Seahawks Beat Panthers, Lost Earl Thomas

This fucking stinks.  Is it possible to put Kam, Bobby, Avril & Bennett in bubble wrap for the rest of the regular season and just take our chances with still making the playoffs and the 2-seed?



Or, shit, how about fully fucking healthy for one fucking game?

The Seahawks beat the shitty Panthers 40-7.  Those 7 points weren’t even legitimate because the guy’s knee was down when he was short of the endzone, but they obviously didn’t have a proper angle to overturn it.  Cam Newton was suspended for the first series of the game for not wearing a tie while the team travelled to Seattle, which turned out to just be the first play of the game, which was an interception thrown by Derek Anderson that led to us scoring a field goal.

Russell Wilson had a pretty good game, 277 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.  Thomas Rawls had an explosive game with 106 yards on 15 carries and 2 TDs.  Tyler Lockett had a 75-yard run for a touchdown, as well as 63 yards receiving on 5 catches.  Graham, Baldwin, and Kearse all had over 60 yards receiving apiece, with Graham catching another TD.

The defense didn’t get a ton of pressure on Cam Newton when he finally entered the game, but they played sound fundamentally, and they were able to strip a fumble from Jonathan Stewart.  Newton was just off-target most of the day – aside from a pretty bomb to Ted Ginn for that phantom TD – and his receivers were harassed by our secondary for most of the day.  Wagner, Kam, Wright all stood out, as well as the return of Mike Morgan who really made his presence felt with that interception at the top of the game.  I also thought Shead had a solid all-around game as well.

But, what does it matter?  Earl collided with Kam, resulting in Earl breaking his leg.  It means he’s out for the year, which is just fucking great.  Steven Terrell came in and played all right in his place, though the Panthers were able to complete that 55-yard bomb to Ginn on the first play after Earl left the game, which is pretty ominous.

The Seahawks are 8-3-1, for now owners of the NFC’s #2 seed, with Dallas firmly entrenched at the top with an 11-1 record, and Detroit on our heels at 8-4.  Catching Dallas is a non-starter, but holding down the fort at #2 is well within our capabilities, particularly when you figure Detroit’s and Atlanta’s schedules the rest of the way are pretty difficult.

The one cool thing about having a tie on your record is you don’t have to obsess over tie-breaker scenarios like most of these other teams.  I can just shut my brain off and let the overall win/loss record do all the work.

I dunno, I’m sad about what’s gone down.  I’m sad about losing Earl.  And, quite frankly, I’m a little terrified that we have to go into Green Bay next Sunday where it’ll probably be snowing and Aaron Rodgers will probably be licking his chops at the thought of looking Steven Terrell off of a receiver running deep down the middle.

I’m also deeply concerned about this team’s depth.  No one wants Steven Terrell in there starting over Earl, but you REALLY don’t want to see who’s 3rd or 4th in line if Terrell goes down!  Particularly when you figure Kam Chancellor is pretty injury-prone in his own right.

Best not to think about that.  Better to wonder what the fuck Dallas did to deserve such amazing luck with injuries in their own right.  Hell, the one guy who DID get injured – Tony Romo – only opened the door for their next franchise quarterback to lead them to the best record in all of football!  FUCK ME GOD JUST KILL ME NOW I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD!!!

Reunited & It Feels So Bad: Tarvar To Re-Sign With Seahawks

You’re never safe.  No matter how safe you THINK you are, just know that you’re never safe.

I despise Tarvaris Jackson.  It’s why I’ve nicknamed him Tarvar; because a name like T-Jack is for someone reasonably cool.  Tarvar is the God damned apocalypse.

I’m not entirely an unreasonable man.  I can admit a guy is better than Brady Quinn when I see one.  But, for starters, let’s just put this out there:  Tarvar isn’t THAT much better than Brady Quinn.  He’s NOT a starting quarterback.  Just because he WAS a starting quarterback two years ago doesn’t mean we now have two starting quarterbacks on this roster.  We have ONE starting quarterback – Russell Wilson – and we have two suck-ass losers.  Just because Tarvar is a hair better (allegedly) than Quinn is no reason to start praising this signing.

Remember all those sacks Tarvar took because he was too indecisive?  Remember how he held the ball FOREVER trying to find the perfect throw?  Remember how everyone THINKS he’s this mobile quarterback, even though he pretty much NEVER scrambles or even leaves the pocket (except to run straight backwards and get sacked)?  He’s NOT a Russell Wilson clone!  He won’t run the read-option!  You know how I know this?  Because we had the same offensive coordinator two years ago and I don’t remember this team EVER running the read-option with him.  And THAT team had a bad offensive line that was still trying to gel under newly-hired Tom Cable’s zone blocking scheme.  You’d think that a team with those kinds of O-Line problems would’ve tried to shake things up with a little zone-read.  But they didn’t, because that’s not Tarvar’s game.  He’s a drop-back passer and a bad one at that.

