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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CHI at GB IND at TEN TB at NO KC at DEN CAR at ATL
CIN at BAL OAK at PIT WAS at NYG MIA at NE Mon 9 PM
DAL at PHI SD at DET Sun 4 PM NYJ at BUF STL at CLE
HOU at JAX SEA at MIN ARZ at SF *updated Times EST
   
Seattle vs Minnesota Sun, Dec 7; 1 PM on FOX at Metrodome
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 290,2
RB Shaun Alexander 100,2 20 0
TE Itula Mili 0 20 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 110,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 40 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 90,1 0
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 30 0 280,3
RB Moe Williams 10 40,1 0
RB Michael Bennett 80 20 0
TE J. Kleinsasser 0 30 0
WR Randy Moss 0 120,2 0
WR D'Wayne Bates 0 20 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 40 0

Game Prediction: SEA 31, MIN 24

Update: D'Wayne Bates appears likely to get into the game this week but I am only projecting minimal numbers for him. He has a "lost season" thanks to his lingering foot injury.

This could be a barn-burner in points since the Seahawks biggest weakness is at the right cornerback where Randy Moss hangs out. The Vikings seemed destined to an 8-8 season with exact opposites in each half of the season and the Seahawks are looking exactly like they did last year when suddenly they had an explosive offense.

Seattle has not scored less than 35 points in the past three weeks and that includes playing BAL. The Vikings have not scored more than 24 points and that was at home against the Lions. Seattle is no road warrior at 1-4 but are on the definite right track. Let the trends continue and start 'em if you got 'em.

Seattle Notes

The Seahawks rise to 8-4 and are one game behind the Rams in the NFC West.

Quarterbacks:: Matt Hasselbeck has been on fire the past two week since Holmgren announced he was opening up the offense more. Hasselbeck has thrown for over 328 yards in each of the past two games and had eight passing scores in those two weeks. He has 22 touchdowns on the season and had his two great games against tougher secondaries of BAL and CLE. Now he goes to MIN? How can there be any atheists left in Seattle in times like these?

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander ripped the Browns for 127 yards on 27 carries and scored once last week. That gives him five 100 yard games this year and two in the past three weeks. He has eleven touchdowns - nine rushing and two receiving.

Receivers: The two 300 yard passing games have been kind to the receivers - in the past two weeks Koren Robinson has 186 yards and one touchdown while Darrell Jackson decided to stop dropping passes and totaled 248 yards and two scores in that time. The wait has been long for the Seattle passing game but just like last season it is starting to explode again.

Itula Mili scored once last week - someone has to help catch all the touchdowns, but he had a concussion in the game. He is expected to recover and be available this week.

Match against the Defense: Where do you start against the Vikings?

Alexander will eclipse 100 yards because almost all backs do if they get 18 carries or more - even ones like Tyrone Wheatley. In the past four games the Vikings have allowed eight rushing scores. LB Chris Clairborne may be back this week which could hold numbers down slightly.

The Vikings have allowed three of the past six opponents to pass for more than one touchdowns and only Oakland failed to score in the air since week five. Hasselbeck is less likely to clip 300 again but should manage multiple scores here. The matchups favor Jackson here since other flankers have been the most common scorers but Robinson should gain at least decent yardage.

Minnesota Notes

The Vikings fall back once again with their loss to Rams and are 7-5 and still leading the NFC Central. They are 1-5 in the last six weeks.

Quarterbacks:: Daunte Culpepper comes off his third 300 yard game of the year, throwing for 330 yards against the Rams but only scoring once to Moss. Culpepper tacked on 70 yards rushing for his best effort of the season. While Culpepper has two 300 yard games in the past three weeks, he only has two touchdowns in that timespan.

Running Backs: Michael Bennett continued his climb back with rushing for 98 yards on 17 carries against the Rams and adding 24 more on three catches. Moe Williams only had six carries last week for two yards and that is consistent with the previous week since Bennett is starting again. Williams continues to figure heavily into the passing game and has at least six catches in each of the past four games.

Receivers: Randy Moss ended with ten catches for 160 yards and one score last week but he was the only wideout used. Nate Burleson and Kelly Campbell only combined for three catches and 32 yards. Moss now has 11 touchdowns on the season.

Jim Kleinsasser provided the most common target outside of Moss. He had ten catches for 79 yards last week. Three of the last four games he has exceeded 60 yards receiving with only the Detroit game as an aberration. Kleinsasser suffered a hip flexor last week but isn't expected to miss any playing time.

Match against the Defense: Seattle on the road has yielded over 100 yards rushing in their past three games and this is their first game inside a dome this season. In games where they have held opponents to low rushing yardage it has been related to getting ahead on the scoreboard and making opponents pass instead.

Culpepper faces a secondary that has yielded multiple passing scores to four of the past six opponents and for the past four straight road games. This should provide a good opportunity for the Vikings to gain around 250 yards and two scores and maybe more considering the venue.

Remember Marcus Robinson scoring four times? Think Randy Moss who plays the split end as well. The Seahawks are trying to decide whether to go with CB Ken Lucas again or promote CB Shawn Springs back up. Whoever gets the job will be busy.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
SEA Scores
5
12
5
10
8
15
MIN Allows
29
30
24
17
20
29
SEA AP
24
18
19
7
12
14
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
MIN Scores
1
5
4
24
22
8
SEA Allows
24
13
31
2
26
26
MIN AP
23
8
27
-22
4
18
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.
SEA
MIN
2003 Game Averages
MIN
SEA
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
257
247
Pass yards
281
223
1.8
1.3
Pass TDs
2
1.5
1
1.8
Interceptions
0.9
0.9
12
10
Rush yards
28
7
0.1
0.3
Rush TDs
0.4
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
114
122
Rush yards
93
97
0.8
1.2
Rush TDs
0.6
0.5
35
47
Receive yards
67
28
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
193
154
Receive yards
183
170
1.3
1
Receive TD's
1.5
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
29
46
Receive yards
31
25
0.4
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.6
1.4
Field Goals
0.9
1.7
3.2
3.1
Extra Points
3.2
2.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.7
Fumbles
0.3
0.9
0.9
1
Interceptions
1.9
0.9
0.2
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.2
2.3
3.1
Sacks
1.7
3.1
0
0
Safeties
0.2
0
Seahawks (8-4)
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
34-7 CLE
Week 14 @MIN
Week 15 @STL
Week 16 ARZ
Week 17 @SF
Vikings (7-5)
Score Opp.
30-25 @GB
24-13 CHI
23-13 @DET
35-7 SF
39-26 @ATL
Week 6 BYE
28-20 DEN
17-29 NYG
27-30 GB
28-42 @SD
18-28 @OAK
24-14 DET
17-48 @STL
Week 14 SEA
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 KC
Week 17 @ARZ

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points