Seahawks Beat Niners, Sounders Win MLS Cup

An emergency Peltoncast recaps a thrilling 27-24 overtime Seahawks victory over the previously undefeated NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers as well as reliving the Sounders’ 3-1 MLS Cup win over Toronto FC on Sunday with third Pelton brother Chris Smith.

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Links
– Michael Sawyer on Greatest Week Ever
– Kevin’s piece on the Sounders’ MLS Cup win

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Peltoncast No. 182

All the sports are happening, and third Pelton brother Chris Smith helps us preview the Sounders hosting MLS Cup on Sunday before we get to UW football and the men’s basketball season opener on Friday,  plus a Seahawks showdown with the undefeated 49ers on Monday night.

Contents

Intro – Remembering the late Ron Fairly
6:00 – Bonus Talkin’ Taco Time content
17:00 – NBA Seattle update presented by Pagliacci Pizza: Looking at election returns
21:30 – NHL Seattle set to announce team name soon?
23:00 – How will this matchup vs. Toronto FC be different from the 2016 and 2017 MLS Cups?
44:00 – Takeaways from UW men’s basketball exhibition win plus previewing matchup with No. 16 Baylor
1:04 – UW football faces surprisingly strong Oregon State offense
1:16 – Finding reasons for hope as the Seahawks travel to the Bay

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 182
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Greg Proops on Ron Fairly’s influence
– Talkin’ Taco Time: State of TTNW with Robby Tonkin
– Sportsnet: NHL Seattle team name announcement plans
– NHL Seattle hires Dani Chu
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– KenPom.com projections
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– Football Outsiders DVOA
– Football Outsiders playoff odds
– ESPN NFL Pass Rush Win Rate

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Seahawks claim Josh Gordon

An emergency Peltoncast discusses the Seahawks claiming talented receiver Josh Gordon off waivers from the New England Patriots and how Gordon might fit in Seattle.

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Links
– Pro Football Reference: Top receivers since 2012
– Deadspin: Let’s remember some guys

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Peltoncast No. 181

We celebrate the Sounders pulling a huge upset to reach the MLS Cup final for the third time in four years, then check in on the Seahawks at the midway point.

Contents

Intro – Celebrating Halloween with Elysian’s Pumpkin Pack
5:00 – How Sounders FC knocked off LAFC after the best MLS regular season ever
20:00 – NBA Seattle update presented by Pagliacci Pizza: Opening week takeaways
27:30 – Rationalizing UW’s loss at TCU in a “secret” scrimmage
33:30 – Previewing the Huskies’ football matchup with No. 9 Utah
56:00 – Why doesn’t a 6-2 start for the Seahawks feel better?

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 181
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Pagliacci blog on Peltoncast sponsorship
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– Seattle Times: How UW fared in “secret” scrimmage
– KenPom.com projections
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– Football Outsiders DVOA
– Football Outsiders playoff odds
– NFL QBR

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Peltoncast No. 180

Football is bad, and we discuss what to make of home losses for both the Huskies and Seahawks. But soccer is good, as the Sounders advance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Plus Kevin’s 10 players to watch this NBA season.

Contents

Intro – It’s #FreshHopSzn
4:00 – Seattle-centric 2019-20 NBA preview
29:30 – NHL Seattle shares some ticket prices
32:30 – Sounders win thriller, prep for RSL
41:00 – Reign FC’s season ends in NWSL semifinals
42:30 – UW men’s basketball just misses out on AP top 25
46:30 – Who’s to blame for the Huskies falling out of Pac-12 contention?
1:13 – How concerned should we be about the Seahawks losing to the Ravens?

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 180
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Pagliacci blog on Peltoncast sponsorship
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– KenPom.com projections
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– CBSSports.com: NFL Draft QB Stock Watch
– Football Outsiders DVOA
– Football Outsiders playoff odds
– NFL QBR

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Peltoncast No. 179

We preview a big weekend in Seattle sports (but not the biggest) featuring MLS and NWSL playoffs, UW hosting its biggest rival and the Seahawks facing the Ravens. After that, DJ Nphared joins us for an After-Ballers on Sunday’s series finale for Ballers on HBO.

