Thursday, September 30, 2010
When the Washington Huskies(1-2) travel to Los Angeles to take on the 18th ranked USC Trojans(4-0) many fans will look back fondly of the great games between these two programs. When these teams faced off in the 80's and 90's typically the winner would go on to the Rose Bowl. The Huskies have had many great victories over the Trojans in years past.
Look no further than last years shocking win when UW coming off a 0-12 season and had lost the previous year to the Trojans 56-0. Steve Sarkisian who was the offensive coordinator at USC along with Nick Holt who was the defensive coordinator that game were now at UW. UW had shocked the #3 ranked Trojans 16-13 in the biggest upset win in Washington Huskies football history.
The Huskies under Don James had several great battles with the Trojans. They upset Marcus Allen and the Trojans 20-10 in 1980 down in Los Angeles for the first victory down in LA since 1964. The Huskies defeated the Trojans again in 1981 13-3 in a rain soaked game. Both victories helped UW go to the Rose Bowl.
In 1985 making his first career start sophomore Chris Chandler led a 98 yard game winning touchdown drive to defeat the Trojans 20-17. Then the Huskies would lose four consecutive times to the Trojans setting up the 1990 showdown when the 5th ranked Trojans came to town. UW led by Greg Lewis who ran for 126 yards a touchdown and was named Pac-10 player of the week. The Huskies shut out the mighty Trojans 31-0. Todd Marinovich was 7 for 16 passing for 80 yards and offered the most famous Husky Stadium quote an opponent has ever stated. When asked about the game his response was "I just saw purple, that's all, no numbers. Just purple."
Yes the Huskies have had plenty of great victories over the Trojans but I'm going to talk about a game in which the Huskies did not win. They also didn't lose this game either.
October 28, 1995: #13 USC Trojans(6-1,4-0) at #17 Washington Huskies(5-2,4-0)
This was the very first Husky football game I ever attended. I had just turned 10 years old the previous month. I was so excited when my dad got the tickets and instead of taking a friend he chose to take me to the game. At show and tell I brought the tickets and the tickets were by far the coolest thing on show and tell. The teacher asked me the odds of the Huskies winning and because I was a stupid 10 year old I said 50-50. Little did I know I would be sort of correct.
This game was a huge game for Rose Bowl aspirations. Washington coming off two years of probation was finally set to be eligible to play in a bowl game. Due to probation still this year in 1995 they were only allowed four games on T.V. all year long and this was obviously one of the games picked(Along with the opener vs ASU, at Ohio State and vs Notre Dame). This was back in the day when both programs were great Pac-10 powerhouses. The Trojans from 1987-1989 went to three consecutive Rose Bowls then the Washington Huskies went to three consecutive Rose Bowls from 1990-1992. This was the homecoming game for the Huskies.
At the time of this game the Huskies had lost just three games total in Husky Stadium dating back to 1990(UCLA November of 1990, USC November of 1993, and Notre Dame a few weeks earlier in 1995). USC had national championship hopes featuring future #1 pick overall in the draft wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. The Trojans were picked to win the Pac-10 going into the year and started the year off hot going 6-0 but coming into this game they had lost to Notre Dame 38-10. The Washington Huskies had just two losses on the year both were competitive losses at Ohio State and a special teams meltdown at home to Notre Dame.
There was plenty of famous alumni on both sidelines. On the Washington Huskies sideline featured the all-time leading rusher in school history Napoleon Kaufman who was enjoying a bye week for the Raiders. On the USC sideline was former Trojan and at the time Mariner great Randy Johnson. He was the only guy wearing USC gear in Husky Stadium history to record a standing ovation since he had just saved Seattle baseball the previous months.
Former Husky defensive end standout Jason Chorak reflects on the game, "Yes a game of two powerhouses in the Pac 10 with a great receiver on one side Keyshawn Johnson a lot of missed field goals which cost us another Rose Bowl and two great traditions."
The Huskies raced out to a quick 21-0 lead. The man who had replaced Napoleon Kaufman, Leon Neal would rush for over 100 yards including a long touchdown run. The Huskies up 13-0 scored a touchdown and faked the extra point. Then backup quarterback Shane Fortney kept the ball and ran it in for a 2 point conversation giving the Huskies a commanding 21-0 lead. It had appeared the Trojans were going to get blown out in back to back weeks on the road. The Huskies defense led by Lawyer Milloy was shutting down Keyshawn the first three quarters. The Huskies offense was clicking behind Damon Huard who would pass for 209 yards and have zero interceptions. Then the fourth quarter happened.
" A goal line stance from the UW defense and a Pac-10 championship outright to the Rose Bowl instead it was a co-championship and the Sun Bowl. We started fast and the offensive could not move the ball than the defensive played conservative instead of out attack style defensive." reflected 1996 Pac-10 defensive player of the year Jason Chorak.
The Huskies would stall on offense and go conservative that entire fourth quarter. The defense played kind of a prevent defense. I remember not hearing that stupid USC fight song hardly at all first three quarters to hearing it non stop in the fourth. I remember all the fans getting that uneasy feeling. Next thing you know Keyshawn can't be stopped and is taking the game over. The game was cut to 21-14 when USC had the ball led by quarterback Brad Otton who had led Tumwater to the state championship in 1989 over Cheney 27-7.
USC was facing a 4th and six from its own 46 yard line, Otton scrambled for a 19 yard run to the UW 35 yard line. Then with 33 seconds left in the game Otton found Johnny McWilliams for a two yard strike to make the score 21-20. Knowing USC had held tiebreaker due to more non conference wins than Washington had John Robinson elected to kick the extra point to tie it at 21-21. Washington head coach Jim Lambright elected to run out the clock and end the game in a tie. This was the last year before college football had overtime.
I remember leaving the stadium surprised as a kid. The Husky fans were leaving the game as a loss while the USC fans were loud and cheering. That shows there are no ties in sports regardless of the scoreboard. Due to tie breakers and the fact USC overcame a 21 point deficit on the road in a hostile stadium which featured 74,421 which at the time was the largest in the series history including the games down in L.A.
It was a hard fought battle which featured plenty of great players on both teams. This game featured a ton of Rose Bowl possibilities and with good reason. From 1960-1992 the winner of this game went to Rose Bowl 23 times(15 by USC, 8 by Washington). These programs at the time were the class of the Pac-10.
"When you watched that game you where watching two traditions go at it like football is supposed to be played," recalled Chorak.
The Huskies the next week took on the Oregon Ducks at home and after trailing 24-0 rallied to pull within 24-22 but two missed field goals in the final minutes would cost the Huskies a win and ultimately a chance at the Rose Bowl. USC would drop its last game of the year to UCLA giving the Huskies a Co Pac-10 championship. USC would finish the year 9-2-1 after defeating Northwestern in the Rose Bowl. The Washington Huskies would finish the year 7-4-1 after losing to Iowa 38-18 in the Sun Bowl.
Had the Huskies not collapsed in the 4th quarter of either the Notre Dame game(tiebreaker was non conference record remember) or the USC game blowing a 21-0 lead they would have gone to the Rose Bowl. Had the Huskies simply just defeated Oregon at home they would have gone to the Rose Bowl. Ultimately the 1995 Huskies had three games where they went 0-2-1 all of which took place at Husky Stadium where they were prior to those games they were 31-2 at Husky Stadium dating back to 1990.
That was my very first Husky game. What are the odds that my first game would end in the last tie in UW history? It was a great game by two great teams and when I think of USC I have fond memories and hopefully this Saturday the Huskies can create some new memories.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The Seattle Seahawks(2-1) led by 2008 pro bowl kick returner Leon Washington's career day prevailed over the San Diego Chargers(1-2) 27-20 in front of Qwest field in Seattle. The Seahawks won the game despite allowing a franchise record worst 455 yards passing and gaining just one first down in the second half. The Seahawks blew several opportunities in the first half to put the game open. Good teams find ways to win and with Leon Washington returning not one but two kickoffs for touchdowns the Seahawks found a way to win.
The game started off slow for both teams as the game was scoreless in the first quarter. Seattle facing a 3rd and 5 from the seven yard line elected to call a toss sweep to Justin Forsett which was blown up for a loss. The Seahawks had to settle for a field goal. The first of many wasted opportunities. On the Seahawks next possession Matt Hasselbeck found Deion Branch for a 41 yard touchdown. After San Diego had challenged the play it was ruled a fumble out of the end zone. It was the correct call as Branch had fumbled the ball before crossing the pylon and the ball had squirted out of bounds for a touch back so Seattle still remained up just 3-0.
The Seahawks moved the ball on their next possession this time resulting in a Matt Hasselbeck touchdown strike to John Carlson for 9 yards to make the game 10-0. On the ensuing kickoff Seattle had forced a fumble. With just 12 seconds remaining in the half and Seattle facing a 3rd and 1 from the two yard line and no timeouts the Seahawks called a quarterback draw to the aging Matt Hasselbeck who was stuffed. He didn't make the first down so the Seahawks couldn't spike the ball and didn't get the field goal unit out in time so the score remained just 10-0 at halftime.
The second half began with Leon Washington taking the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. Washington who had made the pro bowl in 2008 with the Jets as a return man gives the Seahawks another weapon. The return was the longest kickoff return in franchise history.
The Chargers offense started to get in a groove. Led by Phillip Rivers 455 yards passing the Chargers would cut the lead to 20-12. The Chargers overcoming their own mistakes and penalties finally drove down the field into Seattle's red zone. Rivers hit Gates for a 12 yard touchdown to make the score 20-18, on the two point try Rivers hit former Boise State standout Legedu Naanee for the two point conversation to tie up the game.
With a little over six minutes left in the game and the Seahawks offense lacking any punch the Seahawks had to find a way to score again. On the ensuing kickoff Leon Washington ran it back again for a touchdown 99 yards. That was his second kickoff touchdown of the game which already makes him the franchise record holder for most kickoff return touchdowns in Seahawks history.
