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Pitfalls: Beat Down by Grandpa

I'll admit it; I don't have my "A" game today. I don't have my "B" game, and my "C" game is out on loan. But, quotidian is as quotidian does, and you got to show up even when you feel like shit stepped in. So, let's tackle another potential Pitfall, like the very real possibility that our beloved Seattle Seahawks are about to get lit up by the oldest quarterback/receiver combination since Vinnie Testaverde checked down to Methuselah. Most young men, if only in their mind, reach a day when they think they can kick their dad's ass. My dad is a big guy and a former street fighter w/ the handle "Kenny Nunchucks", so I never entertained that little fantasy, but you at least want to think you can take down grandpa. Oh, Seahawks, why do you mock me so?

Todd Collins sucks, but is third overall in DVOA (49.1%). How does the 36 y/o Collins have such a good DVOA, despite having terrible footwork, very little read, a "meh" arm and the such? I. Don't. Know. Collins got his first regular season snaps against the Bears in week 14. Before that he had been gathering dust in the head museum of discarded quarterbacks. Returned to his body, Collins converted 15 of 20 passes for 224 yards and 2 TDs. The Bears pass defense is a lot closer to mediocre (12th) than many might expect, but that would be a solid performance against 11 sea cucumbers. Collins then went 8/25 against the Giants, before posting 2 more 70+ completion percentage games to end the season. That's remarkable, really, to be so past your prime, so accurate in 3 games, and so wildly inaccurate in another (Update: In extreme conditions, as Joe Schmo points out). Collins hasn't been particularly well protected, either, having suffered 7 sacks in those 3½ contests. We'll cover Collins' abilities in greater detail tomorrow, but his performance to date is either an aberration or an act of God(dell).

The Hawks pass defense has sagged and sagged, despite possessing seemingly everything you could want: a strong pass rush, a shutdown corner, a very good second corner, an excellent strong safety and good coverage linebackers. But, alas, the Hawks end the season only a hair above average defending the pass (14th). Their worst weakness, evident to all that watch, is Jordan Babineaux. Babs' play defines the Seahawks 27th ranking against "other" receivers.

To add insulting coincidence to injury, the Skins best receiver per play is slot receiver Keenan McCardell (32.1% DVOA). McCardell, 37, was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Redskins in 1991. McCardell has always been slow and tough - a good hands guy who will work the middle, take a pop, but get you the first down. He's also a decent redzone threat, even in his dotage. McCardell has it all over Babs, because McCardell is actually told where to run pre-snap, while Babs must pinball around the field like a drunken conquistador vainly searching for a destination. Josh Wilson is healthy, but Babs will start. He's earned it, y'know. What does it all mean? Well it means when Collins connects with McCardell for the Nth long third down conversion of the game on Saturday, you won't be surprised.