Weekend Rewind: 11/30-12/2

Weekend Rewind: 11/30-12/2

The storylines keep rolling into December. Don’t look now, but the Seahawks are riding a three game winning streak and look like a force to be reckoned with down the stretch.

Oregon State hoops played well on Saturday and easily disposed of a team that they are better than. That was refreshing.

The Blazers are officially in a free fall. It’s still so early in the season, but they are digging a significant hole at this point.

The Mariners continue to blow things up. It’s what this franchise needs, to buck the trend of eternal mediocrity. Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano seem to be headed to New York (no, not that team) to play for the Mets. The Mariners get some delicious prospects in return.

Here are the notes from the Seahawks game as my thoughts were brief on the other teams:

Seahawks:

  • On November 11th after another heart breaking loss to the rams, I tweeted that the Seahawks were about to go on a big run. I thought 10-6 was achievable. That might have been laughable to some at 4-5, but at 7-5 it now seems more likely than not. It could be all but a lock if they beat the Viking next Monday.
  • The offense was incredibly efficient. Russell Wilson threw four touchdowns on like 12 completions. Richard Sherman chose to look at his low yardage postgame… shocker.
  • This game was no doubter from the beginning. The Niners aren’t good. But even so, it was nice to see the Seahawks dominate a team and control a game for 60 minutes.
  • The running game continues to excite. The one-two punch of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny is only getting better. Hopefully Carson’s ginger isn’t too mangled.
  • Speaking of injuries, let’s hope that DJ Fluker can get back from his pulled hamstring in time for a possible postseason run if not a little sooner.
  • This receiving corps has really come together nicely. Each player seems to step up at different times and the chemistry with Russell is on point. For example, Jaron Brown has had a pretty quiet season and then he goes out and snags two touchdowns on Sunday.
  • The one point of concern is the defense giving up a ton of yards. However, if they can force turnovers at opportune times as they did Sunday, they can be good enough to get by. Bobby Wagner is keeping that unit afloat. What a game and what a season Bobby has had. 54 is an all-time great and I love watching him play.
  • This team is rolling and with a win on Monday Night they could become scary really fast.
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Fact or Fiction: OSU Basketball Edition

FeaturedFact or Fiction: OSU Basketball Edition

-Braught

The Beavers are 6-1 on the basketball season right now and off to one of the best starts, record wise, in the past 25 years. But does that mean they are off to a ‘hot start’ like some are saying. To find out we are going to play a little Fact or Fiction.

Fact:

The Beavers offense has improved from an ORtg of 106.8 last year to 111.1 this year. In some games, they are getting into a flow and the ball is going inside the three point line. Having a much more athletic lineup with Kelly at the 5 has allowed them to play more uptempo. They have at time also been able to effectively break a zone through the use of high post, short corner, and off ball screens. This is something they have not done in the past and if you have ever read my writings about the basketball team, you would know I believe Tinkle is the perfect play for the high post.

This means there offense is actually improved? Fiction! There strength of schedule is 240th out of 353. So how much of this is playing teams that are undersized and undermanned when it comes to a Power 5 school. Probably quite a bit.

Fact: The Beavers defense also has improved. DRtg is down below 100, from 103 in 2017 to 96 this year. They have employed a what appears to be a 3-2 zone but which is probably more of a 2-3 match-up zone. (I would love to hear Wayne speak to this). Again, with 5 athletes out there, this something they should be doing more of. Opponents were shooting close to 35% from beyond the arc last year and that dropped to below 32% this year. They also have gone man even more this year.

This team is in trouble without Big G for the next 4-6 weeks? Fiction! Even before the injury, we here at 35th and Jackson say Kylor Kelly taking the starting role from Big G very soon. Before the beginning of the season, Kelly was an unknown to us general public. Was the Lane Community College transfer be able to keep up with D1 athletes? Was he strong enough to hold his own? So far he has done even more than keep up! His ability to alter shots may already be beyond Eubanks abilities ever were. Last game against Missouri State, I believe he had 4 blocks before picking up his first foul. Would Eubanks ever be able to do that? No! Multiple times, I saw guys change there shots or hesitate and miss a shot because of his presence. Offensively, he has played his role well. He gets multiple lobs a game, runs the court, and cleans the glass.

