Am I wrong in saying that wasn’t a great Wild-Card weekend? All the games were pretty ugly. Some were closer than others, but with the exception of Green Bay, I’m not sure we saw anyone near the top of their game. Even the Packers were aided by the presence of Joe Webb, who showed us there are shades of being awful we never even realized. I found myself watching some of the action and saying, “That’s a playoff team?”
That brings me to my disappointment with the Redskins and my frustration with RG3 not being healthy. What we were seeing in the 1st quarter of that game yesterday was Seattle being exposed. The Redskins were running them off the field. We’ll never know what the outcome would have been if RG3 didn’t aggravate that injury before that 2nd TD, but we at least know that it wasn’t going to be a “convincing” win for the Seahawks. Perhaps they regroup, maybe make a game of it, but maybe they get blown out.
A lot of the discussion I heard after the game was surrounding how well the Seahawks played, how much trouble Atlanta was in next week. This is what Washington did to me. They perpetuated the Seattle underdog/feel good story myth. This is the story that the media has decided they wanted. Russell Wilson, 3rd round pick–unheralded. DOUBTED. The overcompensation for the east coast bias, the Pete Carroll cheerleader factor, the stories practically write themselves. So, the only way to treat the win yesterday, if you want to keep that up is to ignore the fact that RG3 was hobbled, ignore the fact that Seattle essentially played the last 45 minutes on a power play and keep the momentum going. The RG3 injury and how Seattle played have somehow become unrelated stories.
I know why RG3 was in there. At first, they were up 14-0, he was doing all right. And as the game got closer, and as time ran down it became more difficult to make the switch. They trapped themselves. It would have taken a lot of courage to pull RG3 up 14-0, but if they were going to do it–that was the only time. If Cousins could have managed 1 FG drive it might have changed the game, but Washington decided to live and die with RG3. Can’t blame them, except for the fact that we’re left dealing with Seattle with another week.
Just to provide some balance, here’s some things I noticed about the Seahawks yesterday.
1. They were totally dominated in the 1st quarter.
2. Russell Wilson was efficient, and made some big runs, but also regularly misses open receivers with poor throws or by not seeing them at all. On his biggest run of the game, Sidney Rice was by himself for an easy TD. The Seahawks would eventually score anyway, but those are the things that can cost you against better teams.
3. Marshawn Lynch is a tough runner and is a key to Wilson’s success. I feel like he’s being treated a sidekick to Wilson’s blinding brilliance.
4. Their defense played well only after Washington became one-dimensional (at best) on offense. RG3 was robbed of speed and accuracy. At 50? 40? percent he looked like Joe Webb.
5. Concerns about their play on the road shouldn’t be ignored. In a huge game they came out and were immediately knocked off balance by Washington.
So, instead of talking about how much trouble Atlanta is in for next week, maybe we should talk about whether Seattle has any shot of keeping this going? Atlanta is a pretty good home team in their own right. They aren’t the underdog, but considering they are only laying 2.5 points, it seems like a lot of people are viewing them that way. I think some people undersold favorites this past week (notably Houston and Baltimore) and they might make the same mistake with the Falcons on Sunday.
3-PT Playoff Pick Results:
Both Kraft and I swept through the opening weekend. Unprecedented as far as I know. Feels damn good. Especially not getting caught up in “Chuckstrong.” Great story, and the Colts had a great year, but it’s hard to win playoff games when you have about 3 (?) good players. Seven more to go for history….
- Kraft, 4-0
- Grossy, 4-0
- DC, 3-1
- Big Dub, 2-2
- JCK, 2-2
- Nichols, 2-2
The Oh By the Way, the National Title Game is Today Epilogue.
I’ve hardly watched a bowl game. I’ll tune in tonight, though. I feel like the most casual of fans. Oh, the National Title game? Two incredibly high-profile programs? I guess I can be troubled to see what happens. At least for a quarter or so. My real problem is that I don’t have a college football team that I root for with the intensity that I have for professional teams. And, the two teams playing tonight make it difficult to latch on for a one-day bandwagon…
Alabama: Reasons to dislike ‘Bama are numerous. They have a nouveau bandwagon in areas outside of Alabama, they are both a historic program and a current juggernaut. Nick Saban is pretty easy to dislike and always gets the best players. There’s also ‘Bama’s old-school style. They overpower you, run the ball, swarm you with speed on defense–it’s not the “modern” college game and not a real NFL look either on offense. They’re kind of like the 2010 Jets with a much bigger talent advantage. The best thing I can say about the Tide is that they denied Geno Torretta a national title in 1992.
Notre Dame: Notre Dame might as well play in New York considering my feelings for them. They were right up there with my most hated teams when I actually watched college football. They had the ability to turn me into a fan of the other team in an instant. See my love of the 1988/89 West Virginia Mountaineers. Major Harris was majorly out of his depth in that Fiesta Bowl. Rooting against Notre Dame used to mean always having the underdog, but the Irish have lost a lot of luster in recent years and enter tonight’s game as a pronounced dog.
What to do? I think it’s one of those games where I won’t know what I’m going to do until the kickoff. Kind of like that Steelers/Cardinals Super Bowl. Never envisioned myself so Warner’d up before that game played out.
The Line: Alabama (-9.5). That’s a big-time Tide line. You’d need uncommon valor and courage to take ND. Luckily, I have just that. ‘Bama 24-16.