The Seahawks had to hold the Chargers on two red zone attempts. The first time Roy Lewis batted a ball away on 4th down. The second attempt with 20 seconds to go in the game Earl Thomas the first round pick had his second interception of the game off Rivers to secure the win.
This is a game the Seahawks found a way to win. The Chargers turned the ball over five times and were flagged another 11 times. The Chargers once again much like the Kansas City loss found a way to lose to an inferior team. The Seahawks are now 2-1 and head off to St.Louis(1-2) who they have beaten 10 consecutive times.
- Seahawks have a dangerous special teams this year. With Leon Washington returning kicks(4 for 253, 2 TD's, 63.3) and Golden Tate returning punts(3 for 44, 14.7 avg)you can see why the Seahawks traded away Josh Wilson. The big cry about losing Wilson was because of his special teams well with these two along with Butler and Forsett the Seahawks special teams is fine.
- The Seahawks pass defense is bad. For the second straight week they were shredded by the opposing quarterback. Luckily for the Seahawks they play six divisional games vs a rookie QB(Bradford), Derrick Anderson(bad) and Alex Smith(bad) along with games vs Josh Freeman, Jimmy Clausen(rookie), and any Raiders quarterback. Thats over half the schedule against young inexperienced quarterbacks or crappy quarterbacks.
- Last week I had complained that the Seahawks need to give Forsett more carries and they did. Forsett ran the ball 17 times while Washington had just one carry and Julius Jones didn't even play in the game.
- The Rookies are making an early impact on the season. Golden Tate every time he touches the ball he is capable of turning that into a big play. Earl Thomas is that play making safety that Seahawks have lacked since Kenny Easley in the 1980's. Cham Chancellor and Walter Thurmond have stepped up and played well in Nickel and Dime coverage situations. The Seahawks when they get 6th overall pick Russell Okung back could be a very impactful draft class if not the most impactful class in Seahawks history.
- I watched the game at Muggy's sports bar in Meridian, Idaho. For those who don't know Meridian is a short drive from Boise like less than 15 miles. It was a great atmosphere and each room had a separate game for the particular fan base. Since I had a long drive ahead I didn't have any drinks but it was fun watching the game with those fans.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Before I show you the email exchange between me and the dipshits known as Facebook Team I'll explain my picture. This situation sucks worse than a Turd Sandwich. This is just terrible. Its a shame Myspace fell apart because when Facebook had competition they couldn't act like a giant douche. So when I put it like that I'd still vote for the Turd Sandwich. I've very disgusted by this move and this will pretty much kill my blog. My blog had momentum on facebook but as a fan page it just won't be the same. I still hope you guys follow this blog as I'll continue to provide good thoughts. Spread the word and "Like" my blog on facebook and follow me on twitter please. Hopefully Twitter becomes popular amongst non celebs so I don't have to deal with this facebook non sense anymore.
Here was the Email Exchange:
Facebook Customer Support has received your inquiry. Stand by as we should be back with you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our 'Help' page (http://www.facebook.com/help.php). You'll find lots of information about Facebook as well as many answers to your questions. Check out the FAQs on the Support page too.
Thanks for contacting Facebook and enjoy the site!
-Facebook Customer Support"
"Its hard to enjoy this site when this is the 2nd time I've been deleted. I didn't use any curse words on my page. I'm not abusive to anyone. I have 1,200 friends but so do most people. Today I added some friends because they were all suggested to me from other people. I get in auto pilot where the friend suggestions from another friend and friend request are on the same thing. I just click accept on all of them.
I'm a real person who has a real blog that you can check out. Please don't disable this one like you did again. I'm honestly begging you guys to give me my page back. This is a way to express my blog its how I"ve met so many great people to do interviews with and please this is the 2nd time you've done this to me."
Fake accounts are a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited, as is maintaining multiple profiles on the site. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.
Thanks for your understanding,
The Facebook Team"
I love the thanks for your understanding. Not only are they ruining my blog but they are also thanking me. Next time kick someone in the balls then say thanks for understanding. See how they respond?
Here was my response to that shitty email.
"First of all you guys are a joke. Who was I impersonating? Nobody. My name is Seattle Sportsblog. All famous people have that yet you guys have a stick so far up your own ass its not even funny.
You guys delete me despite the fact I was causing zero harm to anyone and provided a service for people to discuss sports. Nevermind the fact that people were adding people like crazy off my friends page still get to keep their page is a friggin joke!
So enjoy your piss poor paying jobs as I don't give a shit anymore. Thanks for ruining my up and coming blog. But I'm sure you'll brag how you make facebook so "enjoyable" just don't forget to tell everyone how you delete so many people for no damn reason!
P.S. When my time on Earth is gone, and my activities here are past; I want that they should bury me upside down, so YOU can kiss my ass."-Bob Knight "
Was I a bit harsh? Yes I was but screw it! I'm tired of them pushing me around and I'm going to voice my opinions on the matter. This is crap and they know it! Its just a matter of time before Twitter or some other thing takes over. "The Social Network" is my new Starbucks I'll avoid it like I would avoid a hooker if I had no condoms. I won't even waste my time on that stupid movie when its out on netflicks.
Keep reading my blog guys and I'll have some posts up after this weekend. I'm going to Boise this weekend to experience college gameday!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
For the second time in many of months my facebook profile was deleted. This time my profile was deleted like several others because for whatever reason Facebook doesn't believe in the right to express yourself.
Despite not swearing or bashing on people I'm deleted along with another big time sports blog in Seattle Sports Net. I had over 1,200 friends on facebook and now must start all over again.
I have created a "fan" page on facebook for you guys to still follow me and get updates. Just go under "local business" and type in Seattle Sportsblog and you should be able to find it.
Here is a link to it http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-Sportsblog/148771848491281#!/pages/Seattle-Sportsblog/148771848491281
Anyways if you want to add my personal facebook you can as well my name is Kris Shellenbarger and I hope you continue to read my blog.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Denver Broncos continued their home opener winning streak which dates back to 2000 with a 31-14 win over their old AFC west rival the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks road woes continue. Seattle hasn't won a road game outside their division since 2007 at Philadelphia. The Broncos kept the chains moving and capitalized on the Seahawks turnovers.
The Seahawks began the game moving the ball down the field at will on the Broncos. The Seahawks drove down the field only to have some unfortunate breaks go against them. Hasselbeck hit Butler who couldn't quite score to set up a 1st and goal from the one yard line. Then Stacy Andrews had a bad false start. Justin Forsett from six yards out ran for the touchdown but it was called back due to a questionable holding call on Sean Locklear. The Seahawks facing a 2nd and goal from the 20 yard line were forced to pass. Hasselbeck was then intercepted by Champ Bailey. This would be the first of many mistakes by the Seahawks.
After the Seahawks forced a Broncos punt rookie Walter Thurmond from Oregon muffed the punt. The Broncos capitalized on that mistake. Kyle Orton hit Eddie Royal for a 7 yard touchdown pass.
Matt Hasselbeck with his team trailing 14-0 tried to a hit an open Jon Carlson but Brian Dawkins the former pro bowler intercepted the pass. Hasselbeck would throw three interceptions on the game with two being inside the 10 yard line. The Seahawks were trailing 17-0 at halftime.
In the second half Hasselbeck hit Ben Obomanu for an 11 yard pass to cut the lead to 17-7. That would be the closest Seattle would get. Denver converted some more crucial third downs on the ensuing drive. The Broncos at one point were 14 of 18 on third downs. Orton on the screen pass to Knowshon Moreno turned into a 45 yard pass which resulted in a Moreno touchdown.
Electing to pass up the field goal that would have cut the lead to 24-10, Pete Carroll decided to go for it on 4th and 2. Instead of throwing a short route the play was for Deion Branch in the back corner of the endzone who was covered by Champ Bailey which Bailey deflected the pass ending Seattle's hopes of winning.
The Broncos would tack on another touchdown to make the game 31-7 when Orton hit rookie wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a 21 yard catch. Hasselbeck would rush for a 20 yard touchdown scoring a rushing touchdown in back to back weeks.
Kyle Orton had a great game moving the chains. Orton was 25 of 35 for 307 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Matt Hasselbeck struggled going 20 of 35 for 233 yards passing with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Seahawks fall to 1-1 and will host the San Diego Chargers(1-1) next week at Qwest field. The Seahawks if they wish to make the postseason must learn to win on the road. Since 2007 the Seahawks are now 1-15 on the road vs non division opponents.
- Golden Tate is really good. The Seahawks have found themselves a punt returner. First time he touched the ball as a Seahawk he busts a punt return 63 yards. Then on his first reception with his YAC turned the play into a 52 yard catch. The Seahawks had just two plays of over 40 yards last year from their receivers in 2009.
- The Seahawks defense has to do a better job of getting off the field. The Broncos were 14 of 20 on third downs and at one point 14 of 18.
- Justin Forsett just isn't getting enough carries. For the second straight week now Forsett has averaged over 5 YPC yet hasn't received 10 carries. Every wasted carry you give Julius Jones needs to go to Forsett.
- Deon Butler starting to emerge as a go to guy hauling in 5 receptions for 50 yards. He had just 15 receptions last year but has 6 this year already.
- Mike Williams was held to just one reception. One catch for 7 yards was all he had. Going up against a Champ Bailey will do that for you.
- The Broncos haven't lost a home opener since 1999 when the Seahawks were still in the division and Bill Clinton was president. I was still in middle school as well.
