Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The James Harden Situation

James Harden made a shrewd business decision.  He decided his play on the court warranted a max contract (4 years, 60 million) and he wasn't willing to give OKC a hometown discount to re-sign him.  99 times out of 100 I would agree with the choice Harden made not to sign an extension with the Thunder.  Money doesn't grow on trees, NBA contracts are guaranteed, and you never know what the future holds.  Get it while you can.  Unfortunately James Harden forgot the one exception to the rule and that is you never leave a team capable of winning multiple championships with a young superstar in their prime.

Kevin Durant is a rare talent that comes along once every 25 years.  He already has 3 scoring titles under his belt and he hasn't developed a low post game yet.  Russell Westbrook is a nightmare for point guards to defend and he's growing into the position.  Serge Ibaka protects the rim with the same tenacity as Dwight Howard or Tyson Chandler.  All of these players are under contract for the next 4 years and they're all under 25 years old.  The Thunder are built to win now and the future looks bright.

Aside from the Los Angeles Lakers the Thunder really don't have much opposition in the Western conference.  They manhandled San Antonio in the playoffs last year and the Clippers are more style than substance.  Blake Griffin needs to prove he can take the next step and Chris Paul needs to stay healthy.  With only one legitimate threat the Thunder should reach the finals 3 of the next 4 years.

James Harden was the 3rd option coming off the bench in OKC.  Houston expects him to be the focal point of the offense.  It's a lot easier to get your shot off when Durant and Westbrook are demanding double teams as opposed to Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik.  The Rockets are in a rebuilding phase hoping James harden is a significant piece to the puzzle.  The OKC Thunder are a finished product in search of a championship.  Scottie Pippen took less money to play with Jordan.  The MoHeatos all took less money to play together.  James Harden should've taken less money to play with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Observations

This weekend my fantasy world was filled with domination, vindication, and heartbreak.  In my hurt your feelings league I was 3 points shy of doubling my opponents score.  You should get bonus points for that kind of beatdown.  In my trash talking league someone had the audacity to call me out and question my greatness.  Their plan backfired as I beat the snot piss out of them by 20 points.  I hope they learned their lesson, but these young kids today are hard headed.  I might have to put another whoopin on him just to make my intentions clear.  In my family league I lost by an agonizing 6 points.  Marshawn Lynch couldn't get it going in the 2nd half and the Breesy just wasn't acting right.  Maybe it was the altitude in Denver, but the Breesy knows better than to turn in performances like that.  There's too much at stake for me to be playing around.  We'll have a talk and get things corrected by next Sunday.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

The Huskies salvaged their season with an impressive victory over #7 ranked Oregon St.  The defense really stepped up and took care of business.  With games against Utah, Colorado, Cal, and WSU the Huskies should cruise to an 8 win season.

You don't have to beat Justin Verlander twice to win the World Series if you just sweep the Tigers out in 4 games.  The San Francisco Giants ended the 2012 post season with 7 straight wins to claim their 2nd World Series title in 3 years without Melky Cabrera or Brian Wilson.  That's gangsta.

OKC Thunder showed signs of small market syndrome with their inability to sign James Harden to a long term deal.  Instead they traded the 2012 gold medalist to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks, and a 2nd round pick.  More on this tomorrow.

Notre Dame went into Norman, OK, and beat the Sooners 30-13 to remain undefeated.  That's all I have to say on the matter.

The Seahawks let one slip away against Detroit that may come back to haunt them at the end of the season.  In a game where the offense showed signs of life it was the vaunted defense that looked a little suspect in the 28-24 loss.  It was a tough road loss that builds character, but hopefully won't jeopardize the Seahawks playoff chances.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2012-2013 NBA Preview

The upcoming NBA season is full of interesting story lines.  Will the Brooklyn Nets take the spotlight from the Knicks in New York?  Can Steve Nash and Dwight Howard help Kobe get his 6th ring?  Was Linsanity a fad cut short over a couple of dollars?  Can Andrew Bynum become a franchise player?  Will Lammy Kardashian have a bounce back season or become the subject of barbershop banter?  Can the Miami Heat repeat as champions?  We'll find an answer to all these questions starting Tuesday.  For now here is a list of the top 8 teams in each division.

