Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2019: Back In The Saddle

Well, it wasn’t the prettiest, but a win is a win. I finally got some good luck in the “points against” department, when Mandelbaum’s Gym had a tough time scoring. Of course, he left Bridgewater on his bench (almost a 20-point swing, but no one was benching Kyler Murray against the Giants) as well as Latavius Murray (nearly a 30-point swing over Kerryon Johnson) and the Saints defense (a 10-point swing over the Bears) which all three combined would’ve been enough to give him the week (and would’ve been enough to cause me to quit fantasy football forever). 168.90 – 118.25. Complain enough on a blog nobody reads and the fantasy gods will finally smile upon me eventually!

I actually made all the right calls, except for the QB spot. Tyreek Hill somehow got almost his projected points, in spite of Mahomes going down with a freak injury. T.Y. Hilton had a good game, as expected. Darren Waller rewarded me for all my weeks of confidence in him with a 2-TD day (should’ve been 3 if not for a holding penalty); Zeke exploded for a nice Sunday Night game. And I even went ahead and benched Le’Veon Bell against the Pats (8.60 points scored) in favor of Josh Jacobs, who had a solid 16.40 points against the Packers.

But, as has been the case all year, I can’t get it right with my QB’s.

Daniel Jones is benched from here on out. I can’t believe I could’ve gotten Stafford and Godwin for him in trade after his 41-point week; it’s probably the dumbest decision anyone has ever made in fantasy football history. He had a terrific matchup in a high-scoring game against the Cards and couldn’t get out of his own way. Meanwhile, Minshew – once again – had a terrific day for my bench. What can I say? I’m an idiot.


The win this week brought my record up to 3-4, which officially puts me in the 6th seed for the playoffs, if the season ended today. There’s remarkable parity in my league right now, aside from the top guy who’s 7-0; the next seven teams are either 4-3 or 3-4, and we’re all within 155.02 points of one another. I have the third most points scored, and the second most points against.


It’s a real shame that Dimes isn’t worth a damn, because I’d love for nothing more than to be able to bench Carson Wentz this week, as he travels to Buffalo to go up against my defense. There’s just no good that can come from your quarterback going up against your defense. My hope is for Wentz to get on track, while the Bills still get some sacks or something; maybe a fumble return for a TD by one of the skill guys losing the ball. Long odds, but I can’t put Dimes in anymore, particularly on the road against the Lions. Worst case scenario is that Wentz throws a bunch of picks, but then the Eagles score a bunch of garbage points with their running backs. I hate this matchup.

With Zeke on a BYE, I’m rolling with Kupp, McLaurin, Jacobs, and Bell as my Big 4. Waller is still in there as my TE of choice, but the Texans apparently shut down tight ends with regularity, so I’m probably in for a terrible week.

My FLEX spot is the real disaster this week, as Hilton has a bad matchup against the Broncos, and Tyreek Hill has Matt Moore throwing to him. At this point, I’m leaning towards Hill over Gerald Everett; maybe he’ll take a WR screen to the house or something.

The guy I didn’t mention was David Montgomery, who I’ll once again have to drop (just as soon as the stupid Bengals finally rule A.J. Green out, so I can keep him in my IR spot), as I need a kicker this week, and there’s no way I’m letting Justin Tucker go. There aren’t a lot of great options on the free agency pile. I woke up super early on Wednesday morning to try to get Detroit’s kicker, but this whole IR spot situation is a real fiasco; I ended up losing out on him to the guy who has Dallas’ kicker, making my pickin’s even slimmer. I might have to go up until gametime on Sunday before filling out my roster in full.

As I noted earlier, I’ve got Buffalo as my defense. I could see them really dominating the Eagles and doing really well for me; I could also see them give up 30 points and really stinking up the joint. So, fingers crossed everything works out in my favor!


My opponent this week is TheGangUnderperforms, who in spite of his name really blew out his opponent last week! I lucked out with Lamar Jackson being on BYE; he’s forced to put Baker Mayfield in there up against the Pats’ defense. He also has Darnold going up against the Jags, so he could have a lot of QB problems much like yours truly!

Julio Jones should have a field day against the Seahawks, regardless of who’s throwing to him. I’d also wager highly on Stefon Diggs busting out against the Redskins (particularly if Thielen is out). Fournette has been an absolute workhorse for the Jags, and against the Jets should have no problem putting up big points. Ekeler has been a monster in the passing game, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him come up big in a difficult matchup with the Bears. He currently has Jimmy Graham as his tight end, who isn’t my favorite, but has a favorable matchup against the Chiefs’ defense. And his flex is currently Calvin Ridley, who isn’t good (now that I say that, watch him dominate).

He’s got the Saints’ kicker, who should ball out against Arizona; and the Steelers’ defense against Miami, so look for all the sacks and all the pick-sixes you can imagine.

