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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD Updated *
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: St. Louis 20, Seattle 31

This is an interesting match-up since the Seahawks won in St. Louis when all the starting wideouts were injured and since that time, the Rams only two wins came when they had Bulger, Holt and Bruce all absent from the game. Now that both teams are healthy again, the Seahawks will keep their undefeated streak at home alive.

The Seahawks defeated the Rams 37-31 during week five in St. Louis.

St. Louis Rams (4-4)
1 25-28 @SFO 10 Nov 13 @SEA
2 17-12 @ARI 11 Nov 20 ARI
3 31-27 TEN 12 Nov 27 @HOU
4 24-44 @NYG 13 Dec 4 WAS
5 31-37 SEA 14 Dec 11 @MIN
6 28-45 @IND 15 Dec 18 PHI
7 28-17 NOR 16 Dec 24 SFO
8 24-21 JAC 17 Jan 1 @DAL
9 Open Bye . MON SAT
STL vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 280,2
RB Steven Jackson 60 10 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 10 0
WR Torry Holt 0 110,1 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 60,1 0
WR Kevin Curtis 0 50 0
WR Shaun McDonald 0 20 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Rams lost a headcoach, two wideouts and the quarterback and yet have won their last two games. Stephen Jackson has been central in those two victories and now that all the players are healthy and coming off a bye week, the question to answer this week is if they return to the "air it out" style of offense that led to a 2-4 record or keep the "run first" style that just delivered two wins with most offensive stars on the sideline.

Quarterback: The Rams welcome Marc Bulger back this week after he missed two games due to a shoulder injury. Jamie Martin may not have posted big numbers and he did throw three interceptions in the Jaguars game, but he won both of his starts. Or at least he was there when the Rams won (a matter of perspective). With Mike Martz now out of the picture and the Rams winning games by rushing well, this week will be the first time to see if the play calling drifts away from the delightfully heavy passing to a more balanced attack. This should be the first time in weeks that the Rams actually have all starting wideouts available though.

Bulger threw for 336 yards and two scores against the Seahawks earlier this year.

Running Backs: The two weeks without Bulger or Martz meant that the Rams ran more than anytime this season. Steven Jackson comes off his best efforts of the year, rushing for 97 yards and two scores against the Saints and then turning in a monster 179 yard effort against the surprised Jaguars. Both games were the only time that Jackson has been given 20 or more carries and the results - two wins - have to be weighed into the play calling again.

Steven Jackson had 77 yards and one score against Seattle this year.

Wide Receivers: After sending fantasy owners scurrying to the waiver wire for Shaun McDonald or even Dane Looker, the Rams likely return to a full squad this week with Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce expected back. Bruce has not played since being injured in week three and he had about 60 yards in each of his two full starts this year. Torry Holt missed two games and returns to resume his outstanding pace that saw four scores in the first six games with three 100+ yard efforts. Kevin Curtis has been very effective in the absence of Bruce and scored in three of the last four games. He'll return to being the #3 but there is no confusion that he is well above Shaun McDonald in the pecking order now. Bruce is already 33 years old and Curtis has already shown that life after Bruce still looks bright.

I am assuming that both Holt and Bruce can play this week but will update as needed.

Torry Holt had 126 yards and one score against the Seahawks in week five and Kevin Curtis turned in 63 yards and one touchdown as well.

Tight Ends: There is a reason why Jackson has rushed so well. The tight ends are now blocking and failing to even turn in 10 yards a game.

Match Against the Defense: Seattle has only allowed two rushing scores this season but one went to Jackson. Even at home he only managed 77 yards though so expect a moderate game here without the score this time.

The Seahawks allowed Bulger to throw for 334 yards - the most they have allowed this year and even Warner just managed 334 yards and a score against this secondary. Look for a good game from Bulger who always throws well against the Seahawks and two scores that favors Holt - he has some ground to make up after missing a couple of games. Bruce could also see the other score here in his first game back or it could end up with Curtis who already has a touchdown against the Seahawks this season.

Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
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 42-10 HOU 15 Dec 18 @TEN
7 13-10 DAL 16 Dec 24 IND
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 @GBP
9 33-19 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 260,2
RB Shaun Alexander 140,2 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 50 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 90,1 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 20 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 80,1 0
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks already have a two game lead on the Rams for the NFC West and a win here locks down the division title almost without question. Alexander is on a near record pace and Bobby Engram is slated to return this week. The Seahawks already beat the Rams with just Jurevicius and Hackett in St. Louis. No reason to expect less back at home with Engram back on the field.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck threw for 316 yards and two scores against the Rams in week five for a season high mark and he's only failed once to throw at least one score in every game. With Alexander likely to run well, Hasselbeck should return to closer to his average mark of 235 yards a game.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander has 14 touchdowns on the season and has topped 100 yards in five games already. He already had 119 yards and two scores in the previous meeting with the Rams this year and back at home should manage that by the end of the third quarter.

Wide Receivers: Bobby Engram is back this week and he'll join Joe Jurevicius until Darrell Jackson makes it back from knee surgery. Joe Jurevicius had 137 yards and one score against the Rams this year in his first start and Engram was good for 106 yards in his final healthy start back in week four against the Redskins. This duo could do a lot more than will be needed.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens has been on a trend of gaining 60 yards one week and then 20 yards the next. He started that trend back in week five when he gained 65 yards and one score against the Rams and he is coming off a 28 yard effort last week.

Match Against the Defense: Fire up Alexander and let him run. Alexander is running in top form now and should manage yet another monster game against the Rams.

Hasselbeck will post some nice numbers here against a team that had won the last four meetings until earlier this season. Look for a solid 250 yards and two scores here in a game that almost always ends up a point fest. Those scores strongly favor both the wideouts. Seattle will throw some points on the board to prevent the Rams from mounting a comeback like what happened last season.