This was a lame weekend
for my idea of what good sports would entail. Yes, Oregon and Boise
State won (late last week), which makes me happy. However, Oregon
might have lost their most important piece when LaMicheal James went
down with a dislocated elbow. Unless he can return quickly, things
could get ugly for Oregon since his running is the key stat of
interest on each of the Oregon games for the last couple of years.
Boise State...well, that was a solid win and I have no complaints.
Then things take a turn
for the solidly worse when the Sounders FC lost 0-2 against the
Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Yes, the Union are a good team
(playoff bound in their second year of MLS play), but a 0-2 result
is not what the Sounders FC need heading into one hell of a
stressful time when CONCACAF CL play is still in effect and the MLS
playoffs are coming in about a month. This is when Seattle needs to
ride momentum and not let their offense or defense slack. It's a lot
easier to ride momentum to victory than to turn things around at the
most important time of the year for the team.
However, the most
obvious important thing that came about is this; the Seahawks won.
So much for aiming for a high draft pick. Seattle beat the Giants,
on the road, for the first time in a couple decades. Seattle doesn't
win in New York, and...actually, Seattle didn't win. The Giants
lost. That's it. Seattle played about at the level one would expect
for this team. The Seahawks had turnovers left and right with some
major disappointment in almost all parts of their game. The only
thing that looked solid was the defense. Meanwhile, the Giants just
floundered with even more turnovers, including ending the game with
a interception, from the red zone, that turned into a 94 yard return
on the play. That sealed the final victory for Seattle at 36-25.
All the Giants needed to
do was run the ball for two plays to get a nice and easy touchdown
to be up for 3 with little time left. Instead, a false start put
them back 5 yards and then the plan had to change. Seattle was not
showing any solid defense in the red zone (the one failing of the
defense for the day), and a few rushes would have sealed the game.
The Giants didn't lose to Seattle...they lost to themselves.
The one really
interesting part of the game is how Seattle hit fast to start the
game. Two touchdowns in the opening quarter (from a team that
usually sees the opening 15 minutes as a warm-up period, not real
game time). Then the drought began. Things turned slow, sloppy, and
stagnant. That is, until T-Jack went out hurt and Charlie "Clipboard
Jesus" Whitehurst came in to relieve T-Jack. At that point, the
offense was light up again, and Seattle had three scoring drives and
that interception that could only come off of Eli Manning's crazy
While many clamored for
Whitehurst last season, it was a poor sentiment. Last season saw
Hasselbeck being the victim of a back protection plan. This year,
the protection isn't any better (may even be worse), but Whitehurst
is probably the answer. At least Whitehurst can lob a long bomb down
the field and complete. T-Jack and Whitehurst have similar numbers
on paper. In fact, T-Jack is a little better at completion percent.
However, the difference is that Whitehurst throws deeper, and
picking up 7 yards on one pass and one incompletion beats picking up
6 on two passes and an incompletion. Whitehurst gives a chance for a
rushing first down, while T-Jack just gives a higher completion
percent that leads to seeing Ryan make another amazing punt.
Speaking of which, Ryan
is an amazing punter. Of course, when you have that much practice,
you better be good. It was amazing how many of his punts would be
downed inside the Giants 5 yard line. In fact, the only Seahawks
that really was involved in beating the Giants was Ryan. He was,
without a doubt, the MVP of this game. In fact, with his range and
his control, Ryan should be considered for special teams NFC player
of the week. If not for his control, the Giants would have helped
Seattle remain in the Suck For Luck sweepstake.