Strong arm?  Who gives a shit!  Most of the quarterbacks in the NFL have strong arms!  Tough guy?  Big fucking deal!  So he took a lot of hits and kept playing; so would (again) MOST of the quarterbacks in the NFL!  Know this:  he was on his last strike in this league.  If he didn’t show the kind of toughness he showed, he probably wouldn’t have found another starting job ever again.  Except, oh wait!  He lost his job to a rookie last year, was traded to Buffalo, and never threw a regular season pass on a team that finished with a record of 6-10!

Now, I’m sure he’s a hard worker, but I’m sure I don’t care.  Here’s what I don’t like the most about this move:  what his presence will mean for that locker room.  He was the team’s captain two years ago.  He’s a highly respected guy on this team.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if there are a lot of guys on this team who believe he was screwed out of his job last off-season.  Yes, Russell Wilson proved his value as the season wore on; and yes, this IS Russell Wilson’s team now.  But, do you really want team chemistry to be one of your issues this year?  When the team is as young as it is, as brash as it is, and as egotistical as it is?

This issue is a little further down on my Concerns List, but what if Russell Wilson struggles early on?  Am I going to have to sit through these fucking idiot fans chanting for Tarvaris Jackson to be our starter?  I can’t remember the last time anyone used the phrase “going postal”, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the phrase was invented for.

With Tarvaris Jackson on the team, we’re one snap away from him being the guy that’s supposed to lead this team to the Super Bowl.  One freak injury away from being led by Mr. 8-8.  I’m not necessarily saying that we’d be better off with Brady Quinn starting the rest of our games, but I AM saying that you never know.  I most certainly DO know what we have in Tarvaris Jackson.  And, if you’re going to try to bring up the point that the rest of the Seahawks’ roster is better now than it was in 2011 (and so, with a better team around him, he should be able to win more games); I will point you toward the last time he was a regular starter for the Minnesota Vikings.  THAT was a pretty fucking good team, too.  A team that went to the NFC title game and was ever-so-close to going to a Super Bowl with an over-the-hill Brett Favre.  If Tarvar couldn’t win with those Vikings, what makes you think an older Tarvar can win with these Seahawks?

Brady Quinn might be terrible, or he might not.  You DON’T know.  Shit, Derek Anderson was a Pro Bowl quarterback one year!  Anything can happen.  All I hear about him is that Brady Quinn is a machine in the weight room, and that he rivals Russell Wilson in game-prep and watching film.  I have to think that his crazy type of work ethic is BOUND to pay off in ways we’ve yet to see.

So, yeah, I’m on the Brady Quinn train.  I didn’t want to be; I surely didn’t intend to be!  I was more than happy having Matt Flynn around as my security blanket.  But, the Seahawks are really putting Baby in a corner here with this Tarvar news.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Seahawks Should Put Up A Better Fight Against Carolina

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You probably saw some or all of that game last week; at the very least you either saw some highlights or read about it.  Carolina went into the home of the undefeated Atlanta Falcons and took them to the very BRINK.  Carolina took the ball, up by 1, with two and a half minutes left to play.  Two plays later, Carolina had a fresh set of downs and Atlanta had one less time out at the two minute warning.  Two plays after that, Carolina bled the last remaining time out from the Falcons and needed two measly yards to win the game.  Cam Newton ran that ball those two yards and a little bit more before the ball was knocked out of his hand by an opposing helmet.  Carolina recovered the fumble, but the result of the play was a 4th down.

Now, I would argue that a young team, with a second-year head coach, coming off of a 6-10 campaign, with a chance to go 2-2 on the season, needing only 1 yard to make that happen while you’re on the opponent’s 45 yard line … when you’d run for 199 yards to that point in the game on 5.7 yards per carry … maybe it would have been smarter to just go for the fucking yard on fourth down.  Show some fucking BALLS!

But, they didn’t.  And somehow, they managed to down the punt on the 1 yard line.  The rest is Matt Ryan and Roddy White making their defense (and their defensive-minded head coach) look absolutely idiotic and inept.

One yard.  Carolina was one yard away from defeating the best team in the NFL on the road!  And I’m supposed to come on here and tell you the Seahawks are going to fly across the country – a week after flying halfway across the country – and beat that team?

You’re damn fuckin’ ass right I’m going to tell you that!

That Carolina defense couldn’t stop ME!  That probably doesn’t mean much since you probably don’t know me or have never met me, so let me paint you a picture:  I write a sports blog.  I write the whole fucking thing.  This one, that you’re reading now.  I write these words.  That’s almost literally all I do.  That and booze and some light masturbation.

This isn’t the worst defense in the world; in fact, on a per-game yardage-allowed average, there are 8 teams in the NFL alone that are worse than the Panthers.  But, this is by FAR the worst defense the Seahawks have played this season.  They give up 394 yards per game!  259 in the air and 135 on the ground.  This is what I’m talking about.