Eastern Conference

8.  Toronto Raptors.  They may have too many shooting guards, but if Terrence Ross can find his game and Andrea Bargnani can stay healthy they will make the playoffs.

7.  Atlanta Hawks.  With the departure of Joe Johnson it's time for Josh Smith and AL Horford to step up.

6.  Indiana Pacers.  They have two legitimate all stars in Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger and the Eastern conference doesn't have a lot of good teams.

5.  Philadelphia 76ers.  They may have some chemistry problems to start the season, but if Bynum can keep his head on straight they should win 50 games.

4.  Boston Celtics.  There's no replacing Ray Allen, but Jason Terry is an adequate alternative.  We'll see what Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo bring to the table.

3.  New York Knicks.  Carmelo is getting tired of all the abuse and he's ready to take the next step.  Kevin Durant's scoring title might be in jeopardy.

2.  Brooklyn Nets.  Joe Johnson doesn't have to be "the man" anymore so he can relax and play his game.  The Nets have the 2nd best starting 5 in the Eastern conference.

1.  Miami Heat.  The Heat added the best shooter in the league and they have Lebron James.  Need I say more?

Western Conference

8.  Denver Nuggets.  The Nuggets added Andre Iguodala, but so what?  They play in the Western conference and the 8th seed is all they can hope for.

7.  Utah Jazz.  They don't have enough talent to beat the elite teams consistently, but they have enough to beat everyone else.

6.  Dallas Mavericks.  This pick is contingent upon OJ Mayo having a breakout season.

5.  Memphis Grizzlies.  I'm assuming they have put last year's playoff meltdown behind them.

4.  Los Angeles Clippers.  Lob City is still in full effect and Chauncey Billups is coming back. 

3.  San Antonio Spurs.  The nucleus is getting old, but the pieces around them are young and fresh.

2.  Los Angeles Lakers.  Nash and Howard must stay healthy for this pick to make any sense.

1.  OKC Thunder.  After getting to the finals last year and coming up short the Thunder are extremely motivated to get back to the championship.  They will be focused and lethal.

Championship match up:  Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Miami Heat
NBA Champion:  Miami Heat

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The 2012 College Football Season Is Boring

As I flip through the channels on Saturday looking for an exciting college football game to watch I've found myself rather disappointed this season.  The marquee match ups don't interest me and I'm tired of being force fed a bunch of SEC conference games that end up with a score of 13-9.  The offenses are basic, the quarterbacks are average, and aside from the top 4 teams (Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia) all the other teams are mediocre.  Where has all the talent gone?

Usually colleges replenish their rosters with talented players.  Justin Blackmon took Dez Bryant's place.  Mark Sanchez stepped in for Matt Leinart.  Trent Richardson picked up where Mark Ingram left off.  If you look around the college football landscape no one sticks out.  Geno Smith puts up big numbers, but it's hard to give credence to West Virginia's style of offense.  Landry Jones and Matt Barkley are not the same players as last year, Denard Robinson has completely fallen off, and I haven't seen a running back do anything special.

At present the top 5 teams are still undefeated, but 3 of those 5 (Oregon, Alabama, and Florida) play in power conferences.  It is likely all those teams will suffer a loss.  You already know how I feel about Notre Dame and Kansas St. should never be taken seriously by any self respecting college football fan.  They are sure to lose as well.

