know it.  Quite frankly, if I’m an Arizona Cardinals fan, I would much rather have this game end 58-0 than 45-14 or something along those lines.  Because, if I’m an Arizona Cardinals fan, I want nothing more than a total and complete housecleaning.  I want that GM shitcanned YESTERDAY.  I want this coaching staff to get their walking papers.  I want all the quarterbacks on that team eliminated and I want some young, up-and-coming stud from a winning organization to take over and do for us what John Schneider is doing for Seattle.

You know, if I was a Cardinals fan.  Thank Christ for small miracles …

On to the rankings:

  1. Denver Broncos (10-3):  An 8-game winning streak is an 8-game winning streak, but when was the last time the Broncos beat someone really good?  The best win of the 8-game bunch?  Cincinnati at 7-6.  Best win all season?  Pittsburgh in week 1.  They still have an outside shot at a top-2 seed, but they absolutely MUST beat Baltimore this week.  (Last Week:  3)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1):  It’s still pretty hard to peg this team, but one thing’s for certain:  this defense is no joke.  It shouldn’t take much for Kaepernick to simply get a small lead in a game and have that defense wear the other team down.  By the way, I know I’m rooting for the exact opposite, but I’ve got a huge gut feeling the 49ers go into New England and find a way to win.  (Last Week:  5)
  3. Green Bay Packers (9-4):  Keep in mind:  they are 2-4 against teams that would currently be in the playoffs right now.  I wouldn’t say this team has been seriously tested, exactly, but either way they’re getting like a D- on this test so far.  (Last Week:  6)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (11-2):  The Falcons have lost two games all season, both on the road, both against divisional opponents.  And their bandwagon is a fucking GHOST TOWN.  I can’t remember the last time a 14-2 team had such a lack of respect (I think it was that year Jacksonville did it and lost both of their games – and once again in the playoffs – to the Titans in 1999).  Granted, their running game is kaput, but there’s still too much talent for this team to NOT go far in the playoffs.  (Last Week:  1)
  5. New England Patriots (10-3):  Do you realize how close this team is to being undefeated?  A meltdown against Arizona, an unlucky break against Baltimore, and a late-game defensive lapse against the Seahawks.  And, here we are, overlooking them all over the place.  Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say; But nothin’ comes out when they move their lips; Just a buncha gibberish; And muthafuckas act like they forgot about Dre New England.  (Last Week:  7)
  6. Houston Texans (11-2):  Remember when the Texans had a good defense?  What the fuck happened Wade Phillips???  You God damn toolbag!  (Last Week:  2)
  7. Baltimore Ravens (9-4):  Back-to-back losses and suddenly look who’s going to be playing on Wild Card Weekend.  Now you fucked up!  (Last Week:  4)
  8. Seattle Seahawks (8-5):  There’s no reason why our defense shouldn’t be that good the rest of the regular season.  Maybe not 8 turnovers good, but some nice happy medium that gets us to 11-5.  (Last Week:  8)
  9. New York Giants (8-5):  This NFC is so up in the air, it’s out of control.  A win in Atlanta next week will REALLY make things interesting.  Of course, a loss in Atlanta will still make things pretty interesting (if you find the NFC East interesting, which I do, but only a very small amount).  (Last Week:  10)
  10. Indianapolis Colts (9-4):  I can’t even understand a fucking world where the Colts control their own destiny for the division.  They are 2-2 against teams with winning records (and one of those wins was against Minnesota), meaning they’ve played a whopping NINE games against teams with losing records!  They have to have the easiest strength of schedule by 10,000 moons!  (Last Week:  11)
  11. Chicago Bears (8-5):  Well, thanks to their ineptitude against the Vikings, this game against the Packers is now Must Win.  I don’t just mean for the division title, but I mean for a playoff spot!  (Last Week:  9)
  12. Washington Redskins (7-6):  Because the Redskins are hot on their heels, and RGIII is apparently inde-fucking-structible.  Hell, their offense might be good enough without RGIII to win out!  They play at Cleveland, at Philly, and at home against Dallas.  That’s a 10-6 team you’ve got in D.C.  (Last Week:  13)
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6):  No, Cincinnati, I’m sorry.  8-8 won’t get you in the playoffs this year.  Thanks for playing.  (Last Week:  12)
  14. Dallas Cowboys (7-6):  If this team isn’t Michael Myers, then I give up.  Will you just DIE already???  (Last Week:  16)
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7):  The Bucs were more than happy to die!  See how easy it is, Dallas?  (Last Week:  14)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6):  I would consider that first-game-back malaise for Roethlisberger.  They still have a cakewalk of a schedule the rest of the way; look for the Steelers to make up the ground they lost and make a serious run at a Wild Card spot.  (Last Week:  15)
  17. St. Louis Rams (6-6-1):  I kind of want to make fun of them, but they have a better road record than we do.  It’s inane!  Stop being so unpredictable!  (Last Week:  18)
  18. Minnesota Vikings (7-6):  There we go, a team with a worse showing on the road than Seattle.  Hope you like 8-8.  (Last Week:  20)
  19. New Orleans (5-8):  On the one hand, this team is VERY streaky.  On the other hand, aside from Atlanta, they have beaten no one of note.  And their defense is the God damn devil.  (Last Week:  17)
  20. Miami Dolphins (5-8):  Pity you couldn’t have done better against the 49ers this week.  (Last Week:  19)
  21. Buffalo Bills (5-8):  Way to lose at home against the Rams you idiots!  Someone check their ownership group for rigor mortis.  (Last Week:  21)
  22. Cleveland Browns (58):  Yeah, you beat the Chiefs, BFD.  (Last Week:  23)
  23. San Diego Chargers (5-8):  So, is this the win that saves Norv’s job?  Boy do I hope so; hating this organization is starting to be fun.  (Last Week:  24)
  24. Detroit Lions (4-9):  Still.  Falling.  Apart.  (Last Week:  22)
  25. Carolina Panthers (4-9):  I kinda wish the NFL would give up and schedule the Lions against the Panthers every week.  The Over couldn’t be high enough for me!  (Last Week:  27)
  26. Tennessee Titans (4-9):  Wow, the Titans vs. the Jets next Monday Night.  That’s a dog more worthy of a Thursday Night scheduling!  (Last Week:  25)
  27. New York Jets (6-7):  Worst 6-7 team ever.  (Last Week:  26)
  28. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9):  You know this past week was fucked when San Diego, Carolina, and Philly all won.  It’s like that little encouraging heartbeat before flatline.  (Last Week:  31)
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11):  Oh, you mean Chad Henne?  My mistake, yes, he IS terrible.  Carry on.  (Last Week:  28)
  30. Arizona Cardinals (4-9):  Wow.  Just … wow.  (Last Week:  29)
  31. Oakland Raiders (3-10):  The AFC West has officially earned “Worst Division In Football”.  Why does it ALWAYS have to be a western division?  (Last Week:  30)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11):  I mean, it’s not like you can even blame East Coast Bias.  I live in Seattle and I can CLEARLY see this is the worst division in football.  Holy fucking frijoles.  (Last Week:  32)