I really don’t have a good read on what’s gonna happen this week. He’s got some really scary guys who could have enormous games, but he’s also got some possible duds in there (as do I, on both counts). This is a game I probably SHOULD win (I’ll be a slight favorite as soon as I pick up a kicker), but trying to predict fantasy football is about the dumbest thing you can do.

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
  • 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)

Looking At The Seahawks’ Final Six Opponents

No rest for the weary blogger this week!  On this, the most gluttonous of holidays, I’m here to discuss what we, as Seahawks fans, can look forward to the rest of the way.

I have to remember.  MUST keep fresh in my mind, the entirety of the Seahawks’ 2012 season.  I can’t let the last two games – each won handily, at home, against inferior opponents – taint my overall perception.

For instance:  is Russell Wilson truly improving as the season goes on?  Or, does it just APPEAR that he’s getting better as the level of competition has dropped off since the 49ers game in Week 7?  I haven’t the absolute foggiest.  I guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks when this team goes to Soldier Field, but that’s me getting ahead of myself again.

Also, is this truly an elite defense?  Or, does it just APPEAR elite against the bunglers of the NFL?  There’s no denying that this defense can be exploited.  There’s also no denying that this defense plays WAY too conservatively on the road.  That’ll need to change, immediately, if we expect to get anything accomplished this season.

As I’ve written, I’m fairly high on our prospects for making the playoffs this season.  That’s based half on our remaining schedule and half on what appears to be a good team getting better.  So, let’s take a look at the final six games and see where we’ll be come January.

November 25th, 10am – @ Miami:  No doubt about it, if this game were being played in Seattle, we would run away with it.  As it stands, you could say that about most every game, so let’s make that the last time I use that sentence this season.  With Miami, regardless of location, you’re talking about a team that should lose to these Seahawks.  Their receivers are complete jokes.  Their offense as a whole is pretty conservative.  They’ve got a rookie quarterback who has seemingly hit a wall of sorts.  Their offense as a whole is pretty lackluster.  Probably the WORST thing the Seahawks could do in this game is, as insane as it sounds, generate too much pressure on Tannehill!  We all saw what happened in the Houston/Jacksonville game.  Houston knocks out the rookie, the veteran backup comes in, he throws for a billion yards and nearly leads his team to a shocking upset.  Well, in Miami, they have Matt Moore.  Matt Moore is far and away the better quarterback of the two on their team, and I think without a doubt would win this game for Miami if he were starting.  So, Seahawks, generate just enough pressure to force Tannehill into some poor decisions, but not so much that you separate his shoulder.  I see this game going the Seahawks’ way, but obviously not as easily as we’d like.  Maybe something along the lines of 14-10.

December 2nd, 10am – @ Chicago:  It’s December, it’s likely to be cold, it’s on the road, it’s at 10am, Jay Cutler will likely be back, they’ve got a very good defense, I just can’t imagine this game goes well for the good guys.  Obviously, if everything breaks right, there’s an outside chance the Seahawks steal this one, but I’m not buying it.  I think this game ranges from narrow defeat to blowout defeat.  Maybe something like 27-13.

December 9th, 1:25pm – vs. Arizona:  At this point, if we’re 7-5, we’re in great shape.  Even if we’re 6-6, we’re not in TERRIBLE shape, but let’s not go there.  We HAVE to be at least 7-5 for this game.  This game, mind you, should be no contest.  This is a walk-over if I’ve ever seen one.  Their defense isn’t the worst, so they’ll probably hold us to a lot of field goals, but this is another game where our defense should keep them out of the endzone a la the New York Jets.  I’m expecting something along the lines of 23-6 Seahawks.

December 16th, 1:05pm – @ Buffalo:  Here’s a HUGE game, masquerading as No Big Deal.  At this point, you figure we’re 8-5 and we’re two more wins away from the playoffs.  That makes this game a Must Win.  Because next week’s 49ers game is no day at the beach, and because there’s a slim possibility that even 10 wins won’t be enough for this team.  I don’t think that’s likely; I think 10 wins is the magic number.  Either way, Must Win.

Buffalo isn’t as bad as advertised.  They’ve got a solid receiver in Stevie Johnson, they’ve got a solid tight end in that Scott Chandler guy, and they’ve got some real weapons in the backfield.  This team runs well and it throws screen passes well.  They can also threaten you deep.  Ryan Fitzpatrick can either be amazing or amazingly awful.  You can’t sleep on this team and think you’re going to win with partial effort.

The game is in Toronto, which I can’t imagine is some hotbed of Buffalo Bills fans, so in that sense it’s almost like a neutral field game.  It’s also in the afternoon; tip of the cap to the scheduling gods.