I guess if you can't give me talent you might as well give me drama and suspense.  The BCS formula will be put to the test this year trying to figure out who plays for a national championship.  It's an imperfect science and someone is going to get their feelings hurt.  With only 5 games left I'm watching just to see what happens.  I think I'll pass on the Heisman trophy presentation this year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Apology To Adrian Peterson

With regards to Adrian Peterson I made the biggest mistake a true sports fan can make.  I turned my back and stopped believing in an elite athlete that was a favorite of mine.  After he shredded his knee last season he promised he would return in 9 months better than ever.  I was skeptical.  Even after he started non-contact football drills in July I was skeptical.  Fantasy draft after fantasy draft I passed on my dude.  Now he's making me regret I ever doubted his resolve and his word. 

If you're a fan of a player you should ride with them to the end.  I didn't do that with Adrian.  I thought I would be setting myself up for failure.  Many have tried, but NO ONE has ever come back from a knee injury that severe looking no worse for wear.  It's unusual for me to let logic override my emotions (especially when it comes to superstars), but I just didn't see this kind of effort on the horizon.

In his prime Adrian Peterson was the quintessential running back.  He had speed, power, and grace.  He could catch out of the back field and pass protect like an offensive lineman.  Given his performance so far this season it's hard to argue Peterson isn't still in his prime years.

Few backs have the total package.  Marshawn Lynch has power, Jamaal Charles has speed, and Reggie Bush is elusive, but none of them possess all three components.  Would I have turned my back on Eric Dickerson?  Never.  Michael Irvin?  Not a chance.  Dan Marino?  In your dreams.  Maybe it's just old age (I'm turning 40 on Friday), but the realist perspective got the best of me this time around.  I rushed to judgement before ever seeing what AP had left in the tank.  Now when I watch him excel on the gridiron I feel like I jumped back on the bandwagon only after he's done the impossible.  Sorry AP.  You deserve better from a true sports fan.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Observations

This past weekend was an example of my fantasy football genius.  Although I had several marquee players on the bench during their bye week I was able to make the necessary adjustments to claim victory.  Randall "corn on the" Cobb, Doug Martin, and Santana Moss came through big for me.  I won my family and trash talking leagues by 40 points.  In my hurt your feelings league I'm up by 12, but my opponent has Matt Forte going tonight.  Let's hope Jay Cutler is in a passing mood.  Here are my observations over the weekend. 

The Huskies got the snot piss beat out of them for a 3rd straight week.  The optimism is completely gone and if coach Sark doesn't do something soon he may find himself playing golf with his good friend Nick Holt on Saturdays next year.

Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles without ever failing a drug test.  Not sure I've ever seen an athlete so beloved fall from grace so quickly.  Perhaps Kobe Bryant, but those were extenuating circumstances.

The NLCS features the last two World Series champions and so far no one has blinked.  The 3-3 tie will be decided tonight and whoever wins definitely earned it.  I would make a prediction, but my baseball radar has been broken this entire post season.

The Dwight Howard era began for the Lakers and he looks to be  in excellent shape.  Hard to believe that hoops season starts next week.  I'll do a full preview in a few days, but we all know how the finals is going to look.  Can't wait to see the Black Mamba vs. the MoHeatos.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Diary Of A Seahawk Fan

After the 13-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers it's pretty clear I'm emotionally vested in the Seattle Seahawks.  I was in a bitter mood all night and I didn't sleep well.  Now that we're 7weeks into the season it's time to decide what to make of this team.  After much deliberation and introspective thought I've decided the Seahawks are going to be a playoff team and quite possibly the NFC's representative in the Super Bowl.

Some of you may see this as a homer pick and you're probably right.  I am pretty drunk off the Pete Carroll Kool-aid.  That being said there is some logic behind my optimistic view.  The NFL is all about parody this season and no one is flawless.  On any given Sunday anyone can get beat.  I'll put the Hawks defense and running game up against anybody in the league and with that philosophy they will always have a chance to win.

In addition, the schedule is in their favor.  Although the Hawks are presently 0-3 within the division they have 3 divisional games at home down the stretch.  We all know Century Link Field is a scary place to play when the 12th man gets fired up.  The next 3 games are Detroit, at home for Minnesota, and home for the New York Jets.  Going into the bye week 6-3 looks very doable.

