Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Schedule Breakdown - 1st Quarter

by: Chris Sullivan

I mentioned yesterday that one of the better ways to break down the schedule is to do it quarter-by-quarter. Without further ado:

Sun, Sept. 13 - vs. St. Louis Rams 1:15 PM
Sun, Sept. 20 - at San Francisco 49ers, 1:05 PM
Sun, Sept. 27 - vs. Chicago Bears, 1:05 PM
Sun, Oct. 4 - at Indianapolis Colts, 10 AM

This is an interesting start; on the one hand, we start off against St Louis and San Francisco before ending with two tough games against the Bears and the Colts. However, there are a lot of question marks with each of the last three teams.

I've been saying for some time now that the 49ers are the scariest team (aside from ours) in the division. Singletary showed last year that he can win with mediocre players, and the more time he spends honing that team into "his team," the better they are likely to get. They still don't have an answer in many of the most important positions in the game, but they will be a threat every time we play them for the next few years.

The Bears have Cutler, but that should not necessarily make them a winner out of the gates. Their defense is good but aging, and they still have no one to throw to. The Bears will draft a good WR at some point in this draft, but it likely won't be until the later rounds where they are unlikely to get an impact player. By ditching their picks to get Cutler, they've shackled him to Devin Hester as his #1 receiver. We'll see how that works out.

The Colts should still be excellent, but they are in a similar situation as the Seahawks right now: the same basic players with a head coach who has everything to prove after taking over for one of the all-time greats. By the time we face the Colts, we'll see how good the Seahawks really are, and by the flight home we may very well be looking at the same situation last year -- will we be 1-3 or 3-1? The season pivots on the first quarter for us again this year. If we don't go at least 2-2, it will be a dogfight all the way to the playoffs. If we can start off hot and go 3-1 or even 4-0, we're looking good, but the toughest stretch is still ahead of us. ~END~