I want to say this game is a slam dunk, but I just have a bad feeling.  How often does an NFC team go 4-0 against the AFC in a season?  I feel like this is another one of those Detroit type of games, where it’s high-scoring and Buffalo’s offense catches fire in the end.  My brain tells me that the Seahawks should win this game, but my gut tells me I’m an idiot.  35-31 Buffalo, as the Seahawks get caught looking ahead to next week.

December 23rd, 1:25pm – vs. San Francisco:  So, now we’re 8-6.  And since obviously the Buffalo game wasn’t REALLY a Must Win, now we’re in the position where we have to win out.  Winning out should still get us in the playoffs.  Odds are, the 49ers won’t REALLY need to win this game to win the division, though I have to imagine they’d still be in the hunt for a #2 seed in the playoffs.  Nevertheless, they could have every single thing wrapped up by this week and I still think they’d go hard after us.  They don’t want to see the Seahawks in the playoffs any more than we want to see them in the playoffs.  I think Jim Harbaugh would get a HUGE hard-on at the thought that they knocked us out of the post-season.

The problem with the 49ers is, in years past, we could always count on getting in the quarterback’s face with regularity.  But, since they beefed up their offensive line, it’s always going to be a struggle.  On the plus side, we’re at home, so the defense should be extra amped up for this one.

San Francisco is the best team we will have played all year at home.  But, we’ve still played some pretty damn good teams.  I still stand behind my statement that this Seahawks team will go 8-0 at home.  I think we find a way, someway, to get the job done.  Pete Carroll will get his Jim Harbaugh monkey off his back and we will be one more win away from the playoffs.  Seattle 21, San Francisco 19.

December 30th, 1:25pm – vs. St. Louis:  Utter destruction.  The Rams will be playing for pride and nothing else.  This Seahawks team will have a playoff berth on the line.  We’re going to come out and knock them on their asses.  Seahawks 33, St. Louis 10.

10-6 is PROBABLY on the horizon.  Of course, things never go as planned, so take this post with the grain of salt it has earned.  Any way you slice it, the rest of the season will be really exciting.

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings

You’ve seen the best … now see the rest!

I don’t believe in any Power Rankings before the season, because I think they’re inane.  You can’t POSSIBLY know how good a team is going to be before you’ve actually seen them play.  And if you’re basing your rankings on last year’s finishes or this year’s pre-season games, then you’re a fucking retard and you deserve to have at least one family member shot in the face.

The first two weeks of the NFL season are a total crapshoot, plain and simple.  Who saw the Cardinals as a 2-0 team?  Who saw the Saints as 0-2?  Who could have figured there would be SO MANY 1-1 teams???

But now, two games in, you can kind of have an idea.  Last year, we had a weekly feature called the Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings.  Since I feel the Seahawks won’t suck (and since there is no Luck-equivalent in next year’s draft), I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and do what just about every other football blog does.  An NFL Power Rankings.  Besides, I need SOMETHING to write about on Tuesdays during the NFL season …