(and, for the record, the Cowboys are 4th best in the NFL at 277.5 yards per game; Green Bay is 9th best at 314 yards; and Arizona is 17th at 357 yards.  The Seahawks are 2nd best, but that’s neither here nor there)

There aren’t enough Rodney Dangerfield jokes to describe how little respect I’m giving this Panthers defense.  Which means yes, I think our offense can easily eclipse the 20-point barrier they’ve had such trouble surpassing thus far.

That just leaves the Carolina offense.  Can we stop the three-headed monster at running back (Stewart, Williams and Cam)?  And can we fustigate Newton enough so he’s not throwing for 400 yards against us?

Well, we have the 2nd-best rushing defense in the league, so my guess is we’re going to load the shit out of the box and take our chances on the outside.  I think this coaching staff figures out a way to pressure Cam just enough to force him into some very characteristic turnovers.  I think our corners shut down Steve Smith just like we did back in the NFC title game in 2005.  I think with their offense being one-dimensional (and that one dimension not being all that breathtaking), they don’t stand a chance.

I expect a lot of boos from the home crowd and I even expect a Derek Anderson appearance.

34-14.  That’s my guess.

Based on last week (Carolina looking good, Seattle looking terrible), you probably think I’m nuts.  But, look at it this way:  those were divisional games.  You know why divisional games are always wacky?  Because you play everyone in your division twice a year!  They know you and you know them.  You throw things like home field advantage and point spreads out the window in those games because anything can happen!

We haven’t played Carolina in two years.  We’re completely different and they’re completely different.  We have a couple things we do extremely well (defense and running the football), they pretty much just have the one thing they do well (running the football), but that goes in direct conflict with our very best attribute:  stopping the run.  It’s no contest.

Sleep in late on Sunday, Seahawks fans.  Relax.  Maybe crack open a beer around noon.  It’s going to be an enjoyable, stress-free Sunday afternoon.  I’d bet my farm on it.

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?

Tarvaris Jackson To The Seahawks Might Be The Worst Idea Ever

So, this is what we’ve come to?  We move Heaven & Earth, so to speak, to get Charlie Whitehurst from San Diego – a cost so laughable the Chargers front office thought we were insane – we dick around when we have the chance to re-sign Hasselbeck, letting him twist in the wind of speculation all spring and much of the summer; and now I’m being told that there’s interest in Tarvaris Jackson?  What’s next, a long-term deal to sign Derek Anderson and a first round pick to the Browns for Jake Delhomme?

I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would think this is even REMOTELY a good idea.  Let’s look to the stats to build the most solid foundation any argument has ever had.

You’re looking at a guy with a 10-10 career record.  On the surface, that’s not the worst record in the world, but remember he’s been playing since the 2006 season.  And even then, he’s only started once in the last two seasons because the Vikings felt they’d be better off with a 107 year old quarterback leading the charge.  If you really want to critique Tarvaris Jackson’s abilities, you have to look at the 2007 season.

This was a stacked team.  Best defense against the run, best offense FOR the run.  He had a sick offensive line (anchored by Steve Hutchinson), two incredibly talented runners (Chester Taylor and The Adrian Peterson), and a couple of blossoming young receivers in Sidney Rice and Visanthe Shiancoe.  As such, in his 12 starts, Jackson went 8-4.  Or, rather, Minnesota went 8-4 in SPITE of Tarvaris Jackson.

Jackson tossed 9 touchdowns to his 12 interceptions (in his entire career over 20 starts and 16 other partial games, Jackson had 24 TDs and 22 INTs); he threw for 159 yards per game, and he had a 70.8 QB rating (good for 28th in the NFL that year).  They were the second-worst passing offense in the NFL; it’s a wonder why they were so good at running the ball, because any defensive coordinator worth his salt should’ve had 11 in the box at all times.

What does he have going for him?  Well, he’s familiar with our new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.  That’s a PLUS?  He worked with the guy for years and never got any better!  How is that a plus?  You could say he’s cheap, thereby making it pretty much a no-lose situation.  We sign him for a minimal amount, he comes into a direct competition situation, and if he fails, what did we lose?

I’ll tell you what we MIGHT lose … what if he beats out Charlie Whitehurst.  Tarvaris Jackson is bad, but is he worse than Touchdown Jesus?  Just knowing Bevell’s system might be enough to beat out ol’ number 6, but that just means he’ll get to start in regular season games for the Seattle Seahawks.

I’m not gonna lie to you, that’s got Disaster written all over it!  Seattle fans:  we’re not completely in the dark here.  We have eyes.  We have brains with the capacity for memory.  We’ve seen what this guy’s capable of.  We know who Tarvaris Jackson is, and our opinion of this young man is lower than Chone Figgins’ batting average.  You think Figgy gets booed mercilessly when he pops out to the short stop?  Just wait until the very FIRST time Jackson overthrows a wide open Mike Williams on 3rd and 8.  You’ll think you’ve died and woken up in Philadelphia there’ll be so much hate-filled venom!

