Tue., Oct. 6, 2015
The Seahawks prove they can win on Monday night without the help of replacement officials
A GRIP ON SPORTS • I’m really glad that’s cleared up. We now know the Seahawks can win a Monday Night football game at home without the help from replacement officials. Regular officials, sure but the replacement guys, nope. Read on.
• Remember when Seattle defeated Green Bay on the “Fail Mary” and everyone from your dentist to your aunt Louise claimed the only reason the Hawks one was the replacement official? Baloney. The regular guys can miss a call in that end zone just as easily. That seems to be the lesson America is taking out of last night’s 13-10 win over Detroit in a game that highlighted the Hawks strengths and weaknesses like none other. Sure, K.J. Wright should have been penalized according to one of those obscure NFL rules hardly anyone knows – possibly including the official closest to the play. I mean, the NFL’s head official, Dean Blandino, said so afterward. But after watching the replay over and over like everyone else in this great land of ours, does anyone out there belief Wright’s action: a) affected the path of the ball; b) decided the outcome of the game; or c) was blatant? It is easy to understand the official ignoring the contact, a lot easier than understanding a call of a simultaneous catch. Still, it gives everyone who doesn’t care about the Hawks – in other words, those people outside the Pacific Northwest – something to talk about. The rest of us have to be a bit more “big picture” here and that picture is somewhat like my artwork. To whit, really ugly. The offensive line is playing ... what’s the right word here? oh, yeah ... putrid. That leads to an offense that can be spectacular one play and sputtering for the next three. The defense is, once again, nearly impenetrable, though when the game was on the line last night, Detroit came an inch or two from penetrating it in the worst possible way. But, thanks to the holdout guy, Kam Chancellor, and Wright’s nudge, they didn’t. And all’s right in the Hawks’ world. Except it isn’t. The 2-2 record has been built upon imprecise play and that has to stop if Seattle wants to reach its goals. We have faith it will because, let’s face it, you can’t always rely on the kindness of officials.
• WSU: The improvement we all saw in the Cougars against California? It’s not good enough or fast enough for Mike Leach. He made that clear yesterday in his media interviews. Jacob Thorpe has that and more in this notebook as well as first look at Saturday’s opponent, Oregon. ... On the blog, Jacob has video of interviews with Leach, Jeremiah Allison, Gunnar Eklund and Jamal Morrow, the official WSU game notes as well as information on the Oregon State start time (another early game) and a morning post with links. ... Luke Falk returns to the Pac-12 quarterback power rankings . ... The Ducks secondary is beat up, as is their starting quarterback. ... Home hasn’t been the best venue in the conference this season.
• Gonzaga: Will the series with Washington State continue after this season? Who knows. ... The men’s soccer team fell to Denver.
• EWU: Southern Utah, which just scored 44 points in a win over Weber State, has lost offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who stepped down for personal reasons.
• Whitworth: The Pirates finished second in a local golf tournament.
• Chiefs: A handful of Chief prospects were selected to play on a prestigious tournament.
• Seahawks: OK, where do we begin? With John Blanchette’s column, of course. ... The Hawks’ magical play at the end of the game can’t diminish or hide the ups and downs of the night. ... Among the ups was the play of Chancellor, who helped the defense keep Detroit out of the endzone all night. (The Lions only touchdown was by their defense.) ... Another up were some of the plays Russell Wilson made with his feet and his arm. But Wilson also had a couple downs. ... The biggest downer, of course, was the offensive line. The unit couldn’t protect Wilson, couldn’t open holes for the Marshawn Lynch-less running game and deserved an awful grade. ... The Lions are a bit snake-bit.
• Will the Hawks’ offensive line improve enough this season to allow Wilson to get through it? That seems to be the question right now. By the way, we couldn’t find any Jimmy Graham stories to pass along. Sorry. Until later ...