Beat The Man - Week Sixteen

The Seahawks may have drained their own well of what's a gamblin' man to do? Fortunately, Scott Jones finds that The Man is still hiding in all the old familiar places...


Last Week: 2-3
Season to Date: 33-33-1

When we get to the goal line, we don’t leap it… we fumble.
And I guess that’s all there really is to say about this team in 2004.

We’re right back where we started in 1999. Mike Holmgren inherited a talented team that needed to take the step forward. They didn’t. So he gutted the team, brought in HIS players, and called it his own.

Well, Mike. Here we are. Who’s responsible then? You are.

Following another miserable performance, Shaun Alexander had this to say about our Seattle Seahawks:

"We lay eggs consistently… As sickening as it is, we'll still be in first place. It's like throwing salt in a wound. It's like a rock in a shoe. You know what I mean? It's terrible the way we do it."

Yup. And I’m all out of cigars (or I’ve lost my thesaurus of inspiration). So let’s talk about some teams worth discussing…

N ENG –2.5 @ NYJ

Now that we’ve all had time to recover after witnessing Tom Brady perform a most uncharacteristic ass-flop toss to the Tangerine Dolphins - thereby collectively tripping his team on their backs, looking up at the Steelers for Home Field Advantage – let’s consider how we think they’ll react… The Patriots have proven to be true champions. They will react in the manner they should. As champions do. They’re chomping at the bit to make grass stains out of the Jets in the Meadowlands. Count it.

Meanwhile, the J-E-T-S hit the field with some very adept play calling facing that-team-we-won’t-mention last Sunday. That’s what good coaching will get ya. You know, the kinda coaching where you take the opponent into consideration and game plan accordingly. Better defined as, uh – smart coaching! They’ve earned a playoff spot with their approach and play this year. Yup. Unfortunately, the Pats are much too wise to get fooled by misdirection. Chad Pennington will find the flats covered in this contest. The Pats are going to yank the security blanket away from Linus and Brady will have his redemption.

For the record (and since I threw the Peanuts jab in there, I should qualify): I admire what Chad had to say this week. Rather than the general media who hypocritically reacted to his genuine comments with cry-baby disdain and insecure pomposity – I recognize the guts it takes for the man to stand up there on a podium in New York City, and call them out on their double standard. He never questioned their credibility. He simply questioned their motivations. I for one applaud it.

And you’re right, Chad. It is as much a privilege for me to have the right, and the methods, to print it. As it is for you to play it. Now go out and earn your money, you rich *epithet*…

MIN –3 vs GBAY
Okay, so the Vikings burned me last week and left an unqualified Detroit team alive – just enough to win but fail to cover (I’m a little alarmed at the number of 3 point games I’ve narrowly missed on either side (see last wk vs ATL). Ay, it’s a cruel, cruel world). I’ll chalk that up to them looking forward to THIS week’s match-up.

I still feel Minnesota is an enormous threat to anyone in the NFL this year. And I feel they’re far more deserving than the Packers (who had my Jagywirez right where they wanted them in the bitter cold last Sunday, eh cheez wiz?) The Purple are NOT laying down for anybody, compete each and every week, have weathered several key injuries, and they are going to claim the division this Sunday.

Repeat after me: The Packers are not worthy. The Packers are not worthy. Their string of consecutive wins was crammed full of weak opponents and they are simply not worth a playoff spot. You can be certain I’m already banking the team they face on Wild Card Weekend. The Pack will be road bound the rest of the season – this week, next, and the 1st week of the playoffs. Don’t forget to bring extra tidy whities, moldy yellow...

I can’t understand this spread (and that does have me worried). Just what has Tampa Bay done that has everyone so in love with them for the final NFC seed? We started hearing that noise the last time these 2 met - but Carolina won 21-14. The Bucs then caught the Falcons sleeping to the tune of 27-0 and everyone jumped on board, and stayed there. Apparently ignorant to the fact the Bucs have since lost to the Chargers and the Saints in succession.

On the flipside, Carolina falls short by a razor to another freak-leap by Michael Vick (in one of the more entertaining and competitive games of the year, not to mention plays)… and they’re done? Sorry, sports fans – the Carolina story is one of the most inspiring in modern day football. And it ain’t over. They’ll take the final seed, thank you (well deserved).

In my pre-season report I had the AFC WEST down as a blurry mystery that only had one result certain – the Bolts won’t be involved. Forgiving me that miscalculation (and please, can anyone honestly claim they had the Chargers as a pre-season favorite? Be real) that’s proven to be quite accurate. Denver appeared to be a team that had lots, but little. There weren’t any team weaknesses… but there weren’t any team strengths either. In today’s NFL that appears to be enough to put you in contention for the playoff’s.

Lately, folks have been really down on Jake Plummer as a QB. Contrarily, I think he’s played quite well. It has not been as succinctly individual as a Jake Plummer INT to end a game. Take away that Bolts game where he threw 4 errors and he’s a respectable 23/15 ratio. (I saw that Bolts game, and he was mostly unlucky, as opposed to mistake-prone). The problem may be that coach Shanahan has him running bootlegs all damned day to the point of overkill. It’s become predictable (and need I mention takes away half the football field). However, facing the Titans young defense that may be an asset and if Billy Volek comes back down to Earth I think the Broncos have what it takes to stay in the race. They can’t afford to lose this game. And they won’t.

P.S. I’m stumping for Jeff Fisher as our coach in 2005 (their injury report reads like a ‘senior ditch-day’ roll call). Another Titans loss may help that pursuit…

MIA –7.5 vs CLE
Cleveland has quite early. And the Fish are trying desperately to hold on to a coach they clearly admire. (Hopefully the idiotically ill-timed Huizenga doesn’t throw a wrench in that inspiration with his Blockbuster HC offer. Though I wouldn’t mind Nick Saban in Seahawk blue either. LSU plays my kind of football).

Next week, I’ll be AWOL playing St. Nick and getting drunk on the spirit of children. Merry Xmas to you and yours, eh. But let me say this: The playoffs are the time to shine… and I intend to do so here at BTM. Expect a winning record come January, or else serve up those complaints!!

N ENG –2.5
MIN –3
CAR +3
MIA –7.5

Beat the Man… cuz he makes fun of the guy in the fat suit.

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