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 12

Upon further reflection of this weekend’s events, a question comes to mind:  what does Russell Wilson have to do to win Rookie of the Year?

Without question, the three rookies in contention for 2012 are, in no particular order:  RGIII, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson.  Actually, there is SORT OF a particular order involved there; I would say Luck & RGIII are in the top 2, with Wilson a distant third.  Some stats:

  • Luck:  279/503 (55.5%), 3,596 yards, 17 TDs (+5 rushing TDs, 216 rushing yards), 16 INTs, 76.1 rating, 8-4 record
  • RGIII:  218/325 (67.1%), 2,660 yards, 17 TDs (+6 rushing TDs, 714 rushing yards), 4 INTs, 104.4 rating, 6-6 record
  • Wilson:  201/317 (63.4%), 2,344 yards, 19 TDs (0 rushing TDs, 298 rushing yards), 8 INTs, 95.2 rating, 7-5 record

If the award were to be decided today, I think you’re looking at a landslide RGIII victory.  He’s got comparable overall yardage numbers to Luck, comparable touchdown numbers, and he’s got a whopping 12 fewer interceptions.  I would say they both mean just as much to their respective teams’ overall success this season.  Luck does have the advantage of currently leading his team to a 5th seed in the AFC (while RGIII is on the outside-looking-in on a playoff spot), but RGIII has ALL of the late-season momentum.  Back-to-back nationally televised games (Thanksgiving win over Dallas, Monday night victory over Giants last night) has RGIII firmly entrenched in the minds of football viewers across the nation.

So, how do we get Russell Wilson in on some of that action?

The problem with Wilson is, all of his nationally-televised games happened early in the season.  Washington might be finished with the night games, but this week’s matchup with Baltimore will be heavily scrutinized.  And their week 17 matchup with Dallas could very well be flexed to the night game if it turns out both teams are in contention for a Wild Card spot.  Likewise, Indy has no more scheduled night games, but they have two games against Houston in the final three weeks of the season that’ll get some real publicity, especially if Luck finds a way to lead the Colts to victories.  Seattle, on the other hand, only has the game against the 49ers in Week 16.  There’s a CHANCE that game gets flexed, but it’s not likely.  Not with San Francisco already scheduled to play the Sunday Night game the week before in New England.

With that kind of a disadvantage, it’s going to take quite the effort for Wilson to wedge his way into the discussion.  First and foremost, the Seahawks will have to go 4-0 to close out the season, and he will have to look good doing it.  If he can throw for another 10 touchdowns in the next four games, that would be a big plus.  I would say at least another 1,000 yards would be required too.  If he can finish the season with numbers like this:

  • 3,300 yards, 30 TDs, 500 rushing yards, 10 INTs, and somewhere around a 100 passer rating

That would be a good start.  He’s also going to need some help.  For starters, we don’t want Washington anywhere near the playoffs.  A loss to Baltimore, a loss to Dallas, and some poor performances in between would do the trick.  I don’t know if there’s any way to keep Indy out of the playoffs, with their pisspoor remaining schedule, but if we can keep Luck around a 1:1 TD:INT ratio, we’re on the right track.

In short, it’s going to take Wilson being perfect the rest of the way and it’s going to require the other two guys to fall back down to Earth.  A long task, to be sure.  Even then, it’ll take some arguing.

For starters, that schedule for Indy needs to come into question.  I know they’ve played the same divisions as Seattle (NFC North, AFC East), but when you factor in their other conference games (Cleveland, Kansas City) vs. Seattle’s (Carolina, Dallas) and the calibre of the NFC West vs. the AFC South (Arizona and St. Louis have problems, but are leaps & bounds better than Tennessee & Jacksonville), I think there’s an argument to be made.  Also, factor in performances against common opponents (outlined in Sando’s piece HERE) and I would say that Wilson should get more credit for what he’s accomplished.

