The 12th Man Gets Some Love

From's always-entertaining "Page 2" section. This is excerpted from Bill Simmons' article "Strength in Numbers" which you can read here.

In it he ranks the NFL teams from worst to best. He has Seattle at #2 with the following comments.

2. Seattle, 3-0
Kevin Jackson -- my longtime editor, as well as the man whose dual love for the Seahawks and Steelers spawned my sports bigamy column four years ago -- raised an intriguing point on the phone this week: Some people (including me) thought the Seahawks would be sunk by the Super Bowl Loser Curse. But what if Seattle was really the better team last February, and Pittsburgh was earmarked for second place and the eventual Super Bowl Loser Curse, only the refs altered the destiny of the game? Just because the game didn't play out like it should have, does that mean that the curse still proceeded as planned? And that, my friends, is why the Hawks might be the best team in football right now. That's KJ's theory.

Important note: I don't believe any of this; I just wanted to prove to you that I have an insane editor. But I do think the Hawks are legitimately good. For one thing, they have the only discernable home-field advantage in the NFL right now. It's impossible to win there. The crowd won't allow it, and they're the only team that can definitively say this. More importantly, they overpaid for Branch, but the trade gave them four quality receivers, leading to the ridiculously potent four-WR offense last week that flummoxed the Giants. As any "Madden" junkie knows, there are only three unstoppable offenses: The five-WR shotgun if your line can protect you, the two-TE offense with two quality tight ends who can block and go deep, and the four-WR offense with a great back and four good receivers.

To pull off one of these offenses in "Madden," you need to rig at least one trade and sign a couple marquee free agents. In real life, it's almost impossible; in fact, the last time it happened, the '99 Rams were involved (the most unstoppable "Madden" offense of this generation). But Seattle inadvertently stumbled upon something significant here -- they can run, they can throw, and if that's not enough, they have this obscene four-WR weapon with Alexander and Hasselbeck and tons of freakish jaw-drop upside. Play the pass and they run. Play the run and they pass. Blitz Hasselbeck and he dumps it off to an open guy. I don't see how you stop them once they get cooking. Throw in the defense, a healthy Alexander and the home-field advantage, and I'd take them over anyone right now.

But since Alexander's not healthy ...

He currently has San Diego ranked first and I agree with that. As I mentioned in my earlier post today, this coming Sunday is my birthday. There's nothing I want more than to see the Alexander-less Seahawks dominate the Bears.

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