Well hope you guys enjoyed my write up and observations. I didn't have as many obversations as it was my birthday so I was a bit occupied during the game.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The 8th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers(3-0) prove to be to much for the Washington Huskies(1-2) as they defeated the Huskies 56-21 in a game that set all-time lows for the Huskies. The Cornhuskers managed to throw more passing yards in this game than Washington and have three 100 yard rushers in this blowout. The Huskies showed they still have a long ways to go.
The game started off horrible for the Huskies. In front of a packed house that was roaring(which featured tons of Nebraska fans as well) the crowd was taken out of the game early. Jake Locker on his first pass attempt threw a pick intended for Devin Aguilar in double coverage. In just two plays the Nebraska offense scored a touchdown. Taylor Martinez connected with Mike McNeill for a 24 yard touchdown pass. That was Martinez' first career touchdown pass in college.
After a Washington three and out Nebraska got the ball again. Taylor Martinez hit Brandon Kinnie for a 55 yard reception on a missed tackle by Richardson. Martinez then scored on a 1 yard QB keeper. Nebraska with just less than five minutes into the game had led 14-0.
Washington then started to surprisingly run the ball on the next drive. Locker capped the drive with a great 7 yard touchdown scramble on 3rd and 5 from the 7. After both teams stalled for a few possessions Nebraska tacked on another score from Roy Helu from 8 yards out making the score 21-7.
The Huskies pinned the Cornhuskers down on the 6 yard line. Washington would then force a fumble recovered by Nate Fellner. Chris Polk would rush up the middle on a wide open hole for a 2 yard touchdown to make the game 21-14. That would be the closest the Huskies would get.
This was the key point in the game where Nebraska played smash mouth football with the Huskies. The Huskies were not ready for this. Nebraska ran the ball up the gut the entire drive with Martinez rushing for another 1 yard touchdown to make the game 28-14 at halftime.
In the 2nd half on the very first play Martinez busted a run on poor tackling angles for 80 yards. Nebraska then held a 35-14 lead. The Huskies in their last effort to make this a ball game would score quickly. Locker would rush for 33 yards then hit Jermaine Kearse who was wide open for 45 yards. That would be Lockers 4th and last completion of the game.
Nebraska then quickly turned this game into a blowout when Roy Helu ran for a 69 yard touchdown. That was followed up by Jake Locker throwing an interception which was ran back 31 yards for a touchdown. That put the game out of reach at 49-21.
Nebraska would tack on another score to make it 56-21 which was the final score. The 56 points were the most points ever allowed by the Huskies at home to a non conference game and tied California scoring 56 back in Tyrone Willinghams first year in 2005. The Huskies also allowed three guys to rush for 100 yards(Taylor Martinez 139 with 3 TD's, Roy Helu 110 with 2 TD's and Rex Burkhead 104 yards and 1 TD) and 383 yards on the ground. Jake Locker would finish the game 4 for 20 for just 70 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
The Huskies are now 1-2 heading into Pac-10 play. They must go 5-4 despite playing 5 road games in the Pac-10 to be bowl eligible. The Dawgs have a bye week next week then play at USC a place they haven't won at since 1996.
- Before the game I met legendary coach Tom Osborne. He won three national championships and besides Don James he is up there for me on college coaches I'd like to meet.
- Jake Locker looked like the freshman and Martinez looked like the senior. If someone told me that Martinez would throw for twice as many yards as Locker would I'd laugh and point at you. Martinez threw for 150 yards while Jake threw for 70.
- Much like Rex Ryan on Hard Knocks its one thing to do the talk but its another thing to back it up. Steve Sarkisian guaranteed that the dawgs will go unbeaten this year. He didn't need to say that and for a team much like the Jets who haven't done anything yet just makes you look stupid.
- Thumbs up to Nick Holt for being man enough to show up on the Husky Honks show and talk about the tough loss after the game. You can tell he was not happy with things but I'm still confident with him as our Defensive Coordinator.
- Thumbs down to Steve Sarkisian and Jake Locker. I know this was a terrible loss and in Lockers case his draft stock might have fallen but still talk to the media after the game. Snubbing Bob Rondeau and Damon Huard isn't cool.
- Kudos to Nebraska fans for making the trip there was a ton of red. Even when Nebraska routed the Dawgs the fans I was by as I was walking to my car didn't say anything or talk crap. I'm wishing you guys good luck in the future.
- On the way to the game passed several cars with Oregon license plates who were wearing Nebraska Red. I hope those were Nebraska fans and not Duck transplants in disguise.
- This was a career low in QB rating for Jake Locker and minus the game when he got hurt in the first quarter a career low in passing for Jake. The one plus was his running. This was the toughest defense he'll face all year but if you are truly the best player in college football you can't just lay a stink bomb like this.
- Huskies are still a long ways away from being good. Sarkisian unlike Willingham put great expectations on himself. The facts are this team was 0-12 two years ago. If the Huskies played Nebraska 100 times they would lose all 100 times regardless of how Jake plays. At times when the game was still close the Huskies had 5 true freshman on the field on defense and started a true freshman on the offensive line. Thats not a recipe for success. The facts are the Huskies are still a long ways away probably another two years before the Huskies can legimately compete and start winning most of their games. The Question is will the fans/university give Sark a fourth year if he has had losing/underwhelming seasons in his first three?
Well even though the Dawgs lost hope you enjoyed my write up. My phone broke, the Huskies got destroyed and my favorite player laid an egg. Sounds like a great start to my birthday doesn't it? lol. Well fans thanks for reading my blog guys.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I've never done this before but in this piece I sat down and conducted an interview with Husky great Lincoln Kennedy over the phone. Lincoln Kennedy is a former two time All-American offensive lineman while at the University of Washington. He has appeared in three rosebowls, won a national championship. Then in the NFL he went to the pro bowl and a Superbowl with the Oakland Raiders. He was also on NFL Network when it first began.
Seattle Sports Blog: Compare the games in Lincoln, Nebraska vs the night game in 1992?
Both games were electric. It was an electric game, prior to the Nebraska game I couldn't imagine how a small city could produce such a great atmosphere. I'm from a big city so flying into Lincoln, the biggest building in the entire region was the football stadium which was full of nothing but red and white. There was a sense of do we belong? Can we hold our own? This was a chance to answer those questions.
I was just blown away at the night game. This was the first night game I had ever played in at Husky Stadium. It was like God intended this day to be great any other day it might have been bad weather but today it was beautiful. Clear sky and blue sky you couldn't have asked for a more special place. You had the boats out there and the crowd was loud it was pretty special. After 1991, we had the swagger we knew what it took to win these type of games since we proved the year before we could do it. We lost some key players but we also returned plenty of talent from the year before plus a healthy Mark Brunell and Napoleon Kaufman was a year older.
SSB: Facing the 21-9 deficit in Lincoln, Nebraska where nobody wins ever how did you guys feel?
I felt we weren't out of it. I knew with our defense and our big hitters they would keep us in it. I was young and naive to realize how big of a moment this was and how hostile the crowd was. We could do some things on offense it's not like we were getting stuffed just stalling. We did a great job of overcoming adversity and penalties to regroup and get it all together. We just had to get over the initial crowd noise.
SSB: I noticed in 1991 you were right tackle and in 1992 you were the left tackle. Was that because Mark Brunell who is left handed was supposed to be the starting quarterback?
Yes that is correct I was always supposed to be the blind side. Then we were going to switch but with both quarterbacks they just left me at right tackle in 1991 anyways.
It helps to have a great teammate in Sup Malamala who was also first team all pac-10 at left tackle.
SSB: You have have had the great opportunity to play in a Rose bowl and a Superbowl can you compare the two? I know its Apples to Oranges.
The Rose bowl I went my sophomore year and we beat Iowa(46-34) and then with the rest of our team basically being sophomore's and juniors it was expected. I knew it was going to happen we all did that we'd be back my junior and senior season so it was more expectations than thrill.
Superbowl wow there is so much hype to begin with than a Rose bowl. Both are very special games. The Rose bowl you have the prestige of playing on January 1st but you share that day with other teams. The Super Bowl you are the only game on T.V. and everyone in the world is watching you. Its just so difficult to get into the Super Bowl. I didn't get there until late in my career and even after getting there it was hard getting back. The Super Bowl is just a special game.
SSB: You have been very fortunate to win a National Championship and then the AFC Championship. I know one was on paper and the other was on the field. Can you compare the two?
On the National Championship we felt that everything that we did from execution, to hitting to the scores that we put up that we did everything we could have done to win a National Championship.
At the Marriott Hotel the little wing off the side was all UW. From players, to boosters, to alumni, to reporters. After the win over #3 Michigan(34-14) nobody slept we all stayed up waiting to find out the results. I don't know what time it was but it was late in the morning when it was announced we were national champions. You could hear the entire hotel freaking out on every floor. People screaming outside their windows it was just crazy. It was crazier than the wildest frat party you could ever imagine that's how insane it was.
Winning the AFC championship was a feeling of relief. I was starting to doubt would I ever get to play in a Superbowl. I had been close a couple of times but when the clock ticked to zero I was just happy. Also helps celebrating in Oakland with the black hole craziness.
SSB: How was "sharing" the 1991 National Championship with Miami? And was the goal to win a national championship?
We wanted a crack at Miami. The system back then had bowl alignment so we couldn't play them. With that year and a few other situations after that(1994, Nebraska wins title, Penn state undefeated gets nothing. 1997, Nebraska and Michigan share) the BCS game was started because of that.
The National Championship never once came in discussion. The goal was to go to the Rose bowl and win the Rose bowl. We had to just worry about what we can control. We took things one week at a time. We had to because we got everyone best game. Look at California that was a close game(UW won at Cal 24-17, Cal was ranked 8th). We always won the close games under Don James. The only time we would lose is when adversity in the locker room hit. If it wasn't for that Billy Joe crap we go undefeated in 1992 I believe.