When you look at the schedule for Washington, I think they get a little more benefit of the doubt.  Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for how shitty & overrated the NFC East is in general.  Prior to the season, you could’ve made an argument for any of the big three (Giants, Eagles, Cowboys) to make the playoffs and possibly do some damage.  Now, look at where they are & how for they’ve fallen.  Inconsistent doesn’t even BEGIN to describe this division.

The fact of the matter is, regardless of any argument, I think the odds are super long for Wilson.  I think he’ll end up third no matter what happens.  By this point in the season, so many people have already made up their minds on who they’re going to vote for, any kind of late-season push is only good for Sports-Talk Radio & Television, but in the real world, it’s already a done deal.

Still, it’ll be interesting.  Especially if Seattle takes the NFC West and earns a #2 seed.

And on to the rankings:

  1. Atlanta Falcons (11-1):  Division Clinched.  You get a gold star!  You also get a nice little gold star for getting the New Orleans monkey off your back.  They’re about two weeks away from clinching the #1 overall seed in the NFC.  Next two games:  @Carolina and vs. the Giants.  I’d say we’re already there.  (Last Week:  2)
  2. Houston Texans (11-1):  A whatever win over the Titans locked up at least a playoff spot.  Now the showdown:  @New England.  Monday night.  You gotta like the Texans’ chances against a banged up Patriots squad.  (Last Week:  3)
  3. Denver Broncos (9-3):  Division Clinched!  This is some kind of run they’re on.  As long as they don’t sleep on Oakland this Thursday, they’ll have a nice 10 days to prepare for Baltimore.  Well on their way to a #2 seed if they can get past the Ravens.  (Last Week:  5)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (9-3):  Boy, does my prediction of the Ravens going to the Super Bowl look Super Shaky.  They can help out their own cause – and that of the Seahawks – by beating the Redskins this Sunday.  (Last Week:  4)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1):  Boy, does my prediction of the 49ers going to the Super Bowl look Super Shaky.  Are you kidding me?  Winless against the Rams?  I was ready to write them in as a Top 2 seed, now I’m trying to figure out if the Seahawks can steal the division from them.  What the FUCK?  (Last Week:  1)
  6. Green Bay Packers (8-4):  Uh, you’re welcome Packers.  Ooo, the Seahawks stole a game from you on Monday night with a completed touchdwon pass!  Well, we just took out the Bears and handed you the division.  YOU’RE WELCOME, BITCHES!  Jeez, how about a little fucking gratitude … (Last Week:  9)
  7. New England Patriots (9-3):  Division Clinched!  Everyone is REAL down on the Patriots.  Probably with good reason.  I still can’t believe they let the Dolphins hang around for so long last week.  Doesn’t get much easier for them the next two weeks (Houston & San Fran), but 3 of their final 4 are at home.  (Last Week:  7)
  8. Seattle Seahawks (7-5):  Well, the hard part’s over.  Now, all you gotta do is win out and the playoffs are yours!  (Last Week:  14)
  9. Chicago Bears (8-4):  I can’t remember why I was so high on the Bears earlier this season.  Thus far, every loss they’ve had has come to a team currently in the playoffs (if the season ended today).  Their most impressive win was a Week 1 blowout at home over the Colts when Andrew Luck was playing in his first-ever NFL game.  I gotta say, them falling completely out of the playoffs isn’t out of the question.  3 of their last 4 are on the road, their only home game is against the Packers … not looking good.  (Last Week:  6)
  10. New York Giants (7-5):  Remember when the Giants were 6-2 and had seemingly beaten the curse of the Super Bowl Champ?  Me neither.  (Last Week:  8)
  11. Indianapolis Colts (8-4):  I’ll give them credit:  they managed to have the ball last in Detroit.  Pretty much every game involved with the Lions ends up with the last team with the ball winning the game.  I still don’t think they’re a Top 10 team and I still guarantee they lose their first and only playoff game.  (Last Week:  11)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5):  Remember when the Bengals were 3-5 and left for dead?  Me neither.  (Last Week:  12)
  13. Washington Redskins (6-6):  A 3-game winning streak against the shitty SHITTY NFC East and all of a sudden they’re world-beaters.  Haaaaaaaaaaave you met their defense?  (Last Week:  15)
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6):  There, that’s more like it.  Two consecutive losses and we can all calm down about the Bucs.  Of course, they could still win out and make our lives a living hell, so don’t get too comfortable.  (Last Week:  10)
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5):  Just an amazing win in Baltimore.  The Steelers had no business even being in that game, but there you go.  The Ravens will constantly disappoint.  (Last Week:  16)
  16. Dallas Cowboys (6-6):  They’ve won 3 of 4 against Cleveland and Philly.  In other words, this is still a shitty team who won’t have a winning record at season’s end.  (Last Week:  18)
  17. New Orleans (5-7):  Going winless until week 17:  still on the table.  (Last Week:  13)
  18. St. Louis Rams (5-6-1):  I mean, I just don’t know what to tell you.  The Vikings were able to beat the 49ers this season too; that’s not saying a whole lot.  The Rams won’t make the playoffs, but they could still figure out a way to have a winning record.   I’m seeing 8-7-1 in their future.  If they figure out a way to play their cards right, they can go into Bufflo and Tampa and win.  Minnesota at home could be a pushover too.  (Last Week:  20)
  19. Miami Dolphins (5-7):  This team’s scrappy, you gotta give them that.  If they can manage to go into San Francisco this week and come away victorious, I might even sing their fight song.  (Last Week:  21)
  20. Minnesota Vikings (6-6):  Oh how the mighty have fallen!  Losers of 4 of their last 5, they’re sinking faster than … a yak in heat!  (Last Week:  17)
  21. Buffalo Bills (5-7):   I know they’re pretty bad, but they’ve got 3 of 4 at home the rest of the way.  It’s not IMPOSSIBLE they win out!  Here’s the schedule:  StL, Sea, @Mia, Jets.  That’s about as soft as soft gets.  (Last Week:  24)
  22. Detroit Lions (4-8):  Falling.  Apart.  (Last Week:  19)
  23. Cleveland Browns (48):  Yeah, you beat the Raiders, BFD.  (Last Week:  26)
  24. San Diego Chargers (4-8):  Norv Norv Rivers Norv Fired Norv Buttplug Dan Fouts.  (Last Week:  22)
  25. Tennessee Titans (4-8):  Can somebody get Locker some fucking talent to play with?!  He went to the University of Washington for five years, he DESERVES some talent at this point!  (Last Week:  23)
  26. New York Jets (5-7):  It does seem odd that Rex Ryan waited until Tebow was injured and unavailable before he benched Sanchez.  You’re telling me Sanchez NEVER deserved to be benched before this past weekend?  Really!  Not one time all season!  Ryan must REALLY hate having Tebow on his team, is all I’m saying.  (Last Week:  25)
  27. Carolina Panthers (3-9):  You ran into the buzzsaw that was a team in turmoil following a tragedy.  Those teams tend to come together and rally for a win, even if they’re quarterbacked by Brady Quinn.  What are you gonna do?  (Last Week:  27)
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10):  Even a rejuvenated Chad Henne can’t get you a win in Buffalo.  Pity.  (Last Week:  28)
  29. Arizona Cardinals (4-8):  Yes, your defense is still solid.  But, this weekend, you vill lose.  (Last Week:  29)
  30. Oakland Raiders (3-9):  Just the fucking worst.  (Last Week:  30)
  31. Philadelphia Eagles (3-9):  Except for these guys.  (Last Week:  31)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-10):  And, I guess these guys (no kicking-them-when-they’re-down guy).  (Last Week:  32)

