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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WILDCARD
December 31, 2003
Playoff Ticket
Saturday
Sunday
4:30 PM, ABC at Ravens Stadium
1:00 PM, FOX at Lambeau Field
8:00 PM, ABC at Ericsson Stadium
4:30 PM, CBS at RCA Dome
   
Seattle at Green Bay  
  Seattle Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 0 230,1
RB Shaun Alexander 90,1 20 0
TE Itula Mili 0 30 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 60 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 40,1 0
WR Koren Robinson 0 70 0
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 210,2
RB Ahman Green 120,1 20 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 10,1 0
TE Wesley Walls 0 30 0
WR Javon Walker 0 70,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 40 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 30 0

Game Prediction: SEA 20, GB 27

These teams played back in week five of the regular season and Green Bay whooped Seattle by a score of 35-13. The Seahawks have gotten little better on the road this season and ended only 2-6 as the visitor on the season. Their two wins were their first road game to Arizona and their final road game to San Francisco.

The Packers were 5-3 at home but the losses were week one to the Vikings, then to the Chiefs and Eagles.

This replay of week five has the Packers back at home where they have played well and more importantly, finished the season with a four game winning streak. The Seahawks were a terrible road team this season and the final win against the 49ers was a slight surprise even though Terrell Owens was gone and San Francisco had little to play for other than pride.

The Green Bay had a solid, consistent effort back in week five that saw Ahman Green rush for 118 yards on 27 carries and score two touchdowns while Tony Fisher and William Henderson both scored as well. Brett Favre only had 185 yards passing in the game and scored on passes to Driver and Henderson.

The most favorable aspect for the Packers is that they are playing very well in the last month though against only CHI, SD, OAK and DEN (who rested their players). But there is an undeniable momentum that they have built to end the season and back at home against the Seahawks, the Lambeau luck should prove enough to win this game.

Favre has been on fire throwing the ball in the last few games and the Seahawks secondary has allowed big games to wideouts in the final six weeks of the season. Seattle has been decent against the run, but in the cold of Wisconsin, the run will happen anyway. When it does not succeed, Favre has crafted a nice set of receivers from not only the ranks of the wideouts.

Look for Favre to play well but in game with subfreezing temperatures, the run will be more important. Favre could throw a couple of touchdowns but his yardage is not likely to be as astronomical as he has done lately.

The Seahawks on the road have been a far different team than the home version and the win last week gives them some hope they are getting over the hump. In their prior meeting, Matt Hasselbeck threw for 225 yards but never scored and had an interception. Shaun Alexander ran for 102 yards on only 20 carries and had one touchdown.

That 100 yard mark would be the high end for Alexander based on previous numbers for him and against the Packers and Hasselbeck will more likely not throw for more than one score since opponents there only did so twice and never since week six of the season. That 102 yard effort by Alexander was the best by any opponent in Green Bay - hard to believe that he can top what already is the most gained on Green Bay.

That previous game score is a good indicator but not an exact roadmap. Seattle will play better and the Packers great final run have all come against bad opponents. But in the final analysis - Seattle on the road and Packers at home with a motivated Favre and a healthy team equals the Packers advance.

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
4
11
1
11
15
8
GB Allows
14
10
11
15
4
7
SEA AP
10
-1
10
4
-9
-1
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
GB Scores
8
8
5
7
7
5
SEA Allows
30
5
32
1
18
30
GB AP
22
-3
27
-6
11
25
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
GB
2003 Game Averages
GB
SEA
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
254
218
Pass yards
236
263
2.0
0.8
Pass TDs
2.3
2.0
1.0
1.7
Interceptions
1.5
0.7
6
13
Rush yards
1
12
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
127
80
Rush yards
139
90
1.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.7
0.2
27
42
Receive yards
27
40
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
189
134
Receive yards
177
203
1.7
0.5
Receive TD's
1.5
2.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
38
42
Receive yards
32
20
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.0
1.0
Field Goals
1.5
1.3
3.8
2.2
Extra Points
3.3
2.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
0.3
Fumbles
1.2
1.0
0.7
1.3
Interceptions
1.7
1.0
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.5
3.7
1.0
Sacks
3.3
2.7
0.2
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Seahawks (10-6)
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
7-34 @MIN
22-27 @STL
28-10 ARZ
24-17 @SF
Packers (10-6)
Score Opp.
25-30 MIN
31-6 DET
13-20 @ARZ
38-23 @CHI
35-13 SEA
34-40 KC
24-34 @STL
Week 8 BYE
30-27 @MIN
14-17 PHI
20-13 @TB
20-10 SF
14-22 @DET
34-21 CHI
38-21 @SD
41-7 @OAK
31-3 DEN

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points