And I’m sorry, but I can’t buy the “Change of Scenery” theory.  You think there was pressure on him before, being a rookie “Quarterback of the Future”?  Just imagine the pressure he’ll feel not only by joining a team fresh from a playoff appearance, but by replacing the best quarterback this franchise has ever had.  Matt Hasselbeck is no John Elway or Dan Marino, but he’s still a Ring of Honor shoo-in, and he’s got some mighty big shoes to be filled once he decides to depart.

Seattle fans are pretty forgiving, trusting folks.  We’re willing to defer to the experts running the team until it’s proven to us that they’re incompetent ninnies (Bill Bavasi, Tim Ruskell).  But, when we can see a bad idea coming a mile away, we’re not going to give that bad idea one iota of a chance to redeem his shattered career.  Tarvaris Jackson is the worst idea seen thrown our direction in quite some time, and I hope it never comes to fruition.  Because unless he comes in here and pulls some kind of Doug Flutie-esque career turnaround from Game 1, he’s going to be booed from the second he pulls on his jersey until the final straw when he’s pulled from the game in favor of literally ANYONE ELSE.

Of course, I can read your thoughts:  “Why are you tearing down this idea when you’re not giving us any thought whatsoever into what the Seahawks SHOULD do for their quarterback situation?”  Because, I feel my point is made pretty damn clear:  the Seahawks could pick any other available guy on the market, via free agency or trade (outside of the aforementioned Derek Anderson and Jake Delhomme), and I’d be for it.  Not just me, but a lot of other rational Seahawks fans out there.

But, if I had to narrow it down, and if we’re absolutely certain Matt Hasselbeck is going to walk (which, as I’ve stated before, makes zero sense because no other team is going to offer Matt that second season; whereas a second season in Seattle is all but guaranteed, even if we draft a Quarterback of the Future next year, because that guy will likely need a season to sit and learn), then I’d probably say let’s give someone who’s unproven a shot at competing with Charlie this year.  Kolb’s price is too damn high, Carson Palmer is just never going to happen (and if it did, his price would also be too damn high for someone on the downside of his career), but some of these other free agent types are at least somewhat interesting.

Why couldn’t we give Vince Young a shot?  Oh, because he’s obviously immature?  Because he’s a diva with a huge ego?  Perhaps, but guess what:  someone is going to give him a shot regardless.  And I have to believe that ego took a massive hit when his last head coach basically cut off his own head in an effort to rid the Titans of their erstwhile star.  Vince Young could come in here with a competitive attitude and fight for a job like he’s been doing his entire career.  He’ll have a looser head coach, he’ll have more talented receivers than he ever had with the Titans, and he’ll be on a team devoted to running the football (which he himself is more than capable of).

You want to talk about being a running quarterback?  Vince Young is just that, and much better than Tarvaris Jackson I might add.  Plus, he just wins.  It might not always be pretty, but Vince Young has proven his mettle down the stretch in the fourth quarters of games.  Vince Young is Tarvaris Jackson with 50% more talent.  Throw him a bone for a year or two and watch the return of your investment skyrocket.

I’m not going to get into the other guys, but trust me when I say any of them – even Matt Leinart – will be better received in Seattle than Tarvaris Jackson.  I just hope I never have to say “I Told You So”.

Seahawks Knock Cardinals Out Of The Playoff Discussion

Not just because of the 3-game lead we hold over them (that 3rd game being our tie-breaking advantage since we won the season series), although that feels like a pretty insurmountable lead at this point.  Not just because of the fact that they’re 3-6 and would have to go 5-2 the rest of the way to get to .500 (assuming we only win 2 more games the rest of the way in that particular scenario, saying nothing of the Rams and 49ers).  But, let’s be serious here.  Let’s just take a look at what we saw yesterday:  Cardinals at home, starting the better of their two quarterbacks, at reasonable full-health (minus Dockett and Wells) … and they were PATHETIC!  There’s no WAY the Cardinals do any damage the rest of the way.  They’re too busy scouting Husky games and hoping Jake Locker falls to them!

First possession, right down they went for a touchdown; and I thought:  that’s a bad sign.  After the Giants last week, after the Raiders the week before, eesh!  But, then we came right back down the field, took more time off the clock, and tied the game; to which I thought:  all right, looks like we’ve got ourselves a ballgame!

It got a little uglier after that, as I predicted, but most of that ugliness was on the Arizona side of things.  They ended the game 2 for 11 on 3rd downs (and 0 for 2 on 4th downs).  They ran the ball for 41 yards on 14 carries (2.9 average).  They turned the ball over twice (both by Derek “Not Much Better Than Max Hall” Anderson), and only when the game was decided did they manage to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald (who ended with 7 catches and 91 yards).

Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck was dropping some of the most beautiful passes I’ve ever seen him throw.  The touch he exhibited – especially on that 44 yarder to Chris Baker of all people – was absolutely awe inspiring.  Maybe we should sit Matt for the tough games more often; if he’s going to come back with a performance like this (22 for 34, 333 yards, 1 TD), then I’m in!  The Saints are coming up next week; maybe that wrist is bothering him a little more than expected …

I even liked our play calling yesterday (though, I can’t tell if it’s because of the plays themselves, or the fact that we actually executed).  I’m not going to get down on the team for going for it on 4th down in a 17-10 game; Matt just tripped, what are you gonna do?  I’m also not going to get too down on that goalline stand where Lynch was stopped three straight times with 1 yard to gain.  Essentially, going into that, I wanted three Lynch runs and that’s exactly what I got.  They just beat us, plain and simple.

What we did see that you can’t like too much is Too Many Field Goals.  Any time Olindo Mare is attempting 6 field goals in a game … yeah, I guess that’s kinda good because you’re moving the ball up and down the field, dominating time of possession (35 minutes to 25).  But, you’re not getting touchdowns and that’s a problem.  The good teams require you to get touchdowns to beat them.  That’s all I’m saying.

With Story A being Hasselbeck, and Story B being Mike Williams (who OWNS the Cards, this week with 11 catches and 145 yards), Story C is all about the defense.  Those 3rd down conversions and turnovers I spoke of earlier, the 5 sacks (2 by Clemons, 2 by Curry), 5 tackles for loss, and 5 QB hits, and just an overall toughness factor you can’t quantify on the stat sheet.  Earl Thomas was flying around all over the place, breaking up passes, hitting guys hard; I think he’s going to turn into one of my favorite Seahawks of all time when his career is up.  Brandon Mebane returned and gave us some much needed help in the run game, forcing the Cardinals to not only be one-dimensional, but forcing them to utilize their worst dimension (throwing the ball).

You want to see domination?  Take a look at that 3rd quarter.  On the surface, you’ll see the Seahawks out-scored them 9 to 0 and think, “What’s the big fuckin’ deal, bitch?”  But, dig a little deeper and look at Arizona’s four possessions:

  1. 54 seconds, 4 yards gained, 3 & Out
  2. 0 seconds, 0 yards gained, 1 play, Interception
  3. 50 seconds, -4 yards gained, 2 plays, Fumble
  4. 1:02, -10 yards gained, 3 & Out

That’s a total of 2 minutes and 46 seconds out of a possible 15 minutes.  That’s a total of 9 offensive plays with 2 punts and 2 turnovers.  That’s -10 yards net offense.  That’s a quarter that started out a 17-10 nail-biter and turned into a 26-10 blowout.  There’s no recovering from a quarter like that.  Unbelievable.

Player Of The Game:  Undoubtedly Matt Hasselbeck.  Want to know why?  Because for a few minutes there, at the end of the 2nd quarter and beginning of the 3rd, Charlie Ballgame came in while they tended to Matt’s broken left wrist.  He subsequently went 4 for 6 for 53 yards and an interception that killed a scoring drive.  I have a feeling I know what we’ll be doing with our first round draft pick next year.

The Two Worst Teams: Seahawks @ Cardinals

In total offense, the Seattle Seahawks so far are 30th out of a possible 32 teams.  The Cards are 31st.

In total defense, the Seattle Seahawks so far are 26th out of a possible 32 teams.  The Cards are 30th.

CLEARLY, the Seahawks are the superior team.  CLEARLY, they’re going to go into … whatever the hell they call the stadium in which they play and wipe the floor with Arizona.

Just, whatever you do, don’t expect a good, clean game.  For God’s sake!  Don’t expect that!

Watching the Seahawks on offense is like watching a retard hump a doorknob.  I can’t remember who said that originally, but there is no more fitting metaphor simile (hint:  the Seahawks are the doorknob).  And without their girth on the defensive line, you might as well pencil the Cards in for a 100 yard rusher.  I don’t know if it’ll be Hightower or Wells, but just pencil that right in there.

I’ll say it again (though, I can’t remember if I said it before), this game will come down to Derek Anderson and whether or not we get Good Derek or Bad Derek.  Since we likely won’t be able to generate a pass rush, and since I get the ominous feeling (since he hasn’t practiced much lately) that Lofa Tatupu will be out for this game, I would expect we’ll see more towards the Good.

But look, we’ve got Hasselbeck back from his concussion.  We probably don’t have Okung back, but it looks like Polumbus is there, so at least we’ve got a little more depth.  These AREN’T the New York Football Giants, so we’ll probably at least be IN this game.

I don’t know what to tell you.  For some reason, even though I knew we’d be crushed, I was more excited for last week’s game.  I think it was that aforementioned lack of pressure.  This week, there’s ALL KINDS of pressure.  We win this game, we take a big step forward in the division.  Not only record-wise, but that’ll mean we’ve beaten the Cards twice so we’ll have the tie-breaker.  And I’m not gonna lie to you, we need all the tie-breakers we can get.

