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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at DET* MIA at TBB* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
CLE at BAL NYG at DAL* NYJ at BUF PHI, SF *Updated

Prediction: Houston 7, Seattle 27

Every year in the NFL, there are teams that, for various reasons, play poorly and lose games until they finally get sick of it and regroup and use a homegame against a soft opponent to finally produce a win. The Packers are an example of that. Sadly, the Texans are not. After whiffing on their first three games, they took a matchup against the Titans and still lost by 14 points. The Seahawks lost all their players and yet still won on the road in St. Louis. These are two drastically different teams.

Houston Texans (0-4)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 Nov 13 @IND
2 7-27 PIT 11 Nov 20 KCC
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 STL
4 10-16 @CIN 13 Dec 4 @BAL
5 20-34 TEN 14 Dec 11 @TEN
6 Oct 16 @SEA 15 Dec 18 ARI
7 Oct 23 IND 16 Dec 24 JAC
8 Oct 30 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 Nov 6 @JAC . . SAT
HOU at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 180,1
RB Domanick Davis 60 70,1 0
TE Matt Murphy 0 10 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40 0
WR Jerome Mathis 0 20 0
PK Kris Brown 0 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The good news is that the rushing game finally sparked to full blaze last week and Domanick Davis had a big game. The bad news is that nothing else worked including pass blocking which allowed David Carr to be sacked seven times. Andre Johnson left the game with a calf injury and things just don't look bright this week. However, in the words of owner Bob McNair, " We have four losses. If we go 12-4, we still make the playoffs." Man - we should all have a boss like that.

Quarterback: David Carr managed only 131 yards and one score last week and he does roughly that much every week. Plus he gets sacked more often than bread at the grocery store. With Andre Johnson at least hampered if not out with a calf injury, the picture remains bleak. Carr's best of the year has only been 174 yards.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis rekindled 2004 when he ran 19 times for 130 yards against the Titans and added 43 yards on eight receptions - what took so long to remember to do that? Davis had easily his best game of the year but still has only one touchdown - receiving no less - on the year. While the passing woes seem to continue, at least the rushing game has returned for Houston.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson only had one pass last week before aggravating an existing calf injury and sitting out the rest of the game. That's just the icing on a very bad cake for Johnson owners - at this time his status for this week is not yet known so I assume he will not play and will update if he does. The Texans could likely use those 20 or 30 yards that he would supply.

Corey Bradford had the score last week while replacing Johnson though he only ended with four catches for 35 yards. Jabar Gaffney had 88 yards the previous week against the Bengals but only came up with two catches for 24 yards last week. This passing game is not working despite having all the same players from last year.

Tight Ends: Never more than one catch per game if that.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks feature a rushing defense that has quietly been much improved since last season. There have only been two rushing scores allowed this year and no runner has exceeded 90 yards against them even though two runners have had 20 or more carries. Davis should have moderate success here rushing but could gain as much or more via the pass if Carr will throw it to him as he did last week.

The Seahawks can be beaten by the pass, but it doesn't particularly exist for Houston this season. Expect more of the same from Carr and company with even less reason for improvement with Andre Johnson banged up.

Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 Nov 13 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 Nov 20 @SFO
3 37-12 ARI 12 Nov 27 NYG
4 17-20 @WAS 13 Dec 5 @PHI
5 37-31 @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 vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 220,1
RB Shaun Alexander 130,2 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 50,1 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 50 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 20 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 70 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks killed the monkey on their back when they not only beat the Rams this year, they beat them in St. Louis and without their two starting wideouts. Seattle is now all alone in first place for the NFC West and already have a tie breaker over the Rams who are the only other team with any hope of contending for the divisional title.

Quarterback: Hats off to Matt Hasselbeck - he entered the game without Darrell Jackson or Bobby Engram and had to rely on Joe Jurevicius and previously unseen D.J. Hackett. By game's end, Hasselbeck had his best performance of the year throwing for 316 yards and two scores. This week he goes against the weakest secondary yet but could end up doing little more than handing off the entire game.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander ran for 119 yards and two scores last week which gives him a total of eight touchdowns on the season. He is now the NFL leader for rushing yards (574) and second only to Tomlinson for touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: While it helps to play the Rams round defense (no corners), it was undeniably a surprise to see Joe Jurevicius to turn in nine catches for 137 yards and one score last week. That's the best game by any Seattle wideout this season. D.J. Hackett had five catches for 43 yards in his first NFL game while the ever-injured Peter Warrick only managed one catch for seven yards. It won't always be that great every week, but Jurevicius timed his career best very well.

Jackson is out this week and I am assuming that Engram's cracked ribs could use another week off in a game where they should need him anyway.

Tight Ends: In a shootout game that needed passing, Jerramy Stevens stepped up and had three catches for 65 yards and one score last week. Stevens has been a consistent feature of the offense this year and has never had less than 31 yards in any game. With the absence of Jackson and possibly Engram, he should continue to increase in use whenever the need arises.

Match Against the Defense: The #1 rusher in the NFL goes against the Texans. Expect another 120 from Alexander here with at least one score and very likely two. The Texans have struggled against the run this year and every opponent has had at least 23 rushing attempts.

Hasselbeck could rack up some nice numbers here but likely won't need to with the success of Alexander. He'll throw for at least one score - every team does - but more than that likely won't be needed. Expect a moderate game here that will not turn into a shoot-out like last week. That score could go anywhere since no one player will need to be relied on the Texans secondary is not stronger in any area than another.