Sunday, October 29, 2006
- Kansas City 35, Seattle 28. Seneca Wallace is a stud. Completely exceeding expectations. But with such a soft defense, even a healthy offense is not going to win many games.
- The loss does not hurt too much because St. Louis got killed in San Diego while Seattle caught a lot of breaks, and were even in position to win the game in the fourth quarter. When the schedule was released I did not expect a win in Kansas City, let alone without Hasselbeck and Alexander.
- And yet Seattle, injured quarterback and running back and terrible defense and all, are still doing significantly better than the Super Bowl winners.
- I hope I do not have to eat those words when the Raiders come up to Seattle Monday Night.
- Bad weekend for Trojans. USC gets upset at Oregon State, Matt Leinart drops to 0-3 at Green Bay, and Reggie Bush loses a fumble, throws a pick (!), tweaks his ankle, and gets blown out at home against Baltimore. Ouch.
- David Carr is benched in the same game in which Mario Williams sacks Vince Young, who goes on to show Houston what they could have had with a 28-20 win. Oh, the irony of it all.
- Game of the year. Colts at Patriots, Sunday Night Football. The two best quarterbacks in Manning and Brady. Winner automatically becomes favorite to win it all.
- If the Colts win, we are going to start hearing about the perfect season again.
- Now that the Bears had their wake up call in Arizona, I do not see them taking anyone lightly again (see 41 points in first half this week). The three division leaders they visit: New York Giants, New England, St. Louis.
- The Michael Vick experience has been unleashed. How do you stop an accurate passer who can take off and run?
- Did anyone hear Al Michaels and John Madden discuss Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's love life during the second quarter? Sheesh...
- How cool are those "Lebrons" commercials? I am sick of people calling for the next Michael Jordan, but Space Jam 2 starring King James sounds awesome...
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The legendary Boston Celtic head coach has passed away after a heart attack at the age of 89. Red Auerbach, whom the NBA's Coach of the Year trophy is named after, was a pioneer in the NBA's early years, tied with Phil Jackson for nine championships as a head coach. Auerbach was famous for lighting up his charismatic "victory cigar" in the fourth quarter when Boston had the game won. His eight straight titles from 1959 to 1966 may forever stand as the greatest sports dynasty in all of sports. NBA commissioner David Stern summed up Red's influence declaring, "The NBA wouldn’t be what it is today without him.”
As general manager and then president, the Celtics went on to win seven more titles in the 1970s and 1980s. Auerbach is credited for drafting Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Kevin McHale, as well as acquiring Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, and Robert Parrish.
I can only pray that Red had Christian faith.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Worst case scenario turned into reality Sunday as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was hit by Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson, injuring his right knee's medial-collateral ligament. The hit was eerily similar to Carson Palmer's severe knee injury against the Steelers in last year's playoffs. Minnesota went on to rout the Seahawks in Seattle 31-13. Hasselbeck is expected to miss around a month, returning towards the end of November. Backup Seneca Wallace will take over an already banged up offense which is without MVP running back Shaun Alexander, possession receiver Bobby Engram, and left guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack. Tight end Jerramy Stevens has just returned from injury while left tackle Walter Jones is playing hurt.
The triple crown of curses continue to plague the Seahawks. The Super Bowl Loser Curse is well in effect, the Madden Curse has already taken out Shaun Alexander and now the we have the Chunky Soup Curse, whose victims include Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis, Donovan McNabb, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Can Seattle survive the bombardment of injuries? Chances are slim, but a soft schedule provides a slice of hope. Say Hasselbeck is out through the entire month of November. The games he would miss: at Kansas City, Oakland, St. Louis, at San Francisco, and Green Bay. With a great group of receivers and the return of Shaun Alexander, it is possible for Seneca Wallace to go 2-3 during that stretch, leaving the Seahawks at a modest 6-5. Hasselbeck's return could ignite a wild card playoff push, or even, depending on how the Rams do during their tough month, squeak out the division. However, a playoff berth would be quite an achievement, which means home-field advantage and a Super Bowl run are out of the question.
- Good thing basketball starts soon. Now that the Seahawks are done, maybe the Sonics will give Seattle a going-away gift of a surprise playoff run. Otherwise, I may have to turn to SoCal teams in the inconsistent Chargers and *gasp* Clippers.
- The San Diego Chargers stud linebaker Shawne Merriman is going to be suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. No wonder he was such a beast...
- The Philadelphia Eagles are this year's Chargers in that they always have the game won in the fourth quarter, yet somehow lose it anyway.
- How does Arizona's Dennis Green make it through the week as head coach after losing to the Raiders?
- The Michael Vick show in Pittsburgh was a form we had never seen before. FOUR touchdowns in such a up and down game. Wow.
- The Denver Broncos keep on winning with defense. Then again, they have not played any playoff teams. They need to have confidence in the passing game and put up some points to win come playoff time. We will find out if Jake Plummer is ready when Peyton Manning comes to town this weekend.
- Speaking of Manning visits, I am already looking forward to the November 5 Sunday nighter at Foxboro as the New England Patriots are quietly rolling through everyone.