Of course, I’d like to see the Seahawks win the rest of their games, but there are three no more important games than the three against Arizona, San Francisco, and St. Louis.  I want those games in the worst way.  Here’s to hoping that the offense can pull its head out of its ass for once.  We can’t rely exclusively on turnovers to score points!

The Arizona Cardinals DID Not Win This Week

The first half wasn’t great, but the Seahawks took a 10 point lead into halftime.  And with the way Max Hall was playing, 10 points would be more than enough.

As it turned out, THEIR defense was actually better than ours.  They had 5 sacks, 8 hits to the quarterback, and 9 tackles for loss.  Combine that with the fact that their offense and special teams were doing them zero favors, I’d say the Arizona defense out-played the Seattle defense.

Yes, we had 4 turnovers – three fumble recoveries and a pick – but I wouldn’t call them so much “takeaways” as “giveaways”.  The interception was a wounded duck thrown 10 yards past the intended target.  The first fumble was an idiotic muff of a punt where he should have just fallen on the ball.  The second fumble was a muff of a kickoff return.  And the third fumble was a blind-side quarterback sack from Clemons; it’s not reasonable for someone to hang onto the ball after a hit like that.

Of course, Hall didn’t play much, if at all, after that.  Up to the point where he was knocked out, Hall had 36 yards passing and a 13.5 passer rating.  He was missing targets left and right; and I don’t mean like Trent Edwards misses targets left and right.  I mean, like, give a tyrannosaurus rex a football and tell him to throw an 8-yard out pattern … he was BAD.  That might’ve been the worst quarterback performance I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’m pretty sure I’ve blocked out a lot of those old Stan Gelbaugh games.  So, really, who’s to say?

This wasn’t quite the pure domination I thought we COULD get, coming into this game.  It certainly wasn’t the pure domination I thought we SHOULD have gotten once I got a look at Max Hall.  We had to settle for a lot of field goals (some of which had to be made over and over again thanks to stupid penalties).  16-0 didn’t feel TOTALLY safe, midway through the third quarter.  But, it felt pretty safe.

However, I did get my panties into a bunch when Derek Anderson led them straight down the field to cut the lead to 9.  I don’t know why I had flashes of Ragin’ Sage Rosenfels – the consummate Bad Quarterback who, for whatever reason, comes off the bench and leads his team to an improbable comeback win in the second half; but let him start a game and he reverts to being that very Bad Quarterback you knew he was – but luckily we settled down. 

It’s funny, Anderson’s scoring drive actually managed to jumpstart our own offense.  They put the ball in Hasselbeck’s hands and he led a mostly-passing drive down the field.  Sure, it only resulted in a field goal (thank you Heather Locklear and your dumbass holding penalties), but at least it was a DRIVE.  It wasn’t getting the ball on the other side of the field, going three and out, and settling for a field goal.  That’s no offense!

Anyway, after that we seemed to get into an offensive groove for the rest of the game.  Dominated time of possession 37 minutes to 23.  Dominated them on 3rd down (only converting 2 of 12).  Hell, the only thing we DIDN’T dominate them in was rushing defense.  They ran it 20 times for 113 and a 5.7 ypc average.  It was shocking, to tell you the truth.  Because this is the same defense that made mincemeat of Chicago’s running game the week before.

I couldn’t possibly begin to tell you who the Player Of The Game was.  Beast Mode, however, is my new favorite catch phrase.  I really want to get a lady in bed and say, “I’m going to go Beast Mode all over you tonight.”  Mike Williams had another big game:  11 catches, 87 yards, 1 touchdown.  Earl Thomas continued his defensive rookie of the year campaign with an easy interception.  Our secondary as a whole helped shut down Fitzgerald (3 catches for 30 yards).

But really, could it be anyone besides Olindo Mare?  He’s hit something like 30 in a row, including all 5 today.  INCLUDING one particularly brutal stretch I glossed over earlier:  a 31 yard field goal was nullified by a holding penalty; a 41 yard field goal was nullified by a holding penalty by the SAME GUY; and a 51 yard field goal was successful right after that.  Absolutely brilliant on a day where it was rainy, windy, wet and cold all over.  It’s hard to score 22 points in a football game unless you knock down 5 field goals, so my P of the G is Mare.  We’ve come a long way from the Bears game last year.

Did You Hear? The NFC West Is A Pile Of Shit

The San Francisco 49ers – most everyone’s pick to win the division – are 0-3.  I saw records ranging from 8-8 to 13-3 tabbed on these chickenfuckers, and what have they done?  Lost to the Seahawks, lost to the Saints, and lost to the Chiefs!  Which leads me to ask:  are the Chiefs as good as their 3-0 record?

Tough to say, but unquestionably – in the wake of firing their offensive coordinator this week – the 49ers are as BAD as their 0-3.