SSB: I don't want to get into the details as I respect Billy Joe greatly but can you describe the circus that surrounded the 1993 Rose Bowl? Instead of celebrating your third trip in a row you are answering non football related questions.
When all that junk came out I was even mentioned and I didn't do anything! When I recruited Napoleon Kaufman(all-time leading rusher in Washington Huskies history) all I had to do was stand with Sup[Malamala] and be like we are blocking for you. That was the selling point once he saw us two he was like oh it's done I'm going to Washington to run behind you two I'll never get touched.
We were all just confused as anyone else. They wanted to have a scapegoat and its sad that they would give in and allow such a great man to take the fall.
SSB: How did you guys all react to the aftermath of the sanctions?
When we all got wind of what was going down we were all upset that they would allow James to take the fall. I have no respect for Barbara Hedges(Then UW athletic director). I lost ties to the program because of that. How can you not admit the wrongs that you did and just pin it all on Don James?! That just isn't right at all.
Probation really hurts you. You have no idea how badly it hurts you. Oregon and Oregon State are successful because of our probation. It allowed all these schools to catch up. We not only lost scholarships but other schools were using that against us. When I played every Northwest kid went to UW. Don James had a fence around the Northwest. I said this under the Willingham years as well it just hurts you. Taylor Mays, Jonathan Stewart and Stephen Schilling would all be Washington Huskies instead of helping beat us.
Now all anyone cares about is the facility's. We had a weight room when I was there in 1991 and it was packed. Husky Stadium is a great place to play and the surrounding beauty you can't get anywhere else.
Its just a shame how they allowed such a great man to step down and take a fall. Hedges claims she did this to help the program but in fact she killed the program.
SSB: How was playing for the man you obviously have a ton of respect for Don James?
He had a funny way of getting the best out of you. First of all unless you were one of the main players like a senior captain he never talked to you. He coached you through his coaches. It was weird because I'm used to some one on one coaching from a head coach but he was very distant from you. At first you wonder why you would ever play for him but when you are older you realized why. His methods worked and he demanded a lot from us.
He was a little guy but he demanded fear. I'm a big guy and he scared me. He demanded fear. He was like the principal at school. If he was talking to you or you were called in his office it was never good. That means you screwed up and you were going to get your butt chewed out.
He had a great system all three phases of the game were stressed. We could score a touchdown on offense, score on an interception. One year it was Beno returning punts for a touchdown(Beno Bryant led the Nation in punt return yards in 1990) or in 1991 with Napoleon Kaufman on kickoffs. We had great hitters and great speed and you add it all up the sky was the limit.
SSB: Now I heard Don James coached from the Tower how intimidating was that?
He always saw everything. The tower was right in the middle so he could see every mistake you made. The worst was when he'd get really angry and come down the tower you didn't want to see him do that. If he ran down the tower we had to start practice all over again. We would start at the goaline and start our jog then our stretch and start all over.
These kids are spoiled now a days with the 20 hour a week practice rule. A couple of times James came down and we had to start all over. One practice we started at 3 p.m. and didn't get done til 9 p.m. because we had to start all over. It was terrible but it made it made us pay attention to details more.
SSB: Last question Lincoln when you were a freshman did you guys know that you were going to make history at Washington? I mean your class featured you, Dave[Hoffmann], Mark[Brunell] and even Steve[Emtman] was supposed to be a senior.
To be honest with you no I didn't. My redshirt freshman year we couldn't beat anyone(went 6-5). We lost WSU and I think Oregon came into our house and beat us as well. College football sucked that year, the coaches kicked our butts all year long as they weren't used to a season like that. I remember Jon Volpe of Stanford running up and down on us and that was just embarassing.
Then it just came down to Steven, Dave and myself saying to ourselves this is our future. This is not the way we want to have our college careers be where we are just average. Lets do something about it and work our tails off.
SSB: Then the next year vs Oregon State you put in Donald Jones and won that game. Went on to beat Florida and shut down this guy named....Emmitt Smith and the rest is history as they say.
Looking back its funny how that worked out. During recruiting I came to Washington because they were the only school who let me play defense. I came in with Emtman and Mike Lustyk. Well the defense had changed to a quicker defense and they told me to switch. It was either I don't play or I switch to offensive line.
I switched the offensive line and it worked out. During that run of three straight Rosebowls we were all spoiled. Jose the equipment guy who still works there started in 1989 so he just figured we would do it every year.
Its crazy in my years at Washington I spent every December in LA(1989-played in Anaheim vs Florida, 1990-1992 Rosebowl).
SSB: Hey Lincoln I'm going to the Nebraska game this Saturday are you going?
No I live in Arizona I will not be going to the game. I went to the ASU game last year and I'll be going to the Arizona game this year.
SSB: Is there anything special going on next year for your guys 20th anniversity(I actually slipped and said 10, its been 20 already?) of the National Championship?
I haven't heard anything from the school. We have all gotton together and we'll be up there don't worry. We have something planned amongst ourselves and we'll be there.
SSB: Well Lincoln that sounds great and thanks for the interview I appreciate it
No problem and thanks for the interview I really enjoyed it and go Dawgs!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
When the 8th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers come to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies it will bring back memories to the 1990's when both programs were at their peaks. The Huskies took on the Cornhuskers during their prime run in the early 90's and then they squared off again during the Cornhuskers prime run. In the 90's these schools were often ranked in the top 10 and you would always find their games on ABC. The schools have faced off 7 times previously with the results being 3 wins for Nebraska, 3 wins for Washington and 1 tie. With all due respect to those earlier games I'm going to focus on the games that were played in the 1990's. Just like this Saturday this game will feature a top 10 ranked team. In the 1990's in three of the four games both teams were ranked in the top 10.
September 21, 1991: #4 Washington(1-0) at #9 Nebraska(2-0) This was the defining game of the season for the Huskies. Going into the 1991 season the Huskies were the defending Rosebowl champs and finished the previous year ranked 5th in the nation after defeating Iowa in the Rosebowl 46-34. The expectations were high for the Huskies then the spring game happened. Rosebowl MVP Mark Brunell busted his knee in the game. He was expected out for the season. Highly touted recruit but just a sophomore Billy Joe Hobert would take over as quarterback for the 1991 Huskies.
The Huskies began the season by thrashing Pac-10 rival Stanford Cardinal 42-7 on the road. The Huskies knew though this wasn't Stanford. This was Nebraska in Lincoln where nobody wins. It was a 5 p.m. PT kick off on ABC. The crowd was rocking as this was a huge game for both teams. Nebraska had something to prove as well. Going into the game the question was could Tom Osborne win the big game? He had never won fewer than 9 games at Nebraska to that point but hadn't beaten a top 10 opponent in over 3 seasons.
This game featured the nations top rushing defense from 1990 in the Huskies and the nations top rushing offense from 1990 in the Huskers. The Huskies gave up a long touchdown run to Derek Brown found themselves trailing at halftime 14-9. Then Beno Bryant set up near the 10 yard line to return a punt. He fumbled the punt at the 1 yard line. Setting up a Derek Brown touchdown to make the score 21-9. The crowd was pretty loud at that point in the ball game.
"It was an electric game, prior to the Nebraska game I couldn't imagine how a small city could produce such a great atmosphere. I'm from a big city so flying into Lincoln, the biggest building in the entire region was the football stadium which was full of nothing but red and white. There was a sense of do we belong? Can we hold our own? This was a chance to answer those questions," recalled two time all american offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy.
"It was by far the loudest stadium I had ever played in. We had to use hand signals because we could not hear Billy in the huddle," reflected by two time all Pac-10 wide receiver and 1991 Pac-10 offensive player of the year Mario Bailey. On facing a 21-9 deficit Bailey recalled "We never sulked ever."
"I felt we weren't out of it. I knew with our defense and our big hitters they would keep us in it. I was young and niave to realize how big of a moment this was and how hostile the crowd was. We could do some things on offense it's not like we were getting stuffed just stalling. We did a great job of overcoming adversity and penalties to regroup and get it all together. We just had to get over the intial crowd noise," recalled Kennedy.
That's when the season changed forever. Up until that point the telecast and the fans were focusing on who was missing at quarterback in Mark Brunell but in the next 20 minutes everyone would learn the name Billy Joe Hobert. The Huskies had just 5:32 left in the 3rd quarter trailing on the road in front of 76,304 sea of red in Nebraska.
After the Huskies had a touchdown pass from Hobert to Orlando McKay taken away they were facing a 3rd and 27 from the Nebraska 49. Hobert felt outside pressure and stepped and ran for 19 yards to set up a 4th and 8. Then offensive coordinator who raced back to the booth called a perfect play call. He called three receivers to run straight down the field and for Orlando McKay to go underneath for a first down. It was a terrific pass from Billy Joe. On the next play Beno Bryant busted a run 15 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 21-16.
The Huskies after forcing a three out led by Steve Emtman and Dave Hoffmann. The Huskies marched 69 yards in just 6 plays. Hobert found McKay with an 8 yard strike to make it 22-21. Hobert was feeling it at that point. He was pumped up and gestering and oozing of confidence. The late great Jamie Fields forced a fumble giving UW the ball again.
The Huskies marched again in six plays with Hobert rushing for his 2nd touchdown of the game giving him three total touchdowns. The Huskies now lead 29-21. The game was put away once and for all. The Huskies on their own 19 called a draw to Jay Berry on a 3rd and 12. Berry made a tackler miss and was off the races scoring 81 yards. As the Huskies were celebrating Keith Jackson had said "That was the sound of the door slamming shut." The Huskies led 36-21.
"When Jay Berry busted that the whole sideline was freaking out. It was such a great feeling watching him run down the sideline knowing we were going to win," reflecting superbowl champion and Husky great defensive lineman D'Marco Farr.
