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Malik (1/3/11)

The Seahawks, by beating the Rams, are now going to the playoffs with the lamest record of all time for a post-season team. Yes, the Seahawks are now semi-humiliated on a national level, especially after finishing on a nationally televised Sunday Night Football game. Seattle is now known to all as the worst team to make the playoffs in the history of the NFL. On top of that, Seattle lost a dozen or so places in the next draft in the process. Plus, Seattle won with Whitehurst, making him look the like QB of the future for this franchise, despite how poorly he plays (he would never had beaten any team outside the NFC West with his playmaking last night). Yes, it's all bad looking and most Seattle fans would probably say they wish that Seattle lost to ensure a better draft rank with a far less humiliating return to post-season play.

I don't care. No...I do care.  I don't care about the haters and all that crap in the above paragraph.  I do care because I get another week of football that I can care about. I get next Saturday to continue enjoying the Seahawks. I get to watch a rematch of the Seahawks versus the Saints, this time at home. True, the Saints beat the crap out of the 'Hawks earlier this season. Then again, the Huskies were destroyed by Nebraska in college play, and then kicked their lame asses in the Holiday Bowl. So, anything is possible. I mean while Seattle enters the post-season with a 7-9 record, the truth is simple; in the post-season all records are returned to zero. Plus, if St. Louis lost this badly to Seattle's backup QB, then maybe Seattle is the best of the division after all.

My only real complaint about the game last night was that Whitehurst still looks bad. I honestly thought that Pete Carroll wanted to lose by not putting Hasselbeck in after the half. At least Whitehurst didn't throw interceptions like they were in fashion like Hasselbeck has done many time in the last month. Also, if Seattle can continue to keep their running game active, like they did in the second half, this team has a chance. Playing against the Saints will not be a good way to start the post-season, but it will make a damned strong point if Seattle can win, or even remain competitive.

One good idea that Seattle showed last night that should continue is to use Leon Washington. He has been placed solely on return duty this season, but he ran like a NFL veteran running back when he was given the chance. Better still, Robinson was used as fullback to make some lanes for the running game. Since the start of the season, Seattle has neglected using a fullback to help make room for the running game, while also just sticking with the two primary rushers. If Seattle wants to keep it's running game live and active, the game needs to be kept alive with this type of approach...this standard approach that most teams use (fullback protection and using good players to their ability). Injuries have caused some issues, especially with the offensive line, but now, with a fresh start in the post-season, it's time to use some of the basics and take advantage of the players who are ready to go.

Do I honestly think Seattle will win against the Saints? I really don't know. It's doubtful, but it's not a guaranteed outcome one way or the other. It all will come down to a few variables, including if the rushing game is kept strong like it was in the second half last night, and if he have a QB who is in love with dangerous passes turning into constant interceptions (the Saints are not exactly a weak team on making everything on the defense of a sloppy air game from the other team).


Malik (1/6/11)

There is now a LittleBigPlanet 2 demo on the PS3 store. It might have come a few days ago...I don't know. I know that the marketing push for LBP2 is starting, so Sony sent an email announcing the demo yesterday.

After playing this demo, for a game that I have long waited to be released, I have to say I'm a bit less enthusiastic. I still aim to buy the game and have a pre-order in with Amazon. However, a few minor things caught my attention that I hope are not going to be a problem playing the real game.

I should say that I have not touched LBP for a year or more. It's been a while since I just got tired of the game once I realized most shared levels were not worth the time to download, and that I didn't have the interest to go off of any online listings of quality levels anymore. However, I cannot say I remember LBP feeling this slow and floaty in controls. I could swear on the LBP2 demo that Sackboy is moving through an invisible sea of syrup. In other words, he is slow as hell. Of course, having not played LBP for a while, this may be how the original was, and it could be that playing quicker response games lately has changed my perception of speed in platformers.

It also didn't help that the floaty feel caused some undue damage from not being able to control where I would land with much precision. I could probably adjust with time, but getting the award for acing a level (not dying once) does not look that inviting.

Anyway, I'm still interested in the game and have actually bumped by pre-order from the standard edition to the collectors edition (thanks to a birthday gift of an Amazon card). I'll most likely have a blast with the game. However, I also think right now the world feels like a chaotic mess between obligations and the upcoming Seahawk playoff game, so that may also effect how slow I see LBP2 and other games.


Malik (1/7/11)

While the Seahawks have problems, I don't see the solution to them all being the benching of Hasselbeck. In fact, if given the choice of Hasselbeck or Charlie "Football Jesus" Whitehurst (A.K.A. "The Passion of the QB"), I'd take Hasselbeck anytime when injuries are not a problem for either. When it comes to the playoffs, which are a whole new level of stress versus a regular season game, I'd take the most experienced playoff starting QB in the NFC (Hass) over the one with only two regular season starts in his entire career. However, for some reason, Seattle's fair weather fans (who are usually the type who "know more than the coach") all love Whitehurst. Of course, these fans have short attention spans and this seems to make last weeks win over the Rams a reason to love Whitehurst as the hailing conquering hero. In reality, Whitehurst beat a poorly playing Rams team due to an improvement in the running game, and a definite boost to the Seattle defense.