Their next two games are at Atlanta, and vs. Philadelphia.  I’d have to say, they look like they’re probably going to lose those games.  That would put them at 0-5 before they play Denver, at Arizona, at Green Bay, and at San Diego.  Not to mention home games vs. Arizona, Seattle, and at this point Tampa Bay who could also give them a run for their money.  Their defense is underwhelming, their quarterback is Alex Smith, and their best offensive weapon is a tight end.  That’s not going to get you very far in the NFL.

The St. Louis Rams just beat ass all over Washington last week, but apparently when you’re as hapless as the Rams, beating the Redskins just comes naturally.  Plus, not for nothing, but I can totally imagine the ‘Skins looking ahead to their matchup with Philly this week, even though they’d never in a million years admit it.

Look, the Rams are the Rams, they have a rookie quarterback and they DON’T have the Ravens’ defense.  They will be bad.

Arizona required three missed field goals before they could officially beat the Raiders at home last week.  In their wins, they’ve eeked out the likes of the Rams and the Raiders, meanwhile they got killed by Atlanta.

Arizona is the only team that scares me in the least, because I know they have talented players on both sides of the ball.  But they still have Derek Anderson who constantly waffles between looking somewhat competent and the worst quarterback in the NFL.  You never know what you’re going to get from him on any given Sunday, but one thing’s for certain:  if he ever figures out how to lob the ball up to Fitzgerald, they won’t be so bad.

You can’t really predict what’s going to happen at season’s end after the third week, but you can see some trends.  Arizona still has to go on the road and play San Diego, Seattle, Minnesota, and Kansas City; not to mention those home games vs. Dallas and New Orleans.  The way they’ve looked so far, that’s the potential for six losses right there.  And you’ve got to think they’ll bungle one or two of those games they’re favored in.

Meanwhile, there’s the Seahawks.  Quietly posting a winning record.  Not only that, but beating two teams we were supposed to lose to!

This St. Louis game this week is a must-win because, let’s face it, we’re not so good on the road.  It’s a game we were supposed to win coming into the year.  AND, it will give us a huge boost of momentum going into the bye week.

Following the bye, we have another 4-game stretch where it would behoove us to go 3-1 (@ Chi, vs AZ, @ Oak, vs NYG).  Two home games and a winnable game at Oakland need to go in our favor.  At that point, we would be 6-2 and officially on everyone’s radar (especially after thumping Eli Manning in week 9).

If we can go to 6-2, I’m not gonna lie to you, there are only 3 games that scare me:  @ New Orleans, @ Arizona, and vs. Atlanta.  We should beat both Kansas City and Carolina at home; we should be able to go into San Francisco and Tampa and take care of business; and we CERTAINLY should beat the Rams at home in the final week of the season (if necessary).

You couldn’t ask for a better close to a season, schedule-wise.  Especially considering we’re in the NFC West.  Do I think we’ll be 11-5 when all is said and done?  Good God no!  I AM saying there’s a chance though.  There’s always a chance.

YOUR 6-10 Seattle Seahawks

All right!  Enough with the preview/prediction schtick!  OK, one more.

The following is the 2010 Seahawks schedule, and exactly what’s going to happen.  Make your bets now, muchachos.

Week 1 – vs. San Francisco, 1:15pm start.  The 49ers jump out early, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but Seattle bounces back with 10 in the second to make it close at halftime.  Teams exchange field goals in the third, then early in the fourth the Seahawks drive to tie the game!  Punts ensue, the 49ers have the ball last with 2:23 left and make easy work of the defense.  Final score:  20-17

Week 2 – @ Denver, 1:05pm start.  Hoping to bounce back against a potentially inferior opponent, the Seahawks are unable to touch Kyle Orton as he intermediate-routes us to death.  Tim Tebow gets an annoying goalline touchdown early, but this one is a laugher going into halftime, down 21-3.  The Broncos tack on another touchdown in the 3rd before Seattle puts one up of their own, but that’s all they’d get.  Denver adds a field goal with 5 minutes remaining for the 31-10 final.

Week 3 – vs. San Diego, 1:15pm start.  This game starts out fast and furious as both offenses come to play (while both defenses hit their snooze buttons).  It’s 14-14 early in the 2nd quarter with zero punts.  Seattle stops San Diego in the red zone to hold them to a field goal, then before halftime take an improbable 21-17 lead.  The Seahawks add a field goal before San Diego rips off 17 unanswered points due to sloppy play with the Seahawks fumbling twice and Hasselbeck getting picked once.  Final score:  34-24.

Week 4 – @ St. Louis, 10:00am start.  Here, finally, some pressure!  Sam Bradford is harassed into multiple turnovers this game, and Seattle is able to keep Steven Jackson under 100 yards rushing (though he does get 77 yards receiving on 7 catches).  The offense also finds its running game in a rare 100 yard performance out of Justin Forsett.  Final:  33-17.