The Huskies would go on to win 36-21 having scored 27 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Huskies amassed 618 yards of total offense. The Huskies had two 100+ yard rushers in Beno Bryant rushing for 139 yards on just 17 carries and a touchdown. Jay Berry had 110 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Billy Joe Hobert was 23 of 40 passing for 283 yards and a touchdown plus two rushing touchdowns.
This was a huge win for the Huskies to walk into Lincoln and come out with the win. As Mario Bailey recalled "Beating Nebraska in Nebraska was the signal to our team that we could and would win the national championship." He also described his quarterback Billy Joe Hobert as simply a winner.
"In 1991, we started off ok but were surprised by a couple new formations they had. We always felt we were much more physical on defense than anyone we played. Although the Huskers were tough as nails....our hammers were bigger. We played smart and wore them down. We overcame a couple turnovers and really owned the last quarter and a half. This is all off of memory, but how can you forget such a great experience. Both my German Grandfathers were from Nebraska and were at the game.....they were proud men and it made me feel great. My brother Steve was a redshirt and got to come on the trip too because he had such a great week of practice. The whole thing couldn't have been better," recalled two time all american middle linebacker Dave Hoffmann.
"It was very loud in Lincoln. I remember walking off the field at half time and having sodas and waters being dumped and thrown at us by their fans. You actually had to walk through a roped off area to get from the locker room and the field.... Screaming fans were just a few feet away. I was thinking this place is nuts! They just poured fuel onto the fire. We came out and hit 'em the mouth. Walking off the field after the game we were met with cheer and applause. Many of those cheering were wearing red and white. I think we earn their respect," stated Shane Pahukoa remembering back. Pahukoa was the starting safety on that team and would enjoy some years in the NFL.
"I just remember the hostile crowd and the blinding sea of red (1991). We had to walk through their concession lines at half time.........we were boo'ed and talk about so bad. All in the spirit and passion of the game however, but man were we pissed off to the highest of pisstivity! I had just fumbled a punt on our end of the field and then came a Nebraska touchdown. I think we were losing 21-6 at half. I looked around the locker room and saw a "Sense of urgency" not panic! The coaches came to speak to us and I saw nothing but confidence. That's when I knew we had something special at the Dub! Steve and the defense shut the Cornhusker offense down and Billy Joe was like a surgeon out there. Our offensive line was incredible. I don't believe Billy was touched after the 2nd Quarter. Finally, J-Barry pop a 82 yard run which was like "Poetry in motion" the beauty of that run and Orlando Mckay sprinting 82 yards to shield Jay the rest of the way.............WOW, THEY DON'T MAKE EM' LIKE THAT ANYMORE! Or do they..."HINT"!" reflected by starting running back Beno Bryant who was a highlight film sensation.
The Huskies would finish this season ranked #1 in the coaches poll, #2 in the AP and would share a National Championship. They would also win their second straight Rosebowl highlighted by Mario Bailey's Heisman pose.
September 19th, 1992: #12 Nebraska(2-0) at #2 Washington(2-0) This big game marked the first time since 1985 that Husky Stadium would be played under the lights. The defending national champions were playing in a prime time game on ESPN. This game was also on my birthday. Nebraska wanted to get some revenge on the Huskies after blowing the game the year before.
"I was just blown away at the night game. This was the first night game I had ever played in at Husky Stadium. It was like God intended this day to be great any other day it might have been bad weather but today it was beautiful. Clear sky and blue sky you couldn't have asked for a more special place. You had the boats out there and the crowd was loud it was pretty special. After 1991, we had the swagger we knew what it took to win these type of games since we proved the year before we could do it. We lost some key players but we also returned plenty of talent from the year before plus a healthy Mark Brunell and Napoleon Kaufman was a year older," recalled two time all american Lincoln Kennedy.
There was some new faces for the Huskies as Mario Bailey, Orlando McKay, Ed Cunningham and Aaron Pierce had graduated on offense. On defense the Huskies also had to replace graduates Dana Hall, Shane Pahukoa, Donald Jones and most importantly lost Steve Emtman who had left early to be the #1 pick overall in the NFL draft. Ask to fill in his shoes were D'Marco Farr and Mike Lustyk. They were facing what Tom Osborne had described as his greatest offensive line he ever had.
"Individually this was the pinacle of my career. The year before my job was easy, just sit on the sidelines watch Steve Emtman dominate then come in and be a role player. This year Steve wasn't there anymore it was on me and Mike Lustyk. Steve was like a big brother to me and he wasn't there anymore so it was my turn. I was also blessed to have the greatest defensive line coach in Randy Hart. Randy always had us well prepared for the games and it was great playing for Randy.It was always a line of succession back then and this was my turn," recalled defensive tackle D'Marco Farr.
Farr's thoughts on the game, "The atmosphere was great. It was a night game and the crowd was amazing I couldn't believe how loud our crowd was that game. Going into the game I was a bit intimated because Steve was gone so it was on me. I also had to face a tough Nebraska offensive line which featured future NFL hall of famer offensive guard Will Shields. He was a great player and it was a great challenge. I felt our defense played really well that day."
The game was a defensive struggle to start the game off. With Nebraska having the ball on their own six-inch line with the crowd going crazy they decided to have quarterback Mike Brandt drop back and pass. Tommie Smith on a safety blitz came in untouched and just smashed Brandt into the end zone turf giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the 2nd quarter the Huskies erupted for three touchdowns. Napoleon Kaufman had a long run setting up a 1 yard touchdown run and Beno Bryant who hadn't played in the first two wins over Arizona State on the road and Wisconsin at home scored on a 1 yard touchdown run. Then right before halftime leading 16-7 Billy Joe Hobert had hit former high school teammate Joe Kralik for a long touchdown catch which Kralik had to dive at the back end of the of the end zone. That was set up by an interception by Walter Bailey. Eric Bjornson who had served as the backup quarterback in the 1991 Nebraska game had 3 receptions for 72 yards. He was moved to receiver due to graduation and later moved to tight end in the NFL.
"The following year was fabulous! To see Nip run (look so fast) in black shoes was incredible. The offense line dominated the Cornhuskers at the FIRST EVER night game in Husky Stadium. The Cornhuskers were to have a One-Two punch that year, however we still had the stifling defense whom I loathed to compete against Monday thru Thursday! The crowd was so loud I sometimes had to focus extremely to hear the calls. The most interesting thing about the game was that we knew what Nebraska was going to do before they did. Our coaches had us well prepared from SPECIAL TEAMS down to how they tied their shoes. It was always like that! I will always remember those days......and most importantly that first night! U don't come in our home and leave without being scrapped and bruised. Most importantly..........BEAT THE HECK UP!" recalled senior tailback Beno Bryant.
"People might not have realized that game was when Jim Lambright started a new era in college football. Lambright always stressed to us to get the second quarterback in the game. Well we had knocked the quarterback out of the game. They had brought in Tommie Frazier. You can tell even though he was just a freshman that he was a stud. He was unbelievable and he was better than the first string quarterback," recalled Farr.
The Huskies would go on to win this game 29-14 and on that following Monday would rise to #1 in the AP poll. The Huskies would run their winning streak to 22 games before falling to Arizona. The Huskies were 8-0 at the time. The Huskies would win the Pac-10 and go to the Rosebowl for the third straight year. The Cornhuskers were on the verge of going on a run themselves. The next season Nebraska led by Tommie Frazier who played in the 4th quarter of this game would play for the national championship. Then in 1994 and 1995 they would win the national championship.
September 20th, 1997: #7 Nebraska(2-0) at #2 Washington(2-0) In another big game for both schools which was featured on ABC. The Huskies fresh off of killing #19 BYU on the road and beating up San Diego State at home were taking on the big boys. The Huskies had returned most of their team from 1996 which finished 2nd in the Pac-10 and went 9-3. The Cornhuskers featured future NFL pro bowl running back Ahman Green and Scott Frost who had defeated the Huskies in 1994 when he was at Stanford.
The Huskies found themselves in the hole quickly. Led by Scott Frost rushing for two long touchdowns the Huskies were trailing at home 21-0. Making things even worse was when future NFL Superbowl champion Grant Wistrom injured sophomore phenom quarterback Brock Huard. The team had to turn to true freshman quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo found Pathon early and often. Pathon would finish the game with the 9th best receiving game in NCAA history to this point with 195 yards receiving. Tuiasosop would find Cam Cleeland for a touchdown right before halftime to make it 21-7.
"The 1997 game at home was a huge game. We were both ranked in the top 5 and both teams had great athletes all over the field. I remember struggling with both of their defensive ends. Grant Wistrom ended up rolling up Brocks ankle after Brock got rid of the ball on one play and Marcus had to come in I believe. That was a tough loss against a really good football team and was a momentum changing game for us," recalled former three year offensive line starter Tony Coats.
In the third quarter Tuiasosopo would find senior fullback Mike Reed for a short score to make the game 21-14. The Huskies crowd was loud at that point. Then Jim Lambright the head coach at the time decided to onside kick the ball despite UW having all the momentum. Nebraska recovered the ball and would score a field goal. The Cornhuskers would tack on another field goal and win the game 27-14.
Former Pac-10 defensive player of the year Jason Chorak reflects on the Nebraska game. "Yes a big game think we were Number 1 and they(big red) had a great team. Brock went down and Marcus came in the game and lit it up. Shows that if you just play the game at a high speed you can do things. The whole game they ran away from me and rolled the QB away from me out coached and schemed that game."
The difference in the game was rushing. Nebraska had held first team all Pac-10 running back Rashaan Shehee to just 43 yards rushing. Nebraska's Ahman Green and Joel Makovicka rushed for 129 yards each. The bright spot was the passing game of Marques Tuiasosopo who passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
Nebraska used this win to roll the rest of the season to win a share of the National Championship with Michigan. Osborne had rid himself of that can't win the big one label by winning three national championships in a four year period. He would retire at the end of the season.
