Friday, November 30, 2007

Weather Watch

Looks like at least some chance of some snow for the Philly game on Sunday. If not snow, then cold and rainy. That should provide a good preview of whether our passing game can weather the weather (sorry, couldn't resist). We should only expect more rain, snow and cold come playoff time, so we need to prove we can still function effectively on offense in less than ideal conditions.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

DIVISION NEWS: Cards defense falling apart

For those that missed it, the Cardinals had a trio of significant injuries on their defense in the last two weeks.

First, they lost DE Bertrand Barry, their dynamic pass-rushing defensive end for the year.

Then, they lost starting CB Eric Green for the year. And now, they've lost their best player on the team in Adrian Wilson for the year.

This explains a bit how they give up 37 points to an offense as bad as the 49ers last week. This has been a really good defense all year, and I think this might cause a collapse.

Current head coach facing next head coach?


Andy Reid is in trouble in Philly. The buzz seems to be that he is done after this year. We all know Holmgren is not long for this job, and have always assumed Jim Mora Jr. or some other current assistant would take over.



Let me ask you though, is there any coach more likely to maintain continuity with Holmgren's style and philosophy than Andy Reid? Wouldn't he be a great bridge from Holmgren to the future?

I have never been a Holmgren hater. I question some decisions he makes, but he took one of the worst franchises in the NFL and took them to the Super Bowl...twice. The guy knows what he's doing.

The last thing I'd want to see is Hasselbeck have to adjust to a new offensive philosophy and all the turbulence that goes along with that. Gil Haskell or Jim Zorn could obviously continue to run things as is, but who neither would offer the same level of leadership, continuity and track record as Reid.

My second choice would not be Mora Jr either. I think my second choice would probably be Zorn.

In the end, the most important criteria for the new coach is that they don't waste Matt's golden years. He is not a phenomenally gifted athlete that can just excel in any system. He is very much a cerebral QB who grew up in this system and depends a ton on knowing his checks and his progressions. Zorn's got his trust. I think Reid does as well from when he was Matt's QB coach in Green Bay.

Something to ponder...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NFC Stock Market Week 12

I will take a look at what happened for the Seahawks and the NFC each week and update my predicted record for the Hawks and the Top 5 teams in the NFC. I will try to do this each Wednesday.

Seahawks Stock: Rising
Pre-season Predicted Record: 10-6
Current Predicted Record: 11-5

As I've stated in other posts in the last few days, the Hawks are playing their best football of the season in the last three weeks. In my predictions, I had them losing @ Carolina and @ Philly and at home against Baltimore. I see them winning at least two of those games. Balancing those with their unexpected losses at Arizona and Cleveland (at least unexpected in my preview), brings us to 11-5.

NFC Top 5
  1. Dallas Cowboys (Neutral): They are the best in our conference. Funny thing is I wouldn't be scared to face them in the playoffs. I think the Bears of 2006 were more intimidating largely because the Cowboys are more about offense.
  2. Green Bay Packers (Rising): Even if GB beats the Cowboys, I don't consider them a better team. They are, though, far better than I gave them credit for.
  3. Seattle Seahawks (Rising): The Hawks burst back onto the scene at the #3 slot. I still believe this team is limited in what it can accomplish, but it could really do some damage in the playoffs because most of the players have been there before.
  4. Tampa Bay (Neutral): Garcia's injury could be the end of the line for this team if it becomes serious.
  5. New York Giants (Falling): Cream puffs anyone?

A Tip for Hawks Fanatics

It's been incredibly annoying to lose access to Hawks press conferences and player interviews this season. Mike Sando used to post them on his blog, but the NFL did a cease and desist and said that audio would only be available through NFL.com or the teams themselves. Stupid, but okay, as long as I can get it.

The problem? The Seahawks podcast has not been working all season...until now. It started working again last week, and is my favorite commuting treat. Instead of listening to all the crap on the radio or having to get my news through newspaper spin, I can hear it directly from the players and coaches.

For example, every news outlet reported that Hackett was out for two games. Listening to Holmgren's press conference it was clear that he had no idea when Hackett was going to be back, but he knew it wouldn't be for at least two games. It could easily be a season-ending thing at this point in the year.

