Penciling it in: Analyzing the Seahawks' Dance Card (Part II)

And here we are in part two of our quarterly breakdown of the Seahawks 2011 season. Huzzah! The second quarter of our season is unique in at least two ways: first, it's the only stretch that we face no divisional opponents; and second, we have our bye week following the Giants game, insuring at least one weekend we won't have to weep openly in front of friends and strangers alike.

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Week Five: @ New York Giants

The Back Story - The Giants are the poster child of 12th Man after an infamous 11-false start game in 2005. Since then, they've been, y'know, the Giants. They always feel like they're going to be good, and in reality, they usually are (last losing season was 2004, and they were 10-6 last year), but with Eli Manning under center, they don't really inspire fear in their opponents. In 2011, they've already lost their entire team to Achilles and ACL tears twice, but they've still got to field a team.

Key Additions - Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin, Mark Clayton

Key Subtractions - Barry Cofield, Kevin Boss, Steve Smith

Prognostication - This was a game I thought very early on was an easy dash in the "loss" column. They Giants were 10-6 last year

Random Trivia - These are the season-ending injuries the Giants have experienced since training camp started. Starters are indicated with an asterisk: Marvin Austin, Clint Sintim(*?), Terrell Thomas*, Jonathan Goff*, Duke Calhoun, Brian Jackson, Bruce Johnson, Chad Jones, Martin Parker, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Witherspoon.

Week Six: Bye Week Ya'll!

I like to spend the bye week looking at images of Seahawks and their opponents. Oh, here's one:

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Week Seven: @ Cleveland Browns

The Back Story - The Browns are Holmgrentastic, which is nice, but they don't have a lot else going for them. Colt McCoy is their quarterback, Peyton Hillis their RB, and the guy everyone wants to be a star so their fantasy football team name will make sense (Mohammed "Texas Chainsaw" Massaquoi) is prone to catch a few pigskins. Wow, I'm already bored. Oh, the left side of their line is arguably the best in football.

Key Additions - Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, Brandon Jackson, Usama Young, John Greco,

Key Subtractions - Abram Elam, Sabby Piscitelli, Matt Roth, Chansi Stucky, Floyd Womack, Eric Wright

Prognostication - The Browns could be much better this year, but it won't matter. That's the problem with being in the same division as the Steelers and Ravens. They are still a ways away from being able to compete, and this is an absolutely winnable game for your Seattle Seahawks. Doesn't mean they'll win, but they certainly should, especially coming off a bye.

Random Trivia - Everyone hates the Yankees, even the Browns. Their first ever playoff victory (AAFC Championship game in 1946) was a 14-9 victory over the New York Yankees. Also, they won their league's championship (4 AAFC, 1 NFL) in each of the franchise's first five years of existence, and pulled in 7 championships in their first 10 years. They've won one in the 56 years since.

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Week Eight: Cincinnati Bengals

The Back Story - Mike Brown. Carson Palmer. Arrests. Nochocinco.

Key Additions - A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Clint Boling, Bo Scaife, Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, Bruce Gradkowski, Kelly Jennings, Taylor Mays... because if you're looking to build a winner, look no further than the Seahawks, Raiders, and 49ers for your cast offs.

Key Subtractions - Carson Palmer (sorta), Ocho Cinco, T.O., Antwan Odom, Tank Johnson, Dhani Johns, Johnathan Joseph, Roy Williams, (breath), Clinton McDonald, Chinedum Ndukwe, Sense of pride

Prognostication - Alright stop, prognosticate and listen, Mike Brown's back with a lack of ambition; somethin', grabs a hold of me tightly, as the Bengals shoot glocks and pad arrest numbers nightly. Will it ever stop, yo? Ask T.O., Brown runs the team, semi-pro; Palmer's extreme, he rocks Mike with a scandal, unretired, uncaged, his salary can't be handled. *dum dum dum, daduh dum dum*

Random Trivia - Between 2000 and 2010, the Bengals saw 32 arrests within their organization, each one presumably dedicated to a different NFL team.

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Week Nine: Dallas Cowboys

The Back Story - Around these parts, the Cowboys are best remembered for a certain goal line fumble and the ensuing hilarity. Unfortunately, since Teflon Tony's tragic mishap the Cowboys have pretty much had their way with the Seahawks, most famously in the Thanksgiving Day Massacre that proved once and for all that Julius Jones was the football equivalent of Jeff Cirillo.

Key Additions - Tyson Smith, DeMarco Murray, Rob Ryan

Key Subtractions - Marc Columbo, Roy Williams, Marion Barber, Andre Gurode

Prognostication - With Rob Ryan in tow, the Cowboys' defense should again be fairly stout. Their offense doesn't seem to have done a whole lot to improve, other than finally ditching Marion Barber (shock of all shocks: Tim Ruskell's team picked up an overused and discarded former Cowboy RB!). Their OL is going to be much younger this year, with at least two rookies expected to start. If Romo can return to his old form and Dez Bryant can step up and be the guy he was expected to be, this is a team that can push for the playoffs (where they will lose in the first round, Cowboy-style!). That's a big if though, and this is another fringe-winnable game for the Seahawks based on the somewhat schizophrenic nature of America's Team over the last few years.

Random Trivia - Jerry Jones acquired the Cowboys as a result of the 1980s Savings and Loan Crisis. Then-owner "Bum" Bright had the team and his S&L taken over by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Commission who then pressured Bright to sell the team to Jerry Jones.

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