Monday, October 13, 2014

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Seahawks swoon, Eagles soar and Spokane Indians make news

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Good morning Internet users! Welcome to a new weekly (or at least semi-weekly) addition to Bloglander. Monday Morning Placekicker will get you caught up with all the sports and sports-related happenings from the weekend so you can at least fake your way through a conversation with your sports-obsessed co-workers.

click to enlarge SEAHAWKS.COM

I imagine the offices and homes of the hardcore Seahawks fans — the folks who hang the "12th Man" flags outside their doors every Sunday — are pretty damn quiet today. And I say "I imagine" because I'm new in town and don't share the natural affinity for the home-state team that it seems most folks in these parts hold. I'm no hater, just indifferent as a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fans and recent transplant. Before you break out the pitchforks, though, rest easy that I was rooting for Seattle in the Super Bowl, as I do most weeks, because one thing we can all agree on is a hatred of the Broncos, right? Right!?! 

But I digress. We're here to soothe the surviving spectators of that ugly Seahawks loss on Sunday, to the dastardly so-called "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys. It was shocking enough for Seattle to lose a home game at Century Link Field. And it was surprising to see star quarterback Russell Wilson throw an interception when he had a chance to salvage the game at the end. Most incredible, the final 30-23 score makes it seem like it was a close game, but if it wasn't for a few big plays, the Seahawks would have been at the wrong end of a blowout. Consider:

  • Dallas had 23 first downs, Seattle had nine
  • Dallas had 401 yards on the day, Seattle had 206
  • Dallas ran for 162 yards running the ball, Seattle had 80
  • Dallas controlled the ball for nearly 38 minutes, Seattle for barely 22
The silver lining for Seahawks fans is that it's only Week 6 of a looooong season, and this kind of shellacking can help a team — particularly a successful team, coming off a championship season — re-focus and fly right. I would hazard a guess that Marshawn Lynch will get more than 10 carries in most games from here on out, and Wilson will throw for more than 126 yards. 

So buck up, 'hawks fans. It was just one day. One U-G-L-Y day. But it will get better. 

At the college level here locally, the weekend was a mixed-bag. Washington State had to play another in an endless series of night games to open their season, and lost to the powerful Stanford squad Friday night in Palo Alto. Coug fans should go ahead and start celebrating this week as a win — the team actually has a bye and won't play again until Oct. 25 against Arizona — because after a couple of tough weeks, they need a reason to party positive. 

click to enlarge WSU ATHLETICS
WSU Athletics

Meanwhile, Eastern Washington's Eagles got their first taste of life without star quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who is missing a few games with broken bones in his foot, and they seem to be just fine. The Eagles pummeled Southern Utah on the road, and come home to Cheney this weekend for a game against Northern Colorado. And UW put a beat-down on Cal in Berkeley. 

Baseball takes a lot of heat for being "slow" and "boring" by those immune to the charms of the national pastime. This year's playoffs, though, have been a great argument to the contrary. (OK, the games might be slow — but certainly not boring). 

The American League Championship Series had an extra-innings win by the upstart Kansas City Royals on Friday night, followed immediately with them beating the Baltimore Orioles again Saturday afternoon in the last inning of the game in Baltimore. Watching the Royals scrap for hits, steal bases like it's the '80s, artificial turf era, and somehow win games against teams far more powerful is a great fall story

Over in the National League, it's a showdown of heavyweights with the San Francisco Giants, who took Game 1 on Saturday via a 3-0 shutout, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who won Sunday on a ninth-inning walk-off home run. The crowd, as they say, went wild: 

Speaking of baseball, the Spokane Indians' 11-inning no-hitter pitched by four different players is nominated for Minor League Baseball's Game of the Year. No-hitters are pretty rare. No-hitters pitched by more than one guy are even more so. An extra-inning no-hitter is virtually unheard of, so it stands to reason the game is getting some love. Fans are encouraged to hit the minor league baseball site to vote for the Indians' game

Kansas City and Baltimore continue their series with a game starting tonight at 5 p.m. Pacific, and Monday Night Football features Seahawks' rivals the San Francisco 49ers up against division foe the St. Louis Rams. A Niners loss keeps the Seahawks squarely in second in their division, so there's actually a good reason for 'hawks fans to watch. 

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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...