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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 22, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *DET at CHI Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at NO NYG at MIN HOU at IND BUF at KC Atlanta
*CLE at NE SEA at CIN *NYJ at PHI Mon 9 PM Green Bay
DAL at TB *STL at PIT *SF at ARZ *MIA at SD Oakland
*DEN at BAL TEN at JAX   *updated Washington
   
Seattle vs Cincinnati Sun, Oct 26; 1 PM on FOX at Paul Brown Stadium
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 230,2
RB Shaun Alexander 100,1 30 0
TE Ituli Mili 0 30,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 50 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 20 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 80,1 0
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 210,1
RB Corey Dillon 70 10 0
TE Schobel / Stewart 0 50,1 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 50 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 70 0


Game Prediction: SEA 24, CIN 16

The Bengals come off a good win but are they good enough to do that back-to-back? Their passing game has alternated looking great with looking only average and they looked great last week. Corey Dillon has yet to look good this season and the Seahawks are needing to get Shaun Alexander into gear. Seattle has been just good enough to win five games this season and they are just good enough to make it six.

Seattle Notes

Seattle is 5-1 and have a one game lead in the NFC West. They come off a win over the Bears.

Quarterbacks: Matt Hasselbeck comes off a 215 yard, one touchdown effort last week over the Bears and that is becoming close to his standard this season. Hasselbeck has been mired around the 220 yard mark in most games this year and has not regained the hot form he ended with in 2002. His receivers have hardly been helping him.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander had a 101 yard effort last week and it was his third of the season though he needed a final 27 yard touchdown run to get there. He still has not gained over 108 yards rushing in any game this season. Maurice Morris has gone back into the shadows and did not have any carries last week.

Wide Receivers: Other than Darrell Jackson in Arizona, no Seattle receivers have recorded a 100 yard game this season. Koren Robinson has topped out at 95 yards and the offense has turned to including Bobby Engram more in the passing scheme. Still, Jackson and Robinson are the main targets and this week against CIN should find some success.

Tight Ends: Ituli Mili only has one catch in both of the past two games and the TE spot is not producing well. That could change since the Ravens last week showed that the Bengal linebackers had no chance of covering Todd Heap.

Match against the defense: The Ravens have been great against the pass this year but had not forced teams to throw on them since, realistically, they were usually behind in the game. Last week they gave up a huge 302 yard passing game to Kyle Boller who doesn't throw that much even in practice. That makes this week interesting since the Bengals have allowed Clinton Portis (120 yards) to run well on them and even Jamal Lewis managed 101 yards last week on only 19 carries thanks to two big runs.

The Bengals are improving each week but are still not good enough to cover everything defensively. There were able to throw on the Ravens last week and get a lead which took Jamal Lewis out of the equation. Shaun Alexander can run on this team but has not been as good as years past. This will be his chance to get on track and Hasselbeck can use the pass to keep the Bengals from loading up too much against the run.

Cincinnati Notes

The Bengals are 2-4 and come off a nice win over the Ravens. They are only one game behind the AFC North leader Baltimore.

Quarterbacks: Jon Kitna was on fire last week, throwing for 274 yards and three touchdowns against Baltimore and spreading the ball around well. To reward that effort, the Bengals promoted rookie Carson Palmer to the #2 spot behind Kitna as a reminder that it doesn't really matter if Kitna looks good, he is just keeping the spot warm for the eventual move to Palmer. For whatever reason, Kitna has been really good every other week this year.

Running Backs: While Corey Dillon scored last week , he only gained 39 yards on 18 carries. His best game so far this year was 84 yards in week two against the Raiders. Rudi Johnson returned to being the occasional rest for Dillon.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson logged 130 yards and a score last week, the bulk of that coming on an 82-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Peter Warrick only managed 43 yards on four catches but also scored once. Kelley Washington never gets more than two catches a game and last week he had incompletes on his two throws.

Tight Ends: This is a very interesting area. The Bengals are quietly one of the heaviest users of tight ends in the league, but it is cloaked by the fact that they use three different players. Matt Schobel is the primary receiving tight end and scored on a 45 yard pass last week. He is the fastest of the group and had 97 yards on four catches in week one. He has been out with a hamstring strain during the six weeks between those two efforts. Tony Stewart is the other receiving tight end and had just one catch last Sunday but turned in 35 yards on five receptions the previous week. Reggie Kelly is the blocking tight end but managed to catch a touchdown last week since the defense forgot about him down by the goal line.

Match against the defense: The Seahawks have only had two road games this year and blew out Arizona and then were blown out by Green Bay in those two matchups.

Chad Johnson will sometimes draw the rookie CB Marcus Trufant but that may not be a big benefit since Trufant is playing well and Shawn Springs is back to work after missing time with a shoulder injury. The Seahawks have been tough against passers and Marc Bulger's 226 yards in week three was the last time an opposing team has gone over 200 yards passing.

This will be a good test for Corey Dillon since the Seahawks have never allowed a 100 yard rusher this season other than Ahman Green (118).

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
SEA Scores
18
7
15
26
14
2
CIN Allows
14
30
9
3
22
30
SEA AP -4 23 -6 -23 8 28
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
CIN Scores
4
28
8
7
24
19
SEA Allows
11
14
9
6
5
6
CIN AP 7 -14 1 -1 -19 -13
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.

SEA CIN 2003 Game Averages CIN SEA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
203
209
Pass yards
240
201
1.2
1.0
Pass TDs
1.5
0.7
0.8
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
1.5
13
1
Rush yards
4
8
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
113
109
Rush yards
66
94
1.0
1.0
Rush TDs
0.5
0.8
31
36
Receive yards
20
19
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
155
138
Receive yards
161
151
0.8
0.7
Receive TD's
1.2
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
17
34
Receive yards
59
32
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.7
1.8
Field Goals
1.5
1.3
2.7
2.3
Extra Points
2.0
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.5
Fumbles
0.3
0.3
1.5
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
0.8
0.3
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
1.7
2.5
Sacks
1.8
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Seahawks (5-1)
Score Opp.
27-10 NO
38-0 @ARZ
24-23 STL
Week 4 BYE
13-35 @GB
20-19 SF
24-17 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
Bengals (2-4)
Score Opp.
10-30 DEN
20-23 @OAK
10-17 PIT
21-14 @CLE
16-22 @BUF
Week 6 BYE
34-26 BAL
Week 8 SEA
Week 9 @ARZ
Week 10 HOU
Week 11 KC
Week 12 @SD
Week 13 @PIT
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 SF
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CLE

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points