10 wins most likely will get the Hawks into the playoffs and they still have 5 games remaining at home.  If they can get 4 of those and split on the road I like their chances.  If Russell Wilson can play more consistent and the receivers start catching passes the offense will have longer sustained drives.  Time of possession is key because their offense isn't explosive and asking them to come from behind would be a daunting task.  Even with the loss to San Francisco I still believe the Seahawks are a playoff caliber team.  Of course if Earl Thomas or Marshawn Lynch gets hurt all bets are off.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The 5 Biggest Injuries Of The NFL Season

Everyone knows injuries are a part of football, but some injuries are more costly than others.  Key players that miss a significant amount of time or the entire season affect the outcome of the playoff landscape.  One week a team can look like a Super Bowl contender until someone breaks a bone or snaps a tendon.  Here's a list of the 5 most costly injuries of the this season so far.

5.  Jason Witten.  The Cowboys tight end started the season with a ruptured spleen and as a testament to his toughness he hasn't missed a game.  That being said he also hasn't been playing up to his normal standards.  The injury is definitely hindering his productivity and Tony Romo isn't the same quarterback without his security blanket.

4.  Troy Polamalu.  I think we are starting to see the end of an era in Pittsburgh.  The defense is starting to look old and the years of playing a physical style of defense are catching up with them.  Polamalu has missed several games with a calf injury and the Steelers have struggled in his absence.  If he can't come back and contribute at a high level the Steelers will miss the playoffs.

3.  Brian Cushing.  The Houston Texans were a Super Bowl contender due in large part to Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Cushing.  Without his presence in the middle of the defense the Texans let Aaron Rodgers throw six touchdowns.  They should still make the playoffs because of a weak division, but they won't go far.

2.  Darrelle Revis.  The NFL's most dominant shut down corner is lost for the season and so are the Jets chances of making the playoffs.  Without Revis Island Rex Ryan is limited in his play calling and the defense is vulnerable to the pass.  Rarely does a team lose its best player and respond positively.

1.  Ray Lewis.  For over a decade Ray Lewis has been the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens.  He is their leader on and off the field and quite possibly the best linebacker that's ever played football.  With him gone the Ravens have a huge void to fill.  You can't lose a player with that kind of impact and still reach your full potential.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend Observations

In the world of fantasy football I've found your opponents really like to kick you when you're down.  Not saying that I haven't been guilty of the same thing, but I don't like it when it happens to me!  In my hurt your feelings league I'm down by 32 and unless Demariyus Thomas does his best Jordy Nelson impersonation that brings me back to .500.  If I end up winning I'll write a short novel about how great I am.  In my hurt your feelings league Joe Flacco was an adequate back up for the Breesy and I cruised to victory.  Still 3 games behind in my division though.  In my family league I started Brian Hartline instead of Jeremy Maclin.  That was a 27 point swing that cost me another loss.  I won't say it was a mistake however.  Sometimes the fantasy football gods have a cruel sense of humor.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

It was so quiet in Yankee Stadium after Derek Jeter broke his ankle you could hear ants having a conversation.  In addition the Bronx Bombers got hosed on a terrible call that cost them game 2.  Is all this misfortune payback for the 27 championships?

Notre Dame beat Stanford and now sit in the #5 position of the BCS standings.  That's all my conscience will allow me to say about the subject.

The Russell Wilson hater society lost a few members after Sunday's come from behind victory over the defending AFC champion New England Patriots.  After the Seahawks win in San Francisco on Thursday they'll lose a few more. 

Anderson Silva is as dominant as they come.  No one really wants to fight that guy.