Contents

IntroMatisse Thybulle updates
5:30 – Quick Bay Area food diary
10:o0 – NBA Seattle update sponsored by Pagliacci Pizza: Revisiting Howard Schultz’s tenure as owner
20:00 – Previewing the Sounders’ playoff matchup with FC Dallas
23:30 – Reign FC finishes fourth, travels to North Carolina
25:30 – UW men’s basketball picked third by Pac-12 media
28:30 – Was Saturday a turning point for UW football ahead of Oregon’s visit?
54:30 – Previewing the Ravens and Earl Thomas’ return
1:20 – Summing up the final season of Ballers on HBO

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 179
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
Tavour website
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Pagliacci blog on Peltoncast sponsorship
– Sonic Boom podcast on Luminary Premium
– Peltoncast Sonics history podcasts
– Peltoncast fantasy basketball
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– ESPN Pac-12 MBB predictions
– KnowRivalry.com on Washington’s rivals
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– Football Outsiders DVOA
– NFL QBR
– Pro Football Reference advanced defense stats

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Peltoncast No. 178

What went wrong for the Huskies at Stanford and what does it mean going forward? We ask that and celebrate the Sounders clinching the second seed in the West before previewing the Seahawks’ trip to Cleveland.

Contents

Intro – Congrats to Baby Fantasy Genius’ flag football team!
7:00 – Does Sodo Chicken have Seattle’s best chicken sandwich?
11:30 – NBA Seattle update sponsored by Pagliacci Pizza: Preseason begins
17:00 – Sounders beat Minnesota United to go second
23:00 – USWNT Victory Tour continues; Reign FC play for third Sunday
26:00 – UW basketball updates around Pac-12 Media Day
28:30 – How good are the Huskies ahead of another road test at Arizona?
53:00 – What to make of the Browns after a blowout loss on MNF?

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 178
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
Tavour website
– Seahawks-Rams recap
– Analysis: What’s the worst loss of the Coach Pete era?
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Seattle Times: Seattle’s top fried chicken sandwich
– Sonic Boom podcast on Luminary Premium
– Peltoncast Sonics history podcasts
– Peltoncast fantasy basketball
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– NFL QBR
– JaMarco Jones Pass Block Win Rate

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What’s the Worst Loss of the Coach Pete Era?

The Washington Huskies entered Saturday’s game at Stanford as 13-point favorites (having been favored by as many as 17 on some online sports books last week) and left it with a second conference loss in three tries.

In the wake of the frustrating performance, some Husky fans called the upset the worst loss of Chris Petersen’s six-year tenure on Montlake, an argument Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times made in his postgame column. While Calkins offered a compelling case, I think the recency effect might overstate the pain of a fresh loss as compared to one in the distant past. So it’s worth considering this question from an unemotional statistical perspective.

Part of the challenge is defining the worst loss. As a result, let’s look at a variety of different methods of analysis before coming to a conclusion. First, what are the easiest games the Huskies have lost under Petersen? I’m basing this on Jeff Sagarin’s predictor ratings with an adjustment for home-field advantage. That yields the following top five (of 23 total losses in that span).

Year  Opponent          Loc  Rating
-----------------------------------
2014  Oklahoma State     N     71.0
2018  California         A     73.0
2017  Arizona State      A     74.3
2019  California         H     75.6
2019  Stanford           A     76.3

This list features most of the usual suspects in the “worst loss” competition, including both of the Huskies’ 2019 defeats, last year’s loss at Cal and a 2017 loss at Arizona State. Yet the leader in this group, surprisingly, is the 2014 Oklahoma State team that defeated Petersen’s first UW squad in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2 — quarterbacked by future Pittsburgh Steelers starter Mason Rudolph, then a 19-year-old true freshman.

That game topping the list shows the problem with considering the question simply in terms of opponent quality. While the Huskies were favored by about a touchdown, the outcome wasn’t a huge upset. Washington, which finished the season 8-6, was still a work in progress during Petersen’s first year at the helm. So let’s instead pose the question of which games the Huskies should have been favored by the most points in based on their own Sagarin rating, their opponent and the location. Here’s how that list looks.

