Tuesday, November 28, 2006

MNF - Seattle 34, Green Bay 24

  • Previous two Monday Night Football games for the Seattle Seahawks: 16-0 vs Oakland in Week 8, 42-0 at Philadelphia in 2005. Both were shutouts.
  • It was not quite so easy this time around, however, with hail and snow falling on a 35 degree night, the worst weather conditions for a game in Seattle ever (Quest Field is five years old and the Seahawks played in the Kingdome before).
  • Matt Hasselbeck made his return after missing four games with a sprained knee. First half: Three interceptions, one fumble returned for a touchdown.
  • Here is the thing with Hasselbeck. He is a prideful guy. Remember the "we'll take the ball and we're going to score" back in 2004? He probably felt that, in his return, he needed to come out and make a bunch of big plays to make up for his time away. Compound that with rustiness and weather conditions, and Hasselbeck started to press, forcing throws under pressure making some bad decisions.
  • How bad are the Packers that your offense can only score once in the first half even with the aid of those three interceptions?
  • Craig Terrill blocked a field goal, second time this year. I cannot believe I cut him in my Madden franchise...
  • Josh Brown is a stud. Four for four, including one from 45 yards out, all in the freezing first half with snow and hail. Paul Allen, please open your checkbook for him soon.
  • Halftime: Packers 14, Seahawks 12. It stops hailing/snowing.
  • Back to Hasselbeck's first game back. Either the easing of the weather helped, he shook off his rustiness, or whatever Holmgren said to him at the half worked, or a combination of it all. Whatever the case, Matt comes out and leads three long drives hitting D.J. Hackett, Darrell Jackson, and Jerramy Stevens for touchdowns. Welcome back.
  • Speaking of welcome back, anytime the weather is like it was last night in Seattle, you know that the rushing game is going to be crucial, even with a Mike Holmgren offense. Shaun Alexander entered the game with only 424 yards the entire season. He nearly doubled that with FOURTY carries for 201 yards.
  • Chris Spencer started for Robbie Tobeck at center again. Tobeck is a smart team leader who is tight with Hasselbeck. However, it appears that the younger, healthier, and stronger Spencer may be better for the running game.
  • Jerramy Stevens had two big drops, drawing heavy boos from the normally forgiving Seattle crowd. If he did not make up for it with a two-point conversion and touchdown, he would be the goat of the game. The team's two most important people in Hasselbeck and Holmgren support him though, so it would take a lot for him not to remain a large part of the offense.
  • Nate Burleson is never going to earn his $49 million, but he is slowly inching forward. He had a punt return of 17 yards and a kickoff return of 45 yards, consistently setting up the offense with good field position, something the Seattle has never really had.
  • D.J. Hackett is a stud. The former CSUN Matador (!) is filling in for ill Bobby Engram, caught a couple of third down conversions and a touchdown, leading the team with 5 receptions for 67 yards.
  • The Seattle Seahawks' cornerbacks had a grand total of zero interceptions this season. Enter Brett Favre. Whenever he gets down, he starts to force throws into coverage trying to make a big play. All three corners picked him off! Marcus Trufant, Kelly Herndon, and rookie Kelly Jennings, who was in the third grade when Favre began his career.
  • About that rougher the passer penalty. Matt Hasselbeck threw an incompletion on third down but was slightly hit on the back of the helmet on his way to the ground. Is it a good call? No, of course not. I would be in an outrage if it cost my team the game like it did the Packers. However, the referees is not the problem; it is the rule and the NFL's mentality of protecting the quarterback at all costs. Exhibit A: The Giants' defensive end letting Vince Young go from his grasp on fourth down. Vince went on to run for the first down, throw for the tying touchdown, and win the game. The explanation was that he let Young go in fear of the roughing the passer penalty, which would have given the Titans the first down anyway. Now I hate seeing so many teams' seasons go down the drain because of quarterback injuries, so the league may have an impossible task on its hands in finding a balance between keeping football a man's game and protecting its stars.
  • Call me ridiculous, but I can turn anything into something good, so this is easy. At 7-4, Seattle is in position to make a run at a first-round bye with the injuries beginning to fade away. This game showed off Hasselbeck's poise with the ability to fight through such a terrible first half and still find a way to come back and win. Alexander and the offensive line finally pulled off a good game. Heck, even the defense, which has been atrocious this year, made huge stops late in the game. With two should-win divisional games against Arizona and San Francisco coming up, the Seahawks could be back on track very quickly. First thing is first though - a visit to Denver to take on Jay Cutler in his first professional start and the Broncos on Sunday Night!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I originally started this blog so I would not have to keep repeating my rants about sports to my buddies. I thoroughly enjoy writing this, sharing my useless opinions, and arguing with you all. I will continue to do this as it has developed into a fun hobby that sparks conversation, not that I need to talk about sports more to begin with. However, this past weekend I experienced something so powerful that I am at a loss how to apply it to my life and others, so I will simply use this outlet to recite a small part of it.

