Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Schedule Breakdown - 3rd 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. Part three:

Sun, Nov. 15 - at Arizona Cardinals, 1:15 PM
Sun, Nov. 22 - at Minnesota Vikings, 10 AM
Sun, Nov. 29 - at St. Louis Rams, 10 AM
Sun, Dec. 6 - vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1:15 PM

As easy as the second quarter was, this looks to be as difficult. The teams aren't as good, but the schedule is killer: three consecutive away games in the month, including two with 10 AM starts. Not a single game is a gimme here.

At Arizona, the Hawks will have their most important identity game of the year. This is equivalent to how the Cards felt coming to Qwest last year. If we can't beat the Cards on their turf -- and they are becoming one of the better home teams -- we can't really assert dominance over the West yet. This is a huge and difficult game.

Playing in Minnesota at 10 AM against a team who could, for all we know, be very talented? Not exactly a billboard for Disneyworld, is it? The Vikings are perennially tough but not usually very good. They've got a lot of great pieces, but they haven't been able to put them together yet. We'll see what happens in regards to them getting a real quarterback under center, but Tarvaris Jackson is not likely the answer. This one should be fun, especially if both teams are playing well. The Sunday Night game that week is Philly vs. Chicago, and either one of those teams could be big busts, especially Chicago. With five primetime games, look for some of them to be flexed if they disappoint.

Playing at the Rams sounds easier than it is. We've won plenty lately, but none by more than six points and most with last minute field goals. This game is always a tough one for the Hawks, but we've won the last four (I think), so hopefully the streak continues.

Finally, a home game! The Seahawks will host the 49ers and it should be a good one. I think they'll be so happy to be in front of the 12th Man that the Hawks won't let this one get away regardless of how good the 49ers may end up being. (I don't think they'll be great, mind you, but I do think they'll surprise plenty of people).

I think we should be able to win at least two of these games. It's obviously very early to be making predictions, so this is all silliness, but fun to do. With 2-2 in the first quarter, 3-1 in the second, and 2-2 in the third, the Hawks are looking at a 7-5 record going into the home stretch. ~END~