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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 7
October 15, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM TEN at CAR Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM Bye Week:
*BAL at CIN *NE at MIA *WAS at BUF KC at OAK Arizona
DAL at DET *NO at ATL *CHI at SEA   Indianapolis
*DEN at MIN *PHI at NYG NYJ at HOU Times EST Jacksonville
GB at STL *SD at CLE *TB at SF *updated Pittsburgh
   
Chicago vs Seattle Sun, Oct 19; 4 PM on FOX at Seahawks Stadium
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Chris Chandler 0 0 160,1
RB Adrian Peterson 50 10 0
RB Rabih Abdullah 10 20 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 30,1 0
WR Marty Booker Q Q Q
WR Dez White 0 60 0
WR David Terrell 0 30 0
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 190,2
RB Shaun Alexander 100,1 20 0
TE Ituli Mili 0 20,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 50 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 30 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 50,1 0

Game Prediction: CHI 10, SEA 27

Chicago Notes

Update: Now that Kordell Stewart is benched, I mean "out" due to injury (wink), Chris Chandler has been named the starter this week. Anthony Thomas is doubtful to play and Adrian Peterson has been named the starting runningback this week though he may get some help from Rabih Abdullah.

Marty Booker has missed practice time with a sprained ankle, and there is a good chance that he may not play. If he does not, David Terrell will likely take over the flanker spot and there is some speculation that Ahmad Meritt may see an increased role as well. The Bears offense is in a rather big transition suddenly, which probably could not hurt. Booker may be named as a starter or out on Friday or Saturday, or the team may wait until gametime to decide.

Quarterbacks: After commandeering the Bears for their first win over the Raiders, Kordell Stewart quickly spent whatever good will he might had accrued last week when he faced the normally porous Saint defense and ended with only 10 of 21 completions, 152 yards with one score, an interception and two lost fumbles. HC Dick Jauron has been adamant that Stewart is the starting quarterback but this week has merely been saying that he is "evaluating the situation".

Running backs: Anthony Thomas ran 21 times for 96 yards against the Saints, only a bit less than the 123 yards on 22 carries against the Raiders the previous week. He now receives all the carries other than a couple for Stanley Pritchett a game.

Wide Receivers: Just when it appeared that Marty Booker was again a factor, he caught one pass last week for eleven yards and left the game with a sprained ankle. He should play this week. Dez White picked up the slack with five catches for 91 yards and a score while David Terrell had only one catch, even though he was needed badly to step up last week.

Tight Ends: Desmond Clark continues to get as many passes as any other receiver, but since it is Kordell throwing them, he usually only manages to reach two a game now. Last week one of those catches was an amazing one hand effort.

Match against the defense: The Seattle defense has been about average overall this season, but the Bears bring in an offense that can only dream of being average.

It is a safe bet that Anthony Thomas will find some success against a unit that has allowed over 100 yards rushing the past two weeks but the failings at the quarterback position will ripple down to all players in the passing game. More than any single characteristic, the Seahawks at home will enjoy the probable turnovers that are spawned by Bears which will have a bad effect on field position the entire game.

There is a chance that the Bears could pick up some trash time passing yardage, but it is not as good as the chance that Kordell loses the ball anyway. CB Shawn Springs may return to the starting lineup.

Seattle Notes

Quarterbacks: The first half was a charm last week for Matt Hasselbeck and the rest of the team, but they came out flat in the second half and almost gave the game away. He ended with 207 yards passing and one touchdown and had a 17 yard scramble late in the game to keep a scoring drive alive. Seattle looked like they were heading to a romp but allowed the 49ers to reel off 19 points to make it a tight game.

Running backs: Shaun Alexander only netted 77 yards on 22 carries last week but the 49ers rush defense is pretty sound. Mack Strong shocked the defense by ripping off a 21 yard touchdown run but he rarely carries the ball and banged up his knee some in the game. He is expected to play this Sunday.

Wide Receivers: While the Seahawks started out hot, their second half struggles led Koren Robinson to only gaining 32 yards on three catches and Darrell Jackson had 55 yards on five receptions as Hasselbeck struggled to escape the pass rush.

Tight Ends: Ituli Mili had one catch for a touchdown, a 15 yard bullet between defenders. Jerramy Stevens had his traditional one pass and since he caught the one the previous week, he dropped the one last week.

Match against the defense: The Bears have been soft in almost all phases of the defense other than covering the wideouts. With Chicago a big green light for running backs, Alexander should gain his third 100 yard game this season.

The Bears have allowed multiple touchdown passes in every game this season except against Oakland ('gasp') and Seattle needs to get the passing game oiled up and running smoothly. The oddity is that almost all the touchdowns have gone to either backs or tight ends. Other than Terrell Owens 112 yard game in week one (and he did not score), the best wideout game was last week of 55 yards for Jerome Pathon. This is what happens when there are cornerbacks and nothing else. The yardage gains for the wideouts are likely to not be high though either could catch a score and really need to soon in order to maintain confidence.

Game Prediction: Let's see, Bears on the road against a 4-1 team. I like the Seahawks in this matchup and do not be surprised if Rex Grossman or Chris Chandler does end up with a few snaps. After last week, Seattle will be playing all four quarters.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) by position for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
CHI Scores
19
29
27
20
16
31
SEA Allows
14
19
14
8
1
3
CHI AP -5 -10 -13 -12 -15 -28
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
SEA Scores
17
12
17
24
11
2
CHI Allows
24
30
9
29
32
26
SEA AP 13 18 -8 5 21 24
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
CHI SEA 2003 Game Averages SEA CHI
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
151
212
Pass yards
200
194
0.8
0.8
Pass TDs
1.2
1.8
1.6
1.4
Interceptions
0.8
0.8
42
8
Rush yards
13
14
0.2
0.4
Rush TDs
0.2
0.2
----
----
RB's
----
----
89
97
Rush yards
113
140
0.4
0.8
Rush TDs
0.8
1.0
10
22
Receive yards
29
38
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.4
----
----
WR's
----
----
111
156
Receive yards
152
127
0.6
0.6
Receive TD's
0.8
0.8
----
----
TE's
----
----
29
34
Receive yards
19
29
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.8
----
----
PK's
----
----
2.0
1.0
Field Goals
1.8
2.8
1.4
2.0
Extra Points
2.6
3.2
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.4
0.2
Fumbles
1.4
1.0
0.8
0.6
Interceptions
1.4
1.6
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
1.0
0.2
0.8
2.8
Sacks
1.4
3.6
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Bears (1-4)
Score Opp.
7-49 @SF
13-24 @MIN
Week 3 BYE
23-38 GB
24-21 OAK
13-20 @NO
Week 7 @SEA
Week 8 DET
Week 9 SD
Week 10 @DET
Week 11 STL
Week 12 @DEN
Week 13 ARZ
Week 14 @GB
Week 15 MIN
Week 16 WAS
Week 17 @KC
Seahawks (4-1)
Score Opp.
27-10 NO
38-0 @ARZ
24-23 STL
Week 4 BYE
13-35 @GB
20-19 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

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points