Satan, take note and listen well!
We are the Church of the Living God.
We are bought with blood, charged with power, married to Jesus, indwelt with His Spirit, destined for victory, immune from destruction.

We’re part of the company of the committed,
the crowd of the covenant,
the congregation of the courageous.

We’re a fellowship of the faithful,
a battalion of believers,
a regiment of the redeemed,
a division of the devoted,
an army of the approved,
a team of the triumphant,
and a platoon of the powerful.

Satan, you will not conquer me.
For I am blood-washed, daily-delivered, strongly-sanctified, Spirit-soaked, in-Word, and indwelt.

You are wasting your energy on me. My fate is set. My victory is assured.
I am linked with a sovereign and eternal power.

You are a deceiver, but you will not deceive me.
You are a roaring lion, but I am not devourable.
You are extremely subtle, but I am on to your ways.
You parade as an angel of light, but I walk in a stronger light.

Your days of deception are over with me.
I won’t be detoured, derailed, distracted, distorted, discouraged, or disillusioned by your schemes.

I am off limits to you now. My doors are closed and locked and I've thrown away the keys.

You won’t walk in, crawl in, slither in, sneak in, pry in, or barge into my life.
I have permanent and precious friend who lives inside of me, and He will not share this temple with anyone, especially you.

His name is Jesus.

He and I know that you know your time's almost up.

You may lie, lure, linger, lurch, and laugh, but you won’t get in.
Your days are numbered; your designs are dwindling; your evil is eroding; your devilishness is dissolving; your progress is poisoned; your success has been subverted.

So get off my property; get off my porch.
Get out of my sight.
For He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
Leave my family alone; leave my children alone; leave my church alone; and leave my friends alone.

God is on my side. Rather, I’m on God’s side.

I have the same power that delivered Jesus from temptation and sin.
I have the same power that raised Him from the grave.
I have been promised the victory, and I have claimed that victory.

You can summon all your hosts, but you will lose the battle!

We are the Church of the Living God! Blood-washed, Spirit-filled, battle-scarred, unrelenting and indestructible.

And in the blessed words of Jesus Christ, the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

In Jesus’ name.
In Jesus' name.
In Jesus' name.

Are you listening?
In Jesus' name.

Amen and Amen!

How about...

Been a great week in sports. Basketball is good as always while football, both college and professional, is in its peak time.
  • How about that Ohio State - Michigan game? Despite the BCS rankings, I doubt we will see a rematch as the championship bowl.
  • How about my Seahawks? A thrilling comeback win against the Rams (Nate Burleson and Josh Brown!) followed by a terrible performance in San Francisco (defense refuses to tackle Frank Gore and Seneca Wallace throws three interceptions), making the division somewhat interesting again.
  • How about Brett Favre? An arm injury brought Aaron Rodgers in, the streak could end in Seattle next week on Monday Night?
  • How about the NFC East? McNabb done, new era in D.C., the Giants are rolling, but Dallas has found its next Troy Aikmen in Tony Romo.
  • How about the NFC South? The Saints offense is scary good, Mike Vick is ridiculously inconsistent, while the Panthers are back as the favorites.
  • How about Vince Young and Matt Leinart? Their teams stink, but this week they managed to win.
  • How about them Miami Dolphins? Nick Saban publicly packs it in last year, then they roll off six wins in a row. This year, after a 1-6 start, they have won three tough ones since their bye.
  • How about them Bears and Colts? The undefeated teams have proven they are beatable, so do they remain the favorites in their respective conferences?
  • How about them Baltimore Ravens? I do not know if they lose with the solid offense they have now.
  • How about them San Diego Super Chargers? 42 and 28 points in the second halves of enormous comeback victories at Cincinnati and at Denver, respectively. Wow!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sanguinity in Seattle

  • Before I hit my midpoint rant about the NFL, the first week of the NBA has been great. It seems every night can be dubbed "Upsets Galore" as last year's division winners Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Miami, and Detroit find themselves at the bottom of their respective divisions.
  • The NBA's undefeated teams: Utah, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
  • Remember it is still extremely early in the season and most of the above will be corrected as players get back into shape and teams start to mesh.
  • I have managed to watch most of the Clipper and Laker games, and this is the first time EVER that they are both looking dangerously good. I like the fact that both teams' stars in Elton Brand and Kobe Bryant have not even had big games yet.
  • Phil Jackson seems to to be hearing my call for more playing time for Andrew Bynum, Ronny Turiaf, Jordan Farmar. It will be interesting to see what happens when Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown return.
  • The Clippers can beat anyone when healthy as we are seeing now. Even though they play a eight-man rotation, Corey Maggette and Shaun Livingston are more than good enough to be starters. The pickup of Tim Thomas is paying off.
  • The Seattle Sonics embark on a five game road trip tonight, beginning at Miami against the champs minus Shaq. While a series of road losses can quickly doom the Sonics' season, I recall an early east coast swing similar to this one in 2004 in which the players bonded and surprisingly went 5-1, propelling the team to the playoffs...