The Huskies remained in the top 10 most of the season and were 7-1 at one point. Then Shehee went down and the Huskies finished the regular season losing their last three games. The Huskies despite being ranked in the top 10 all year long finished the year just 8-4. "If we had good coaches 96 and 97 would of been a lot more different than what was," reflecting by Jason Chorak.
September 26th, 1998: #8 Washington(2-0) at #2 Nebraska(3-0) The Huskies were supposed to be in a rebuilding season having lost 13 guys to the NFL. The defending national champions Nebraska with a new coach Frank Solich also lost some key people. The Huskies began the year with a miracle win over 8th ranked Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona.
This was another big game on ABC which featured ESPN's game day crew.Brock Huard decided to come back this season after flirting with the idea of going into the NFL draft. This game was a joke for Husky fans. Which appeared to be the theme for the Huskies in the mid 1990's they Dawgs got blown out on the road 55-7.
"The 1998 game in Lincoln I went in much better prepared for both mentally and physically. Unfortunately we just couldn't match up against them my Senior year. We lost 55-7 I think and had a standing ovation from the crowd as we left the field. One of the most humiliating feelings I've ever felt leaving that field," reflecting offensive lineman senior captain Tony Coats.
The Huskers ran for 434 yards on the ground led by 146 by DeAngelo Evans. The Huskies were held to just 273 yards of offense. This was a humiliating loss for the Dawgs. This was when Husky nation had finally turned on Jim Lambright.
After finishing the year with a 6-6 record and a blowout loss to Air Force with the Oahau bowl Lambright was fired. The Cornhuskers finished the year 9-4 and suffered a home loss to Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams for the first time since the 1991 Washington Huskies had beat them.
This Saturday once again a top 10 team will be playing in this game. Nebraska appears to be back to where they belong with a running quarterback in Martinez. The Huskies meanwhile have a chance to make a statement that they are back. If the dawgs win this Saturday they could find themselves in the rankings. This game is also huge for Jake Locker and his heisman chances.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Seattle Seahawks behind Matt Hasselbeck and timely interceptions defeated the 49ers 31-6 at Qwest Field. The Seahawks who made more moves than any other NFL team in the past season debut 27 new players to the roster. Nobody knew what to expect from the Seahawks who were supposed to be in a rebuilding season. Well someone must have forgot to tell that to Pete Carroll and company.
Seattle got off to a horrible start. Matt Hasselbeck throws an interception on his first possesion and I'm sure some in the stands were thinking put in Whitehurst. The 49ers then went down the field for a touchdown. Pete Carroll challenged the catch and was right Morgan did not have two feet in bounds. So the 49ers settled for a field goal to make the game 3-0. At the end of the first quarter the Seahawks had just 9 yards of offense while Alex Smith was 9 for 10 passing.
In the 2nd quarter is when the game changed dramatically. The 49ers had the ball inside the 10 yard two times and scord just 3 more points. The Seahawks who have been stuffing Frank Gore all game long. Gore was held to 38 yards on 17 carries(2.2 YPC). The 49ers despite drafting two offenslve lineman in the first round couldn't pick up those key 3rd and shorts. On 4th and 1 the 49ers called a beautiful play action pass which was wide open only Smith threw the ball high. Had Smith completed that pass the 49ers take a 10-0 lead. Later in the 2nd quarter up 3-0 the 49ers had the ball on the 2 yard line and were facing a 4th and 1 but a delay of game penalty so the 49ers had to settle for a field goal. The 49ers had the ball three times inside the 10 yard line and came away with just 6 points.
Momentum had swung Seattle's way. The 49ers had given the Seahawks and the 12th man life. Hasselbeck started to hit some passes as Seattle determined to ditch the running game. Hasselbeck would hit Mike Williams for a key 35 yard pass which was Williams first NFL catch since 2007. Williams who had played under Carroll is looking to make a comeback in the NFL. Hasselbeck kept the ball on a boot leg and ran it in for a 1 yard run that won't make fans think he was Michael Vick. It still counts the same.
The very next possesion Alex Smith threw an interception to Jordan "Big Play Babs" Babineaux who returned the pass 20 yards. Babineaux who was cut earlier this week then resigned only to take a pay cut had a very effective game collecting 8 tackles along with that interception. Hasselbeck then hit 2nd year wide receiver Deon Butler for a 13 yard touchdown pass. That was Butlers first career touchdown. The Seahawks despite being dominated at halftime led 14-6.
The second half the Seahawks continued that momentum with Alex Smith throwing another interception to Marcus Trufant. Trufant ran the interception 32 yards for a touchdown. The Seahawks get another stop on the 49ers and get the ball back. Hasselbeck was feeling it at one time going 10 of 11. He hit Deion Branch for a 3 yard touchdown pass. Hasselbeck showing everyone he still is the best quarterback in the division.
The Seahawks had lead at the end of the third quarter despite their leading rusher being Julius Jones with 8 yards rushing. Thats what happens when you have a quarterback of Hasselbecks calibar. Hasselbeck finished the day going 18 of 23 for 170 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and another touchdown rushing. His counterpart Alex Smith entering his 6th season with the team was 26 of 45 passing for 225 yards and 2 interceptions.
At the end of the day the Seahawks were victorious over the 49ers who many had predicted to win the division. The Seahawks overcame a bad start and with a swarming defense handed Pete Carroll his first NFL win since 1999.
- The Seahawks are going to be a hard team to run on. In preseason they had success against Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson. Today they limited Frank Gore to just 37 yards rushing and 2.2 YPC. The defense starts basically three defensive tackles in Red Bryant at defensive end, Brandon Mebane and Collin Cole. With LeRoy Hill being suspended the Seahawks would often play Tatupu and Hawthorne at the same time. If the Hawks continue to put teams in 3rd and long situations they should find success.
- Matt Hasselbeck when given time is still the best quarterback in the division. Alex Smith is not ready to take that from him. In fact that was the difference in the game. Both teams stopped the run and it was up to which quarterback could lead his team down the field. Hasselbeck in the redzone threw for two touchdowns and ran for one. Alex Smith threw one interception that led to a touchdown, another that was ran back for a touchdown and overthrew a fullback who was wide open near the goal line.
- Golden Tate the talented 2nd round pick wasn't even active for the roster. He couldn't crack the 45 man lineup. Apparently Williams, Branch and Butler are ahead of him. Obomanu was the 4th receiver due to his special teams work. Obomanu also made a nice first down catch.
- Aaron Curry is a defensive end. Almost all game Carroll utilizing Curry's talents lined him up at defensive end on 3rd downs and would often rush him on 2nd downs. The 4th pick overall might have to make a permanent change to defensive end.
- Former two time probowler(1998 and 1999) with the Seattle Seahawks Chad "the Snake" Brown raised the 12th man flag. Brown was the very first Seahawks jersey I ever bought back before the 1998 season began. I always liked Brown and he was a great outside linebacker who was a great leader. I always felt bad that Brown missed out on the Seahawks superbowl since he played with the Hawks from 1997-2004.
- Walter Jones didn't raise the 12th man flag. I'm curious to why a future hall of famer did not raise the 12th man flag the first game after his retirement. I thought this would have been the perfect time to have him raise the 12th man flag then unveil the #71 jersey in the rafters as no player will ever wear that jersey number again.
- Mike Williams gives the team plenty of options with his size. He is so tall teams can't play physical with him. Williams had 4 receptions for 64 yards but he also had two drops. Williams the former 10th pick overall in the 2005 draft is basically still raw in the NFL.
- The Seahawks shut out the Rams last season 28-0. The Seahawks dating back to 2003 are 6-2 in season openers. The Seahawks are also 7-1 in home openers.
Well guys hope you enjoyed my post game recap and observations. This is a great start to the season. The Seahawks if they had any shot at winning the division had to win this game given they were at home.
Seattle Sportsblog: I'm going to the Huskies game tomorrow. My prediction for the game is Huskies 41, Syracuse 20. I think Jake Locker and the offense explodes.Friday at 8:25pm
The Huskies behind Jermaine Kearse and Jake Lockers big day prevailed over the Orangemen 41-20 just as I had predicted on Friday night. The Huskies overcame a 10-0 early deficit and once the offense settled in there was no looking back.
The Huskies leading just 13-10 at halftime erupted in the second half. The Dawgs came out and scored in just 20 seconds when Jake Locker hit a simple 6 yard out to Jermaine Kearse which turned into a 57 yard touchdown pass. Later on in the quarter Locker would hit Kearse again for 28 yards and the touchdown.
Jermaine Kearse would end the game with 9 receptions for 179 yards with 3 touchdowns and not one of those grabs was on a long bomb which he is typically known for. With Kearse having a big day that allowed Aguilar to have a big game as well. Aguilar would have 7 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown to make the score 41-20.
Jake Locker looked very Heisman worthy today completing 22 of 33 passes for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns. In fact Locker looks like an NFL drop back quarterback. He very rarely runs and makes NFL throws across the field on out routes that can't be taught.
Overall it was nice the see the Huskies overcome adversity and come out with a win. This is the Dawgs first home opener win since 2007 when they defeated Boise State 24-10. The Huskies will get a good test these next two games with #8 Nebraska coming into two then in three weeks playing at #14 USC.
-Once again the special teams is making Husky fans groan. For the second straight week the Huskies defense has forced a three and out and the special teams has committed a dumb penalty which allowed the opposing offense to stay on the field. This week after a terrible kick off coverage that penalty cost the Huskies a touchdown as Syracuse took advantage of that mistake.
-Where has Jake Lockers running go? Locker had just 18 yards rushing on 4 carries. Last week he had just 29 yards on 11 carries. I've never seen Jake get tripped up by defensive lineman and that has happened at least three times this season.