  1. San Francisco 49ers:  I plan on picking this team to win each and every week until they prove to me that they’re not as dominant as they really are.
  2. Atlanta Falcons:  I refuse to put Houston here until they play a team that’s NOT in the bottom five in all of the NFL.
  3. Houston Texans:  I mean, for the love of Christ, at least the Falcons played Denver and kind of bashed their brains in.
  4. Green Bay Packers:  I still like them.  They didn’t blow Chicago away, but then again that game was on a Thursday.  I don’t expect ANY team to dominate on a Thursday.  Thursday games are the fucking worst.
  5. New England Patriots:  I feel like an idiot putting the Pats this high, considering they lost to the Cards at home.  But, if you replay that game 100 times, New England is easily winning that game 85% of the time.
  6. Baltimore Ravens:  I don’t feel like an idiot putting the Ravens this low.  Yeah, they looked great against the Bengals, yeah, they’ll probably be a playoff team.  But, they’re still the Ravens and I think they still lose in any big game to the Patriots.
  7. Chicago Bears:  The Bears are going to have a couple stinkers every season as long as they employ Cutler.  That having been said, they’ve got a ton of weapons on offense, their defense is still stout, and they’ll rip off a bunch of wins this season making everyone wonder why they wrote the Bears off so early in the season.
  8. Arizona Cardinals:  That defense is no joke.  They certainly won’t stay this high in my rankings (then again, their early-season schedule is almost unfathomably easy).  But, by going into New England and beating the Pats (and killing many survivor pools in the process), they have earned this Top 10 ranking.
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers:  They’ve still got Ben.  He’s their wildcard.  If he stays healthy and doesn’t crap the bed, they will be winners.  Yeah, their defense is old and injury-prone, but when healthy they’re still good and able to handle the teams they should.
  10. San Diego Chargers:  Is this the year that Philip Rivers holds his turnovers in check?  My fantasy team sure as shit hopes so.
  11. Philadelphia Eagles:  I think this team has gotten a bad rap so far, mostly because they’ve stunk quite a bit.  That having been said, they have a lot of talent on this team.  When they gel and get into a groove, watch out.  Still, their performance against Cleveland keeps them out of the top 10 until they finally dominate a team they should.
  12. Seattle Seahawks:  Defense – check.  Special Teams – check.  This offense will only improve as the season goes on.  When it does, watch out NFL.
  13. Denver Broncos:  Not an ideal showing for Manning last night.  He will improve.  That team will improve.  By season’s end, I still think they make the playoffs.
  14. Detroit Lions:  We all know their defense is shitty, but maybe it’s not AS shitty as we think.  Either way, I say the Lions beat these next two teams in my rankings hands down.
  15. Dallas Cowboys:  They land here because they’re not terrible, and because their defense is WAY better than the next team’s.
  16. New York Giants:  What happened to the G-men?  That defense is abysmal!  They’re lucky they have Eli to pull their asses out of the fire.
  17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  I don’t know how they blew that Giants game (Eli being Eli, I guess), but I like these Bucs.  Call me crazy!
  18. New York Jets:  Remember when everyone was sucking their dicks after scoring 48 on the Bills in week 1?  Not so eager anymore, are you?
  19. Cincinnati Bengals:  Tough team to read.  You don’t know if they’re worthless, or if they’re top 10, but they seem to do just enough to get by in most games.  Let’s see if that defense can hold things down like they did last season.
  20. Carolina Panthers:  Still a top-notch offense.  Still a question-mark defense.
  21. St. Louis Rams:  Playing hard under their new coach.  Don’t sleep on their defense, the Redskins are pretty amazing on offense.  Nice to see them come back on Sunday.
  22. Washington Redskins:  A bad defense just got worse with injuries.  These definitely ARE the Carolina Panthers of last season.
  23. New Orleans:  They look kind of lost.  Gotta give Sean Payton his due, he really had a good handle on that team.  They’ll probably finish with a sub-.500 record this season, then bounce back into the playoffs next year.  At which point, give Payton his Coach of the Year award.
  24. Buffalo Bills:  I’m really rooting for this team to get better.  GET BETTER!  I’m sick and tired of the Pats & Jets!
  25. Minnesota Vikings:  Best running back in the game, top-notch pass-rushing defense … I could see this team surprising some teams this year.  It all rests on Ponder.
  26. Indianapolis Colts:  Interesting team so far.  Yeah, they got reamed by the Bears in Week 1, but the Bears are a top-notch team.  I thought they showed a lot in beating the Vikings at home in a close game.
  27. Miami Dolphins:  I anticipate this will be one of the worst teams in the NFL (unless they put Matt Moore back in), so it was a shock to say the least how they handled the Raiders this past week.  Reggie Bush had the game of a lifetime; if he keeps that up, maybe I’ll have to re-think my opinion of this team.
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars:  Yikes.  If the Jags are this high, the four teams below them must be AWFUL.
  29. Oakland Raiders:  Yep, awful.  Carson Palmer can still throw the ball around, but if he can’t complete more than 50% of his passes, then what’s the point?
  30. Kansas City Chiefs:  Their defense might be the worst in football.  It figures, that was the defense the Seahawks saw in the pre-season that essentially won Russell Wilson the job.  What luck!
  31. Cleveland Browns:  I don’t think their defense is that bad.  And Brandon Weeden had an okay game last week!  Who knew?
  32. Tennessee Titans:  I hate to put Jake Locker’s team so low, but I have to wonder how much longer he’ll be starting.  Either injuries or ineffectiveness is going to take him out and that’s a shame.  Their early-season schedule is BRUTAL.  They might not win until week 8!  At which point, it would really behoove their front office to can that head coach and bring someone in who knows what the fuck he’s doing.  Former offensive linemen were not meant to be head coaches!

YOUR 8-8 Seattle Seahawks of 2012!!!

I don’t know why, but this season just has a feeling like it could’ve been special.  Even though the schedule – on paper – has a lot of tough games on it, it’s hard to not like the way it shakes out.

After so many God-foresaken times we’ve had to travel to fucking Dallas, Texas, this time we get the Cowboys coming out west.  With the home field advantage, that turns what would normally be a Dallas rout into a pick ’em contest (see:  the Giants game last year; we never would have won that game in New Jersey).  AND, not only do we get Green Bay at home (another tip of the cap to the 12th Man), but we get them on Monday night.  I don’t have an exact record for the Seahawks in Monday (or just night) games, but for some reason I have a feeling that we’re especially good under the cover of darkness.  We really seem to gear up for these games.  Finally, probably the best of our non-divisional matchups – New England – is also at home!  Three of our toughest non-divisional games are at CenturyLink.  How often do the scheduling gods shine upon us this well?

