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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 13
November 26, 2003
Season Ticket
Thu 12:30 Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at DET ARZ at CHI MIN at STL CLE at SEA TB at JAX
Thu 4:05 ATL at HOU NE at IND NO at WAS Mon 9 PM
MIA at DAL BUF at NYG PHI at CAR DEN at OAK TEN at NYJ
*updated CIN at PIT SF at BAL KC at SD Times EST
   
Cleveland vs Seattle Sun, Nov 30; 4 PM on CBS at Seahawks Stadium
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 230,2
RB James Jackson 80 30 0
RB Jamel White 20 20 0
TE Darnell Sanders 0 20 0
WR Andre Davis 0 60,1 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 50 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 70,1 0
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 230,2
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 10 0
TE Itula Mili 0 30,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 70 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 40 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 60,1 0

Game Prediction: CLE 20, SEA 24

Update: Both Engram and Jackson were held out of practice on Thursday but Engram is only listed as probable on the injury report with a thigh bruise. I expected him to play. Jackson is considered questionable to play. More should be known on Friday or Saturday, but I am keeping him in the projections for now since he has played injured before. I am lightly lowering his numbers

This is an interesting game that could have many outcomes. Neither team is consistent on defense but the Seahawks have played better on offense. Since Seattle is 6-0 at home versus only 2-3 for Cleveland on the road, let's take the most likely outcome.

Cleveland Notes

The Browns fall to 4-7 with their loss to the Steelers. They are still only two games back in the AFC North.

Quarterbacks:: Kelly Holcomb comes off a terrible game against the Steelers that had been allowing wideouts to roam almost freely before last week. Holcomb ended with 234 yards but completed only nine passes for 100 yards to four different wide receivers. He threw an interception in the endzone and later killed any comeback with his second one. This on the heels of a huge 392 yard, three touchdown game over the Cardinals.

Holcomb has yet to win back-to-back games though on the road this week in Seattle he may gain back-to-back losses.

Running Backs: James Jackson gained a combined 143 yards running and receiving, but lost two crucial fumbles that led to Steelers points. Jackson had 94 yards rushing on 25 carries and added 49 more with five receptions. Previous to last week he had never caught more than two passes in any game this season.

Jamel White had one carry for a loss of 12 yards and he too lost a fumble.

Receivers: All the happiness of dual 100 yard efforts by the wideouts against the Cardinals were quickly erased when Andre Davis led the crew with only three catches for 48 yards. Quincy Morgan had seven throws last week but only caught one for 16 yards. Dennis Northcutt had three receptions for 24 yards.

The receivers lost out because last week Kelly Holcomb completed 12 of 14 passes to the running backs for 106 yards

The only positive here is that Holcomb has been so inconsistent that he could turn in a huge game this week. Or another flop.

Match against the Defense: The Seahawks secondary continues to get worse over the past five weeks, ending last with Marcus Robinson's Day of Dreams. In the past five games, only one quarterback (Maddox) has failed to score multiple times via the pass against Seattle and Maddox still did it once.

Holcomb - depending on which one shows up - could turn in a nice game here. FS Ken Hamlin has a lingering knee injury that could force him to miss this week and SS Reggie Tongue had a concussion last week and may be questionable.

It is hard not to get excited about a secondary that allowed Anthony Wright and Marcus Robinson to turn in huge games that all happened in the second half. When you give up four scores to one receiver, that indicates that not only is the secondary bad but it is unable make adjustments in any area to cover for it.

Quincy Morgan gets the same matchup as Robinson had last week.

James Jackson should turn in a moderate game against an average rush defense.

Seattle Notes

The Seahawks fall to 7-4 with their late game meltdown in Baltimore and now trail the Rams by a game in the NFC West.

Quarterbacks:: Matt Hasselbeck comes off a career best five touchdowns and 333 yards over the Ravens last week giving him 14 scores on the season. Until last week, Hasselbeck had stayed around 220 yards and one score in each of the previous three weeks.

Running Backs: Stephen Alexander ran for 72 yards on 22 carries against a tough Raven defense. He gained no yardage receiving for the second time in three games.

Maurice Morris has a toe injury from last week which will make him questionable to play on Sunday.

Receivers: With five scores and 333 yards to spread around, it was the strongest game for the wideouts this season - easily. Koren Robinson had four catches for 64 yards and one touchdown. Bobby Engram turned in four catches for 46 yards and scored twice while Darrell Jackson finally got over his problem dropping passes and had seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. It was a banner day against what is normally a good secondary.

Itula Mili had four catches last week for 54 yards. When the passing yards exceed 300, most everyone has a part of the feast.

Match against the Defense: Cleveland on the road has been a goldmine for quarterbacks the last two games since Brady (259) and Green (368) both had strong showings. And yet this is the same defense that held Maddox to only 136 yards and Garcia to 198. Which one shows up? More likely the recent version that struggles more on the road.

Alexander faces a rush defense that mirrors the inconsistent nature of the entire team. This unit has been as good as holding Shipp to only 23 yards on nine carries and yet has twice allowed runners to top 200 yards on the ground including the single game record by Lewis.

Which one shows up? Probably the bad one... probably. But they are the enigmatic Browns.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CLE Scores
16
24
10
25
15
30
SEA Allows
26
17
32
4
30
21
CLE AP
10
-7
22
-21
15
-9
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
SEA Scores
5
13
5
10
8
17
CLE Allows
2
7
1
29
23
15
SEA AP
-3
-6
-4
19
15
-2
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
CLE
SEA
2003 Game Averages
SEA
CLE
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
218
227
Pass yards
250
185
1.3
1.7
Pass TDs
1.7
0.9
1.0
0.9
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
2
8
Rush yards
13
7
0.1
0.2
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
86
103
Rush yards
110
88
0.4
0.6
Rush TDs
0.8
0.4
34
26
Receive yards
31
39
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
164
175
Receive yards
186
107
1.0
1.4
Receive TD's
1.2
0.4
---
---
TE's
---
---
20
25
Receive yards
32
39
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
1.9
Field Goals
1.6
2.1
1.9
2.7
Extra Points
3.1
1.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
1.0
Fumbles
0.4
0.8
0.6
0.9
Interceptions
0.9
1.0
0.1
0.1
Touchdowns
0.2
0.1
1.8
3.1
Sacks
2.1
2.3
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Browns(4-7)
Score Opp.
6-9 IND
13-33 @BAL
13-12 @SF
14-21 CIN
33-13 @PIT
13-7 OAK
20-26 SD
3-9 @NE
Week 9 BYE
20-41 @KC
44-6 ARZ
6-13 PIT
Week 13 @SEA
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @DEN
Week 16 BAL
Week 17 @CIN
Seahawks (7-4)
Score Opp.
27-10 NO
38-0 @ARZ
24-23 STL
Week 4 BYE
13-35 @GB
20-19 SF
24-17 CHI
24-27 @CIN
23-16 PIT
20-27 @WAS
35-14 DET
41-44 @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