Fact: the beavers are exactly where I expected them. Prior to the season I believe I said the Beavs would finish 16-11. That was 8-3 in non-conference and 8-8 in conference. I thought there 3 losses would be one in the tournament, hoping it would KSU in the championship, one loss to St. Louis, that’s Saturday, and one loss to Texas A&M. So they are right were I expected them to be. They have struggled against lesser teams, i.e. Long Beach State, Old “Dominion, and half of a couple other games. The fact is that this team should have an average margin of victory of 20 right now. Therefore, is this team off to a ‘hot start’? No, that is Fiction!

Featured

Thanksgiving Weekend Rewind

As usual there is a lot to talk about after a weekend chalk full of Northwest sporting events. There was good (Seahawks), bad (Blazers and OSU Basketball) and down right ugly (Civil War Football).

Oregon State Football:

  • For the second straight year Oregon State got boat raced by Oregon.
  • The game could’ve been much closer and that’s plain fact. OSU was inside Oregon’s 35 like 5 times and scored just 15 points. That was killer.
  • This program won’t change until the defense does. So. Many. Missed. Tackles.
  • Giving up darn near 50 points and 300 yards rushing per game is absurd. What a painful experience 2018 was.
  • Offense made too many mistakes.
  • Aaron “Pringles “Feld is the perfect strength coach for Oregon. He has the most punchable face in the world. Using your strength coach as a flashy recruiting tool, is the weirdest, most Oregon thing ever. He looked like a wet house cat in that pouring rain.
  • Jermar Jefferson couldn’t get going, but what season he had. Can’t wait to see him the next two years.
  • The game was awful, so let’s move on to the future.
  • Reinforcements are coming and they are desperately needed. Four former highly touted recruits have transferred in. And all will probably compete for starting jobs.
  • This team is super young and a lot of promising young guys got a ton of reps this year.
  • Jake Luton could get a medical red shirt and come back for another year which would be huge. If he does come back, he will have to battle transfer Tristian Gebbia. Conor Blount announced on twitter that he will be transferring, which is kind of a bummer. He was a tough kid and played hard.
  • I think this team can win six games if the defense can hold opponents to under 200 yards rushing and 35 points consistently. Dead serious. Things would be drastically different if they were even just a regular, below average defense. It’s this being the worst defense in program history that gets them in trouble.

Seahawks:

  • Shut up, Cam!!! I love watching Newton lose. Every single first down run is unbearable. But he’s dynamic and that offense is tough to stop.
  • Seahawks/Panthers has been a pretty fun little mini rivalry over the years. By the way, the Seahawks OWN that rivalry.
  • Russell Wilson was surgical! The throws he made in the fourth quarter were beautiful in every way.
  • Chris Carson’s flip was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on a football field.
  • How did the Seahawks force five fumbles and couldn’t find a way to recover one? I’ve never seen anything like that before.
  • People had this team buried before the season even started. So many “experts” had them between 4 and 6 wins. They would have to lose out for that to happen.
  • That was a massive win. I had the Carolina game as the last loss for the Seahawks this season. So for them to snatch that one on the road is huge. 10-6 is well within reach and 11-5 isn’t out of the question. This team reminds me of that 2012 squad in so many ways.
  • Up next, Richard Sherman and the Niners. I hope Russell throws for 8 TD’s.

Trailblazers:

  • This turned into an ugly little stretch.
  • An awful 40 point loss to the Bucks was cringe worthy.
  • Followed that up with a tough one against the Clippers.
  • It’s a long season, but the Blazers aren’t a team that has the luxury of losing focus for a week at any point in the season.
  • The West is wide open (other than the Warriors) as I’ve been preaching throughout this young season. No reason to panic, the Blazers just need to get back to stacking up wins.