SHANKAPOTIMUS reared its ugly head once again.  Dallas and Arizona both missed last second game winning field goals giving the Cowboys a losing record and the Cardinals a 3 way tie in their division.  Kickers will ruin your life!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Legacy Of Dusty Baker

As I watched the press conference following the Red/Giants game I couldn't help but feel sorry for Dusty Baker.  The Cincinnati Reds blew a 2-0 lead in the series and Baker was left asking questions about the epic collapse.  His despondent demeanor told the whole story and the expression his face was one of dejection and despair.  His team wilted under pressure and it wasn't the first time this happened to a club he managed.

While managing San Francisco in 2002 the Giants had a 3-2 lead in the World Series and let it slip through their fingers.  While managing Chicago in 2003 the Cubs also had a 3-2 lead in the NLDS before the infamous Bartman play started an avalanche of bad luck.  Baker has been on the wrong end of those tragedies far too often and after a while it starts to take its toll on a person.  The criticism escalates and questions about your ability to get the job done intensify.

If it happens once you can live with it.  If it happens twice you start to wonder what the problem is.  If it happens three times the manager has to take the blame.  The stakes are too high and winning is too important when you are the leader of a major league ball club.  There are no excuses and no explanations at that level.

The unfortunate part is Dusty Baker has become synonymous with losing.  No one remembers he played 18 seasons and was a two time all star.  No one remembers he was a member of the 1981 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.  No one remembers he was the manager of the year 3 times.  It's all about what have you done for me lately and lately Baker has come up short when it mattered most.  At this point he is known more for his failures than his accomplishments.  I hope the Reds give him a chance to change that.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Notre Dame Is Relevant Again!

As some of you might recall I am not a big fan of Notre Dame football.  I think they are the most overrated program in the history of college football.  I grew up rooting against them despising all the attention and notoriety they received and hoping they lost every bowl game they played in.  The only Irish players I've ever really liked are Rocket Ismail, Jerome Bettis, and now Golden Tate (because he's a Seahawk and we need him to produce).  Last year I happily wrote a blog chronicling the demise of Notre Dame football and how they have become irrelevant.  Unfortunately in 2012 I am forced to eat my words.

The Irish are currently undefeated and ranked in the top 10 with impressive victories over Michigan, Michigan St., and Miami.  Their schedule is favorable down the stretch with marquee games against Stanford, Oklahoma, and USC.  If they can win 2 out of the 3 they have a good chance to appear in a BCS bowl game.  Te'o Manti is a beast at linebacker and Cierre Wood is looking like an elite running back.  Both players will be 1st round picks. 

In addition, Notre Dame has joined a power conference.  Sort of.  They will still maintain their independence, but have an agreement to play 5 ACC teams a season.  They also get to keep their exclusive and lucrative TV contract.  This almost guarantees the Irish will have BCS bowl game consideration every year.

The tradition at Notre Dame runs deep and their followers have extreme loyalty to the program..  This would explain how a program mired in mediocrity for the last two decades still attracts so much attention.  This year the attention is warranted and it looks like the Irish are on their way back to their dominant past (unless the Pac 12 teams step up to beat them down).  Good luck Irish!

The last sentence was meant to be a double jinx on the Notre Dame football program.  Hopefully it works!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Perfect Storm

In 3 weeks time we will experience a phenomenon commonly referred to in the sports world as the perfect storm.  It's the time of the year when all the major sports are going at the same time (as well as the MLS), college hoopers get their feet wet with a little midnight madness, and the BCS begins to take shape.  The NHL is usually a part of the festivities, but money issues have them out of the picture this year.  For a lot of people this may seem like sensory overload, but for the die hard sports fan there's nothing quite like it.

The perfect storm gives fans a chance to diversify and engage their emotional portfolio.  Cities that don't have a professional football team (OKC, Memphis, San Antonio, Salt Lake City) can look forward to the return of the NBA.  Cities that suffered a heart breaking loss in the playoffs (Atlanta, Dallas) or the football team is underachieving (Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans) can shift their attention elsewhere.  Cities where everything is wonderful (Cincinnati, San Francisco, New York) can add to their joy and optimism.