Year  Opponent          Loc   xDiff
-----------------------------------
2017  Arizona State      A     14.9
2019  California         H     11.6
2018  California         A     11.5
2016  USC                H      8.7
2015  Oregon             H      6.7

In part because we’re factoring the outcome of the game into this analysis, Saturday’s loss doesn’t crack the top five here. Based on current Sagarin ratings, we’d only have expected the Huskies to beat Stanford by about six points. If we go instead by pregame point spreads, Saturday’s -13 line ranks third-largest among losses in the Coach Pete era according to the Oddsshark.com database behind the top two games on this list. Washington was a 17.5-point favorite at Arizona State in 2017 and a 13.5-point favorite against Cal in week two. The next two games in terms of pregame line mirror the list above: last year at Cal (12-point favorite) and 2016 vs. USC (9.5-point favorite).

A final way to consider the question is how much the Huskies underperformed in a given game compared to what we’d expect the final margin to be based on their rating, the opponent and the location. That produces this top five.

Year  Opponent          Loc   xDiff   Score    Game
---------------------------------------------------
2016  USC                H      8.7    -13    -21.7
2017  Arizona State      A     14.9     -6    -20.9
2015  (13) Utah          H      4.9    -11    -15.9
2019  Stanford           A      5.8    -10    -15.8
2015  Arizona State      A      5.2    -10    -15.2

Because of the 10-point margin, Saturday’s game pops back on the list, albeit still only in fourth. Surprisingly, the 2016 loss to the Trojans that ended Washington’s unbeaten season comes out number one. While that result forced the Huskies to play Alabama in the opening round of the College Football Playoff, it’s hard to say that even a double-digit loss at home was the worst of the Coach Pete era when it came against a stacked team with future No. 3 pick Sam Darnold at quarterback.

A case can certainly be made that given the way Washington was outplayed on both sides of the ball, the Stanford loss was even worse than the final 10-point margin — aided by a pair of goal-line stands — looks. But ultimately, I’m going with the 2017 loss at Arizona State as the Huskies’ worst under Petersen. That game, the biggest upset in terms of point spread, knocked Washington out of the Pac-12 Championship and contention for the playoff.

By contrast, it’s possible this year’s Huskies just aren’t as good as their New Year’s Six predecessors. It was easy to explain one big upset at home to Cal as a fluke product of an extended lightning delay. Two such disappointments in a four-game span are much harder to rationalize.

For more in-depth analysis of Seattle sports, check out the weekly Peltoncast podcast.

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Recap: Seahawks beat Rams

An emergency Peltoncast discusses the emotional highs and lows from the Seahawks’ 30-29 win over the NFC West rival L.A. Rams on Thursday Night Football.

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Links
– Peltoncast on Instagram

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Peltoncast No. 177

The Sounders and Reign FC get key wins heading to the playoffs, UW football does a thing against USC and we preview the Seahawks’ Thursday Night matchup against the Rams.

Contents

Intro – Riding the ferry with a UW football legend
9:30 – NBA Seattle update sponsored by Pagliacci Pizza: Tales from Blazers media day
18:30 – Second place on line for Sounders on Decision Day
22:00 – Reign FC clinches playoff spot with derby win (Note: As either the third or fourth seed, Reign FC won’t host a playoff game)
26:30 – Takeaways from the Huskies beating the Trojans plus Sav’ell Smalls commits to UW
54:00 – How confident should we be about the Seahawks in primetime?

DOWNLOAD/STREAM THE FABULOUS PELTONCAST NO. 177
View on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Links
– Pagliacci website
Tavour website
– Peltoncast on Instagram
– Peltoncast fantasy basketball
– FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index
– Christian “Capable” on UW’s defensive scheme vs. USC (The Athletic subscribers)
– ESPN Recruiting Nation
– 247Sports UW class index
– ESPN NCAA Football Power Index
– ESPN NCAA QBR
– NFL QBR

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