- Other Week 8 showdowns: Atlanta at Cincinnati, both coming off of close road wins. Baltimore at New Orleans, both coming off of byes. The Sunday nighter, Dallas at Carolina. Good stuff.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I just lost a significant portion off the end of my life due to a stressful but fun divisional showdown in St. Louis:
- The Rams dominate the first half 21-7
- The Seahawks storm back to 27-21 in the fourth quarter
- Lofa Tatupu grabs a potentially game winning interception
- Maurice Morris has a potentially game costing fumble
- Torry Holt with an amazing catch for a potentially game winning touchdown
- Matt Hasselbeck with the game winning drive and John Brown with the game winning kick
- Last season, Seattle was 2-2 going into St. Louis and won a come from behind 37-31 victory without starting receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram. That game ignited the eleven game winning streak shooting the Seahawks into the Super Bowl.
- Today, Seattle went into St. Louis without Bobby Engram, tight end Jerramy Stevens, and MVP running back Shaun Alexander. This makes the win even more impressive.
- Matt Hasselbeck, without a rushing attack for much of the game and protected by a shaky offensive line, leads comebacks from 21-7 at halftime and 28-27 with 64 seconds remaining and 0 timeouts. What a stud.
- Josh Brown is also a stud. The last three Seahawks scores come from 49, 49, and 54 yards away.
- A special thanks to the New England Patriots for Deion Branch. The trade paid its first dividends today: 6 catches, 76 yards, 2 touchdowns.
- The Rams did a great job in pressuring Matt Hasselbeck. On the final drive, however, they never rushed more than their four down lineman. Why abandon what had been working for most of the game? If you give great quarterbacks such as Hasselbeck time, they will burn you.
- Stevens and Alexander should be back next week. With Hasselbeck and his receivers looking this good and if the offensive line can get used to working together and improve, I can easily see the Seahawks stringing together another winning streak.
Friday, October 13, 2006
- Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are looking great as usual. Lewis finally handled the ball a lot more than he usually has in the past, making some plays off the dribble. The major problem with the Sonics is that there seems to be no consistent third scorer. In the 2005 playoff run, either Antonio Daniels, Vladimir Radmonivic, Jerome James, or Danny Fortson, would step up and fill that role. The first three are all long gone while banged up Fortson is highly unlikely to get in the rotation at all.
- Earl Watson filled in for Luke Ridnour at point guard last night. While Watson made a couple nice plays, Ridnour is by far the better man to run the offense.
- Nick Collison was already a tough banger who could finish inside. Now that he showed off his improved shot range, he will definitely push Chris Wilcox as the starting power forward.
- The Sonics best five might as well include Wilcox and Collison, because despite drafting a center first in each of the past three years, none are close to being a reliable starter. Robert Swift gets my vote as he finally showed some toughness hitting the boards last night. Johan Petro and Muhammad Sene are huge guys who will take up space and block some shots, but they get into foul trouble ridiculously easily and are still liabilities on offense.
- Kobe Bryant sat out because he was afraid of Ray Allen burning him again. Oh, and something to do with a recover from knee surgery too.
- Kurt Rambis filled in for Phil Jackson. This may hurt the youthful Lakers as Jackson's training camps are known to be essential in order to implement his triangle offense, not that Kobe is going to run it anyway.
- I know Shaq is long gone, but it seems he left the bad free throw shooting here in Los Angeles (56 percent).
- Laker fans, meet Vladimir Radmonivic. Sure, he will give you brilliant games every now and then, but last night he was 1-8 from the field. Considering he cannot do anything else but shoot, it will be interesting to see how Phil puts up with him.
- Three Lakers who I (gasp) love: Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, and Ronny Turiaf.
- Where was Lamar Odom? He should have taken over the game.
- Andrew Bynum has got be on the floor a lot more. The Lakers are missing out on someone who could break a la Dwight Howard. If the Lakers want to get back to contending for a championship, Kobe needs an effective big, and Bynum fits the profile.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Seattle Sonics are visiting the Los Angeles Lakers at the Honda Center in Anaheim tonight. Yes, I know this game means absolutely nothing, so there is no Kobe, no Phil, and Ray and Rashard will only play around 20-25 minutes each, but this is will be my first look at both teams and I will gladly take any opportunity for Seattle to beat the Lakers.
The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, have a rivalry game that is actually meaningful in St. Louis on Sunday; winner will take an early lead in the surprisingly competitive NFC West.
Two other NFL showdowns will be going on at the same time this Sunday in Carolina at Baltimore and Philadelphia at New Orleans.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
After a week of mourning, random thoughts returns...
- This is why every NFL team has optimistic fans every year. Who would have thought that New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, and San Diego would all be leading their respective divisions five weeks into the season?
- The Detroit Lions were up 17-3 in the fourth quarter. Final score: Minnesota 26, Detroit 17.
- Great day weekend for Trojans. Reggie Bush scores his first professional touchdown with a game-winning punt return. Matt Leinart opens 5/5 for two touchdowns.
- Come to think of it, even UCLA's Maurice Jones-Drew ran all over the Jets.
- But the rookie that impressed the most was Texas' Vince Young. Vince Young hung with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, only losing by one. The fact that the Titans were up all the way until a Manning to Wayne touchdown with 5:10 to go is amazing. A 19-yard touchdown run showed that Young can do it in the NFL.
- The T.O. Bowl happened to be a great game.
- Monday Night Football has their best matchup of the year so far in Denver as Steve McNair and the Baltimore Ravens visit a tough place to try to stay undefeated along with the Indy and Chicago.
- If Da Bears roll to homefield advantage in the playoffs, I do not see any team that can win in Chicago in January.