Season to Date: 26-34 (comatose)
Hawk Picks: 3-2 (dang it!)
Phew - that was a close one in San Francisco, eh? I guess we didn’t cover that spread. But before we get too concerned about that let’s just remember one thing – we won the game. Sure, it got ugly at the end but when it’s over and we leave with a victory? And you peek at the standings to find us sitting alone atop the NFC? That’s pretty. Ugly - is letting one slip away. And that didn’t happen.
I thought we handled the game through 3 Quarters and were not at all asleep at the wheel. The Niners gave it everything they had and managed three or so miracle plays to keep themselves alive. That guy Brandon Lloyd is a FREAK! Can you believe the stuff he was pulling down? I mean… wow. He’s very impressive (I’ve seen him have games like that in the past but he can’t seem to obtain consistent numbers. Always makes the circus catch but often drops the easy ones. A bit like Chris Chambers in Miami). In the 4th we failed to pay attention to the way we closed out the last 2 games and Holmgren went pass-a-holic after failed first down runs. Once again – koo koo ka-choo…
But we won the game. And that means everything is on track for this week’s big game. Against a team I expect us to bury!
I do not respect the New York Giants as much as the rest of the talking heads appear to. That may be ignorant of me, but I just don’t feel their Defense deserves to be in the Playoffs. Offensively, I’m not overwhelmed with adoration for Eli Manning either. He did become a man in San Diego and has certainly stepped up his game since then – but all this talk of a Manning brothers’ Super Bowl is just plain silly. He’s not ready. And neither are the Giants in general.
We should be able to do whatever we want to them Offensively. There is nothing they have that can stop us. The way the Walrus runs his passing game will suit us perfectly in this game, as Big Blue will find themselves thoroughly frustrated by it which should open things up for Alexander in the 2nd Q and thereafter. What the Eggman WILL need to remember however, is to close out the 4th with a power running game – because the Giants have been killing teams Offensively in the 4th all year. We’ve got the number one rusher in the NFL (possibly gashing his way to an NFL record in both yardage and TD’s). Don’t be an imbecile – feed him the potato and let him mash it in the final Quarter to disable the Giants intentions of thieving our meal. I don’t want to hear the Beatles song after this game. Okay, Mike?
Having made light of the Giants, do not mistake my confidence for arrogance – this is a HUGE game for us. We need to take this game VERY seriously. We require further validation that we CAN go all the way and this is most certainly the next step in the process. With the Eagles now faltering, we don’t get another chance for some stiff competition to test us until Xmas Eve against Indy. And I don’t need to point out the significance of Home Field Advantage throughout the Playoffs. If I’m wrong about New Yawk and they maintain their winning ways, knocking them down in the win column here is an opportunity we can’t let escape. With Carolina, Tampa, and Atlanta beating each other up in the South the next few weeks – this could be the game that earns us the number one seed. (And by the way, after that shockingly adept upset of Carolina last Sunday, we’re very much wanting Tampa to find a way to beat Chicago this week. The Bears are suddenly a threat to our seeded position. And might be our ONLY threat if we can knock off the G-Men. That’s a big game for Hawk fans as well).
The spread is –4.5. I like that very much. You can bet your ass I’m taking the Seahawks again to cover. Expect our boys to play with precision and bounce back after stubbing their toe in Frisco.
Now onto other meals we’re looking to feast on this week:
ATL –3 @ DET
(You’re reading this post gameday - but Editor Doug can verify I submitted this week’s column Wednesday Night, due to the Holiday. Right, Editor Doug?) (You are correct, Sir – E.D.) Over the years, posting money with Detroit on Thanksgiving has been bettor’s bliss. It has not mattered that Detroit perpetually sucks – they traditionally geek up for Thursday like it’s their annual Super Bowl. But it’s different this year, because – they’re actually taking themselves seriously… even though they still suck. I expect Atlanta to throttle them.
