I was just looking at a Sopranos book I inherited somehow and thought "Hey! Wouldn't it be great if I gave Statapalooza a mobster theme this week? Wouldn't that be great?" No, no it wouldn't. It'd be obnoxious and retread. So without further ado, this week's Statapalooza: Pirate Themed! Just kidding. Nope, how about briefly appearing cultural clichés? Herding cats anyone? How about I attempt to out Tom Tancredo Tom Tancredo? Only a presidential candidate has the skill and ego to mix his name in twice in a five word phrase. Hmmm...ego, solipsism...how about a trip down my own memory lane? Er, that might be unintentionally incriminating. No, I think this week's theme will be weird pieces of overheard conversation. Yeah, that'll do.
Strength Versus Strength
You know what you have to try? Werewolf Sex: Anyone who ever saw the quickly canceled Comedy Central sketch comedy show The Vacant Lot will know the origins of that line, but my friend Matt overheard it at a concert and took it at face value. Face value might be deceiving in this case too. The Cards have been particularly good at defending against tight ends (5th), but just lost all world safety Adrian Wilson. At the same time, Marcus Pollard has been particularly effective when targeted (5th in DVOA), but isn't a big part of Seattle's offense. So like a date with She-wolf for the furry loving set, this sounds like a sexy matchup, but don't be surprised if it doesn't materialize.
That's a lot of estrogen: The Cards have a formidable run blocking offensive line (9th) awaiting a premier rusher. Edgerrin James is decent, but watch what Jonathan Stewart does behind this line next season. The Hawks front 7 is 6th overall, but falls to 10th when Kelly Jennings and Victor Vector Geometry Professor are included. None of that has anything to do with estrogen.
Bitches, always stealing my watches - SMOKE`EM UP!: Thus begins the homeless portion of today's proceedings. Like this scruffy and indignant man, Seattle fans have had something stolen from them: the running game. After weeks of Holmgren tearing down his very good offensive line, blind to the struggles of Alexander, his little theory was put to the test when Alabama became spontaneously injured. If the line and not Alexander was the cause of our running troubles, you'd surely expect Morris to struggle equally if not worse than Alexander. Except that didn't happen. In fact, Morris is the 19th best running back in football on a per play basis. Alexander, zee Precarious Son, is 41st of 47. Well the thief returned last week, and though Morris averaged over 10 yards per rush, including scoring the game winning touchdown, Tipsy McStagger's here to stay. All that allows us to understand that the Hawks' 28th ranked rushing offense is actually quite a bit worse than that. Arizona's front 7 is excellent at stopping the rush (7th). Oddly enough, when you factor in the entire defense, their rush D ranking drops to 23rd. That might be encouraging except, does anyone believe that Alexander will make it to the Cards' secondary?
I'm the reincarnated soul of Jesus and Rommel: The Desert Fox was an excellent tactician. Jesus, not so much. Neither was the homeless man who proclaimed the above. We played chess one night. He saved this little secret until our final game, at 3am, outside a closed and nearly abandoned Coffee Time. He had seemed so normal up to that point - I swear! Ken Whisenhunt is an excellent tactician. Mike Holmgren is not. Given the talent on the Cards' roster to start the season, the injuries they've since endured, I think Whisenhunt deserves Coach of the Year consideration. Holmgren's a great teacher and was once a great offensive talent evaluator, but in what looks like his final season, against one of if not the best new breed coaches, this is a mismatch.
WHY IS SHIT COMING OUT YO ASS?: This question was posed directly to me as I stood in line in front of Cinema 21. Kurt Warner might answer: "Because I'm facing a pissed off and scorned Seattle pass rush." The Hawks have slipped to 9th after recording only one sack against the Eagles. AJ Feeley is like the anti-Objectivist: He'd rather throw right to a defender than take a sack. The Hawks rush was shut out the last time these clubs met, though much of that had to do with Matt Leinart consistently finding an open man just as the rush arrived. That's a skill Leinart possesses, and for the season he was only sacked once every 28 attempts. Warner gets sacked every 22 attempts, plus has a reputation of panicking under pressure. So the Hawks 9th ranked pass rush may not look like a mismatch facing the Cards 6th ranked pass blocking unit, but Warner, who took 9 sacks total against the Niners (20th), Lions (21st) and Bengals (31st) might have something to say about that.
Snake!: Snake is a derogatory term for women that's largely fallen out of use. So is gash. My fiancée mail ordered some lipstick called Gash under the XXX line. I told her that was sexist. She looked at me like I had two heads. Somewhere a butterfly flapping its wings caused a Martian to have diarrhea. Gash is also an appropriate word for what Nate Burleson and the Hawks punt return unit should be able to do against the Cardinals this week. Seattle is 11.8 points above replacement for the season returning punts, Arizona is 17 points below average. That's a ridiculous swing, nearly the (though it doesn't really work like this) equivalent of replacing Nate Burleson with Chad Johnson.