Die hard sports fans should proceed with caution.  Spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, and significant others will almost certainly object to the increase in sports watching options.  It will seem like there's a game on every channel every minute of the day.  This can lead to irritation, fights, unrealistic expectations, or even worse, the loss of the remote control!

The perfect storm only lasts a few weeks, but the combination of everything all at once is pure bliss.  You don't have to settle for just one sport and ESPN will seem like a never ending stream of highlights.  Enjoy it while you can and suffer the consequences later.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Observations

In my fantasy football world it was the best of times and the worst of times.  In my family league I had another 30 point blowout and the momentum is starting to shift in my direction.  Looks like Wes Welker is the man once again.  In my trash talking league I'm down by 2 and I have the Texans defense going up against Mark Sanchez.  Call me crazy, but I like my chances.  In my hurt your feelings league I simply can't stop the bleeding.  I've lost four straight and the pack is getting away from me.  To make matters worse the Breesy is not going to be with me next week.  When I really need a win the Breesy decides to take a brak.  Go figure.  We'll see if Flacco and Sam Bradford can make the most out of their opportunity.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

My crystal ball is a little blurry when it comes to the MLB wild card games.  Two road victories ended the career of Chipper Jones and sent the 2 time American League champs home early.  I have some work to do on this subject.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has thrown for 2,000 yards with 24 touchdowns and no interceptions.  Not sure I've ever seen the Heisman Trophy wrapped up in early October, but these numbers are awfully impressive.

The Seahawks defense needs a nickname and its own theme music.  In 5 games their opponents have only scored 3 offensive touchdowns.  After yesterday's performance poor Cam Newton may need therapy.

SHANKAPOTIMUS reared its ugly head in Indianapolis.  Kicker Mason Crosby missed a game tying field goal with 3 seconds left to go and the Packers now sit in last place in their division.  Kickers will ruin your life!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Return Of Young Sam Rothstein

It's been a long time and I shouldn't have left you, but rest assured Young Sam Rothstein is back!  in all honesty I didn't feel comfortable with the NFL left in the hands of the replacement refs.  Now that nonsense is over and we can get back to the business of making money.  It's pretty clear the league is all about parody this season and the home team has been winning the majority of the games.  There are no prohibitive favorites from week to week and Vegas has been taking advantage of the surprise teams (Minnesota, Arizona, and New Orleans).  It's time to settle the score and win big.  Follow my picks and earn some extra spending cash!

New Orleans -3 over San Diego.  You don't think the Saints are going to start the season 0-5 do you?  Drew Brees will break the consecutive game touchdown record and the team will play inspired ball knowing their banished coach (Sean Payton) will be in attendance to see the historic event.

Baltimore -6 over Kansas City.  Jamal Charles looks like his old self, but Matt Cassel looks like a straight impostor.  The Chiefs inept offense will put entirely  too much pressure on the defense and right now Flacco is in a zone.

Seattle +3 over Carolina.  Russell Wilson has taken a beating in the press this week and Carolina is the perfect remedy.  Cam Newton is visibly rattled by the Panthers string of losses and the Seahawks defense won't give him time to catch his breath.

Atlanta -3 over Washington.  RGIII is the real deal, but so is Atlanta right now.  The Falcons are the NFC's only undefeated team and it will stay that way when they travel to Fed Ex Field.  Look for Julio Jones to have a big game.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 MLB Playoff Preview

Although I'm not a big fan of major league baseball's new playoff format I must admit it does add a lot of drama and intrigue to the end of the regular season.  There was actually a scenario wherein New York and Baltimore would've been forced to play a one game playoff to determine who had to play in the wild card game.  Fortunately Robinson Cano put an end to all that nonsense last night with two homers and 6 RBI.  Advertisers can now breathe a sigh of relief.  Now that the match ups are set (for the most part) here is how the first round of the playoffs will shake out.

