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Malik (10/10/11)

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 arm.

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.


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