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 11

How fucked are the Seahawks without Sherman & Browner?

That’s a question on everyone’s minds this week as the Seahawks face a do-or-die matchup with the Bears in Chicago.  Make no mistake, this game this week IS do-or-die, thanks to the utter choke-job down in Miami.  Maybe they were caught looking ahead to a more-impressive opponent?  We’ll see.  If they start out as stagnant on offense, and if they finish as lamely as they did last week, it’ll be hard to use that as an excuse.

For the time being, Sherman & Browner are playing.  But, for how long?  Because there isn’t a sliver of a doubt in my mind that both will be found guilty and both will face their 4-game suspensions at some point.  Whether they’re guilty or not, whether it was a simple misunderstanding or not, whether they intentionally tried to cheat the system with performance-enhancing drugs or not, they will be found guilty.  Because that’s how it works with these things.  The League has all the power and leverage; all Sherman & Browner have are their stories and their alibis.  Excuses for possible momentary lapses in judgment; if you choose to believe them.

Everyone has a story for why their piss came back tainted.  Of course, there are reasons to believe them and reasons to not.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that a professional athlete was careless with what he put into his body.  We’re not exactly dealing with a bunch of Einsteins here.  Then again, on the flipside, you’d have to think a guy who is in peak physical condition, whose job is to be one of the best in the world at what he does – professional athlete – if he is going to know ANYTHING, it would be what he puts into his body.

But, maybe I’m off base, on both accounts.  I don’t want to get in the habit of generalizing these guys as “Dumb Jocks”.  I likewise don’t want to assume they’re out there counting calories and controlling their portions and all that.  Maybe they thought they’d be shrewd and would get away with their cheating … or maybe they’re just lucky and can consume anything they get their hands on while remaining in peak physical condition.

Regardless, it’s best to keep your hopes low on this one.  There are many other reasons to be disappointed in life, but holding your breath and crossing your fingers over a couple of sure-thing suspensions shouldn’t be one of them.  You’re looking at anywhere from 95-98% of these appeals being denied and suspensions being upheld, so it’s time to start focusing on “when”, not “if”.

WHEN they get suspended, how fucked are we?

Well, first of all, you should probably hope beyond hope that these suspensions happen sooner rather than later.  Even before the loss to Miami, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this season being a Championship one.  Ergo, it’s probably better we get these 4-game suspensions out of the way now.  So we can go into next year with a legitimate hope for a title run (or, at the very least, a deep playoff run).

I know there’s the argument out there that we should hope that this appeal drags out for as long as possible, but frankly I just don’t see it.  Yeah, the team could plan ahead if they were suspended for the first four games of 2013, but do you think that whatever contingency plan they come up with is going to be as good as simply having Browner and Sherman back there doing their things?  Because I don’t!  Honestly, I don’t think any contingency plan is going to be all that much better than what we’d do THIS year with them gone.

Likely, that will involve Walter Thurmond in a starting role.  Likely, Marcus Trufant will be moved back to whichever side of the field suits him as a starter.  And likely, whoever’s left over will be moved into that nickel corner role.  With Earl Thomas also likely playing a bigger part as a cover corner.