Oregon State Basketball:

  • The Beavers are 5-1.
  • Perhaps the worst 5-1 team I’ve ever seen. I’m not taking a cheap shot, that’s just the truth.
  • Oregon State is barely scraping by opponents who have been stomped by good competition. The latest example being a two point win over Long Beach State, a team that lost to Arizona State by 32. 32!!!
  • The Beavers have to get a lot better before conference play if they want to be relevant come late February.
  • But hey, the Ducks lost to Texas Southern at home, 5 star recruit and all!
  • Go Beavs!
Featured

Weekend Rewind: Nov 2-4

If last weekend was a perfect football weekend, consider this an extremely flawed football weekend. The Beavs showed fight, but had a TD take off the board and produced a clunker of a fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Seahawks gave up a fake touchdown to the Chargers in one of the worst officiating snafus I’ve ever seen. And outside of their opening drive, the Seahawks looked anemic until the usual too little, too late rally.

Here’s what’s swimming through my mind on a Monday Morning:

Beaver Football

  • Another slow start hurt this team as they fell down 21-0.
  • Once again they showed fight, and played USC much closer than the 38-21 final score.
  • USC won in the trenches. Completely overmatched Oregon State there. This is an area we all know Oregon State needs to improve, especially on the d line. Depth would go a long way.
  • On a related note, Jermar Jefferson was bottled up much of the game, until one drive late in the third quarter.
  • Luton shined again and threw some absolute darts. He was surgical for a big chunk of this game.
  • And of course Hodgins, Bradford and Hernandez all benefitted from the big fella’s arm. Really gives a glimpse of what this wideout group is capable of with a QB that can stretch the field.
  • I will never understand how a team could give up so many yards on 3rd and long. I’m not just talking about Saturday’s game… I’m talking about the entire season. 3rd and 19 should be an automatic punt. Instead it turns into a first down or 4th and so close that any coach with half a brain is going to go for it.
  • As Con pointed out, the Beavs had four possessions to tie the game at 28 and came up empty. That was killer. Had they tied it, I really think the Beavs find a way to come out on top.
  • This officiating crew made a horrendous mistake on the Matthew Tago strip play. He clearly ripped the ball out before the back was down, but even if the officials saw it as close enough to doubt, they have to let it play out. You never ever, ever, ever blow the play dead when it’s bang, bang like that. Yet this crew did just that. TD off of the board…Chalk up another one for the PAC 12 refs, Larry Scott and this conference as a whole. What a mess.
  • This defense needs to learn how to intercept a football. It is wild the amount of balls that should be picked, but instead end up fluttering to the turf. It feels like the beavers miss out on 2-3 interceptions a game. Those are lays that good teams make.
  • Overall, good fight and I think this thing can really turn next year. But I’d like to see more encouragement in the final three games.

Seahawks

  • When a player steps out of bounds three times while carrying the football en route to the end zone it shouldn’t be ruled a touchdown. I may sound dumb stating the obvious, but apparently the officiating crew on Sunday missed that section of the rule book. Poor officiating was unfortunately a major theme this weekend. Brutal, especially in a game that came down to a single score…
  • Russell Wilson had a ROUGH outing. Took killer sacks, missed some open throws and just looked out of sorts all afternoon. Hopefully he got that out of his system heading into the Rams game.
  • He threw an almost identical pick six to the one that effectively ended the Bears game earlier this year. That’s pretty wild to see him be fooled twice like that in crucial situations. Without those picks there is a real possibility the Seahawks could be sitting at 6-2 rather than 4-4.
  • Can’t put it all on Russell, he still had the Hawks in the game to the final play.
  • Would’ve liked to see David Moore catch that. It wasn’t easy, but it did hit him in the hands.
  • Still a lot of season left to play, but the Seahawks are going to need to find a way to win six of their final eight to have a legitimate shot at postseason play.

