Beat The Man - Week Seven

Scott Jones tries once again to get a chokehold on The Man, and wonders aloud why the Seahawks seem to believe that winning isn't's that other thing...

Last Week’s Results: 3-2
Season to date: 12-11 (wake me when it matters)

So…last week, I claimed the Seahawks would bring their sling to take down Goliath. Perhaps I mistakenly encouraged them to get tiny, because clearly – based on our “listless” approach to the game through the entire 1st half and continual failures in the second – we don’t think we can compete with the NFL’s giants.

My opinion of our performance in New England is one of disgust. Sincere, complete, and unapologetic – disgust.

How can a team oozing with talent; pounding their opponents into submission over the first 3 weeks of the season; coming off a last minute loss that insults our credibility – not be interested in shaming those who doubt us? How can that team not be frothing at the mouth to take on the World Champs and re-establish themselves as a team to be taken quite seriously? How can they allow the virus of doubt to crawl through their skin and show up in Foxborough with dead legs, and a thin-skinned desire poised for cancerous defeat? How can that team, my team, the one that’s perpetually been pounding on the door of resistance and finally has a fist fit to crush with… chump out completely on Sunday, when 1 single win could have etched them into history? How did that HAPPEN?!

We all saw the game. Our team didn’t think they could win. That’s what I saw on the field. “We’re not expected to win this game. We’re not expected to beat teams like this. Let’s take a week off and gear up for the teams we can beat, cuz there’s no sense in effort here today. We’d rather be…you said it Pam Oliver - listless!” Then we can play Arizona and pretend all over again that we’re any damned good?

Good – shows up for games like the unbeaten Patriots...

How can we prepare ourselves for a Super Bowl, when the team simply doesn’t believe it can compete on that level? How can I give a damn about wins vs. the Cardinals of the world, knowing it leads to a match-up with the NFL’s best – where we’ll meet defeat because we think that’s far enough? It is NOT far enough. Far enough this year is the Lombardi trophy in that first-time-worthy fist. Anything less is defeat. This is the most talented team we’ve ever fielded. It is the most talented team in the NFL. We are a more talented team than the New England Patriots. The simple difference being, we don’t think we’re good enough – and the Patriots do. The Patriots demand it of themselves. While we demand the right to defeat…

If you think it’s ok to fall, because the ledge below will catch you? Then you will, in fact, fall. I say, get rid of the net – it’s high time we climb…

Appalled, I now pronounce teams who believe they can win this weekend:

I’m going to throw my hat on the field for Jacksonville once more here. Following their loss to the Colts 3 weeks ago, the Jags chumped one at San Diego and then rebounded to a final moments win vs. KC. Both Holmes and Tomlinson were well contained over the span of those 2 games, while Charger relative-unknown Jesse Chatman fractured what should be stellar statistics for the Jags Run D. Throw that Bolts game away and the Jagz have allowed only 1 team to score in the 20’s – Indianapolis (24). In fewer words: I like the Jaguar Defense.

Meanwhile, Byron Leftwich has steadily improved week to week and is now putting up solid numbers (while Fred Taylor remains a mystery). He now faces a Colts secondary that was thin to begin with and currently ‘stuck on band-aid’ all over. I think he’ll find success there.

Some may remember I had the Colts in this last contest. I said then I expected a tight game and was a bit concerned about giving up 4pts. Here, we’re getting 9 from the Colts on a Jaguar team that’s been itching for another crack at Indy and wants to prove they’re a legitimate threat and own more heart than the Seahawks. I’ll take that wager this week, thanks.

SD +3 @ CAR

I think it’s time to start respecting San Diego. They’ve now put together an impressive streak of games that really has earned a more favorable impression (you know, respect is that thing you get when you come to play each week). Following a hard fought win over the Texans, they lost a close one to the unbeaten Jets; had their annual drubbing at Denver; slandered Tennessee; pounced on the aforementioned Jaguars; and then lost a minor miracle at Atlanta by 1 pt. They’ve generally shown up every week.

At Carolina, troubles continue to surmount with DT’s Jenkins and Buckner joining what’s become a MASH unit of injured heroes. They’re in an absolute tailspin. It’s just too much to expect the Panthers to hold up under the weight of the Yang to last year’s Yin. It’s all just going the wrong way. Tomlinson has got to be licking his chops to run at that season-long incompetent Rush Defense. Sorry Carolina, but this is a win for the Chargers. Unlike another team I know, you’ve earned the right to respectable defeat…

Remember when Seattle played the Rams? Remember how we played for 3½ quarters? Remember how we looked like winners? Remember how we looked like we knew how to earn it? You don’t? Me neither, I must be thinking of some other team. Anyway…

The Rams appear to have corrected their ills. They’re doing the wrong things right now. Astoundingly, Coach Martz has turned off the turmoil button and has his team playing with conviction and disciplined purpose. The ball is not just bouncing their way, they’re willing that to happen. As if they thought the NFL was about stepping up to a competitive situation and conquering doubt or something. Remember when you used to think the Seahawks understood that concept? Me neither, that must have been some other team…

Did I get off-track again? Oh yeah, um, the Rams are pretty good and the Dolphins suck. Rather, they can’t possibly match scores on the Rams unless they get end zone on Defense. I like giving 6, thanks.

JETS+6.5 @ NE
Remember when the Seahawks were set to play New England…um, oh yeah – a week ago? Remember how people around the league were showing us respect and thought we’d take that opportunity to drop the Champs and show the Nation what we’re made of? Those upstart Seahawks we’re going to get blue on you. Remember that? You don’t? Oh yeah, that musta been some other team…

Anyway, now Gang Green is going up there with a bunch of wild unstable youth who think they might have a chance to end the streak. Now, we all know they’re not as talented as that Seattle team I was talking about, but they’ve got a good vibe going and they actually believe they’re credible. As I mentioned in my pre-season write-up, their coach has a chance to get them off the Suck List. THEIR coach says things like “It’s haaaaard to win in this league. It’s difficult”. But he does not say it like an excuse for his own ego. He seems to know how to prioritize the importance of meeting that challenge head on. He seems to know how to communicate respect to the players, fill them with a sense of pride, unity, and challenge them to deliver on their promise…

Are they outmatched against the Patriots? I believe they are. The question is… do THEY believe they are? Well, boys and girls, I don’t believe they do. And if they DO believe it – that just makes them want to fight all the more earnestly. They don’t want the word “listless” ever being spoken in regards to their heart. That would be the world’s greatest insult to a competitor, now wouldn’t it?

The Patriots are tired and weary. I saw them last week ready to be beat. All they need is an opponent that wants it bad enough…

BUF +6 @ BAL
And in this week’s throw away game, the I-just-like-them-because-they-have-a-red-stripe-on-their-helmet-pick (this one is extra-special. It goes racing down the side, from the eye of the Buffalo. It looks all fast n’ stuff… which reminds me of the way I like to drink really smooth beer that says Red Stripe on it), we like the Buffalo Bills Defense to advantage a Lewis-less Baltimore team that has trouble scoring. So far the Bills haven’t lost to anyone not named New England by more than 3 points. Gotta love getting 6 in this spot. Yup, yup. Yup…

Road trip! This week’s picks:

JAX +9
SD +3
BUF +6

Beat The Man because… we can’t live vicariously through the Hawks anymore until they show what they can do at Minnesota.

G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at Top Stories