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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
September 25, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at MIA NOR at MIN Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM

Prediction: Arizona 16, Seattle 27

Here's a matchup between two divisional foes that pits the Seahawks coming off a nice win over the Falcons against the Cardinals who are starting to get that desperate feeling for a win (for actual touchdowns as well). These two teams traded wins last year with the Cardinals upsetting the Seahawks in Seattle 25-17 and then losing to them in Arizona 24-21 in week 16.

Arizona Cardinals (0-2)
1 19-42 @NYG 10 Nov 13 @DET
2 12-17 STL 11 Nov 20 @STL
3 Sep 25 @SEA 12 Nov 27 JAC
4 Oct 2 SFO 13 Dec 4 @SFO
5 Oct 9 CAR 14 Dec 11 WAS
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @HOU
7 Oct 23 TEN 16 Dec 24 PHI
8 Oct 30 @DAL 17 Jan 1 @IND
9 Nov 6 SEA . . SAT
ARZ Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 260,1
RB J.J. Arrington 20 20 0
RB Marcel Shipp 50 10 0
TE Adam Bergen 0 10 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 100,1 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 70 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 40 0
PK Neil Rackers 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Finally Kurt Warner goes against a team that hasn't given him paychecks before and hopefully Seattle won't be expecting what the Cards and Giants knew was coming - Warner fumbling snaps or throwing a "whoops" pass for an interception. The offense is moving great between he 20 yard lines but then just stops. This is why Neil Rackers is currently the best weapon for Arizona.

Quarterback: As noted, Kurt Warner is still showing the occasional ball handling problems that has plagued him the last few seasons. He had a big 327 yard effort against the Rams last week but could not get one in the endzone. He's making nice use of Boldin and Fitzgerald but without those endzone receptions, this team will continue to struggle.

Running Backs: Since he had a touch of the flu (or whatever you want to call it when you want a rookie back to take a seat for a week), J.J. Arrington was inactive against the Rams. Marcel Shipp offered a bit of a spark with 54 yards on 12 carries. Arrington should be back this week but most likely the two will see split carries and it's more than reasonable to expect Shipp to get the bulk of work until Arrington shows more than we have seen so far.

I am projecting a split for both, heavier on the carries for Shipp. There is some word that Arrington may lose ground to James Jackson which could drop him out of the projection picture.

Wide Receivers: After week one, Larry Fitzgerald looked like the new primary receiver. Against the Rams, it was clearly Anquan Boldin who had 119 yards on 8 catches versus only 70 yards on four receptions for Fitzgerald. That is how this offense should work (all except for the part where they rarely score).

The biggest surprise hidden in the box score is that Bryant Johnson is getting as many passes as either Boldin or Fitzgerald but is just not catching them. He has had 18 passes go to him in two games, only a couple less than the other two wideouts.

Larry Fitzgerald was a Seahawks killer last year, recording games of 73 yards with a score and later 70 yards and two touchdowns. Anquan Boldin only played in the second meeting and had 107 yards and one score - his best game of the injury-shortened season.

Tight Ends: The Cardinals have never had much success with this position but are trying to integrate Teyo Johnson into the scheme a bit. He had a catch for 13 yards last week while Adam Bergen had two receptions for 15 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle rush defense has improved from last year and the Cardinals are not yet a big rushing team. The game could escalate into a passing war later on so limit expectations of Shipp who could give up some yards to Arrington anyway.

The secondary has only allowed three scores and around 200 yards per game passing, but that will be exceeded by Warner if only in a trash time effort. Look for Anquan Boldin to turn in a nice game here has he has done before. The split end spot was very lucrative for Jimmy Smith against these Seahawks and Warner can move the ball at least until he reaches the redzone. CB Andre Dyson has played very well so far this year and could limit Fitzgerald.

Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 Nov 13 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 Nov 20 @SFO
3 Sep 25 ARI 12 Nov 27 NYG
4 Oct 2 @WAS 13 Dec 5 @PHI
5 Oct 9 @STL 14 Dec 11 SFO
6 Oct 16 HOU 15 Dec 18 @TEN
7 Oct 23 DAL 16 Dec 24 IND
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 @GBP
9 Nov 6 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 240,1
RB Shaun Alexander 110,2 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 40 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 90,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 70 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 20 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The opening loss to the Jaguars was well compensated when the Seahawks took down the Falcons with a solid effort against a quality opponent. Shaun Alexander is back on track and Hasselbeck has been outstanding when he is not turning the ball over. This should be a good game favored by the Seahawks' balanced attack.

Quarterback: Going against the Falcons last week, Matt Hasselbeck threw for an impressive 246 yards and two scores and more importantly, he had no turnovers unlike the four in the Jaguars game. The passing game has become even more deadly with the inclusion of Joe Jurevicius this season, giving Hasselbeck three viable options downfield plus Jerramy Stevens.

Hasselbeck only threw for 195 yards and one score in the meeting last season and had four interceptions as well. He did not play in the second game of the year when Trent Dilfer only managed 128 yards and no score.

Running Backs: Though Shaun Alexander only managed 73 yards in the season opener, he roared back to life against the Falcons last week and ran for 144 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries - a fantasy delight. Alexander ran for only 57 yards on 12 carries in the first match-up last year but turned in a monster 154 yards and three scores in the final game in Arizona.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson had a monster game last week, catching eight passes for 131 yards while Bobby Engram (5-77) continues to offer a solid supporting role. Joe Jurevicius appears to be fulfilling the role that we've all expected for the eight years and yet have never really seen - a 6'5" presence in the endzone that can out leap almost any defensive back. Jurevicius has scored in both of the games this year though his yardage totals have been less stellar. He now offers a concern for the defense and that only helps the other wideouts more.

Jackson enjoyed big games in both meetings in 2004 with the Cardinals, recording 117 yards and one score in Seattle and later 101 yards in Arizona.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens is becoming a force in the passing game that defenses are having to account for each week. After logging 41 yards on three catches against the Jaguars, he had 49 yards on three receptions and a score last week. The Seattle passing attack is now using more than just two wideouts and the results are encouraging, especially for Stevens.

Stevens never managed more than 17 yards in two meetings with the Cardinals in 2004 and Mili had no catches in either game.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals rush defense has already given up three scores this season and over 100 yards to both opponents. This is a definite good week for Alexander that could turn into a monster game if he just protects a lead in the second half.

Matt Hasselbeck will throw at least one score here but may not need much more than that. Jackson is always a great play against the Cards and since Shockey scored the rare touchdown in week one, there is reason to expect that Stevens does no less than he has been doing. Expect a moderate passing game here but one that could bump up if the Cardinals cure their redzone woes.