Trailblazers

  • 7-3 after a frustrating loss to the Lakers and a romp over the T-Wolves.
  • I’ve said it before, but they really could have 8, 9 or even 10 wins fairly easily.
  • Next up, the Greek Freak. This is going to be a tough matchup, but a game the Blazers need to find a way to win.
  • Yes I realize it’s super early, but it’s never too early to set the standard of taking care of good teams at home.

Beaver Basketball

  • It’s finally here, game 1.
  • Need to win by a minimum of 20.
  • How will this squad play together?
  • Are Tres and Stevie going to be the dominant forces we expect?
Featured

Weekend Rewind 10/27-28

There it is! It finally happened! We got to experience a perfect football sequence. The Beavers and Seahawks both won on the same weekend. Oh, did you think I was going somewhere else with that? Because when I say “it finally happened” it could apply to many Beaver related things.

Let’s dive into the notes:

Oregon State Football

  • False start and call me Caleb Smith! The Beavs ended their 22 game road and 14 game conference losing streak simultaneously in Boulder, Colorado. I don’t know anybody who can honestly say they saw that coming.
  • The Beavs were trailing 31-3 in the third quarter.
  • Even when things were bleak, the defense stepped up and played their best game by far of 2018. Still a long way to go, but for the first time this season, I was encouraged by that side of the ball.
  • Jack Coletto got the start and played hard. I like having that kid on the team, but he was pretty overwhelmed most of the game and couldn’t get much going in the passing game. However, he might have nice role going forward as a bruiser on the goal line. He scored two TD’s on the day.
  • Enter Jake Luton. The Senior QB was nowhere to be found after the Nevada game due to a lingering high ankle sprain. For whatever reason the coaches decided it was time to roll the dice and give him a shot in the second half. Though still clearly hobbled, he put on a show and ignited the Beaver offense with over 300 passing yards and three TD’s.
  • Enter Isaiah Hodgins. Because we forget the guy is on the team when Luton isn’t in there. The pair picked up right where they left off in the Nevada game as Hodgins torched the Buffs secondary and pulled in what was probably the catch of the year in the corner of the end zone. Those two have undeniable Chemistry.
  • Jermar Jefferson is still an absolute beast. We are so lucky to have him. He has now eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season and there are four games to go.
  • We are left wondering what the final month could now bring. If Luton can stay healthy and the Beavers can be lethal throwing and running, this could get fun. Pair that with the defense showing life and we’ve got the opportunity to build a little momentum if things fall right.
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr. This guy has been a force the past couple of games and things really seem to be clicking for him. I hope to see his growth continue.
  • Matthew Tago is another player that’s been standing out on the defensive side of the ball. He has not looked like a freshman the past several games and has the potential to be a big time player at OSU. If the size of his dad’s arms are any indication, this guy is only going to get stronger and scarier. LET THAT MANE FLOW!

Seahawks

  • A bunch of people wrote off the 2018 Seahawks. I wasn’t one of them. I said from the beginning 8-11 wins. I consider and still consider 8 the floor. For the dummies who picked them to win 4, you better hope they lose out.
  • Four wins in their last five games.
  • Russell Wilson was a stupid efficient 14-17 on Sunday.
  • Bobby Wagner had Golden Tate on a leash. It looked like he had a personal grudge the way he was abusing his former teammate.
  • Golden got traded to the Eagles earlier this week. I bet the first thing he did was look to see if the Seahawks were on their schedule.
  • The defense is continues to be really good even though they lost all these loud, injured, underperforming superstars. Imagine that!
  • I’ve said it from the beginning ,young and hungry beats old and disgruntled. That is the theme of 2018.
  • No disrespect to the guys that have gone elsewhere. I will always appreciate and respect what they accomplished in Seattle. But I didn’t appreciate the disruption they caused in the locker room the last two+ years.
  • Michael Dickson ran out of his own end zone for a first down.
  • There is no way we are just ignoring that last note… Again, Michael Dickson (THE PUNTER) ran for a first down from his own end zone to ice the game.
  • Chargers this week. Huge game. Schedule only gets tougher.
  • With every win comes more confidence.
  • This team reminds me of that 2012 team. Nobody outside of Seattle expected anything from them, but every week they battled and you could tell it was only the beginning. Fun times ahead.