I’m asking you, is that REALLY that bad?  Yeah, in an ideal world, Trufant will be retired before next year; but what if we need him next year because Sherman and Browner are out?  Do you really want to see what Trufant looks like 9 months from now?  Is it even REMOTELY possible he will have gained back whatever step he has lost?  Because, I highly doubt it.

This year, however, I think you can lean on him for one final push.  He is a veteran, after all.  He knows how to play his old position, utilize the sideline and all that.  I’ll take him starting the last four games of a mostly-lost season over him starting the first four next year.

In short, yeah, the Seahawks are probably fucked.  But, I think we’ll be a lot LESS fucked if we can burn off these suspensions this year as opposed to next.  Either way, I’ll be interested to see how the defense adjusts.  Won’t be as much press-coverage, I’ll tell you that much.

On to the rankings:

  1. San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1):  The 49ers are an elite team with Alex Smith.  With Colin Kaepernick, they might be a fucking dynasty!  I shit you not.  They also might be nothing special, but something in my gut tells me Kaepernick is the real deal and we as Seahawks fans should be scared shitless.  We’ll see.  (Last Week:  1)
  2. Atlanta Falcons (10-1):  Nice road win against a surging Tampa team.  It doesn’t get much easier the rest of the way; they can thank the Rams for giving them a good 2-game cushion over the 49ers for that #1 seed.  (Last Week:  2)
  3. Houston Texans (10-1):  They should’ve lost that game on Thanksgiving.  Lucky bastards.  Lucky that Jim Schwartz is such a tool!  (Last Week:  3)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (9-2):  They ALSO should have lost and are ALSO lucky bastards.  Lucky that Norv Turner is a God damn dickhole!  (Last Week:  5)
  5. Denver Broncos (8-3):  They just keep winning.  (Last Week:  6)
  6. Chicago Bears (8-3):  What a difference a healthy Cutler makes.  Still, I know the Seahawks suck dick on the road, but they shouldn’t take this week’s game for granted.  Their offensive line will REALLY need to step up.  And someone better be around to pick up the slack when Brandon Marshall goes on lockdown.  Given the matchup fits and their latest round of injuries last week, the Seahawks will be no cakewalk.  (Last Week:  7)
  7. New England Patriots (8-3):  Run up the score all you want, it’s not going to mask how shitty your defense is.  (Last Week:  8)
  8. New York Giants (7-4):  HUGE win over a Packers team that came in with a 5-game winning streak.  Who knows, this game might determine who gets the 3-seed and who gets the 4-seed.  Also known as:  who gets to play Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.  (Last Week:  9)
  9. Green Bay Packers (7-4):  I like their schedule going forward.  Minnesota is on the fast decline.  All they have to do is win in Soldier Field to take the head-to-head tiebreaker and thus the division.  (Last Week:  4)
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5):  This team is going to be a chore for every team they play the rest of the way.  Very deserving of their Top 10 ranking.  (Last Week:  11)
  11. Indianapolis Colts (7-4):  Fucking smoke and mirrors does it again.  I can’t believe they’re going to make the playoffs with this team … (Last Week:  12)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (6-5):  SURGING!  With no end in sight!  (Last Week:  13)
  13. New Orleans (5-6):  Their nice little run ended with a thud at home against the 49ers.  Now they hit the road to face Atlanta and the Giants.  Are you familiar with the phrase “tits up”?  (Last Week:  14)
  14. Seattle Seahawks (6-5):  This team is NOT a Top 10 team.  Top 10 teams win on the road against shitty Dolphin teams.  (Last Week:  10)
  15. Washington Redskins (5-6):  Impressive road win against an unimpressive Cowboys team on Thanksgiving.  If they can do it at home against the Giants on Monday night, I’ll buy them as For Real.  (Last Week:  19)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5):  Man, Charlie Batch?  Seriously?  The Seahawks just waived Josh Portis, I SERIOUSLY suggest you consider starting him this weekend.  It will be a VAST improvement.  (Last Week:  15)
  17. Minnesota Vikings (6-5):  Lamest 6-5 team in the NFL.  (Last Week:  16)
  18. Dallas Cowboys (5-6):  Their last three victories were against Cleveland, Philly, and Carolina.  And the Browns took them to overtime!  (Last Week:  17)
  19. Detroit Lions (4-7):  They had opportunities to win each of their last three games.  They lost them all.  And so ends the Lions’ season.  (Last Week:  18)
  20. St. Louis Rams (4-6-1):  Yeah, you beat the Cardinals, BFD.  (Last Week:  21)
  21. Miami Dolphins (5-6):  Yeah, you beat the Seahawks, BFD.  (Last Week:  26)
  22. San Diego Chargers (4-7):  Yeah, you … wait, you LOST?  They converted 4th and WHAT???  (Last Week:  20)
  23. Tennessee Titans (4-7):  They went into Miami, absolutely destroyed them, had a BYE week, then went into Jacksonville and lost.  THIS is why the NFL is retarded.  (Last Week:  22)
  24. Buffalo Bills (4-7):  Someone needs to take their coaching staff and front office behind the stadium and put bullets in their heads.  (Last Week:  24)
  25. New York Jets (4-7):  Yeah, if I was their unofficial mascot, I’d quit too.  (Last Week:  25)
  26. Cleveland Browns (38):  In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians Browns have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.  (Last Week:  28)
  27. Carolina Panthers (3-8):  Oh, there was a professional football game on last night?  (Last Week:  29)
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9):  Chad Henne:  savior.  What are “words no one has ever thought to utter, ever”?  (Last Week:  31)
  29. Arizona Cardinals (4-7):  It’s like the Whis is TRYING to get himself shit-canned!  (Last Week:  23)
  30. Oakland Raiders (3-8):  Sometimes it’s just better to implode the whole fucking thing and start over from scratch.  (Last Week:  27)
  31. Philadelphia Eagles (3-8):  Ditto.  (Last Week:  30)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10):  Brady Fucking Quinn.  I mean, “ditto”.  (Last Week:  32)