If you want to follow along yourself, here are the steps I followed with iTunes:

1. Copy this URL: http://www.seahawks.com/Multimedia/Podcast.aspx
2. Click Advanaced -> Subscribe to Podcast
3. Paste in the URL
4. Click Ok

It should work in other audio podcasting software as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Power Rankings Week 12

Note that this is Seattle's high point in team strength so far this year. Dallas would appear to have a significant advantage over Green Bay this week. The thing that numbers can never capture is that Favre is a stud and Romo is an idiot. That matters in big games.


















































































































































































































Rank
Team
Team Strength
Change
1
New England
25.49
-2.47
2
Dallas
15.46
1.84
3
Pittsburgh
14.67
-0.93
4
Indianapolis
14.58
0.74
5
Green Bay
10.85
0.49
6
Tampa Bay
6.32
-0.02
7
Seattle
5.93
0.28
8
Jacksonville
4.57
2.12
9
San Diego
3.13
1.53
10
Minnesota
3.08
2.27
11
Philadelphia
2.25
-0.34
12
NY Giants
0.75
-2.63
13
Cleveland
0.13
0.88
14
Arizona
-0.15
-0.12
15
Detroit
-0.51
-1.43
16
Tennessee
-1.37
-2.68
17
Houston
-1.69
-0.81
18
Washington
-1.94
-0.28
19
Cincinnati
-2.2
3.08
20
New Orleans
-2.29
3.04
21
Chicago
-4.73
0.51
22
Oakland
-5.06
0.97
23
Kansas City
-5.07
0.03
24
Baltimore
-6.18
-1.25
25
Carolina
-6.8
-2.11
26
Denver
-6.93
0.82
27
Buffalo
-9.41
-1.82
28
Atlanta
-9.42
-1.24
29
Miami
-10.07
0.34
30
San Francisco
-10.87
1.44
31
NY Jets
-11.23
-2.28
32
St. Louis
-11.72
0.59

Monday, November 26, 2007

On Further Review: Hawks @ Rams

I watched the second half of the game again in about 20 mins (thank you DVR!).

  • Chris Gray had a horrible game. That guy looks done. He was beaten on running plays, passing plays, physical plays and mental plays. I assumed the Hawks were playing mind games a bit when they were subbing in Pork Chop for both Sims and Gray in practice. Based on what I just saw, they were serious about subbing for both of them. It's a little sad that we don't have someone better to sub in there.
  • I officially think we can find a better long snapper. Where is JP Darche when you need him? FGs have been an adventure and Plack has been far worse on punts.
  • The Hawks D was walking on a high wire in the second half. The Rams were in Hawks territory multiple times, and often mere yards away from FG range. They got a Trufant pick, a Kearney sack and a number of incompletions when they threatened.
  • Bobby Engram is playing as fast as I've ever seen him.
  • The throw Hass made to Branch at the 8 min mark was All Pro. He had been hit all day long, and here was another rusher in his face, his primary read was covered, and he makes the split second decision to hit Branch over the top and does it with touch over the defenders. Great play.
  • Great push by the o-line on the TD run. They were three yards downfield on the right side by the time Weaver caught up to them. He ran with some bad intentions, too.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Analysis: Seahawk Patterns of Note (continued)

A couple of things jumped out of me across the whole season. The Hawks have been a team that lived and died by running and stopping the run the last few years. That has been turned on it's ear this season.
  • In close wins (less than 7 points) and in losses, the Hawks allow an average of a full yard-per-carry less than in games they win by 7 or more. In English, that means their run defense is weaker in games they win by 7 or more.
  • The Hawks allow an average of 272 yard/game passing in their losses and 179 in their wins. That is a massive difference. If you look at the close wins + losses vs. their big wins again, the differential is even bigger (262 yards vs. 153 yards).
  • The YPA against in losses is 7.66 vs. 4.92 in wins. Wow.
All these stats seem to illustrate that we better stop the pass if we want to win this year. This adds some color to all those regurgitated stats about sacks in our wins vs. sacks in our losses.

