Monday, July 24, 2006
Alba's Recipe for Success
With the opening of training camp less than 4 days away, we all eagerly await the start of the 2006 season with great expectations, while our long history with this team, along with the several "curses" they have to contend with (Madden, Chunky, etc.) secretly forces us to harbor some doubts and anxiety!
But fear not.
Removing all emotion from the equation, and assuming that the refs are really impartial arbiters of the game, rather than paid employees of the opposition, getting back into the playoffs, and punching our ticket to Miami is really a simple Four Step process.
Being able to actually execute the plan, however, is always the trick!!!
1. Win your Divisional Matchups One third of your games are against Divisional opponents, and if you win them all, it is VERY hard not to also win the Division, getting a automatic playoff birth. You must at least sweep ONE divisional opponent and split the other two. You must NOT lose both games to any Divisional opponent.
(best case 6-0, worst case 4-2)
2. Win your Home Games Three of the home games against Divisional opponents are covered above, leaving 5 others. Being undefeated at home not only bodes well for season ticket sales but it also goes a long way to securing home field advantage in the playoffs, which we now know is a pretty huge advantage. The law of averages and the way the ball bounces dictates that you can't ALWAYS be undefeated at home, but you should at least have a winning record.
(best case 5-0, worst case 3-2)
3. Win all the games you're SUPPOSED TO... This covers the proverbial "trap games", like early season non-conference games, or late season games against teams already out of the playoff hunt. The Seahawks SHOULD win on the road at Detroit and at home against the Raiders and Packers. For purposes of best/worst case, we'll ignore the two home games accounted for above, and just count the Lion game, where losing AGAIN in Detroit is NOT AN OPTION! (best case 1-0, worst case 1-0)
4. ...and a couple that you're NOT! So, if the team takes care of business in the Division, at Home, and against the lowly Lions, then the 2006 season comes down to 4 road games - at Chicago, at Kansas City, at Denver and at Tampa. The Chicago game could very well be put in Number 3 above, but the media may still be slobbering on the Chicago D in week 4, so we'll probably be road dogs. The long and dreary history of playing games at KC and Denver, along with them both being talented teams, will probably mean the Seahawks will be getting points in those matchups as well. And the season finale in Tampa brings with it the "dreaded" Eastern Time Zone curse, although if all goes well, it may be a meaningless contest between two teams (well, ONE for sure!) coasting into the playoffs.
(best case 4-0, worst case 2-2)
Tallying up the scenarios above, the best case, of course, has the Seahawks going undefeated, which is highly improbable, but not impossible. The "worst" case scenario has the team at 10-6, winning the Division and at least hosting a home Wild Card game. Given the talent of the squad, the off season acquisitions and minimal key player defections, 10-6 should be "par" for the 2006 course. Every win over 10 is a "birdie", and a notch closer to HFA throughout. Every loss over 6 is a "bogey" and a notch closer to falling into "the curse of the Superbowl runner up!"
So there you have it. A MapQuest quality road map from Cheney to Miami, completely marked with milestones, rest stops and potential disasters.
So let's all get gassed up and enjoy the ride!
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