Friday, April 17, 2009

Sando Says Hawks Miss The Playoffs

by: William P. Tomisser

Mike Sando has been evaluating the NFC West teams and giving his prediction for win/loss records. He hasn't completed the Rams yet but I think we all figure them to end up in last place and he basically has the Rams losing both games to all three teams in the division so far. That would certainly predict that his St. Louis analysis will have them firmly in last place within the division.

I wanted to bring you his thoughts on the three teams that should finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the division. Not that I agree with his analysis, mind you.

Sando predicted that the Seahawks will only win 7 games this season. If true, that certainly would rule them out of post season competition for the second consecutive season. He breaks down their season here.

He predicts the 49ers will win 8 games in his San Francisco analysis here. I'm not sure why he thinks San Francisco is a game better than Seattle. Maybe he didn't fully buy the excuse that Seattle had massive injuries last season and thinks there are other factors in play? It's more likely he thinks we still have potential injury problems as detailed below. He has us potentially defeating the 49ers in both games, though as he pointed out we beat them down there even last year with all our injuries. He predicts that in the first quarter we will either beat the 49ers in San Francisco or the Bears at Qwest, giving us a split on those two games. Curious.

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He sees the Cardinals repeating as NFC West champs with 9 wins here. Sando certainly has bought into the Cardinals as being the team to beat this season in the West. I suppose that you have to do that with last year's champs, but it sure seemed that every year Seattle won the division the following season we were predicted to fall to either the 49ers or the Cardinals. Somehow, I thought Sando might rate the Seahawks as the Cardinals' main threat this season, not San Francisco.

Sando, why have you deserted us? Assuming we win both games against San Francisco and the Rams and then split with Arizona (Sando says we lose both of those too), that's a 5 - 1 division record which Arizona could only tie not beat.

I am surprised by Sando's take on the West this year. I think he's lost touch with the Seahawks since moving to ESPN and doesn't have the intimate knowledge of them that he once possessed. I wouldn't rate the 49ers as having potentially a better season than us unless I thought we were going to suffer injuries again. I think Sando believes that Hasselbeck, Jones, and/or Kerney won't be able to finish the season and that would make some justification for his prediction if one thought Seattle didn't have any depth. Here's what he said in his analysis concerning the fourth quarter:

The final month is unforgiving. Road games against the Texans and Packers will be difficult for Seattle to win. The Seahawks should win at home against the Bucs. But the injury problems that derailed Seattle last season -- affecting older players such as Patrick Kerney, Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones -- could begin to mount late in the season. With me so far?
If Hass goes down, we all have confidence in Wallace, especially with Knapp and Mora running the show as they've had some experience winning with that kind of mobile quarterback. Jackson figures to be much improved in his second season at defensive end and we brought in Cory Redding at the position as well, giving us much better depth there. Everyone knows that Locklear can just move over and fill in for Jones if he can't go. Well, -- two out of three ain't bad. Maybe Sando doesn't know about the reserves this season and that we don't need a great left tackle with the zone blocking system?

I think we're going to challenge Arizona for the West title this season and San Francisco won't be the challenger that people are once again predicting they will be. Sando has the Seahawks splitting with the 49ers and the Bears in the first quarter of the season, but I say they'll win both of those games. In the second quarter, he predicts an Arizona win at Qwest Field and I just can't go along with that one either. Correcting those two games put us at 9 wins, which ties with Sando's Arizona prediction even if we lose in the desert. The last game of the season against the Titans at Qwest could be the pivotal game we need to take back the West and if we get that close, no way we let anyone take us in a final game on our own turf with the division on the line. 10 wins baby and the West title! Sando eats his prediction! Get real, Mike.


Bill T