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 6

I don’t have a lot of hard data to back up what I’m about to say, but if there’s a website out there that can help you break this kind of thing down, I’d be all ears (football is sickeningly behind the times compared to baseball when it comes to hard data).  Anyway, this might be more of a personal feeling than actual fact, but have you noticed that this team (the Seahawks, that is) runs the ball MUCH better when they have a fullback in the backfield?

That might be an obvious statement, but if it was so obvious, why don’t you see it more often?  When you run up the middle, who is the most likely to tackle the guy with the ball?  Either linebackers or interior linemen.  So, if your plan is to run up the middle, why would you go double tight end and neglect the fullback?  You want a guy plowing through the hole (or creating said hole by sealing off a lineman) and picking up the first guy he sees so the running back can get that much further.

What I want to know is:  how many yards does Beastmode average when he’s got Michael Robinson in the backfield vs. when he’s running out of a single-back set?

Getting a little off-topic (but not really), I also want to know Beastmode’s average when running behind Okung & Carpenter vs. Giacomini & McQuistan.  Aren’t Okung and Carpenter your two biggest, most physical run blockers?  Why aren’t we running that way more often?  It seems to me we run 2 to 1 to the right side as opposed to the left and I just don’t get it.

Suffice it to say, I’m expecting some quality rushing numbers this weekend.  I’d like to see those numbers coming out of the I-set, and going to the left side of the line.  But, then again, what do I know?

The rankings:

