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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 1, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *TEN at NE Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*ARZ at DAL *MIN at ATL DET at SF *CLE at PIT Ravens
CIN at BUF *NO at CAR WAS at PHI Mon 9 PM Texans
*DEN at KC OAK at CHI *SD at JAX *IND at TB Jets
MIA at NYG SEA at GB   *updated Rams
   
Seattle vs Green Bay Sun, Oct 5; 1 PM on FOX at Lambeau Field
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 240,2
RB Shaun Alexander 100,1 30 0
TE Ituli Mili 0 20 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 70,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 20 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 80,1 0
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 230,2
RB Ahman Green 80 20 0
RB Tony Fisher 20 10 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 30 0
WR Javon Walker 0 30 0
WR Donald Driver 0 70,1 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 60,1 0

Game Prediction: SEA 27, GB 20

Seattle comes off their bye week with sole possession of the NFC West and their squeaker win over the Rams in week three showed that they are good and yet still have room to improve.

Matt Hasselbeck has six touchdowns against only one interception this season and has increased his yardage each game though his opponents have been getting better as well. Darrell Jackson leads the team for receptions, gaining 256 yards and three touchdowns already this year though much of that came in Arizona when Koren Robinson spent the game on the bench. So far Robinson has caught a touchdown in every game he has played and that should not end this week.

Shaun Alexander only has one 100 yard rushing effort this season but has an excellent chance to improve that this game. Maurice Morris proved in Arizona that he is a very capable backup in the Arizona game and then proved he was nothing more than a backup when he had no carries in the Rams tilt.

The Seattle defense has been good so far this season but it is still working on becoming great. While the pass rush needs improvement with only four sacks in three games, the secondary has netted seven interceptions and the rush defense has not only been solid, but more importantly is preventing the long runs that were common last season. While the Packers had several long runs in the Monday night game, expect to see FS Ken Hamlin making Ahman Green pay a bigger price for popping through the line.

The Packers righted the ship on Monday night by pounding the Bears and erasing the sweaty memory of their loss in Arizona the previous week. Brett Favre threw for three touchdowns in what proved to be little more than a practice game and finally avoided interceptions for the first time this season. With the Bears defense of little resistance, Favre was able to throw scores to his tight end Bubba Franks (3-39), the wideout Javon Walker (5-41) and running back William Henderson (4-47). Walker replaced Robert Ferguson in the game since the Packers knew they could afford to give Ferguson's knee a much needed week off.

Donald Driver had four receptions for 50 yards but was rarely needed to keep the ball moving. Look for Driver and Ferguson to become a more critical feature of the gameplan this week.

Ahman Green shredded the Bears almost at will, gaining 176 yards on only 19 carries and scoring twice. Green often was not touched until he reached the secondary and was a fitting end to a weekend that saw many monster games by the running backs.

The Packers now return home for a short week of preparations against their one-time coach Mike Holmgren and Favre's old backup of Matt Hasselbeck. Then again, Ahman Green also faces the team that did not want him as well.

The difference in this game will be the ability of Seattle to prevent long runs and pass plays. Seattle will have some success in holding Green at bay while Favre will not escape the game without throwing at least one or two interceptions. The Packers secondary can be beaten and the difference in this game will be Hasselbeck making the Packers pay if they load too heavily against the run. Seattle has better weapons but the Packers are at home and although these two teams have not played together since 1999, there are a lot of players and coaches who will be able to say "I remember you".

Look for the the Seahawks to get a lead and force the Packers into a passing scheme later in the game that only plays into Seattle's strength. Only a quarter of the way into the season, this game has importance. The Packers either win and stay in the race for the NFC North or merely become yet another weak team in the division full of weak teams. The Seahawks can win here and put a stamp on their season that says Seattle is the new sheriff in the NFC West or the lose and still leave the door plenty open for the Rams to walk back in.

SEA
GB
2003 Averages
GB
SEA
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
189
228
Pass yards
205
235
1.7
1
Pass TDs
1.8
0.7
0.7
14
Interceptions
1.8
2.3
14
20
Rush yards
0
12
0.3
0.5
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
----
----
RB's
----
----
110
81
Rush yards
129
77
0.7
0.3
Rush TDs
1.3
0.0
17
34
Receive yards
55
23
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
----
----
WR's
----
----
158
161
Receive yards
120
176
1.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.8
0.7
----
----
TE's
----
----
15
33
Receive yards
31
36
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
----
----
PK's
----
----
1.7
2.5
Field Goals
1.3
1.0
3.3
1.8
Extra Points
3.3
1.0
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
2.0
0.8
Fumbles
0.8
0.0
2.3
1.8
Interceptions
1.5
0.3
1.7
0.0
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
0.7
0.3
Sacks
2
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Seahawks (3-0)
Score Opp.
27-10 NO
38-0 @ARZ
24-23 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
Packers (1-2)
Score Opp.
25-30 MIN
31-6 DET
13-20 @ARZ
38-23 @CHI
Week 5 SEA
Week 6 KC
Week 7 @STL
Week 8 BYE
Week 9 @MIN
Week 10 PHI
Week 11 @TB
Week 12 SF
Week 13 @DET
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @SD
Week 16 @OAK
Week 17 DEN
(Statistics are game averages from current season )