-Jake Locker now dating back to last year has thrown for 10 touchdowns to zero interceptions in his last three games. Locker isn't as dangerous as he once was but he is more polished as a passer. He has proven before he can play well at home and is still learning. This is basically Lockers just 2nd year in his entire life of coaching(Sarkisian). In highschool he ran the wing-T and his 3 years under Willingham was a total waste.
-Chris Polk is still really good. Polk grinds away the tough yards finishing with 117 yards and a career long touchdown run of 52 yards. Chris Polk also fumbled the ball two times today one leading to a Syracuse touchdown. That can't happen next week.
- Erik Kohler made three bad penalties. He is also a true freshman and already starting which says several things. It shows you how talented him and Colin Porter(who also played) are. It also shows you how weak the rest of the offensive lineman are that two true freshman are taking snaps away from them. Don James once said a best time to play a freshman is when they are juniors. Having true freshman on the offensive line is a bold statement towards your older offensive lineman.
-The defense showed me something today. They allowed 20 points but 14 of those points were gifts. The defense dialed it up and were blitzing plenty of times including some corner blitzes. The defense has three sacks and missed on three other sacks. The defense had an interception and forced some fumbles and were all over the field. I also noticed Nick Holt has his corners right up on the receivers and leaves them on an island. That will create big plays but I'm glad the Dawgs have an agressive attacking defense.
-The Punt team is going to lose the Dawgs a game this year. So many times today a punt was almost blocked and the punts were straight line drives with zero hang time. I'm afraid Nebraska might block a punt for a touchdown or bust a punt for a touchdown.
-Traffic rant coming up. Okay guys the far left lane is for passing only! So in that lane unless you are passing somebody get over. So many times today people were putt putting along in the left lane. I even had a boat in the left lane it was horrible. It drives me nuts and its annoying. Okay rant over!
-Tailgating in September is great. I started off in the E1 lot then went to the Zone. At the Zone it was a great atmosphere and I think thats a great idea by UW fans. I must have seen every Syracuse fan there because they had nothing. I ran into Softy Mahler and knew the best way to get his attention was to mention how I'm the Seattle Sports Blog.
-Tailgating on the boats was a blast. I've never been out there and that was quite the experience. It was so hot out. I'm used to go to games in November where I'm adding on layers of clothes not pealing off layers.
-The crowd was great and loud like usual. My one complaint is on third downs everyone stand up and get loud. Its pretty terrible where I look like an ass for standing up on third downs and having people ask me to sit down. I of course sat down but was dissapointed.
-I wish Husky Stadium had actual seats like Qwest Field. The bleachers suck and its not fair for small people as they get their seats jacked. I also think it should be like an airplane rule if you are of a certain size you should have to buy two tickets.
-After the game I stopped by Azteca restraurent in the U district down the street from the QFC. The service was great, the food was great, the salsa was hot and spicy just how I like it. I recommend going there after games.
-No matter how old you get nothing beats going to the game with your Dad. He has taken me to games since I was 10 years old and now I'm repaying him the favor. I appreciate every moment talking to him about Husky Football
Well guys I hope you enjoyed my game experience and my observations. Take care guys I'm a little worn out.
Friday, September 10, 2010
This 2010 NFL season appears to be wide open like every other NFL season has in the past few seasons. With free agency, the draft, and most importantly in previous years the salary cap there are no longer dynasties. The New Orleans Saints are looking to become the first team to repeat since the 2003-2004 New England Patriots.
I'm not going to waste anyone's time discussing the possible lockout for the 2011 season. This preview will focus on this season only. In the following post there will be a run down on each division and then predictions will be posted on the bottom.
NFC East: The NFC East is the hardest division in all of football. This division offers four teams who could win the division title and nobody would be surprised. I'll start with the defending division champions the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys earned their first post season win since 1996 last year then was destroyed by the Vikings. The Cowboys return 20 of 22 possible starters and added rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant.
The Philadelphia Eagles made some major changes this offseason. They released Brian Westbrook and traded away franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb away. Trading McNabb away was big news. Trading him away in division to the Washington Redskins sent shock waves throughout the NFL. The Eagles are in a bit of transition with Brian Dawkins, McNabb, Westbrook, Kearse, and Jeremiah Trotter. Any Reid still remains with the ball club and has new quarterback Kevin Kolb. Kolb like Aaron Rodgers a few years ago has some big shoes to fill.
Speaking of the Redskins it appears every year they make a big move in the offseason. Trading a 2nd rounder to acquire McNabb was a giant move. The Redskins released Jason Campbell and fired failing head coach Jim Zorn after just two seasons. The Redskins hired two time superbowl winning head coach Mike Shannahan to run the team and coach the team. One thing to watch out for is the constant feud between Shannahan and high priced defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
The New York Giants have had a quiet offseason. Its weird that a team in a big market with a Superbowl MVP quarterback in Elli Manning and a Superbowl winning coach in Tom Coughlin. This team is quietly flying under the radar. The Giants will need another big year from the other Steve Smith. The Giants must find someone in the running game to step up as well look for Bradshaw to be that guy.
NFC South: This division has the reigning Superbowl champions New Orleans Saints. This division has developed a weird trend over the years. Since 2002 the first year these divisions were formed every team who has taken last place the year before has made the playoffs the following season. In fact with the exception of 2008(Atlanta made it as a wild card) the last place team would go on to win the division title the very next season. With that in mind it appears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make the playoffs. I think all trends come to an end at some point.
The New Orleans Saints still have a powerful offense and nobody in the NFL much less the NFC South is going to stop this offense. The Saints should become the first team in NFC South history to repeat as division champions. The Sean Payton-Drew Brees duo has scored more points in the history of the NFL than any other head coach-quarterback combination.
The only threat at winning the division crown from the Saints is the Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons for the first time in franchise history last season recorded back to back winning seasons. The Falcons were hurt last year with Matt Ryan banged up along with Michael Turner. This is a very good team but must improve on their 28th ranking against the pass to compete especially in this division.
The Carolina Panthers have finally ended the Jake Delhomme era. The Panthers still have a good offensive line. The Panthers still have the very dangerous Steve Smith at wide receiver. They were very fortunate to have someone of Jimmy Clausen's talent drop to them in the draft. The Panthers have a great running game in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. They could be a sleeper team.
Tampa Bay ended the 2008 season losing their last four games and costing themselves a shot at the playoffs. Then last year happened where they were disasterous. Trying to repeat the past they drafted defensive tackles with the 3rd pick overall and in the 2nd round as well. The Bucs season will hinge on how much Josh Freeman has developed.
NFC North: This division features two Superbowl contenders in the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. The Vikings are the two time defending champions and swept the Packers last season. The Packers lost a crazy wild card game last season and are a young team on the verge of breaking out.
The Minnesota Vikings when its all said and done have Brett Favre back. Favre had a career best season last year throwing for 33 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. He was also 40 years old which makes his season even more incredible. Most people forget about his great season and focus on the costly pick he threw in the NFC championship game. Thats a game that could haunt the Vikings into this season. The Vikings out played the Saints yet lost in Overtime. Then had to watch the Saints win the Superbowl. This year will be tough with Sidney Rice out for the first 9 games. Adrian Peterson is still an amazing running back and the Vikings still have a great pass rush.
The Green Bay Packers are the trendy team this season to pick to advance to the Supebowl. The problem is the Packers under Aaron Rodgers have never won a playoff game. The good news for the Packers is that Rodgers became the first quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons as a starter. The Packers-Vikings rivalry might be the most intense rivalry in football right now. With Favre going to the Vikings this went from a good rivalry to a hateful rivalry.
The Chicago Bears are hoping the magic of Mike Martz sparks the offense. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte had dissapointing season. Peter King of Sports Illustrated picked them to win the Superbowl last season. The Bears are still lacking a #1 wide receiver and the defense is still another year older.
The Detroit Lions seem to be a team that people are high on. The Lions are also just 3-37 in their last 40 games. The Lions have tons of young talent but still could be a year or two away.
NFC West: This is by far the worst division in all of football. The two time defending division champion Arizona Cardinals lost a ton of key players in the offseason. The 49ers appear ready to take the division.
The Arizona Cardinals lost Kurt Warner to retirement, traded away Anquan Boldin and released middle linebacker Dansby. Matt Leinart who was supposed to take over as the next starting quarterback was instead released. Derek Anderson the former probowl quarterback in 2007 coming off a disasterous season throwing 3 touchdowns to 10 interceptions takes over. The Cardinals hope to pound the ball behind Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. The Cardinals still have Larry Fitzgerald.
The San Francisco 49ers appear to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. The team has all the ingredients to be a successful football team. Run the ball well? check. Play good defense? check. Good offensive line? Check. Playmakers in the passing game? check. Playmakers on defense? check. Tough hard nosed football team? check. Good quarterback? undecided. Thats the only glaring weakness of the 49ers is former #1 overall draft pick Alex Smith. If Smith can finally materialize into that starting quarterback or at the very least be a game manager the 49ers can go deep this year.
Seattle Seahawks well just check out my 2010 season preview. They are in blowing up the team mode.
The St.Louis Rams have won just three games total the last two seasons. In fact the Rams have had the 2nd worst record in the NFL in 2007, 2008 and 2009 they finally achieved the worst record in the NFL. The Rams are a long shot to win this crappy division. This season will be about developing #1 pick overall Sam Bradford.
AFC East: This is an interesting division that features three teams who have made the playoffs in the past two seasons. The division features the hoody, the swear machine, the wild cat, and the checkdown.
The New England Patriots when Tom Brady is healthy have won the division every season with the exception of 2002. The Patriots not the Jets won the division title last year. The Patriots were one fluke catch away from 2007 being crowned as the greatest team in NFL history. This year Brady appears to be fully healthy. He also just signed a nice extension making him the highest paid player in NFL history. The Patriots still have Bill Bellicheck, Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker so they'll score plenty of points. The defense still appears a few years away. Holding the Oakland Raiders 2011 first round draft pick should help them in the future.