  1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0):  One of about a million BYEs this past weekend.  But, they didn’t lose, and that’s all that matters.  Of course, I think that string ends this week in Philly.  We’ll see, I could be way off base, but I can’t help thinking what I think.  (Last Week:  1)
  2. Chicago Bears (5-1):  Against teams with winning records this year, the Bears are 0-1.  That having been said, this defense is nasty and they strike me as a very complete football team.  And you don’t want to play this team when it starts snowing in Chicago, trust.  (Last Week:  3)
  3. Houston Texans (6-1):  Chicago’s next difficult game is in week 10, hosting these Texans.  We’ll have our answer once and for all to the question of:  Who is better in 2012, Chicago or Houston?  No, no we won’t, but that’ll still be a fun game to watch.  (Last Week:  4)
  4. New York Giants (5-2):  That’s a nice win against a good Washington offense.  Of course, if they blow it by going into Big D and getting swept by the Cowboys in the season series, what will it be for?  (Last Week:  5)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (5-2):  I’m not going to sit here after week 7 and say the 49ers have locked up the NFC West race.  I will say that it’s officially a 2-team race now between them and the Seahawks.  I don’t think the Cards have the guns to sustain a full season (especially on offense), and the Rams are another quarterback and probably 3 or 4 more seasons away from contending.  However, considering the 49ers will have at least a tie in the head-to-head matchup, it’s going to take quite the fall off the cliff.  In the standings, we’re 1 game back, but in reality we’re 2 games back.  Not only do we have to beat them in Week 16, but we’re probably going to need them to lose one of these other tough games they play (@ New England, vs. Chicago, @ New Orleans).  Like I said, they don’t have it locked up, but they’re well on their way in the pole position.  (Last Week:  6)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2):  In spite of their gaudy record, you could easily say this team hasn’t looked right since Week 1.  They barely eeked out wins against the Pats, Browns, Chiefs, and Cowboys; and they’ve now lost to the Eagles and got killed by the Texans.  Same ol’ Ravens?  Pad their record against crap and choke when it counts?  Yeah, I’d bet on that.  (Last Week:  2)
  7. Green Bay Packers (4-3):  What a difference a couple of road wins against the Texans and Rams make!  All of a sudden, everyone is handing the division back to the Packers, forgetting how miserable they looked against the Seahawks, Saints and Colts!  This is an inconsistent team, my friends!  Don’t get sucked back in; they will lose to the Bears in week 15 and they’ll be lucky to grab one of the Wild Cards.  (Last Week:  9)
  8. Minnesota Vikings (5-2):  Still finding it hard to peg this team?  Join the club!  They did themselves and the Seahawks a lot of favors by beating the Cards.  Now, all they have to do is take down the Bucs on Thursday and I’d feel confident marking them down as playoff bound.  (Last Week:  10)
  9. Seattle Seahawks (4-3):  That was a tough loss to swallow.  Just remember, this isn’t a Super Bowl contender.  Not this year.  Keep your focus on just making the playoffs and you’ll sleep a lot better at night.  The Seahawks can still win the next three games and put themselves in a comfortable position to do just that.  This game against Detoit is key.  Got to start padding that conference record, conisdering our divisional record is utter shit.  A win puts us at 4-3 in conference.  It’s not ideal, but four of our remaining five conference games are at home (including three against our division).  8-4 in the NFC, plus 3-3 in the division, plus 3-1 against the AFC JUST might be enough to do it (of course, 4-0 against the AFC is still really likely, but I would never guarantee that; not this year).  (Last Week:  7)
  10. New England Patriots (4-3):  This defense of theirs is a SERIOUS problem.  I thought Belichick was supposed to be some kind of defensive guru … (Last Week:  8)
  11. Arizona Cardinals (4-3):  4-0 turns into 4-3 with games against San Francisco and Green Bay the next two weeks.  Remember when I said this team could very well be 7-0 going into this week’s matchup?  Ahh, to be young and naive again … (Last Week:  11)
  12. Denver Broncos (3-3):  Why does it feel like every game they play is life or death?  When does Manning get to enjoy a week off against the Chiefs defense already?  (Last Week:  12)
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3):  A very Pittsburghy win over the Bengals this past weekend.  Doing just enough to bore us to death on national television.  I guess Steelers fans wouldn’t have it any other way, but Steelers fans are idiots and will watch anything.  (Last Week:  13)
  14. St. Louis Rams (3-4):  This is a bad team, but God damn will they play you tough!  I still contend they need a new quarterback and were idiots to let RGIII go.  I guarantee 90% of Rams fans would take RGIII right now over Sam Bradford, and the other 10% are racists.  (Last Week:  14)
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3):  So, fired your defensive coordinator, huh?  Yeah, Andy Reid is toast at season’s end.  Big, fat, thick-headed toast.  Bench Vick already!  BVA motherfuckers!!!  (Last Week:  15)
  16. Miami Dolphins (3-3):  The Dolphins win when they keep their opponents from scoring more than 2 touchdowns.  This week’s opponent is the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets.  The Jets are terrible at scoring.  Ergo, bank on a Dolphins victory.  (Last Week:  18)
  17. Dallas Cowboys (3-3):  Well, Dallas, if you want to get out of this hole you’ve dug for yourselves, beating the Giants at home is a GREAT first step.  A win here puts you at 2-0 in the division, with two wins over those very Giants.  That’s a head-to-head tiebreaker you can take to the BANK!  (Last Week:  16)
  18. Washington Redskins (3-4):  Crazy matchup this week.  I don’t know why THIS isn’t an NBC game; this is exactly the kind of thing I would watch with gusto!  When do you ever see the Redskins play the Steelers?  Once every four years, by my logic, but still.  The old vs. the young, a couple of gunslingin’ quarterbacks, a couple of so-so defenses.  Bet the over and get the FUCK out of the way of this game!  I wish I had NFL Sunday Ticket for this reason EXACTLY.  (Last Week:  17)
  19. San Diego Chargers (3-3):  The Chargers beat the shitty teams and lose to the halfway competent teams.  Sucks to be a Chargers fan, then, considering the next three contests are very winable.  You’ll get sucked right back into Norv and Rivers all over again, only to have your hearts ripped out later on.  (Last Week:  20)
  20. Tennessee Titans (3-4):  Yeah, you could point to Hasselbeck and say, “There’s a stabilizing force righting the sinking ship.”  But, their schedule was saddled with some really difficult teams to start the season for Jake Locker (New England, Houston, Minnesota, even San Diego), and all Hasselbeck has had to contend with are the aging Steelers and the hapless Bills.  Let’s see how this team looks in two weeks when they have to go up against the Bears.  (Last Week:  25)
  21. Indianapolis Colts (3-3):  Yeah, you beat the Browns, BFD.  (Last Week:  26)
  22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4):  God damn, Cincy.  Just, God damn.  (Last Week:  19)
  23. New Orleans (2-4):  This team has NOT got a defense.  That having been said, they were never going to go 0-16.  Of course, just because they’re on a 2-game winning streak doesn’t mean they’re going to rip off a huge comeback.  They’ll lose to the Broncos this week and they’ll end the season with 7 wins.  Book it.  (Last Week:  28)
  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4):  I dunno.  They’ve got a good, clutch quarterback.  They’ve got a solid set of running backs.  They’ve got a bona fide number one receiver in Vincent Jackson.  And, at least I THOUGHT they had a young, up-and-coming defense.  But, maybe I’m just off-base and this team is all-around terrible.  (Last Week:  22)
  25. Detroit Lions (2-4):  If anyone was holding off, just go ahead and stick your fork in the Lions.  This team needs to spend its next five drafts entirely on the defensive side of the ball, with a little O-line mixed in.  Oh, and maybe find a head coach who isn’t such an emotional hot-head.  You know hot-heads can’t get shit accomplished!  They just stomp around like a racecar in the fuckin’ red.  (Last Week:  21)
  26. New York Jets (3-4):  Oh, you took the Patriots to overtime and scored 26 points on them?  Where’s my Condescending Wonka meme?  I had it around here somewhere.  (Last Week:  23)
  27. Buffalo Bills (3-4):   Dead air.  DEAD AIR!!!  (Last Week:  24)
  28. Oakland Raiders (2-4):  They go to the Chiefs, then come back home to face the Bucs.  These next two weeks might be the happiest two weeks of the whole year for the city of Oakland.  If that didn’t depress the shit out of you, may I remind you these people live in OAKLAND???  (Last Week:  30)
  29. Carolina Panthers (1-5):  This team might end up 2-14.  Yeah, I’d say firing the GM was warranted.  Anyone can make the obvious draft pick in Cam Newton, but anyone can also draft the fucking schlubs they drafted around him.  (Last Week:  27)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5):  I know Chad Henne sucks, but he’s better than Gabbert!  I don’t know if he’s starting this week, but they could do a lot worse (you see what you’re doing to me, Jacksonville?  You’re forcing me to defend Chad Henne!  God, fuck you already!)  (Last Week:  31)
  31. Cleveland Browns (16):  Talk about defending someone who sucks, this Weeden guy isn’t the worst thing since unsliced bread!  (Last Week:  29)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5):  They’re choosing to start Brady Quinn.  They have Romeo Crennel as their head coach and they’re CHOOSING to start Brady Quinn.  I rest my case, Your Honor.  (Last Week:  32)

Matt Flynn Is The Best The Seahawks Could’ve Done

Given the circumstances, I couldn’t be happier with how this whole quarterback thing went down.