Week 5 – BYE

Week 6 – @ Chicago, 10:00am start.  Sloppy game all around, as a freak thunderstorm rampages through the midwest.  Game is tied 3-3 at half.  Early in the third, a lineman rolls under Hasselbeck, who’s forced to leave for the rest of the series, which lasts only two more plays as Whitehurst comes in and throws an ill-advised out route that gets jumped for the pick-six.  Chicago tacks on a field goal in the fourth quarter, then Seattle, with Hasselbeck leading the way on bum wheel, drives down to inside the Chicago 10.  On 4th down, Carroll makes the questionable decision to go for it, and the pass is picked off in the endzone.  Final:  13-3.

Week 7 – vs. Arizona, 1:15pm start.  Bad news for Matt, as he’s got a sprained ankle and will miss at least the next two weeks.  Charlie Whitehurst makes his first ever start in the NFL against what turns out to be a pretty terrible Cardinals defense.  Unfortunately, the Anderson to Fitzgerald connection grows stronger by the week.  Also unfortunately, while Seattle’s able to drive up and down the field, they’re only able to get one touchdown through three quarters as we head into the fourth down 28-16.  Carroll decides to try out the hurry-up offense with 12 minutes to go in the ballgame, which ends up working until we get into the red zone and then … pick six.  Final score:  35-16.

Week 8 – @ Oakland, 1:15pm start.  This game ends up being a defensive battle throughout.  They’ve opted to scale back the offense for Charlie and he’s able to do all right, but Seattle’s down 7-6 at half.  However, a long bomb to Mike Williams leads to a Seahawks touchdown, and Leon Washington takes the ball on an end-around for the 2-point conversion.  A Raiders turnover leads to a Seahawks field goal and that’s how it ends, 17-7.

Week 9 – vs. New York, 1:05pm start.  Eli and company come into Qwest and storm through our defense.  Hasselbeck’s injury isn’t quite ready to let him practice, so he’s held out another week.  And for this, Charlie pays dearly.  He’s hammered from the get-go, losing two fumbles on blind-side sacks, and throwing an ill-advised pass into heavy coverage while on the run.  The Seahawks are down 28-0 at half and go on to lose 42-10.

Week 10 – @ Arizona, 1:15pm start.  Clinging to a 2-6 record, Matt Hasselbeck makes his return to the football field this week, not an iota too soon.  Though the Seahawks are entrenched in 3rd place, they’re only 2 games back of Arizona and 3 back of the 49ers.  This week is a must-win in every sense.  And that sense of urgency is shown early as the Seahawks start strong on the road vs. a quality opponent; something they’ve done very rarely in the last decade.  Seattle leads 33-20 with five minutes to go, looking to sit on a lead and take and improbable win.  Matt hands off to Jones for a dive up the middle, and a safety comes in from the side, spears the ball with his helmet, and the Cardinals recover!  Anderson throws deep to Fitzgerald (who is, for some reason, covered by Kelly Jennings) to get the Cardinals to the 1 yard line, where they punch it in on the very next play.  With only 1 time out, and a little under four minutes remaining, the Cardinals decide to kick it deep.  The Seahawks go 3 and out with two runs and an incomplete pass to give the ball right back.  Arizona drives down and scores with 12 seconds left on 4th down to rip the hearts out of Seattle fans the world over.  Final score:  34-33.

Week 11 – @ New Orleans, 1:05pm start.  Don’t even ask.  Last week’s defeat left the team down and out.  Final Score:  Saints 45, Seahawks 12.

Week 12 – vs. Kansas City, 1:05pm start.  At 2-8 and out of the playoffs, Pete Carroll decides to make the switch official.  Charlie Whitehurst takes over for his big audition.  The Seahawks play flat, but Kansas City isn’t much better, and the home team pulls out the 17-14 victory.

Week 13 – vs. Carolina, 1:15pm start.  With a strong running game and a game-managing quarterback, the Panthers are better than many expected.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate in the record books, as they’ve managed to lose a lot of close games this year.  Today is no different; Seahawks win 2 in a row for the first time all season with a 21-20 win.

Week 14 – @ San Francisco, 1:05pm start.  Hoping to play spoiler, the Seahawks go down to Cali to avenge the week 1 loss that started this whole mess.  The Seahawks leave Cali with their tails between their legs:  49ers 33, Seahawks 16.

Week 15 – vs. Atlanta, 1:05pm start.  The ‘Hawks keep it close throughout and have the ball with a chance to win it at the end.  Charlie leads the team on a dramatic late game drive to get to the Falcons’ 33 yard line.  On fourth down, Olindo Mare is given the opportunity to win the game, but shanks the kick wildly to the left.  Final score:  28-27.

Week 16 – @ Tampa Bay, 10:00am start.  Charlie has his best game ever, throwing for over 300 yards and connecting on 4 plays of 35 yards or more.  Seahawks roll 34-20.

Week 17 – vs. St. Louis, 1:15pm start.  For the second straight week, Whitehurst impresses with his massive arm.  This gives Seahawks fans hope that we might have indeed found our quarterback of the future.  Seattle ends the season winning 4 of 6 with a 35-14 win over the hapless Rams.