To round out our non-divisional home schedule, we have games against Minnesota and the Jets in the two weeks before our BYE week in the middle of November.  Those teams … SHOULD be pushovers!

Obviously, in an ideal world, you want the Seahawks to win all their games.  In a slightly less ideal world, you want the Seahawks to at least win all their HOME games.  Failing that – because I think that’s highly unlikely – I’d like to see the Seahawks go 6-2 at home.

That means beating Arizona, St. Louis, Minnesota, New York, and two of the three between Dallas, Green Bay, and New England (I’m writing off the juggernaut 49ers because I just don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell, even if the game is in Week 16 where they will SURELY have clinched the #1 seed in the playoffs).

I think we can do it.  I definitely think it’s POSSIBLE.  I feel very highly about our chances to take down the Cowboys this Sunday, and I like us every time we play on Monday Night, no matter the opponent.  I think that’s one where we can sneak up on Green Bay and pull it out at the last second.

Of course, I’d be more confident in our chances were this Russell Wilson’s third or fourth season.

I believe Russell Wilson will be great.  I’m just going to go ahead and finish this glass of Kool Aid I’ve got cooling on the window sill.  I believe Russell Wilson WILL be great … but that’s in future tense.  He’s not great now.  The jury is out on whether he’s even GOOD now.  But, these are important games he’s playing as a rookie.  He’s getting experience he will one day lean on when he’s got the hang of this thing called NFL Football.  When he’s used to the speed of the game.  When he’s developed a proper rapport with his receivers.  In three or four years, all these footballs he’s throwing high and wide of the out-stretched arms of his diving receivers … they’ll be lasered into the perfect spot not just for a completion, but for significant Yards After Catch.

In the meantime, we have to make due with growing pains.  Which, like I said, is too bad.  Because I do think the defense is poised for greatness.  But, this isn’t one of those defenses like the ’85 Bears.  This is one of those defenses like the 2010 Packers, or like the 2007 Patriots.  These defenses really need a lead to thrive.  They need their offenses to jump out to a 14-3 lead, so then they can really unleash a swarming series of blitzes, so they can attack other teams’ receivers with impunity and pick off these passes.  They turn games into routs with late Pick-Sixes.

But, they tend to struggle when things remain close throughout the game.  Or, especially when they’re behind.

If Russell Wilson were in his third or fourth year, he’d be at that elite level where our offense is beating other defenses like a drum (even with the so-so receivers we’ve got now).  With this rushing attack, forget about it.  These Seahawks are merely a quarterback away from serious Super Bowl contention (forget what The Sports Guy has to say).

With an elite-level quarterback, it wouldn’t be out of the question to go 8-0 at home.  It wouldn’t be out of the question to contend with the 49ers for the NFC West.  It wouldn’t even be a question to expect a #1 seed in the NFC!  With a rookie, soon-to-be-elite quarterback, it very much is out of the question.  The best I can give this team is 6-2 at home.  And I think they’ll get it done.

On the road, it’s another matter.

For starters, we’re already 0-1.  Our next two road games are at St. Louis and at Carolina.  My gut tells me we go 1-1 in those games.  My head tells me, it’s not the 1-1 you’re thinking about.  KILL ME, I don’t hate St. Louis!  I think they’re tired of being our whipping boys, I think they’re fired up by their new head coach Jeff Fisher, I think their defense is stout (or, at least, stout-enough to stop our offense), and I’m not ready to give up on Sam Bradford just yet (though, I do still enjoy mocking him and rooting against him and HOPING he’s another in a long-line of #1 quarterback busts).  I think the Rams steal this game just like the Cards stole the game last week.  But, I also think Carolina is super-overrated.  I think we definitely have what it takes to keep Cam Newton in check.  I think we can bully their receivers and keep their offense under 20 points.  I’m predicting a 28-17 drubbing solid victory with some timely turnovers at the end to seal the deal.

Then, after a home date with New England, we’re back on the road for two more.  San Francisco and Detroit.  Just … just forget about San Francisco right now.  I know it’s a Thursday game and on any given Sunday Thursday anything can happen, but just STOP IT!  We’re not going into San Francisco and beating the 49ers.  In fact, I think they completely run us off the road (not literally, of course, but they will be able to move the ball at will).  38-10, mark it.  And also mark it that they won’t score all 38 points on offense.  Expect at least two touchdowns from the 49ers either from their defense or special teams (maybe not directly, but with long returns to the red zone).  As for Detroit, the good news is we get 10 days to try to figure out how to stop them.  The bad news is, they still have Calvin Johnson and there’s no way we stop them with Calvin Johnson.  This is where we really question whether or not our defense is as good as advertised, as we give up another over-30 game and lose 31-24.