Wild card games:

St. Louis at Atlanta.  Did anyone expect the reigning World Series champions to return to the post season after losing Phat Albert to free agency?  It's a miracle, but the celebration won't last long.  Atlanta wins at home.

Baltimore at Texas.  The Rangers fell asleep at the wheel and let the Oakland A's pass them on the last day of the regular season, but rest assured they will beat the Orioles to advance.

First Round:

San Francisco vs. Cincinnati.  The Giants have a great pitching rotation, but the Reds are almost as good plus they can hit.  This is where the Giants will realize the absence of Brian Wilson and Melky Cabrera is too much to overcome.  Cueto and Chapman are as good as advertised so the Giants lineup will struggle.

Oakland vs. Detroit.  Moneyball works in the regular season, but when the bright lights come on it's a different story.  Miguel Cabrera (soon to be AL MVP) owns the A's and potentially facing Justin Verlander twice is too much to ask for an overachieving team.

New York vs. Texas.  The Yankees have Robinson Cano and the Rangers don't.  End of story.

Washington vs. Atlanta.  Even without the phenom Stephen Strausburg the Nationals have enough pitching to shut down the Braves lineup.  We'll see if Bryce Harper is ready to take his game to the next level.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How The Seahawks Can Win The Super Bowl

In 2000 The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl with a very simple philosophy.  Run the ball effectively, stay out of 3rd and long, play excellent special teams, and rely on your ferocious defense to keep games close.  Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes did their part, pro bowler Matt Stover was automatic from 50 yards in, Trent Dilfer didn't make any big mistakes, and Ray Lewis was the defensive player of the year.  This is a blueprint the Seahawks can duplicate.

Marshawn Lynch leads the NFL in rushing, the Seahawks defense allows the fewest points in the league and the kick off/punt return average is number one.  All of the intangibles are covered.  With these impressive stats it would seem the Hawks should have a better record than 2-2.

Without question the offense has let the team down.  They struggle to score points in the red zone and the play calling is very generic.  In addition, the receivers can't get separation and drop a lot of passes.  Russell Wilson has been adequate (except for the St. Louis game), but nothing spectacular.  He needs to show he can make plays with him arm and his legs if the offense is going to turn things around.

The 2000 Baltimore Ravens were 5-4 at one point in the season before things ultimately turned around for them.  It is not unrealistic to think the Seahawks won't be in a similar position by week 10.  It all comes down to the maturation process of Russell Wilson and the play making ability of Golden Tate.  Without some kind of threat in the passing game defenses will stack the box against Marshawn and our most effective player will be taken out of the game plan.  There's still time to dream big, but Russell Wilson needs to make it happen right now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend Observations

The first quarter of the NFL season is out of the way and the fantasy voyage has started to get interesting.  In my hurt your feelings league I trail my opponent by 6 points.  I have DeMarco Murray going tonight and he has Robbie Gould.  If I can get 16 points from DeMarco while holding Robbie to 7 I'll snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  In my trash talking league I'm up by 19 points and my opponent has Miles Austin.  That smiling ass pretty boy better not catch 3 passes all night!  In my family league I put up video game numbers courtesy of the Breesy and Marshawn Lynch.  I won by 40 and didn't even start Brian Hartline ( He scored 53 by himself).  A lot of things can change in a hurry if this Monday night game starts getting weird.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

The AP poll has 6 Pac 12 and 6 SEC teams in the top 25.  The SEC however has 3 teams in the top 5 and half of the teams in the top 10.  Damn!

The Cam Newton love affair may be coming to an end.  He struggles to keep his emotions in check and makes costly mistakes at inopportune times.  I expect the Hawks to make him look bad next week.

Shankapotimus reared its ugly head on the golf course over the weekend.  After having what most experts considered an insurmountable lead in the Ryder Cup the US team collapsed and lost the match to Europe for a 2nd consecutive time.  The media will blame Tiger Woods.

Mark Sanchez is not a NFL starting quarterback.  If you've seen him play this season you know there's really no need to elaborate on the subject.