TOP OF THE TOWN – I must be getting close to my expiration date, in more ways than one. I used to be really good at predicting winners in football games, and now all of a sudden I’m not. I may have to blame it on COVID-19 that has not allowed teams to get ready better with their practices, or in the case of the NFL not having exhibition games, but here I am, lost.  I have one game left ‑ New England at the Jets tonight – and I’m 17-10 this past week going into it. I could flip a coin and do better. When we had the weekly Guest Guesser going at the Kitsap Sun (or Bremerton Sun as it was called) I was at the top or near the top every year. But I just don’t seem to have it anymore. One more thing about these games is that the game has changed so much in the past decade. The passing game is much more accurate and pass receiving routes are more complicated. Athletes are quicker, bigger and have more speed and that has made it tougher for defensive backs to stay with them. That’s the excuse I am using and one the Seattle Seahawks could use. I get a bit amused when talking heads on TV talk about the Hawks being a Super Bowl contender. Get real. You don’t advance that in the playoffs by allowing quarterbacks to throw for almost 500 yards a game. First, the leaky Hawk defense was blamed on an almost non-existent pass rush. And there was a bit of truth to that. But it’s more complex than just that. The front four are not up to NFL standards. The secondary, which was supposed to be the strength, is not that good. The corners are weak. Very weak. Sure, there have been a slew of injuries, but if you play in the NFL there are going to be injuries. Each team goes through that. It’s a violent sport. It’s not for cry babies. So that is not an excuse. Look at the corners – Shaquill Griffin may be the best the Hawks have (he was out with an injury Sunday), but he is average at best. Quinton Dunbar was supposed to be very good. I disagree. He’s not as good as Griffin. And don’t tell me about Tre Flowers. He is awful. Quandre Diggs was going to be special at free safety. Well, he is only special if you are shopping at Walmart. And Jamal Adams is not as great as advertised. Yeah, he’s a mean and emotional player and has quickness to go along with that. He’s good at safety blitzes. His quickness allows him to scoot around those defensive monsters, those 300-pounders with muscles on muscles. But I don’t see him having an impact in the secondary. Bottom line is that Joe Montana is 64 and he could throw for 400 yards against the Hawks even now. I don’t know what the solution is. The trade deadline has come and gone, so you can’t look there for help. Pete Carroll built his bonafides on being a good defensive coach and he so far has not solved this perplexing mystery. One thing that is obvious is the corners give too much space to receivers coming off the line. Josh Allen had easy pickin’s. All he had to do was throw a nine-yard out and he could march the Buffalo Bills right now the field without much defensive pressure. It was like taking candy from a baby. Yeah, the Hawks sacked Allen seven times with blitzes, but those blitzes left big holes in the middle of the secondary for Allen to exploit when the Hawks’ blitzes were too late. Up next for the Hawks is a visit to the Los Angeles Rams. They will need Chris Carson back for this one for the Hawks to have a chance. Russell Wilson got beat up pretty bad against the Bills because their running game wAas almost nil. If they don’t have Carson back, look out because it could get ugly. That’s it for today. I’m outta here.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.