Trailblazers

  • 5-2 and again, could be better.
  • I like the balance of this team. It’s early, but they are going to keep growing and evolving.
  • Zach Collins continues to improve and is becoming really fun to watch.
  • Like the Seahawks, there has been a lot of doubt with this team. But you look at what’s on the roster and you know they are going to compete each night.
  • As was expected, outside of the Warriors running away with the one seed and a guaranteed trip to the finals, everything else in the West appears to be wide open.
  • Meyers Leonard has once again seen his role diminish quickly. Nothing against the guy personally, but seven years in it’s pretty obvious to everyone (but Neil), that things didn’t pan out like we’d hoped.

Oregon State Basketball

  • This team needs to win 20 games. I’ll say it every day until forever.
  • They beat some obscure school in Montana by like 50 in an exhibition game, Saturday.
  • Should’ve beat them by 70.
  • Tres, Stevie, Ethan, and Alfred all look good to go. Again, those four should be enough to be an extremely competitive basketball team. No excuses.
  • I like the length on this roster. Lots of big bodies. Raw and lots of work to be done, but I like it.
  • At this point I just want to see how this team responds to real, meaningful games early. The goal should be to head into conference play undefeated. They will probably drop one or two, but any more than that would be a disappointment.
  • This season is the moment of truth. For the players I mentioned, for coach Tinkle and his staff, and for Beaver Athletics as a whole. It’s time to get it done.
  • Go Beavs!

Belated Weekend Rewind

FeaturedBelated Weekend Rewind

By Andy / 35th & Jackson

Even though the Seahawks were idle on a bye week and Oregon State football might as well have been, there were still plenty of items of note to go around.

 

Oregon State Football:

  • In a similar manner to their performance against Arizona earlier in the season, the Beavers took a golden opportunity in the friendly confines of Reser Stadium and promptly flushed it away.
  • A 49-7 loss to a Cal team that got trounced by a previously winless UCLA team a week ago was inexplicable.
  • It seems as though every time the Beavers have been set up for a mini breakthrough, they have failed fantastically.
  • The defense actually played decent early on. But of course, they happened to do so on a day the offense had absolutely nothing to contribute.
  • Artavis Pierce started in place of freshman phenom, Jermar Jefferson as he nursed a previously unmentioned hamstring injury. Jefferson did bust one 30 yard run, but unfortunately wasn’t able to go after that. People want to blame the poor offensive showing on Jefferson being out, but it was more than that. Pierce looked ok, but didn’t have a ton of room.
  • The other disaster was the inability to throw the ball down field. Whether it was the QB holding it too long, or the line not protecting, or a mixture of both.
  • Cal lived in the OSU backfield.
  • Conor Blount left the game with an apparent head injury after being the victim of targeting and remains in concussion protocol.
  • Jack Colleto plays hard, but as I’ve mentioned before, is a clear third option behind Luton and Blount.
  • Speaking of, is Jake Luton ever coming back? Things seem less optimistic  with each passing week. His high ankle sprain suffered in mid September is still bothering him. I’m thinking there might be more to this injury.
  • This now marks the FOURTH consecutive season that Oregon State has had to constantly rotate quarterbacks due to injuries. It’s unbelievable how many QBs see the field each year. It really paints a picture of just how rough this program has had it.
  • If Colleto has to start this week he will be OSU’s 7th or 8th starting QB in the last  four seasons. Others to start include Seth Collins, Marcus McMaryion, Nick Mitchell, Darell Garretson, Jake Luton, and Conor Blount. Let me know if I’m missing others.
  • Bottom line, Saturday was a bummer and to perform like that coming off of a bye does not boost program morale. I still believe they can get this thing turned around, but I wouldn’t dare put a timeline on it at this point.

