Sunday, September 25, 2005

By Zach

So this was the game I was waiting to see out of the Seahawks. An offense which moved the ball in a manner befitting one of the most talented offensive squads in the NFL. A defense which, while not dominating, forced the opponent to work for their points and made the big plays they had to. And a team which, instead of barely hanging on(or blowing a lead) in the fourth quarter, actually builds a lead.

After a bit of a disjointed first half in which the Seahawks shorted themselves by not converting a couple of makable third downs, and committing a stupid penalty or two, they came out in the second half and leveled the Cardinals. Shaun Alexander had another monster game, Matt Hasselbeck was efficient, and Michael Boulware had a huge sack and forced fumble on Josh McCown to basically seal the deal.

All of this leaves the Seahawks at 2-1 in the NFC West, tied with the Rams. However, the Seahawks are 1-0 in the division (the Rams are 1-1) and 2-0 in the NFC (again, the Rams are 1-1). Furthermore, when you look at the NFC standings, here's what you see.

Tampa Bay: 3-0, 2-0 NFC, 0-0 division
Washington: 2-0, 2-0 NFC, 1-0 division
Seattle: 2-1, 2-0 NFC, 1-0 division
New York: 2-1, 2-0 NFC, 0-0 division
St. Louis: 2-1, 1-1 NFC, 1-1 division
Atlanta: 2-1, 1-1 NFC, 0-0 division
Philadelphia: 2-1, 1-1 NFC, 0-0 division
Dallas: 2-1, 1-1 NFC, 0-1 division

When I look at the teams above the Seahawks, I'm not impressed. The Buccaneers have been great on defense, but at some point this year they're going to have to win games with Brian Griese, and that's a dangerous proposition. Next week, the Seahawks play at Washington, and while the Redskins have a stout defense, they should be 1-1 at best. They can't move the ball, and I expect the Seahawks to have more success on offense than the Bears or Cowboys. The Giants are going to fade once the lucky breaks they're getting stop going their way (which happened tonight as they got drilled by the Chargers).

What this all means is that, just like always, if the Seahawks want to take another step this year, they'll have to beat the Rams, especially in St. Louis. In 2003, they lost a heartbreaker in St. Louis when Bobby Engram was tripped by an official on the final play of the game, ruining what would have been a great win. Of course, everyone remembers what happened last year, both during the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs.

I stand by my claim that the Seahawks are far from a great team. But what I've gathered from the first three weeks of the season, there might not be any great teams in the NFC. If the Seahawks can get some semblance of home field advantage, they might be able to finally win a playoff game in my lifetime.


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