NFL, NCAA Rock Paper Scissors

=== Huskies 17, Arizona 24 ===

We remember back in the M's 2nd or 3rd year or something, Paciorek hitting a walk-off HR to beat the Yankees... and in two or three public bathrooms that week, we saw M's 5 Yanks 4 YEAHHHH and stuff of that nature.  It was a 20-year type win.  And IIRC the M's did another one that same series.

Hugh Millen, on the radio, pointed out that if you went all the way back through the history of college football, you might never see a team suffer a last-play Win and Loss the way as bizarrely as the Huskies just did.

A pass bounces off a receiver's foot (?!), taken all the way back for a touchdown .... followed by the Arizona State play in which not 1 but 2 receivers were totally uncovered on a Hail Mary play.   Never in 30 years of watching football have I seen a Hail Mary play uncovered.

The last two weekends were the Huskies' 100-year storm as far as weird, walkoff plays.


I like Sarkisian, but I've coached at Mickey Mouse levels, and when your players mess up as badly as that, it's 100% on the coach. 

Even if the athletes mess up:  your job as coach is to teach them how not to mess up.  That's what you practice for, so they'll be in the right place.  It's one thing if your player is generally in the right place, and he doesn't execute.  But when the players are in the wrong place, that's your fault as coach -- either right then, in the playcall, or else that week, in teaching them how to play the game.


Still, the Huskies went from 16-game losing streak (!!) to .500 Cardiac Kids in one offseason, and you can't ask any more than that.  It would be fun to see the Huskies extend Sarkisian after one of the worst coaching jobs I've seen in three decades, and I'd go for it, too.  :- )


=== Jake Locker ===

There was a QB in my childhood who fit Locker's general template:

1.  Throws the short ball above average (not great)

2.  Throws the medium ball above average (not great)

3.  Throws the long ball above average to excellent (not great)

4.  Calm, cerebral, aggressive body language and decisionmaking

5.  Awesome under pressure (e.g. USC)

6.  Outstanding footspeed, power runner, not many moves

7.  Good size but not a freak

8.  etc etc etc

That guy was Roger Staubach.  Locker for the Huskies reminds me of Roger the Dodger for Dallas.

I don't follow college football, so correct me if I'm way off track here.  But I could see Locker wind up a late 1st-rounder in the NFL.


=== Seahawks Smashed in Qwest ===

Congrats to the Cardinals, who after all are the NFC champs.  But their athletes aren't that much better than the Seahawks. 

I mean, c'mon, their offense was bottom-half in points, bottom-half in yards, bottom-half in passing, bottom-half in running ... and didn't I see their pass defense was #32?

I like Jim Mora too, but Sunday was on the coaches in the NFL as well.


Football play-calling is like a giant game of ROCK-PAPER-SCISSORS -- any defense you call is strong against one thing and weak against another.  The chess masters up in the skybox are guessing each other constantly, trying to go ROCK fly pattern against PAPER five-short zone.

Kurt Warner came out with a flurry of "sting" passes designed to defang the 12-man pressure, hit 3-for-3 .... and the Seahawks absolutely never came up and made Warner beat them deep.

Warner hit 9-for-9 on his first drive.  Since when is it even possible to complete 9 passes in one drive?  Warner was on pace for like 75 completions.  :- )


Defensively, the Cards played exactly the game that could exploit the weak offensive line:  take away the "hot" routes, make Hasselbeck beat you deep, and we'll bet your pocket doesn't hold up long enough.  (Hope that game doesn't provide the blueprint to "bust" the Hawks for the rest of the season.)

Am no football expert, but I can certainly tell you that the chessplayers in the skyboxes went all Arizona in Qwest.  What a disgrace.


There are times, like the 2001 ALCS, when it's decided by the Eye In The Sky.  I think I hate those losses most.

:shrug: losing the playcalling, though, that's fixable.

Get 'em next time,

Dr D


dixarone's picture

I haven't really read much comment about this game, and therefore I'm absolutely positive it's been said elsewhere, but I could not believe there wasn't more emphasis on the pass rush from Seattle's defensive perspective. The few times they were able to hurry Warner, there were incompletions...but there was absolutely no defensive play calls that seemed designed to cause pressure. Any pressure there was, was incidental.
I agree with you 100% - what was going on up in the box? Giving Warner 1 or 2 extra seconds every play...of course he's going to go 9 for 9...half surprised he didn't end up 40 for 40.


Why would you be in "keep the ball in front of you" mode?
Supposing that Warner has to gamble and try to beat you deep, with the crowd going crazy, chaos happening... what's the mortal terror about giving up 14 points on two long balls during the afternoon?

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