You might be concerned about the short week after the Falcons played a brutally tough game against Tampa last Sunday – while the Lions took the week off in Dallas. But I’d rather point to the score in that Dallas game. The Cowboys, a physical team somewhat similar to Atlanta, manhandled Detroit 20-7. That’s the kind of result you can expect from Detroit facing solid competition. That’s 10pts better than the spread, mister. I expect an easy win here. (Boy, I sure hope I don’t look stupid, ‘cuz that cranberry sauce might taste a lil’ sour after the game if I am).
DEN –2.5 @ DAL
Also post-mortem - Denver went into Dallas and totally stomped them, right? Okay, maybe they didn’t totally thump them but they did prove to be as good as advertised, right? I mean, they like covered the spread by more than a field goal, right? They didn’t eat the bird and fall asleep, did they? Don’t tell me they lost! (Editor’s note – You’re just lucky Phil “Heads or Tails?!?!?!” Luckett wasn’t “officiating” in this one, Schlep…)
Denver has handled competition like Dallas throughout the season. Though I expect the Cowboys to win their Division, they have not been winning consistent like Denver has. What the Broncos have done with their schedule has me considering the possibility they may find victory in their inevitable match-up with the Colts, in the AFC Championship game. No team in the NFL has been as impressive as the Orange Crush (now there’s a team tag I really admired). That’s right – no one. The Colts’ list of victories couldn’t light a candle to Denver’s. They’re worlds apart.
Now, I’m not saying they’re BETTER than the Colts. But I am saying we’re going to find out. Because Denver will win this game and go on to meet Indy head to head in the game before The Big One. (Here’s hoping I don’t have gravy all over my face after ignoring Denver’s 5-in-a-row cover streak, math I normally bet against. And yes, I’m a stubborn bastard taking both road teams on Turkey Leg Day).
And now for the leftovers…
CAR –4.5 @ BUFF
I really hate betting on Carolina. They are so damn inconsistent in the way they’ve played this year. Even when they’re scoring 30pts (instead of 3 in Chicago. The Bears absolutely chewed them - it was ugly to witness), they’ve got you freaked out the entire time. There is no comfort during a Carolina ticket. None. You just sit there thinking “Don’t spill… don’t spill… don’t spill…”. I got off them after the Miami game, and then got back on board after they put together an impressive 3 game feeding frenzy – only to find them spending extra time on the toilet in Chicago. But I’m going to bet on them again this week…
Because the Bills completely stink. I am SO ashamed of the Bills. Was truly expecting good things from them this year. Instead, the Defense has done nothing at all to mirror last years success (while I expected them to be better). And their Offense is about as retarded as that Jell-o with olives in it that your Grandma thinks might taste good (does anyone else get that served on Thanksgiving? What is up with THAT?!). Last week the Bills choked hard on a bone in San Diego, to the tune of 48-10. Their season has officially ended. The way things are in the NFC South, Carolina cannot afford to lose again following that nasty whipping they got last week. They’ll be eating spinach before the game… not olives in otherwise yummy tasting fun to play with sugar treats. (Sorry Grandma – that stuff is raspy!)
ST LOU –3.5 @ HOU
Look - here’s another game no one cares about. Yippee! Just put your money on the Rams and scarf down some more tryptophan, ‘cuz there’s nothing worth watching in Houston. Am I really supposed to respect their home field advantage? Hardly. Their only chance of winning this game is if Dom Capers locks them all away Thursday morning with a fat buffet laid out beyond the cage – and promises them dining privileges Sunday night if they manage to save his job for another week.
This new Rams HC is a no-nonsense guy that likes to run the ball with his highly effective meat-and-potatoes RB Steven Jackson. Guess what – the Texans are dead last in stopping such consideration, allowing a whopping 4.9/carry. That’s right, the Texans are allowing any team in the NFL a rushing average that most Running Backs can only dream of. How could they be allowing an average of 5 yards a carry at this point in the season? I dunno, man… but it’s time to grab another bowl of turkey stew.
Hit the road, Jack:
ST LOU –3.5
…and SEA to slap the Giants –4.5
Beat the Man ‘cuz… he’s the guy that won’t give Oliver Twist another bowl of gruel.
G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at firstname.lastname@example.org.