We weren’t getting Andrew Luck, we weren’t getting Robert Griffin, we weren’t getting Peyton Manning.  In essence, we weren’t getting the three best quarterbacks on the market in this offseason.  Where would that have left us?  Drafting the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth best quarterback out of college?  All of whom would be COMPLETE unknowns, yet almost assuredly downgrades from the top two guys picked.  Or, there were any number of crappy veterans out there, from Chad Henne, to Kyle Orton, to Jason Campbell, to Vince Young, to David Garrard, to Alex Smith … with the much-maligned Smith being the best of the bunch.  Then again, would you (as the Seahawks) REALLY want to sign Alex Smith to his sixth different offense?  I think he CAN be good, but I would still like to see him do it over more than just the one season before I invest too heavily.

As far as I can tell, Matt Flynn was the fourth-best option out on the market this offseason.  Yeah, he’s only started two games in the NFL, but that’s two more games than anyone coming out of college.  And besides, Peyton Manning is one hard hit away from the grave.

I have a lot of confidence in this move.  Yeah, the Seahawks have led us astray in the past with the last two quarterback signings.  But, those were two guys we KNEW would stink!  Charlie Whitehurst?  That was a total pipe-dream at best, picking another team’s third stringer.  And Tarvaris Jackson?  That might be the most bemoaned signing in franchise history!

Matt Flynn, on the other hand, comes in with a lot of fanfare.  This is the guy EVERY Seahawks fan wanted (at least, those fans smart enough to know who WOULDN’T be available … myself and my Drew Brees fantasy notwithstanding).  Matt Flynn was the ultimate prize, and not only did the Seahawks get him, but they got him for a reasonable deal!  So, if everyone is wrong and he flames out:  no big whup.  We go right back to the drawing board.

Or, we draft a project quarterback in this draft and hope HE makes something of himself.

I’m excited.  You know why I’m excited?  Because we’re going to have an open quarterback competition.  We can all probably take Pete Carroll’s words with a grain of salt at this point, but at least PUBLICLY this will be an open battle.  I’m sure if Tarvar comes out of the gate like a man possessed, they’ll give him the nod.  But, here’s the thing:  Tarvar in no way, shape, or form is going to come out of the gate like a man possessed.  He’s going to come out exactly as he has his whole career.  And Matt Flynn is going to beat him.  And we as Seahawks fans are all going to rejoice because we will have a starting quarterback who is BETTER than Tarvaris Jackson!

That’s more back-handed compliment than outright insult on Tarvar’s behalf.  Tarvar isn’t the WORST quarterback in the world.  I would take Tarvar right now over every other quarterback available in free agency this offseason (except Manning, of course).  Tarvar is an okay quarterback.  He’s an 8-8, middle-of-the-road quarterback.  The problem with Tarvar is:  he has a ceiling.  And he’s reached that ceiling.  Tarvar is never going to be better than he is right now.  And that is simply not good enough for a franchise looking to get back to the Super Bowl.

Matt Flynn, being better than Tarvar, means that he has a HIGHER ceiling.  A ceiling that could potentially lead us deep into the playoffs.

I want you to watch a video.  It’s a video of Matt Flynn’s first start against New England in 2010.  In that game, he went 24/37 for 251 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.  He had a passer rating of 100.2.  The Packers would go on to lose that game by 4 points, but I want you to pay special attention to our guy in his first NFL start.  I want you to see how very decisive he is!  I want you to marvel at his decision-making, and I want you to compare him in your mind to Tarvaris Jackson.  I want you to remember all those times Tarvar took a needless sack because he held onto the ball for 8 seconds when he should’ve gotten rid of it after 4.  It’s about ten minutes long, so settle in and get pumped.

He wasn’t perfect, mind you.  There were plenty of check-downs to beat the band.  But, he was taking what the defense gave him, he was moving the ball, and he was leading his team the way a quarterback is supposed to lead.  Shaking off the mistakes, coming back for more, and taking chances when chances are warranted.  I mean, shit, he came within a few more seconds of leading his team to a victory against a very good Patriots team in a Sunday Night, nationally-televised game!

We all know what he did against Detroit, in only his second start, in the final game of the 2011 season; and you can say what you want about Detroit’s shitty defense and the amount of Yards After Catch the Packers had.  I’ll just point to his  first start against the Patriots and say, “That Detroit game wasn’t a fluke.”  This guy COULD be for real.  And I couldn’t be more pleased.

Seahawks, Don’t Be Fucking Stupid. Don’t Sign Chad Henne!

The guy is a fucking LOSER!  He sucked in Michigan, he sucked in Miami, and he’s going to continue to suck with whatever team signs him!

I don’t normally comment a lot on rumors, but this is BULLSHIT!  Are we trying to bring in every single quarterback I loathe?  Can Kyle Orton, Derek Anderson, and Rex Grossman be far behind?