So, here we are, at the BYE week, with a 5-5 record.  Plenty would have written us off after the Detroit game, but with the two home cupcakes we’re right back in the thick of things.  Here’s where things get a little hairy.

At Miami and At Chicago.  On paper, we know Miami’s a joke.  But, at this point you have to honestly wonder:  will Tannehill still be starting?  My gut tells me, probably not.  As the Dolphins will likely be 0-10 at this point, I have to think even if Tannehill’s not injured, they’d have to sit him for his psyche alone.  And Matt Moore, in case you didn’t know, isn’t exactly a pushover.  This has Trap Game written all over it.  I think we lose this game and follow that up with a loss the next week in Chicago.

That brings us back for a home game against Arizona and a road game at Buffalo.  I’ve already got the ‘Zona game as a win, and I think we bounce back and take down the Bills as well.  That puts us at 7-7 with the final two games at home against the 49ers and Rams.

Essentially, that puts us at 8-8, which is sort of in line with what I said yesterday.  It’s hard to justify that 9th win, unless the 49ers get killed by injuries (fingers crossed!).  Still, 8-8’s an improvement over last year, we win some games we probably shouldn’t win, and we lose some games we probably shouldn’t lose.  Russell Wilson gets some valuable experience, and we all walk away looking forward to next year.

For the record, I desperately wanted this team to be 9-7 before the season started, and a big part of that was winning in Arizona in week 1.  Starting out 0-1 and expecting this team to still get to a winning record just isn’t realistic.  Prove me wrong, Seahawks!  Prove me wrong!

Predicting The NFL Season, After Week 1

I was gone all week last week, so I never got around to doing this.  Now, week 1 has happened and it’s up to me to not over-react.  I feel confident!

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Washington Redskins

I know the Eagles looked like balls against the Browns, but I think they still have too much talent and too much good coaching.  I think they figure it the fuck out, start running the ball with more regularity, and their defense will continue to be opportunistic going forward.  I’m seeing the Eagles and Cowboys tied with 10-6 records and I’m seeing both of them making the playoffs.  I’m also seeing the Giants taking a bit of a step back.  Why?  Because they’re coming off of a Super Bowl run, and because I drafted Eli Manning.  Bank on no better than 8-8, with a lot of injuries and a lot of Eli trying (and failing) to do too much.  The Redskins are this season’s Panthers (exciting high draft pick quarterback), but with a better defense.  I’m seeing 5-6 wins.

NFC North
Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings

Yeah, the Packers lost, but they’re not as good as the 49ers.  That having been said, they’re still fucking amazing on offense and they’ll get just enough out of their defense to squeak out an 11-5 record.  I’m seeing the Bears at 10-6 and getting that second Wild Card (spoiler alert:  the Seahawks won’t make the playoffs this year).  Detroit is no better than 8-8, probably more like 7-9.  That defense is THE WORST.  Minnesota probably gets you around 5 wins.

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints

LOVE the Falcons this year (but, then again, I love the Falcons most years).  Still, I think they have a sweet schedule and if they can get past the Broncos this weekend (at home, where they are nearly unbeatable), they likely go 6-0 going into their BYE.  I think the Bucs improve, but I think they finish around 9 wins and on the outside looking in.  I think the Panthers take a huge step up to .500, but they still need a defense.  I think the Saints completely fall apart, tank it in the second half, and end up with like 4 wins.  Good luck to all you fucks who kept Drew Brees.

NFC West
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks
Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams

San Francisco 49ers:  best team in the NFL.  I am guaranteeing 14 wins right now.  My gut tells me they go 15-1.  That defense is absolutely unstoppable and their only real test going forward is At New England.  And, what I don’t get?  Everyone is clowning on their offense, but Alex Smith showed me a lot last year in just being steady.  Then, in the playoffs, he looked REALLY clutch in those two games.  I think the Seahawks end up with 8-9 wins, I think Arizona ends up with 7-8 wins, and I think the Rams end up with 6-7 wins.  Don’t check my math on these things, because I’m not exactly going through every team’s schedule predicting wins & losses through week 17.

AFC East
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins

The Patriots are the Patriots, lock ’em up for 11-5 or 12-4.  The Jets are the Jets and they’ll end up 8-8 or 9-7.  The Bills are dreadful and they’ll end up with 6 wins.  The Dolphins are the worst team in all of football and will win 1-2 games.  One caveat:  if they go back to Matt Moore, I think they rise up and surpass the Bills.  Only problem:  I don’t think New Head Coach goes with the change unless Tannehill gets injured.