All that in mind, I'm pissed off that Pete Carroll announced yesterday that Hasselbeck is starting. I am beyond pissed off. I want Hasselbeck to start, but I don't want this to be public knowledge. Whitehurst and Hasselbeck play entirely different game styles, in which Whitehurst can run well and can pass to the left perfectly...but he never looks to the right side of the field and can freeze when under pressure. Meanwhile Hasselbeck is a great passer who can fall victim to repeated contact in the pocket (he gets too antsy after being touched once) and cannot move under his own power. So, with the Saints preparing their defense for tomorrow, they had to worry about two different styles to put under control. With the decision known (unless Carroll is pulling a fast one, which would mean Football Jesus is about to fail to offer Seattle fans salvation), it becomes much easier. It should have been like with last Sunday when Carroll didn't announce his starter until a few minutes before the coin toss.

Anyway, with this being, possibly, the last day of Seahawks hope for eight months...or more if there's a lock out...I want to say a few final thoughts about the team that broke into the post-season.

First off, the rushing defense was great until Red Bryant went down for the season. It's great to see that Seattle can play defensively when healthy, but more players are needed. Any part of a team that relies entirely on one player is doomed to failure. Once the rush defense went down, this allowed the passing defense to show it's weaknesses when it could be exploited with a shifting run and pass plan from the opposition. Seattle needs another wall of a defensive player (or more than one) to compliment Red and keep things good when injuries arrive. I mean Seattle has been, for the last few years, one of the most injury plagued teams in any professional sport.

On the note of doesn't matter who is the QB when the offensive line goes through more than eight formations in a 16 game season due to injuries. If the O-line is not a cohesive unit, then the QB is the first victim. Keep the QB protected, and you keep the passing game open. While the fair weather fans may say Hasselbeck is the problem, I don't think any other QB in the NFL could do much better on this roster. Maybe a running QB could do a little better...only a little.

Also, once Robinson (the fullback) went out, so did the running game. Forsett and Lynch are probably one of the most amazing rushing duos in the league. However, with a piss poor O-line and no fullback to open lanes and do some blocking, running is out of the question. If Seattle wants to make a strong point on the rushing game tomorrow, they need to use the now healthy Robinson.

Speaking of the former Penn State QB, Robinson has a great arm. Seattle has been less predictable on play calling this year than the last three, but some extra oomph could come along with some wildcat plays from time to time. Why not take advantage of the eligible receiver (fullback Robinson) and his amazing arm from time to time. An offense cannot live off the wildcat, but it could serve as the rally cry type of play to get momentum going down field. I mean Robinson did throw a pass or two this year, and his arm definitely made me feel a bit warm inside.

To put one more on Robinson (I like him as the Seattle fullback of the future and present); any time it's third or fourth and inches, use him for the QB sneak, like Seattle did a few weeks ago (I honestly forget which game it was). He is big, strong, and qualified to be QB to also throw a pass if a trick play is called for over the QB sneak.

Back to the rushing game, and on the note of under-utilized players, there's Leon Washington. Yes, he is the best returner the Seahawks have had for a long time. He is fast, and he can plow down a blocker or two. He's also picked up three TD returns on the season, including two against the Chargers to steal and seal the win. However, he should also be used in the rushing game some. He's different than Lynch and Forsett, and variety of playing styles is the ultimate method to throw off the defense.

Lastly, Kelly Jennings needs to go. When Josh Wilson was traded, I posted about how disappointed I was that it wasn't Kelly Jennings. He is not good at keeping up with his receiver, and he lacks the speed, power, and hands to do much more than attempt a tackle after his man gets the ball. I think we need to see Jennings replaced to make a huge dent in the problematic pass defense. It seems like any good QB and coach in the league knows, when playing Seattle, pass to whoever has Jennings guarding him.

Anyway, I am not counting tomorrow out. Seattle can win. If Hasselbeck plays like he did in December in New Orleans, the passing game will be good. After that, it all comes down to getting some action on the running game and getting the defense working and off the field. Most of all, it doesn't hurt that the Saints are missing the top two parts of their running game. While Reggie Bush may be a problem, it's safe to say Julius Jones will not be. I mean Seattle fans already know he can't run in Seattle.

On a final note of how the team was this year...Big Mike Williams!  He is the future of the franchise for catching the long ball and making some damned good yards in the process.  Now that he's shaken off the dust of his past, his future is coming...and the future looks good.  No matter who the QB is in the future, his number one receiver will be the giant that is BMW!

Go 'Hawks!


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