Seahawks:

  • As I mentioned, the Seahawks were off this week but the chaos in the NFC is great for this team.
  • Sunday’s game in Detroit is massive. A win would really put the team in position for a nice run. The lions also come in at 3-3, winning three out of four games and looking like a contender. A loss would certainly hurt, especially on a schedule that leaves little room for error.
  • KJ Wright and Ed Dickson have returned to practice which could provide a major boost for this team on both sides of the ball.
  • It will be interesting to see if the running game picks up where it left off before the break.
  • Sunday will provide Seahawks fans a chance to think about how great it would be to have Golden Tate on this current team.
  • Speaking of receivers, will Doug Baldwin build on his strong outing in London after another two weeks of letting his ailments heal?
  • Speaking of receivers again, will Tyler Lockett continue to be a consistent playmaker? Let’s hope so.
  • Frank Clark and his agent say they are in no hurry for a deal. He has really performed well so far in what is a contract year and I can’t say with certainty that he’ll be here next year. Right now, Clark is the only threat as a pass rusher on this team. The Seahawks need to find some other guys to help in that area.
  • I’m as excited and nervous for this game as I have been in quite sometime. It just feels like a potential turning point. But on the road in Detroit has me worried about a last minute heart breaking defeat. It just feels like a scary game that comes down to a crucial play in the final moments.

Blazers:

  • They’re baaaaack!
  • I was pretty stoked about the 2-0 start especially after beating the Lebron led Lakers  who nobody outside of Portland seemed to realize… LOST!
  • Nik Stauskus has been a pleasant surprise so far. Sauce Castillo was trending on Twitter.
  • My excitement soured a little bit as the Blazers botched what should have been a 3-0 start. They couldn’t shake the Wizards at home and Dame and CJ were ice cold.
  • It worries me that both guards seem to be off at the same time so frequently. It made me shutter thinking of last year’s playoff series with New Orleans.
  • I really think this team can flirt with 50 wins if they play to their capabilities. A lot of people laugh at that, but really they should be able to come close to that.
  • But they can’t win 50 losing to Washington at home. That sucked.
  • I enjoyed the halloween costumes everyone wore. Especially Dame as Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Oregon State Basketball:

  • As we inch ever closer to the 2018-2019 season I’m making a conscious decision to demand more out of Beaver Basketball this year.
  • A team that returns Tres Tinkle and Stephen Thompson Jr. in year four,  and Ethan Thompson and Alfred Hollins in year two must win 20 games. Anything less is a disappointment. Some may be shocked by that statement, but it’s the truth. No more excuses.
  • BYU transfer Payton Dastrup has been denied immediate eligibility this season. That sucks as he would’ve been a nice veteran presence. But still… No excuses!
  • This is as much talent on the floor as there ever has been and I don’t care if the bench isn’t very deep. Four extremely good basketball players need to be able to carry a team. And trust me, it isn’t the players who should feel the pressure of these expectations…
  • Wayne Tinkle needs to prove that he can do it with this group right now. The tournament appearance three years ago was great, but let’s be honest… GPII carried that team far beyond what anyone thought and covered up for virtually every sin and shortcoming. His improv was incredible and helped make up for the fact that the team was in a state of constant confusion on offense.
  • They are still confused on offense and since Payton’s departure have tremendously underachieved.
  • I need to see clean, smart basketball. The talent is there, this coaching staff needs to show that they can get the most out of it. So far we haven’t seen that.
  • I know the PAC 12 is competitive, but this team should be fighting in the top echelon with the likes of Oregon, Washington, the Arizona schools, etc.. Not a team content finishing 8th or 9th in the conference.
  • Speaking of Washington, they have a second year coach with basically none of his recruits and are already in the top 25! I’m done with any excuses for OSU hoops.
  • Bottom Line: 20 wins is non negotiable.