The New York Jets are a team everyone feels like they know so well. They had by far the best Hard Knocks. Revis is in camp and will be tested early facing the Ravens then Randy Moss. Every year Rex Ryan has been a coach his defenses have been ranked in the top 6 in the NFL. This year should be no different. The Jets were one game away from the Superbowl and with better production from second year quarterback Mark Sanchez they might kick the door down.
Miami Dolphins are an interesting team. They acquired Dansby on defense to shore up the defense. The Dolphins also traded for big play receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall just catches 100 passes regardless who his quarterback is. The Dolphins with Marshall and the wild cat will be a hard team to game plan for.
The Buffalo Bills have electric rookie runningback C.J.Spiller. Unfortunetly for the Bills they have no defense, no quarterback, no receivers. Their head coach hasn't coached in the NFL since the 90's. He was fired as an offensive coordinator last. Ralph Wilson appears to be setting the stage for a move to Toronto. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills so maybe they'll prove everyone wrong. Still haven't made the playoffs since the music city miracle in 1999.
AFC South: The Indianapolis Colts simply own this division. Peyton Manning just wins 12 games or more every season thats the bottom line. The only team who has ever dethroaned the Colts was the Tennessee Titans in 2002 and 2008.
The Colts head into this season as the heavy favorites to win the division. Manning simply is an amazing quarterback and although he tends to freeze up in the playoffs the regular season he rules. Manning just wins 12+ games every year and despite having a head coach who appears to be clueless on the sidelines the Colts lost just one game all last year when Manning finished the game(the Superbowl). The Colts despite all their success have just one championship but as long as Manning is there they'll always be on the short list of favorites.
The Texans are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in their history. The Texans have been that classic break out team for the past three seasons now. The Texans feature quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson. The Texans must learn to defeat the Colts if they want to win the division. The Texans are just 1-15 vs Peyton Manning and the Colts.
The Tennessee Titans in 2008 had a 13-3 record which was the best record in the AFC. After going one and done to the Ravens in the playoffs the Titans struggled last year. When Vince Young took over as starter the team rallied behind Young and finished the year 8-8 after starting off 0-6. Chris Johnson ran for over 2,000 yards last season. The Titans could be a team who is ready to bounce back.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have Maurice Jones-Drew at runningback. That is about the only positive. Jack Del Rio still has a job despite making the playoffs just twice in his coaching career. Look for Del Rio to be fired at seasons end.
AFC North: This division features a team who won the division title(Bengals), a team who won the superbowl just two years ago(Steelers) and a team who has won a road playoff game the last two playoffs(Ravens). The other team just acquired Mike Holmgren in the offseason as team president.
I'll start with the defending division champions the Cincinnatti Bengals. The Bengals were a tough defensive team who ran the ball behind former first round bust Cedric Bensen. The Bengals picked up Terrell Owens in the offseason to team him up with Chad Ocho Cinco. Carson Palmer hasn't really looked the same since that injury in the 2005 playoffs. The Bengals swept the division last year going 6-0. The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since 1990.
The Baltimore Ravens are the trendy team this year to make the superbowl from the AFC. Joe Flacco already has 3 road playoff wins. The Ravens are a tough hard hitting football team. They talk a ton of trash and back it up. The defense still features Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The offense finally has some stars in Ray Rice, Joe Flacco. They traded for Anquan Boldin, signed T.J.Houshmandzadeh and Donte Stallworth. The Ravens appear to have no weaknesses.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will start the year off with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger serving a 4 game suspension for being a moron in the offseason. How the Steelers respond in those 4 games should decide how the rest of their season goes. The Steelers are still a tough defensive team with a two time superbowl winning quarterback and a superbowl winning head coach.
The Cleveland Browns brought in quarterback Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace to replace Derrick Anderson and Brady Quinn. This team appears to lack talent and given Lebron James "the decision" this should make for a very long year for Cleveland sports fans.
AFC West: The San Diego Chargers have owned this division. The Chargers have won the division four years in a row under Phillip Rivers.
The Chargers appear to be lacking in talent unlike previous seasons due to hold outs from Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill holding out. The Chargers also let go the face of the franchise LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is replaced by rookie runningback Ryan Mathews from Fresno State. With Mathews and Rivers the Chargers should appeared to be the favorites still. The Chargers need to find a way to get over the hump and make a Superbowl. Seeing Drew Brees a former Charger hoisting the Lombardi trophy must have been hard.
The rest of the division hasn't really competed with the Chargers. I'll go with an interesting team the Denver Broncos. Josh McDaniel has ran off their franchise quarterback(Jay Cutler) and top player(Brandon Marshall). He has also traded three draft picks to trade up for Tim Tebow a player many believed would have fallen to them in the 2nd round. The Broncos appear to be headed towards another bad season. The Broncos have just one playoff win since John Elway retired.
The Oakland Raiders are finally saved from the JaMarcus Russell horrible experience. Jason Campbell is just average quarterback but compared to Russell he looks like Joe Montana. The Raiders still have a shut down corner in Nnamdi Asomugha who in one season allowed just a paltry 65 yards passing. The Raiders are hoping this is the year they break through and surprise some people.
The Kansas City Chiefs look good on paper. They have been drafting well the last few seasons and have plenty of young talent. Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel are the coordinators. When they were last coordinators together they won three superbowls. The Chiefs feature runningbacks Jamaal Charles who had more rushing yards than anyone in the 2nd half of the season besides Chris Johnson. The Chiefs are the biggest threat to dethroan the Chargers.
Now its on to the predictions hope you all enjoy.
Leon Neal: Washington Huskies runningback 1991-1995
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West: Oakland Raiders(sleeper)
Wild Card: San Diego Chargers and New York Jets
AFC Champion: New England Patriots
NFC East: Washington Redskins
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
Wildcards: Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers
NFC Champion: Minnesota Vikings
Supebowl Champion: Minnesota Vikings
Pinnin4Gold: Contributer to Seattle Sports Blog
New York Giants
NFC Wild Cards: Vikings, Atlanta
NFC Championship: Packers vs Cowboys
Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Cards: NY Jets, Tennessee
AFC Championship: Baltimore vs Colts
Super Bowl: Packers vs Ravens
Patton Richard: Contributer to Seattle Sports Blog
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
Wildcards: New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals
Jets at Ravens
Bengals at Patriots
Ravens at Chargers
Patriots at Colts
Ravens at Colts
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
Wildcards: Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings
Seahawks Record: 5-11
NFL Playoff Matchups:
Eagles at Saints
Vikings at 49ers
Eagles at Packers
Vikings at Cowboys
Packers at Cowboys
Superbowl: Ravens vs Cowboys
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers
NFL DMVP: Patrick Willis
NFL ROY: Jahvid Best
3 Bold Predictions: Detriot Lions win as many games as the Seattle Seahawks
Oakland misses the playoffs by tiebreakers
Kevin Kolb makes the pro bowl.
Seattlehawk94: Contributer to Seattle Sports Blog and Seahawkshuddle.com
Norte: Ravin Maniacs
Jokers: Bungholes, J-E-R-K-S
Jokers: OGmen, Pantaras
Belicheats over SuperChokers
Ain't's over Viqueens
Belicheats over Ain't's
Andrew Gragg: Highschool soccer coach and Cougar Fanatic
Ravens over Packers
Michael Clouse: Friend of the Seattle Sports Blog and huge Buffalo Bills fan
AFC Division winners:
West - Chargers
North - Ravens
South - Colts
East - Patriots
Wild Card - Texans and Bengals
NFC Division Winners:
West - 49ers
North - Packers
South - Saints
East - Giants
Wild Card - Cowboys and Vikings
SB - Packers over Ravens
MVP Aaron Rodgers
Offensive ROY: CJ "The Thriller" Spiller
Marc Hewitt: High School ref and former High School coach
NFC East Cowboys
NFC North- Packers
NFC South- New Orleans
NFC West- Cardinals.
Wild Card- Vikings, Eagles
AFC East Pats
AFC North- Ravens
AFC South- Colts
Wild Card- Bengals and Jets.
Superbowl- New Orlenas vs Pats
MVP Tom Brady
Alex Brink: Former WSU starting quarterback from 2004-07, went 3-1 in Applecups
AFC East: New York Jets
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
Wild Card: Houston Texans and New England Patriots
AFC Champion: Baltimore Ravens
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
Wild Card: Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons
NFC Champion: Green Bay Packers
Supebowl Champion: Green Bay Packers
Geoff Baker: Seattle Mariners beat writer for the Seattle Times since 2007
AFC East: New York Jets
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
Wild Cards: Balitmore Ravens and Tennessee Titans
AFC Champion: Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Vikings
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals
Wild Cards: Green Bay Packers and New York Giants
NFC Champion: New Orleans Saints
Superbowl Champion: Pittsburgh Steelers
Kshell: The main author of the Seattle Sports Blog
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers(Have a $50 bet they win the division over Vikings)
NFC South: New Orleans Saints(Have a $50 bet they go further than Vikings)
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers because the other three teams are terrible
Wild Cards: Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons
NFC Champion: Green Bay Packers
AFC East: New England Patriots- They still have Tom Brady
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
Wild Cards: Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Champion: San Diego Chargers
Superbowl: Green Bay Packers over San Diego Chargers
NFL MVP: Phillip Rivers(He is my fantasy quarterback in my keeper league so wishful thinking perhaps).
Well thanks to everyone who posted me their predictions and hope you enjoyed the predictions. Interesting stat last year 10 of the 12 playoff teams won in week one so keep an eye out for week one winners.