Not sold after one week on the Seahawks defense
Sep 12, 2011, 10:23 AM | Updated: 10:35 am
By Jim Moore
I know it will sound all hater-like to think that the Seahawks won’t win their first game until Oct. 30 when they host the Bengals.
And I know it sounds especially idiotic to think that they’ll be winless for the next month and a half after watching yesterday’s 33-17 loss to the 49ers because there were some positive developments in that game.
I loved the defense and the run D in particular. They were on the field forever in the fourth quarter on what must have been an umpteen-play drive by the 49ers that was extended by a bogus Brandon Browner roughing the kicker penalty.
I thought the defense would finally give in after that ridiculous call, but it didn’t, remaining salty and sturdy and impenetrable. The 49ers settled for a field goal and a 19-10 lead.
After watching that defense, you can come to the reasonable conclusion that the Seahawks will be tough to run against all year long, no matter the opponent. You can say it was just like last year before Red Bryant got hurt — when the 330-pounder from Texas A&M was on the field, the Seahawks had one of the best run defenses in the NFL.
You could also say that the defense might get even better once the offense finds a rhythm (IF the offense finds a rhythm?) and reduces the time it has to spend on the field.
But I remain pessimistic and skeptical because, first of all, the Go 2 Guy is by nature an old curmudgeon who needs to be banged upside the head over and over again before I’ll believe anything unless it pertains to the Cougs, then I’ll believe everything.
And secondly, let’s consider the opposition — at the end of the year when we look at the NFL offensive rankings, the 49ers will be down at the bottom with the Seahawks. Alex Smith won’t be lighting up secondaries any time soon, and the 49ers’ offensive line is as shaky as the Seahawks’ right now.
If the Seattle defense shuts down Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers, I’ll put one foot on the Seahawks’ bandwagon. Based on what we saw in the 49ers’ game, it’s possible.
I’m not sure what to make of the Steelers after their 35-7 loss to Baltimore. If you want to look at it from a positive point of view, maybe they’re not as good as they were last year. Or maybe the Ravens are dynamite and will hammer every team they play this year. And maybe the Steelers will turn it over seven times like they did in yesterday’s game.
To continue that 12th Man line of thinking, you also hope that the football gods will finally pay you back for screwing the Seahawks with crappy calls in the Super Bowl.
Or you could be thinking: “Uh-oh. That’s the worst possible thing that could have happened for the Seahawks. The Steelers got clobbered and will be fired up for their home opener and take it out on the Seahawks, showing that they’re still one of the elite teams in the NFL.”
And you know from watching the Seahawks over the years that they usually play like dogmeat in 10 a.m. games. You also know they were shut out by the Steelers the last time they played in Pittsburgh. Plus if you read Danny O’Neil’s season preview in The Seattle Times last week, you know that the Seahawks are 2-18 in their last 20 non-divisional road games.
One more thing — oddsmakers are really good at setting lines on football games, especially in the NFL. In fact, they’re not really good, they’re unbelievable.
With that in mind, oddsmakers are listing the Seahawks as 14-point underdogs. That’s how much faith they have in our local 11. In other words, everyone and their brother will take the Steelers in their survivor pools this week, expecting an easy win.
More than the opener at San Francisco, this game will be a much better gauge of what we can expect from the Seahawks this season. If they shock the Steelers, we can look forward to a successful defense of their NFC West championship. If they hold their own but lose a close game to the Steelers, we can expect a decent season from a team that figures to get better and better.
But if they lose 38-3, we can welcome them back for their home opener next week against the Cardinals, knowing that next year could be a hell of a lot more interesting with Andrew Luck at quarterback.
Jim Moore also writes for his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com. In today’s post, the Go 2 Guy wonders why the Huskies and Cougars are big underdogs this week.