Another stat of note is our pts allowed in wins vs. losses.
  • We give up 11 pts/game in our wins and 26 pts/game in our losses.
Lastly, this team is as schizophrenic as we all have observed. There are only four Hawks games all year decided by less than 7 points. When we win, we win by an average of 14 pts, and when we lose, it's by an average of almost 10.

Analysis: Seahawk Patterns of Note

I've stolen a few moments today to update my Hawks 2007 stat sheet to see if there are any interesting trends. I paid special attention to the last three games when the Hawks have moved to their "pass first" offense, and found some interesting stats.

Let's start there. Has the pass first offense made a difference? The short answer is a resounding "yes." Check out these stats in our last three games compared to our averages in the first eight:

  • Averaging 5 pts/game more on offense and allowing nearly 4 pts/game less. That's nearly 9 pts a game in the plus column.
  • We are rushing ~1 fewer times/game, but gaining ~4 yards more on the ground and almost a half-yard per carry more. A half yard! Our average leading rusher is gaining ~84 yards/game, which is 19 more before. And we have gotten a rushing TD in each of the last three games after getting only two in the previous eight. Can you say pass setting up the run?
  • Opposing teams are running less against us and gaining fewer yards. Maybe the faster pace is discouraging the run?
  • We are--not surprisingly--averaging a bunch more passing yards (~27 more/game), with only a slight hit to our YPA (-0.24).
  • Opposing teams passing games are falling like a rock! They are averaging 67 fewer passing yards against us and 1.65 fewer yards per attempt! That's insane.

The stats certainly paint the picture of a vastly improved team. Granted, we've played some patsies, but we played some patsies in the first eight games as well. Anyone who saw the Bears game today saw a team that is playing pretty darn well right now on offense, and the Rams had won twice in a row.

Perhaps the most impressive stat is the point differential. You take almost any team and add nine points to their differential, and that is a team playing well. We are definitely seeing some improved individual play on defense from folks like Kearney and Jennings, but we all know how much of a difference it makes for our defense when our offense plays well.

Feel free to make your own conclusions by playing with the spreadsheet posted here.

Cards lose, Hawks in the driver's seat

How does Rackers miss a 32-yarder to win? That one has to sting. We owe our buddy Dilfer a "Thank you" next time he is in town.

That game against the Cards is basically to clinch the division. If we were to win that game, we would have to lose all 4 of our other games and the Cards would have to win all four of theirs.

If we lose that game, we could go 2-2, and the cards would need to go 3-1 to tie us and win the division.

This Hawks team is not yet one I feel confident about even with that setup, but I do expect them to win the division.

Observation from today, Seahawks win 24-19

People (myself included) spend way too much time picking apart wins. I've learned to crack open a beer and just enjoy it. Today was a perfect example of why. The Hawks came out flat. They made a lot of mistakes and a lot of *bad* mistakes, but they wind up with a pretty nice little victory.

Even my 6-year-old got into it. His buddy was over and they came down to beg for some time on the Wii. I made it clear that wasn't going to happen until after the game, so they settled in for the last couple minutes and joined me in jumping up and down and screaming after the fateful fumble. That's what keeps me coming back.

  • Nice game for Kelly Jennings today. This is the second straight week I've seen him making some really nice breaks on the ball. The secondary has really been solidifying.
  • Kearney has officially earned his contract with a 10.5 sack season (with 5 games to go). He has an outside shot at the Michael Sinclair's sack record (16). If nothing else, teams will need to start gameplanning for him, which should open up other guys (Julian, LeRoy, Tapp) to pick up their pressure.
  • Hackett's injury is a big deal. That guy has been a real difference maker since he came back.
  • We averaged 4.8 YPC. The difference in our running game has everything to do with our passing game and a little to do with Shaun.
  • How does STL end up with 3.4 YPC when they had a 53-yard run? That means they averaged 1.7 YPC on their other 30 carries. Not bad defense, especially considering Jackson really looked like he came to play early in the game.
  • This has to be a Seahawks record for punt/kick returns for TDs in one season.
It should be an interesting game against the Eagles next week. A win would give the Hawks four in a row, and five wins in six games with the only loss being in OT to Cleveland. The Hawks are now 4-1 in the division and 6-2 against the NFC. The Cards are in OT with 49ers as I type, and are going to be 3-1 against the division and 4-4 against the NFC at best.

