I know, it’s not a podcast but it's Friday and if we had one, here’s what we would be talking about. First of all, thanks to all of you who actually read this blog and listen to the podcast on the Athletic with Mike Sando (@sandonfl) and myself (@randymueller_ ), called The Football GM. Both platforms are trending upward and I’m hopeful you get enough different takes that you keep coming back. If there are things you like, let us know. If there are things you don’t like, well, sorry. Seriously though, I love feedback so we can give you more of what sets us apart. Your time is valuable and giving you something you can’t get elsewhere is our goal.
THURSDAY NIGHT UNPACKED:
A couple takes on what went down at newly renamed Lumen Field in Seattle.
Obviously, Arizona has had recent success vs Seattle, they won in Seattle last year, they had already beaten the Seahawks this year and for that reason it made Seattle the more desperate team in my opinion. Seattle had no margin for error and being swept by the upstart Cardinal’s would have felt like a changing of the guard. I believe that in the second half of NFL seasons, the most desperate team wins, the majority of the time. The Seahawks had to put the brakes on their recent skid and flex their muscle once again. They played like the more desperate team. I thought it was another example of how in the second meeting of inner division games- coaching really matters. It’s all about adjustments and Seattle had more answers and a better plan and clearly won the coaching matchup.
I also thought Arizona’s performance was a bit of a letdown. Almost like they were not ready for “primetime”. Big game, national TV, lots of attention after their last second win a week ago vs Buffalo. Mental mistakes, penalties, poor clock management (again). Just too many loose ends and hurdles to overcome. They struggled to run the ball which might be an indicator of something worth watching the next two months. In an empty stadium how do you have that many false starts? Even though they only lost by 7, I thought it was a bit of a step back, pump the breaks moment for the Cardinals.
From Seattle standpoint WR DK Metcalf seems to be on everyone’s mind. He did catch a touchdown and was targeted five times but unless he can curb the drops he’s more of a talent, than a trustable player. Don’t get me wrong, he has developed his skill set since his arrival but he’s not complete until he can stop dropping the ball. I think the Seahawks would even say this. That’s the same reason he was available in the second round when the Seahawks selected him and not a first round pick. Just too many drops.
The Seahawks ran the ball for the first time in the last month, they didn’t make crucial turnovers at inopportune times and Russell Wilson gave a steady, not flashy performance. The next month of the season favors the Seahawks, schedule-wise, like no other contender in the league. That feared NFC East and the mighty Jets are all on the horizon after the mini-bye. I can easily see them at 12 wins and us still having some questions when it’s all said and done.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES:
On Friday morning, the New Orleans Saints let it leak out that they would start QB/WR/RB Taysom Hill instead of Jameis Winston this week vs Atlanta. Why would you want that out there? Only one reason. My take is Saints coach Sean Payton is very smart, he wanted it out there so the Falcons would spend all day Friday and Saturday preparing and spending time on every form of trickeration that they have used with Hill over the last 3 years. If he just keeps this decision in his back pocket until Sunday, it doesn’t get the desired effect on Friday and Saturday, on his opponent. And then watch- Winston will play the majority of the snaps anyway ☺. He’s the more accomplished passer, the more accurate guy from the pocket and allows Payton to have a game-plan in the passing game that covers the whole field. It also takes the pregame media attention off of Winston and allows him to focus on the game-plan.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid made a big deal out of the Raiders taking a victory lap around Arrowhead stadium in KC after the Silver and Black worked over the defending Super Bowl Champs in their first meeting. Once again you ask why? These coaches are normally working an agenda, trust me- I’ve been the sounding board for these things for years- I really don’t think Andy cares about the “lap around the park”. He was only trying to get the attention of his own team, he used it, because he can. He is normally not like this he doesn’t use cons to motivate but something tells me, he’s making sure he has his team’s attention. They cannot afford to get swept in the series.