  • After sacking Andrew Walter nine times and thoroughly dominating the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football, Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren packed it in for the second half, rushing for 207 yards to close out a satisfactory 16-0 win during a windy and rainy evening at Quest Field.
  • Opening Drive: Seneca Wallace with the pump fake, cornerback Fabian Washington bites, and a lob to Deion Branch for a 22 yard touchdown. Beautiful.
  • Seneca Wallace ran for the Seahawks longest carry of the season for 37 yards. Also beautiful.
  • How do you not love ESPN's Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon? Insightful and amusing guys.
  • Seattle's offensive line was finally clicking like they should be, blocking for a solid 5.3 yards per carry and giving Seneca Wallace time to complete 60% of his passes. Even though it was against the Raiders, this should inspire some confidence moving into the second half of the season.
  • While shutting out the Raiders is not enormously impressive, nine sacks should encourage more aggressive play calling from John Marshall to help out the secondary. Again, this game will inspire confidence moving forward.
  • Imagine if a ticked off Hasselbeck and Alexander return to a confident team with a winning record in the next month...
  • The Seahawks are one full game up on the Rams heading into their showdown in Seattle on Sunday. Even if the Rams win and tie Seattle, the schedule slightly favors the Seahawks:
  • Seattle faces the 49ers twice, Packers, and Cardinals. The likely loss is at Denver, but Hasselbeck, Alexander, and the rest of the offense should be back and rolling for the final two games against the Chargers and Buccaneers. If they hold on to the four likely wins and pick up one of the tough ones, 10-6 is easily possible. If they win both of those, 11-5 will take the division.
  • The St. Louis Rams also have four likely wins with the 49ers, Cardinals, Redskins, and Raiders. However, their other three games are considerably tougher with the Panthers, Bears, and Vikings.
  • Raider defensive end Tyler Brayton got into a scuffle with loudmouth tight end Jerramy Stevens, climaxing with an attempted low blow with his knee. Brayton was immediately ejected with offsetting penalties being assessed to both teams. Look for a fine and suspension from the NFL; I find this to be worse than the Titans DT Albert Haynesworth's stomp on the head a couple weeks ago - this was a shot at the Stevens' family jewels for crying out loud!
  • Speaking of Jerramy Stevens, he dropped a sure touchdown right after the penalty and was benched for the rest of the half. For such a talkative and cocky guy, he should catch the ball.
  • Ditto for T.O.
  • Dallas-Washington always a great game, by the way.
  • Mike Martz's offense is clicking in Detroit. Look out.
  • The New York Giants should have beaten the Houston Texans by a lot more than 14-10. The loss of Strahan will hurt more than we think.
  • I am having a hard time disagreeing with Sports Illustrated's Peter King's Midseason Awards: MVP - Drew Brees, Offensive Player - Peyton Manning, Defensive Player - Champ Bailey, Offensive Rookie - Marques Colston, Defensive Rookie - DeMaco Ryans, Coach - Sean Payton, Executive Mickey Loomis. Note the New Orleans Saints have half of those.
  • Rex Grossman's interceptions finally cost the Chicago Bears a win, so now we turn to the Indianapolis Colts who are still 8-0. I did not think they would survive this two week stretch with games at Denver and at New England. Unless they pack it in after clinching homefield like last year, I do not see them losing a game at all.
  • Halfway through the season, the AFC playoff picture is fairly simple: Baltimore, New England, and Indy will take their divisions, while San Diego and Denver will battle for the West with the other getting a wild card. Look for Jacksonville or Kansas City to take the final spot, with Cincinnati and New York on the outside looking in.
  • The NFC, in comparison, is a mess. The only lock is Chicago in the North, but Minnesota can push for a wild card spot. We know about Seattle and St. Louis in the West. The Giants are hot since their 1-2 start and should take the East, although Philly and Dallas will challenge them. Anything can happen in the South, with New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina each a game apart. After the Dolphins proved the Bears are beatable in Chicago, the NFC has become wide open.
  • You know where I am going with this: Seahawks-Colts Super Bowl is still looking good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Is it Monday yet?

The old AFC West rivalry is renewed tonight on Monday Night Football as the Oakland Raiders visit the Seattle Seahawks. The Raiders are coming off of two huge upset wins while the Seahawks have lost two consecutive games without Matt Hasselbeck. Both teams will be starting their backup quarterbacks in Seneca Wallace and Andrew Walter, so the game may be closer than it should be.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Laker Hating Begins...

With two consecutive games against the Seattle SuperSonics, look for the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers to come back down to earth this weekend.