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns

I like the Ravens a ton and think they win 12-13.  Even though they got destroyed last night, I still like the Bengals for 10 wins and a Wild Card slot.  I think the Steelers underachieve, end up 8-8, and start questioning whether or not they need a new head coach.  I think the Browns rival the Dolphins, but their defense keeps them afloat for 3 wins.

AFC South
Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts

It’s the Texans and it’s everyone else.  I think the Texans coast to a #2 seed with a 12-win year.  The Titans improve, but they still end up with 7 wins.  The Jags are the Jags and they end up with 4 wins.  The Colts are the Colts and also finish with 4 wins.

AFC West
Denver Broncos
San Diego Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders

Broncos:  10 wins.  Chargers, 9 wins and the final Wild Card.  Chiefs, 6 wins.  Raiders something like 4 wins.

NFC Playoffs
1.  San Francisco
2.  Atlanta
3.  Green Bay
4.  Philadelphia
5.  Dallas
6.  Chicago

AFC Playoffs
1.  Baltimore
2.  Houston
3.  New England
4.  Denver
5.  Cincinnati
6.  San Diego

Wild Card Round
Green Bay over Chicago
Philadelphia over Dallas
New England over San Diego
Cincinnati over Denver

Divisional Round
Green Bay over Atlanta
San Francisco over Philadelphia
Baltimore over Cincinnati
New England over Houston

Championship Round
San Francisco over Green Bay
Baltimore over New England

Super Bowl
Baltimore over San Francisco

I do think the 49ers are pretty unstoppable, but in the Super Bowl anything goes.  Hell, at least it’s not another New England/Green Bay prediction …

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. V

The rich got richer in the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes this week.  My Top 8 all lost or didn’t play, so you’d think there would be no change.  However, you would be wrong.

Also, on an unrelated note:  I thought Al Davis was already dead!  WHAT are the Raiders DOING???  You’re going to give up a First Rounder and a Second Rounder the following year (with that Second Rounder turning into another first rounder should the Raiders win a playoff game this year) for a guy who has had no training camp, who hasn’t played any football whatsoever, and who looked TERRIBLE last year with a team that arguably had better wide receivers to throw to.  This is a guy, mind you, who’s got to come in, build a rapport with a new team, learn a new offense, and suffer the pressure of a team with high expectations.  This is a team that will likely have to win its division to make the playoffs, and if they can’t catch San Diego, then they just gave up two high draft picks for nothing.

Imagine this, though:  they make this trade, they win some games, Carson Palmer gets HURT (because, let’s be honest, Palmer is jumping right into a flaming hot skillet wearing butter shoes right now), and then they go on to the playoffs and win a game without him.  How about THAT for a scenario?  Lose two first round picks for a guy who didn’t even help you get to that point.  Idiocy!

On to the list:

  1. Jacksonville (1-5) – The Jags are getting a lot of props coming out of this weekend because they let the Steelers go up 17-0 and then rallied to lose 17-13.  Let me just set the record straight here!  First of all, the Steelers on defense are NOT your slightly older brother’s Steeler Defense.  These guys are old, many of them are washed up, they have a helluva time getting pressure on the quarterback (in spite of the fact that their coordinator invented Zone Blitzing as we know it), and they can’t – for the LIFE of them – get a turnover!  Take it from a guy who foolishly reached for the Steeler Defense in my fantasy draft this year:  scoring 13 points against them is pathetic!  And because they did that without letting the Steelers score?  Please!  A team that’s clearly better than another team got an insurmountable lead and let off the gas while trying to run out the clock.  OOOOO, Jacksonville is so good!  The Steelers only threw it 23 times while rushing 32 times!  This is the same Steelers team that went to the Super Bowl last year on the arm of their renegade quarterback.  Jacksonville sucks; moving on.
  2. Indianapolis (0-6) – My wanton belief in this team is starting to make me look ridiculous.  I picked them to beat Cincy last week … and they WOULD’VE done it had Garcon not fumbled and allowed their defense to score a late touchdown!  I hate the Colts so much right now, you have no idea.  WIN ALREADY!  Of course, they won’t, but they WILL be 0-9 when they have their showdown with Jacksonville.  Separating the men from the boys in THAT game, I shit you not.
  3. Miami (0-5) – Kinda tough to ball them out too much after losing to the Jets on Monday night.  I mean, that was a no-win situation!  The Jets were battered, they were starving for a victory, and you knew Miami would have to throw their way to a win.  Against THAT defense.  That game was over before they announced the name Matt Moore.  Don’t look now, but there aren’t many opportunities for wins in the coming weeks.  The force is strong with this team.
  4. Minnesota (1-5) – Boy did the Vikings look like shit on Sunday night!  Will this be the week they finally stop looking toward geriatric quarterbacks and start planning for the future?  If it is, look for the Vikes to lose with even MORE regularity.  Ponder please!  I could seriously see them losing out at this point.
  5. Arizona (1-4) – Actually, I have the Cards on equal footing with the Broncos, but I had to pick one team I thought was worse than the other, so guess what?  I actually have MORE faith in Tim Tebow than I do in Kevin Kolb and these Cardinals.  What does THAT say about your team?
  6. Denver (1-4) – I’m not gonna lie to you, I think Denver wins this week in Miami.  I think more people in that stadium are cheering for Tim Tebow than they are for the Dolphins.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Tebow is ever hit late by the defense.  Does the home crowd boo the home team for battering their favorite QB?  This is about as delicious a matchup as can be with two teams who have 1 combined win.
  7. St. Louis (0-5) – Wow.  I mean, that game against the Packers couldn’t have been less competitive.  Normally I think it’s foolish to trade for a receiver mid-season; there are too many examples to count of this situation never working (at least, until the next season starts and said traded receiver has a chance to properly learn the system), but getting Brandon Lloyd for a bag of used condoms just might be the trade of the year!  At the very least, Lloyd (even if he had ZERO knowledge of the offense coming in) would be a HUGE upgrade over what the Rams have now.  But, take into account he has INFINITY knowledge of the offense (having played under Josh McDaniels), and you’ve got a Rams team suddenly not looking too bad.  Sure, they’re still going to go winless (probably) until they play the Seahawks (and maybe beyond if things go right), but this is nothing but a plus move.  On the one hand, I think it’s hilarious that the old AFC West teams are under the stewardship of retards, but on the other hand this helps the Rams and therefore is bad for the Seahawks.  Stupid Broncos.
  8. Carolina (1-5) – Who would’ve thought at this point of the season teams would be more worried about Cam Newton’s arm than his legs?  Don’t mind me, I’m still working my way through these 900 pounds of crow I have to eat.