Game Thread: Seahawks @ Rams

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I certainly am thankful to be back home in Seattle with another cross-country trip with my young boys behind me. The only thing more stressful than a Seahawks lead in the 4th quarter is anticipating being trapped in a cramped plane for 6 hours with a 3 and 6 year-old.

There aren't many critical games against 2-8 teams, but this one is certainly important on a number of levels.

- This is the third game of our new offensive philosophy. Teams will have enough film to game plan for it at this point. As bad as the Rams have been this year, their defense has been playing well in spurts. This is also the first road game that we've had since the switch.

- Road wins have been hard to come by. We are playing 4 of 6 on the road to close the season, and losing to a 2-8 team would not be a great way to start.

- Division records count. We are in a tight race with the Cards, and we can't afford to lose any division games. A win against the Rams and the Cards (at home) would lead to a couple critical tie-breakers.

- This is a Rams team with some momentum playing at home. It's not the same team we played a few weeks ago.

I'm going to be watching for a pass rush. I think that will be a key to the game. If we make it hard on the Rams to pass the ball, I think we can win even with Seneca at the helm. If we don't hit Bulger a ton, this could be a very frustrating day.

I pick the Hawks to win in a close game.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Power Rankings Week 11

Things are definitely settling in with the rankings as we get further into the season. A few funky things happened where the Hawks had a solid win but lost a spot on the strength of Tampa's blowout and the Bears lost, but gained a spot due to the Bills getting annihilated by the Pats.

The Vikings have lost Adrian Peterson, but their YPC *increased* to 6.0 this week. That is unreal. There are three teams averaging less than that per pass attempt (Panthers, 49ers, Ravens).

The Eagles remain an enigma that has a strong passing and running game, and a great run defense, but can't seem to beat anyone. I certainly hope they've given up on their season by the time we play them.

Oh, and you know how I was saying we were a couple plays shy of a 40 pt outburst yesterday? The Pats are *averaging* 41.1 pts/game!
















































































































































































































Rank
Team
Team Strength
Change
1
New England
27.96
2.32
2
Pittsburgh
15.6
-1.90
3
Indianapolis
13.84
-1.20
4
Dallas
13.62
-0.69
5
Green Bay
10.36
0.44
6
Tampa Bay
6.34
2.57
7
Seattle
5.65
0.22
8
NY Giants
3.38
0.06
9
Philadelphia
2.59
1.07
10
Jacksonville
2.45
0.42
11
San Diego
1.6
-0.75
12
Tennessee
1.31
-2.13
13
Detroit
0.92
-0.57
14
Minnesota
0.81
1.59
15
Arizona
-0.03
0.80
16
Cleveland
-0.75
0.31
17
Houston
-0.88
1.97
18
Washington
-1.66
-0.65
19
Carolina
-4.69
-1.03
20
Baltimore
-4.93
0.39
21
Kansas City
-5.1
0.36
22
Chicago
-5.24
-0.19
23
Cincinnati
-5.28
-0.35
24
New Orleans
-5.33
-1.24
25
Oakland
-6.03
-0.71
26
Buffalo
-7.59
-4.71
27
Denver
-7.75
2.62
28
Atlanta
-8.18
-2.35
29
NY Jets
-8.95
1.11
30
Miami
-10.41
-0.12
31
San Francisco
-12.31
0.76
32
St. Louis
-12.31
1.93

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Observation from today, Seahawks win 30-23


Thanks for the kind words, csu91. It's certainly never easy to lose family. Now, let's talk football.



Great win for the Hawks today. Our overall aggression has really stood out for me the last two games, especially on offense. We are attacking on every series. The Bears played a motivated game today, and I give the Hawks a lot of credit for shaking off an early 10 pt deficit to come roaring back. Even more impressive was that they never seemed to have a doubt that they would. They were a *rare* DJ Hackett drop, and a Josh Brown missed FG away from 40 pts today.

All the receivers had great games. Branch gives us that great threat off the line. Bobby is the same guy every week. Hackett makes a huge difference. Nate made a fantastic grab for that TD.
And, c'mon folks. Tell me your not excited every time Weaver touches the ball. Did you see that block today?! Those tough catches and yards?

