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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
JAX at IND NYJ at NE *NYG at WAS *GB at ARZ *OAK at DEN
*KC at HOU PIT at CIN STL at SEA Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*MIN at DET *TB at ATL *BAL at SD BUF at MIA CAR, CHI
*NO at TEN Times EST CLE at SF *updated DAL, PHI
   
St. Louis vs Seattle Sun, Sep 21; 4 PM on FOX at Seahawks Stadium
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 260,1
RB Marshall Faulk 60,1 30 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 20 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 70 0
WR Torry Holt 0 90,1 0
WR Dane Looker 0 40 0
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 240,2
RB Shaun Alexander 110,1 10 0
TE Ituli Mili 0 20,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 20 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 90,1 0

Game Prediction: STL 20, SEA 30

The Rams made the switch to Marc Bulger last week and he responded with a solid 25 of 36 for 236 yard effort, netting two passing touchdowns and at fault only for two fumbles. Bulger was shaky in the second quarter but settled down to throw 15 of 17 passes for 154 yards in the second half. Bulger led the Rams on four scoring drives during the second half and overtime period.

Bulger showed no favorites, throwing to Isaac Bruce (6-63), Torry Holt (6-64, 1 TD) and Dane Looker (5-47, 1 TD) with seven more passes to Marshall Faulk (4-33) and Lamar Gordon (3-26).

Faulk ran 18 times for 57 yards and one touchdown and missed time in the second quarter when he was tackled and had his helmet come down and bruise above his eye. He returned to the game and scored in the third quarter. It was the first Ram rushing score in the past seven games.

The St. Louis defense held Terrell Owens to only 42 yards receiving but failed to stop him when he tied the game with a late touchdown. The Rams also allowed big yardage runs by Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow who combined for 133 yards on the ground.

The Seahawks got the week off by traveling to Arizona where they decimated the Cardinals 38-0 in a game that was so in hand that HC Mike Holmgren felt free to sit Koren Robinson down all game to teach him a lesson. What he did, other than wreck the Sunday for countless fantasy teams, was to let Robinson watch as his teammates sweltered in the hottest game ever played by the Seahawks.

Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown bombs to Darrell Jackson, covering 55 and 66 yards and granting Jackson a total of 133 yards on only three catches. Hasselbeck aggravated his hip pointer in the game but is expected to be fine this week.

It was such a blowout that Maurice Morris received 11 carries and even he gained 67 yards. The difference maker so far has been the defense that has now forced 10 turnovers in only two games while the Seahawks have had none. FS Ken Hamlin is becoming a regular feature on ESPN highlights with crushing tackles each week. So far the addition of defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes appears to have paid big dividends.

This week will be another test for Marc Bulger. While it is true that Bulger has won all seven games that he has started, the great oddity is that he has only started in one road game. Other than beating the Cardinals in Arizona last year, all of his other games have been at home. At the time he played them, his opponents did not have standout defenses either - OAK, SEA, SD, CHI and ARZ were all home games last season. It is encouraging to see Bulger comeback to beat the 49ers last week, but Seattle will present him with a much tougher venue than he is used to playing.

This should be a good game and one that produces the most points in week three unless Denver goes postal on the Raiders. Look for Bulger to battle through sack and turnover problems again and end up passing much more in the second half. Alexander did not have big games against the Rams last year but with a better offense and defense this time, the Seahawks will be rushing to consume the clock at the end. Forcing Bulger to a passing game will play into the hands of the aggressive and opportunistic Seattle defense.

STL
SEA
2003 Averages
SEA
STL
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
289
240
Pass yards
156
212
1.5
0.5
Pass TDs
1.5
1
0.5
2.5
Interceptions
0
0.5
0
18
Rush yards
7
8
0
0
Rush TDs
0.5
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
58
80
Rush yards
134
141
0.5
0
Rush TDs
1
1
43
19
Receive yards
18
38
0
0
Receive TD's
0.5
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
232
180
Receive yards
133
139
1.5
0.5
Receive TD's
1
1
---
---
TE's
---
---
14
41
Receive yards
6
36
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2
0.5
Field Goals
2
1.5
2
0.5
Extra Points
3.5
3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0
0
Fumbles
2.5
3.5
1.5
0
Interceptions
2.5
0.5
0
0
Touchdowns
2
3
1
2
Sacks
1
3
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Rams (1-1)
Score Opp.
13-23 @NYG
27-24 SF
Week 3 @SEA
Week 4 ARZ
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 ATL
Week 7 GB
Week 8 @PIT
Week 9 @SF
Week 10 BAL
Week 11 @CHI
Week 12 @ARZ
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @CLE
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 CIN
Week 17 @DET
Seahawks (2-0)
Score Opp.
27-10 NO
38-0 @ARZ
Week 3 STL
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 @GB
Week 6 SF
Week 7 CHI
Week 8 @CIN
Week 9 PIT
Week 10 @WAS
Week 11 DET
Week 12 @BAL
Week 13 CLE
Week 14 @MIN
Week 15 @STL
Week 16 ARZ
Week 17 @SF
(Statistics are game averages from current season )