The Carolina Panthers: The Best 1-10 Team In The NFL

Saying nothing everything of the fact that they’re the ONLY 1-10 team in the NFL.

If you ranked every team on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 was the best NFL team this year, last week’s Kansas City team would be about a 6.  MAYBE a 7.  Conversely, the Panthers are a -12.

It’s a REALLY good thing this is Apple Cup week, though, because otherwise the big sports story in Seattle would be:  “The Entire City Shits Its Pants Over The Most Frightening 1-10 Team In History.”  You know morale is low when everyone thinks the Seahawks are much closer on that 1 to 10 scale to Carolina than we are to the Chiefs.  But, that’s what happens when you can’t run the ball, when your passing game is entirely dependant upon an injured Mike Williams, and you just got shredded last week in your home stadium by two guys.

Well, here’s the deal Seattle!  I’m here to tell you right now you have nothing to worry about!  We ARE going to beat these guys!  Because 1. they have the worst offense I’ve ever seen, 1-a. they’re starting Jimmy Clausen, 1-b. they can’t run the ball even when they HAD the two-headed monster of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (the former having been sent to IR purgatory) because 1-c. their offensive line is considerably worse than last year and 1-d. their play-calling is attrocious. 

Here’s a hint, Carolina:  when your quarterback stinks (Delhomme, Moore, Clausen, St. Pierre) RUN THE BALL.  Run it 40 times a game!  Your best bet is to chew through as much clock as possible, even if you’re only averaging 2 yards per carry; RUN, THAT, SHIT!

The only reason Carolina isn’t considered hands down the worst team in the NFL is because their defense isn’t the apocalypse; for some reason a team with a terrible defense is considered much much worse than a team with a terrible offense.  But look, there’s a reason every desperate guy who plays fantasy football chooses the Team Defense vs. Carolina; it’s guaranteed money.  Carolina has scored more than 20 points just twice (23 both times) and they’re averaging slightly less than 13 points per game.

And hear me now!  If you’re concerned because they racked up 23 against Cleveland last week, just take those Panther dicks out of your mouths and understand that Jake Delhomme is the worst quarterback in the NFL and threw a pick-six because he ALWAYS throws a pick-six.  There’s a reason why the worst team in the NFL (Carolina) cut Jake Delhomme, and that’s it.

One could argue that they’ve faced probably the toughest schedule in the NFL (the South has 3 winning teams, on top of playing the AFC North as well as the Bears and Giants), but they haven’t even been remotely competitive in most of their games (the lone win was against the 49ers … NFC West, go figure).  And, to top off everything I’ve just said, they’re flying out here cross-country, playing in a hostile environment that’s likely to be super cold and potentially rainy.  I like our chances.

Seahawks in a rout.  Now pull your panties out of their bunches and get ready for the Apple Cup of all Apple Cups.