Even Marcus Pollard started to make an impact again.

The biggest concern is Matt's health. I'm not sure having him throw 44 times/game is going to keep him on the field for the rest of the year, but I'd be hard-pressed to change the gameplan now.

Great game for Mo today as well. I have a feeling Shaun will be "injured" for a while longer.

Last thing I noticed on offense is the o-line held their own against a terrific front four. Two sacks against 44 throws is not bad at all.


On defense, give the game ball to the DBs. Have you ever seen a game where Seahawk DBs made that many plays on the ball? I must have seen five or six textbook breaks on the ball that resulted in the pass being batted down. Tru, Jennings, and Grant led the way.

Kerney all-of-a-sudden has 7.5 sacks. He has 4 sacks and 2 FF in the last two games. I'd love to see a strong finish from him.

The other guy that stood out was LeRoy Hill. He was everywhere today.

The coaching was solid, and heck, we had only two penalties for 20 yards. Throw in the five false starts from the fans, and you just have a really solid win.

Now we have 4 of the last 6 on the road. We need to win two of those. Don't overlook the Rams next week.

Game Thread: Bears @ Seahawks

When you match up a 4-5 team with a 5-4 team it should come as no surprise that the game is essentially a pick'em. The Hawks have a clear advantage playing at home, but until I see it with my own eyes, I can't believe the Bears defense has fallen that far, and their defense from last year is definitely better than our offense during this one.

I'd like to be able to say I pick the Hawks in the game today, but it's been a while since they beat a team anywhere close to their equal. I think the Bears will be motivated to use this game a launching pad back into the race (which it won't be even if they win), and I'm not sure the Hawks can beat a mediocre team right now.

I'll be watching the game on tape delay due to attending a funeral (the only valid excuse for giving up a ticket), but will share some more thoughts after I'm done.

Have a great Thanksgiving to all the US-based readers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

You think our running game is bad now?

It seems that the whole running game controversy is focused on whether Maurice Morris or Shaun should be our starter. I've got the answer: neither.

We clearly have to have a starter, but we don't have a starting caliber RB on the team right now, and I wonder if the team really realizes that. Shaun is no longer dependable, and Morris is a 27-year-old career backup. He may be the best we have this year, but that doesn't mean he's good enough.

I also look at the offensive line and see a sharply declining Walter Jones and no great backup. Ray Willis is hopefully good, but who knows? Spencer and Sims were supposed to be great, and neither is doing it so far. I'd much rather see someone force the job away from Walt with great play than be handed the job because of his decline.

I sure hope this is a good year for RBs and offensive lineman in the draft.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Power Rankings Week 10

The Hawks moved up a few spots due to the blowout victory. They don't feel like the 6th-best team in the NFL, but there's not a team below them that I don't think they could beat on a neutral field. The Hawks are ranked #2 in scoring defense in the NFL. That's stunning.


















































































































































































































Rank
Team
Team Strength
Change
1
New England
25.64
0.00
2
Pittsburgh
17.5
-0.97
3
Indianapolis
15.04
-2.35
4
Dallas
14.31
-0.25
5
Green Bay
9.92
2.89
6
Seattle
5.43
2.23
7
Tampa Bay
3.77
0.00
8
Tennessee
3.44
-2.13
9
NY Giants
3.32
-1.93
10
San Diego
2.35
0.08
11
Jacksonville
2.03
1.49
12
Philadelphia
1.52
1.13
13
Detroit
1.49
-1.69
14
Minnesota
-0.78
-4.19
15
Arizona
-0.83
1.55
16
Washington
-1.01
-1.00
17
Cleveland
-1.06
-1.01
18
Houston
-2.85
-0.02
19
Buffalo
-2.88
0.90
20
Carolina
-3.66
-0.54
21
New Orleans
-4.09
-0.68
22
Cincinnati
-4.93
2.11
23
Chicago
-5.05
2.14
24
Oakland
-5.32
-1.13
25
Baltimore
-5.32
-1.27
26
Kansas City
-5.46
-1.58
27
Atlanta
-5.83
1.75
28
NY Jets
-10.06
0.00
29
Miami
-10.29
0.67
30
Denver
-10.37
3.83
31
San Francisco
-13.07
-1.31
32
St. Louis
-14.24
2.79

