Monday, October 17, 2005

Onward, Hawks
By Zach

While I promise not to spend too much time on what was basically a glorified ass-whipping last night, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few things:

-Shaun Alexander is either the best running back in the league, or a very close second. Yes, LaDanian Tomlinson is probably more versatile, but when it comes to straight lugging the rock, Shaun can hang with anyone. Plus, he gets the ball in the endzone at a ridiculous rate.

-That being said, I can't say that the Seahawks should go send the Brinks truck to his front porch. Running backs tend to age very quickly in the NFL, and Shaun, at age 28, has plenty of wear on his tires. With the litany of guys available in the offseason, plus the fact that Maurice Morris is highly thought-of, I'm glad the Hawks are playing wait and see. If they can bring Shaun back for a reasonable price, that's all well and good. But they shouldn't break the bank for him.

-Why doesn't Shaun get more respect nationally? Besides the fact that he might as well play on Mars, considering the attention Seattle seems to get, I think it's because he doesn't have a catchy nickname. Seriously, look at the other top backs: LT, Priest (not a nickname, but notable none the less), Edge...maybe Shaun should reconsider how he spends his time off the field. Instead of coming up with boring end zone celebrations, he should brainstorm a nickname.

-The Texans are the worst team I've seen this year. Of course, I'm still waiting to get a good look at the 49ers, but boy, Dom Capers had the "Dead Man Walking" Face going in full force for virtually the entire game. I'll give the Niners this much, it seems like Mike Nolan has at least gotten them to play hard for 60 minutes, something that can't be said about the Cattle.

-It might be fashionable to rip David Carr, but clearly the single biggest problem with the Texans is the fact that their offensive line has to be the worst in league history. They can't run, they can't pass protect, they can't even line up properly. Seriously, if the Texans don't use their first few draft picks on O-linemen, they might as well fold that franchise.

-I sure hope Ken Hamlin will be OK. I love the way he plays the game.

So that brings us to the state of the NFC. Let's look at the top teams in the conference.

Tampa Bay (5-1). Chris Simms will be their starter the rest of their season. He choked all the time in college. They'll be lucky to get five more wins this year, me thinks.

Dallas (4-2). The matchup for the Seahawks next week, a chance to atone for the brutal collapse last year on MNF. They've got a very nice D, but you've got to wonder when the clock will strike midnight on Drew Bledsoe. Hell, it might have already. Plus, Julius Jones is hurt.

Atlanta (4-2). They're bad. Just lucky. Vick can't stay healthy, and costs them almost as many games as he wins. Their defense has sucked against the run. And the pass.

Carolina (4-2). Jake Delhomme got hurt, meaning Chris Weinke is their QB for now. Wow.

NY Giants (3-2). Eli stinks on the road, their defense is horribly inconsistant, especially against the pass. Plus, their good start was a product of beneficial scheduling.

Philly Eagles (3-2). McNabb's stomach is falling apart, their defense hasn't been as good as advertised, and you know it's only a matter of time before TO blows up over something dumb.

Washington Redskins (3-2). Speaking of clocks striking midnight...

So look, I still don't think the Seahawks are a great team. But fortunately for them there are no great teams in the NFC. 12 wins might get them homefield advantage, and a great chance to make the Super Bowl. With their schedule, going 8-2 is doable. The only games they have which look tough are this week at home against the Cowboys, Week 13 at Philadelphia, and Week 16 home versus the Colts. If they can get one (or hopefully two) of those games, the rest of the schedule is pretty easy. Two games left against San Fran, a home date with the Rams, at Arizona (in front of 9 people), home for the Giants, at Tennessee, and at Green Bay. It's funny, the year when no one (including me) expected much from the team might be the year they finally put it together. I sure hope so.


Blogger David Arnott said...

A)You're partly right about the nickname, but it still doesn't cover Jamal Lewis and others. I think it's broader. Alexander doesn't immediately get lumped together with the others because he doesn't have a "thing" going for him. By "thing", I mean that Jamal Lewis has done what he's done with no passing game to speak of, Priest got 27 TDs, LaDainian catches a ricockulous number of passes to go with his insane running, etc... I get the feeling Alexander's in the same boat as Deuce McAllister, who, despite the helluva name, still isn't generally recognized as top tier outside of fantasy circles.

B)The Texans O-line has been abysmal for three years now. Ever since Boselli had to retire, they've needed linemen, and they simply haven't gotten them.

C)Maybe the Bucs should lure Major Applewhite away from his claims adjustor job to give Simms some motivation.

D)The Seahawks might be hitting a 2000 Mets sort of year, where everything falls into place a year or two later than what was seemingly ideal. With Martz out, the 'Hawks are very likely the best team in the NFC West.

E)I'm not sure if it's random or not, but in my Madden '05 game, the Seahawks drafted Matt Hasselbeck in the fantasy draft, then after two seasons dumped Tim Couch as the backup and signed Matt Hasselbeck. No word yet on whether the McCowns were contacted for third and fourth string duty. (I know, it's a video game. But still...)

3:56 AM  
Blogger David Arnott said...

I forgot to mention that Alexander's wife is smokin'.

3:57 AM  
Blogger David Arnott said...

I'm not thinking straight... "and signed *Tim Hasselbeck."

3:58 AM  

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