Oregon State Baseball:

  • Still awesome! They win in fall, winter, spring and summer. Doesn’t matter, Wins on top of wins.

Mariners:

  • They never play in the fall.

 

Washington State:

  • Four straight, go Cougs!

 

Weekend Rewind

FeaturedWeekend Rewind

By Andy / 35th & Jackson

Beavs: It was a spirited effort for most of the game by our beloved Beavs. Wazzu jumped out to a 14-0 lead before I could say Gardner Minshew II. Here’s the thing, going into the game I thought this would be one of those weird games where the Beavers play a team close when everyone expects a blowout. I think I had this being an 11 (spread was 17) point win for the Cougs. After the blocked punt, I thought the Beavs would lose by 60.

What really happened was sort of what has happened all season thus far. I went into the game with higher expectations than most, because I feel I sensed what could be a trap game and that some weird stuff would happen. With a second half lead, I allowed myself to believe. They couldn’t stop our offense, but once again, our defense couldn’t tackle anyone. The Beavers did everything they possibly could. Trick plays galore, five fourth down conversions, and still it didn’t matter. It was an exciting game, don’t get me wrong… but they still lost by 19. It’s just a microcosm of the season. The Beavers come out and throw the biggest possible haymaker they can and they still get trounced in the end. All of that for a 19 point loss.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in where the program can get to and I believe Niner will take us there, but it’s hard to be encouraged by what we’ve seen so far. We need a defense. That’s on players, coaches and everyone involved with the program. I know we need more athletes on that side of the ball, but it’s more than that. You shouldn’t be giving up 50+ a game so long as you have 11 warm bodies and decent coaching. It’s unacceptable and it needs to be fixed. All I ask is for positive strides. If we can be a team that surrenders only 40 points a game in the final six games, I will be pleased.

This is longer than I anticipated, but my brain has been short circuiting over this stuff for the past few days. I leave you with this… Oregon State really is just a mediocre defense away from being a very difficult PAC 12 opponent. The offense has exceeded my expectations and then some. Sure there are mistakes and things to clean up, but the scheme is everything a fan could ask for. On that note, Jermar Jefferson makes a one win team must watch TV every week. So pumped we have 22 in the backfield.

Seahawks: I once again set myself up for failure with this one. Nobody thought the Seahawks had a snowball’s chance in the bad place of beating the Rams on Sunday. Nobody except me. I really thought they would find a way to come out on top and by golly they almost did. There was a lot to like as they ran all over the Rams vaunted D line and played very physical football all around. It was back and forth the entire afternoon, but unfortunately the Rams just made a few more plays. The defense got gashed by the lab produced Ram’s offense all day. They had their chances on some key third downs and just couldn’t get it done. And finally it all came to an end as the Rams converted a short 4th and 1 sneak to put the game on ice. Quick side note: A QB sneak from a yard out should always be automatic. I don’t know why we don’t see it more. It is almost impossible to stop. Once the Rams lined up after Pete Carroll’s much debated timeout (which I actually didn’t mind that much. I can see his logic and I believe the Rams would’ve rushed out and gone for it anyway with the offense huddled tightly on the sideline) I knew it was over. Properly executed sneaks are unstoppable.

33-31 left a sting, but I had to come away with a positive outlook. Other than the Rams running away with the top seed, the NFC is wide open. 2-3 isn’t ideal, but this team has shown they have found their identity again and I think they can make some hay in the next several weeks to be back in the thick of the playoff race. Other than the Rams on the road, I don’t see another game on the schedule that I immediately would consider a loss. I’m not saying they are going to finish 12-4 necessarily, but I wouldn’t count out 10-6 or even 11-5 just yet. Let’s see what this team can do going forward.

Mariners: It’s October, silly… A happy, merciful and well deserved offseason to all of the broken compass diehards. Go Ms!