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quick observations from MNF

It's hard to make any real meaningful assessments against a team like the 49ers. They have clearly given up on the season and are flawed on both sides of the ball. That said, I left the game with a few impressions:

1) Getting to a MNF game in Seattle sucks!!
It took me an hour to go from the Seattle Center to Qwest, just so I could have the privilege of paying $30 to park 20 blocks from the stadium. Park'n'ride on Sundays rule. They are the only way to get to a game. At least we were smart enough to pass funding for needed road and transit work...oh wait...

2) Pass first just fits this year
I don't think it makes the Hawks much more of a threat in the NFC, but passing more does make us a better team right now. Our pass protection held up, and our receivers looked really good. I don't even think Matt had a great day. He missed a few big plays when he had all day to throw. Getting Branch back (assuming we ever do) will make this even more interesting.

3) No 3.1 YPC back will ever get more kudos than Mo Morris
I expect to hear nothing but calls for Alexander's head after Morris' scintillating 28 carry, 87 yard performance. Morris does look like a better option than Alexander at this point, but he is not a solution to our running problems.

4) Hackett is key
I admit to not understanding how important he is to our offense. I was a HUGE proponent of his last year, but he is blossoming into a legit #2. I really would like to see him on the field with Branch and Engram.

Brace yourself for this Sunday. That's a thankless game. You win, and nobody cares. You lose, and you're a joke again. I would almost take a loss if I could be guaranteed that Grossman would get smacked multiple times.

Game Thread: 49ers @ Seahawks

Greetings on this windy Monday morning. Forecasts are calling for rain and wind all day. Are we still sure about that 60-40 pass/run split? The Hawks have essentially two problems right now: they can't run the ball and they can't get a consistent pass rush. Now, these problems lead to other problems like not sustaining long drives, or executing in the red zone or getting other offenses off the field on third down. Despite all these things, we should wax the 49ers tonight.

This is a fatally flawed 49ers team with no reason to expect a turnaround on the road tonight. This is not like the Saints team that came in here with legitimate weapons who had been underperforming.

Since winning a game we should win does not excite me all that much, I will be looking to see a few things:

1) MoMo running the ball
I don't expect him to be a savior, but it will be interesting to see if there is a difference.

2) Weaver and MoMo catching the ball
I really like the split back formation with these two in there. Both are willing blockers and both are threats to run or catch out of the backfield. Weaver has a chance to become more prominent in the gameplan.

3) Time of possession
I don't care if we run the clock all day, but moving to pass first could be a serious detriment if we end up with a bunch of quick 3 and outs that leave our defense on the field all day.

I will be at the game, and I'll try to post some observations once I get back.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

NFC Stock Market Week 9

I will take a look at what happened for the Seahawks and the NFC each week and update my predicted record for the Hawks and the Top 5 teams in the NFC. I will try to do this each Wednesday.

Seahawks Stock: Neutral
Pre-season Predicted Record: 10-6
Current Predicted Record: 9-7

I think the gloom and doom around the Hawks is way overstated. This is a mediocre team, but not a hopelessly mediocre team. There are reasons to think the change if offensive philosophy could really change the makeup of the club. The defense is simply not as good as we might of hoped. Surprisingly, the run defense is not the problem. Our pass rush appears to be wholly dependent on gimmicks and not individual talent, because we seemed to get game-planned out of a pash pressure. I don't the team stock really dropped this week. They played almost exactly as I expected, but now have a lower predicted final record.

NFC Top 5
  1. Dallas Cowboys (Neutral): The only thing standing between this team and a trip to the Super Bowl is Romo's brain. I wouldn't trust him in a big game.
  2. Green Bay Packers (Rising): They are passing all the tests. These road wins are very impressive. Even a mediocre KC team is tough to beat at home.
  3. NY Giants (Neutral): Bye week.
  4. Detroit Lions (Rising): Holy shit. Are you kidding me? Mike Martz may be reviving his Rams offense in Detroit.
  5. Tampa Bay (Neutral): Jeff Garcia makes this team a winner. They better keep an eye on Brees and the Saints.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Power Rankings Week 9

Minnesota is averaging a staggering 5.8 YPC. Anybody else miss Steve Hutchinson? Detroit is really coming on. The current incarnation of the Seahawks would lose to quite a few teams in the NFC in the playoffs. The Packers are 7-1 with a 3.3 YPC on offense. The Hawks defense and GB defense are almost identical statistically. We'll see if Holmgren's new pass first offense leads to similar results in the W/L column.


















































































































































































































Rank
Team
Team Strength
Change
1
New England
25.64
-2.70
2
Pittsburgh
18.47
2.38
3
Indianapolis
17.39
-2.87
4
Dallas
14.56
1.76
5
Green Bay
7.03
1.50
6
Tennessee
5.57
0.95
7
NY Giants
5.25
-0.10
8
Tampa Bay
3.77
0.49
9
Minnesota
3.41
3.59
10
Seattle
3.2
-0.90
11
Detroit
3.18
5.50
12
San Diego
2.27
-4.93
13
Jacksonville
0.54
-2.34
14
Philadelphia
0.39
-3.95
15
Washington
-0.01
1.03
16
Cleveland
-0.05
0.36
17
Arizona
-2.38
-0.97
18
Houston
-2.83
1.77
19
Carolina
-3.12
-1.54
20
New Orleans
-3.41
2.56
21
Buffalo
-3.78
3.03
22
Kansas City
-3.88
-1.84
23
Baltimore
-4.05
-4.34
24
Oakland
-4.19
-0.59
25
Cincinnati
-7.04
-1.31
26
Chicago
-7.19
0.00
27
Atlanta
-7.58
2.03
28
NY Jets
-10.06
0.41
29
Miami
-10.96
0.10
30
San Francisco
-11.76
0.85
31
Denver
-14.2
-3.94
32
St. Louis
-17.03
0.00

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Game Thread: Hawks @ Browns

This is a bellwether game for the Hawks on many fronts.

OFFENSE
1) Can the passing game find the rhythm it's lacked since Branch went out in Pittsburgh?
2) Will the offensive line assert itself in the running game? (remember when people were complaining that we were only running well in the second half? who would have thought those would have been our best games running the ball?)
3) Will DJ Hackett have an impact in his return?
4) Can we win a game with our offense this year?

DEFENSE
1) Are we really a top tier defense, or just inconsistent posers?
2) Can we get a consistent pass rush? From our DEs?
3) Will our injuries at DT show up when we play a power running back?
4) Are tall receivers who makes plays on balls in the air going to haunt us all year?

PREDICTION: After a week of feeling like we're going to lose, I woke up seeing 27-24 Seahawks. Time will tell if that is just gameday enthusiasm.

I may be on DVR delay due to a year end soccer party for my oldest. I won't bore you with all the details of how my defensive game plan led to a shutout of the best 6-year-old soccer team in our league.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hawks vs. Browns: Some thoughts the night before

I need a favor. Could someone please convince me that we're going to win tomorrow? All my experienced Hawks fan alarm bells are going off with this one.

The fan base and media has clearly exhaled after a misleading 33-6 rout two weeks ago and some misplaced confidence in the bye week getting us healthy. Why does it matter what fans and the media think? We're all people folks. The fans, the media, the players, the coaches. What's a logical thought pattern to one group is likely to be found in the others.

Before I go too far down the sports psychology route (that was career choice #3 for hawkblogger back in the day), the football item that won't get out of my head is that I don't see our offense scoring the 30+ in this game I think they need to.

I don't like the type of injury Matt has. I don't like that it's been four weeks since I saw Deion Branch yell "I'll be back," while being carted off before halftime of the Steelers game, and he's still not back. I certainly don't like that Holmgren is so out of ideas with his running game that Pork Chop Womack is our best potential cure. And that's just the offense.

Even after watching 10 episodes of Entourage (my new favorite series, thank you netflix), I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to be steaming about my 4-4 Seahawks this time tomorrow. Let's see what a crappy night's sleep with an hour stolen out from under me will do for my intuition...