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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DET at DAL NO at NE Sun 4 PM PIT at BAL* MIN at GB*
IND at CIN OAK at WAS SEA at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Seattle 31, San Francisco 6

This match-up provided two big-time butt whoopings by the Seahawks last year and the 2005 version looks even better. The 49ers can only hope that like Tampa Bay and St. Louis, their opponent will completely overlook them this week. There is a slightly better chance that San Francisco becomes a hotbed for conservative political ideology than there is that the 49ers will produce enough offense to match the Seahawks.

The Seahawks swept the 49ers in 2004, winning 34-0 and 42-27. Have to love "roll 'em up" scoring.

Update: Ken Dorsey has been named the starter this week and Cody Pickett goes back to the bench. I have upgraded the numbers marginally but if you are using a 49er quarterback, there must be 31 other quarterbacks on other teams in your league.

Seattle Seahawks (7-2)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 31-16 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 at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 250,2
RB Shaun Alexander 140,2 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 40 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 80,1 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 50 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 60,1 0
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are on a five game winning streak and with the defeat of the Rams last week, there's no question who wins the NFC West this year. But with that 7-2 record, the Seahawks are tied for the best record in the conference and that could mean some home games for the playoffs - still plenty to play for each week.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck's numbers are down this year and he only has one 300 yard game and yet two sub-200 yard efforts. While he has scored at least once in every start of the last six weeks, the reality is that he could be handing off to the next 2000 yard rusher in Alexander. Hasselbeck will likely have to throw a bit more this week and the good news - it should be even easier than in any other game this year.

Hasselbeck threw for 285 yards and three scores in San Francisco last year.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander is on a torrid pace this year and already has 19 touchdowns this year and 1114 yards rushing. Looking at his remaining schedule - he could end up with some very obscene numbers indeed. Holmgren may have screwed him out of the 2004 rushing title, but this year could produce one of the best seasons of all time.

Alexander ran for 160 yards and two scores in San Francisco last season.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson is still recovering from knee surgery and while he is getting closer to playing, he's likely going to miss at least this week. Bobby Engram is back and had six catches for 60 yards last week while Joe Jurevicius only turned in three receptions for 27 yards. D.J. Hackett took the slot last week and had two catches for 78 yards and one score. It's pretty much all side dish to the main entree' of Alexander when he gets hot.

Darrell Jackson turned in 114 yards and two scores against the 49ers last year.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens is a consistent part of the passing game, but that only equates to around 40 yards a week and no scores since week five.

Stevens had 44 yards in San Francisco last year.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers have been about average against the run this year but that's largely because teams have taken the easier route and just passed their way to a win. In games that the opponent focused on rushing - like last week in Chicago - the 49ers have been less than average against the run. No reason to expect less than a big game here by Alexander with a good chance for a couple of scores since four other runners have already managed that against the 49ers already this year. The loss of safety Tony Parrish only means long runs get even easier.

Hasselbeck could shred this secondary because almost everyone does, but it will depend on how much he wants to bother and how many scores Alexander ends up taking anyway. Look for at least 250 passing yards and two scores but know that Hasselbeck could easily reach higher if he wanted. The worst thing that could happen here would be that the game gets so out of hand that the Seahawks start subbing in new players.

San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
1 28-25 STL 10 9-17 @CHI
2 3-42 @PHI 11 Nov 20 SEA
3 31-34 DAL 12 Nov 27 @TEN
4 14-31 @ARI 13 Dec 4 ARI
5 3-28 IND 14 Dec 11 @SEA
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @JAC
7 17-52 @WAS 16 Dec 24 @STL
8 15-10 TBB 17 Jan 1 HOU
9 6-24 NYG . . SAT
SFO vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Ken Dorsey 0 0 90
RB Kevan Barlow 50 10 0
RB Frank Gore 30 20 0
TE Trent Smith 0 0 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 20 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 -5 0
WR Rasheed Marshall 0 10 0
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 0 XP -

Pregame Notes: Okay, so maybe that whole "who needs Rattay?" thing was not completely thought out. The 49ers come off their loss in Chicago with 28 yards passing and no hope of moving the ball other than running it. Since Rattay left, that means never scoring any touchdowns. Back at home the 49ers play better and there's always the hope that the opponent will try to mail in the game but not this week.

Quarterback: Cody Pickett had one completion last week in the entire game. Just one. For 28 yards. Nathan Vasher of the Bears returned a failed field goal attempt for almost four times as much yardage as the 49ers passing game produced in an entire game. There is "wow", there is "WOW" and then there is just wincing and a loss of words. The 49ers have not passed for even 100 net yards in the last five games since, you know, "Rattay".

Alex Smith, who is looking pretty good by now since he can challenge for 100 yards in a game, is unlikely to play because of his knee sprain.

Running Backs: On the plus side, the willingness of the 49ers to rush the ball despite the need to actually score and catch-up every week has meant that Kevan Barlow and Frank Gore both have fantasy value where they should not. Barlow comes off a 24 carry effort last week that netted 58 yards and Gore had 15 runs for 60 yards. That's 118 yards rushing which dwarfs the passing game.

Barlow ran for 61 yards and one score against the Seahawks last year.

Wide Receivers: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. If you use a 49er wideout, your team's already a bust.

Tight Ends: Wincing and loss for words.

Match Against the Defense: Let's just forget about that whole passing thing.

The Seahawks have been soft against the run this year and the 49ers may actually rush on every play if they follow their team trend. But Barlow and Gore could combine for some decent yardage here. No wait. Wrong column. Uh-oh - the Seahawks have only allowed two rushing scores this season and no 100 yard rushers. The dynamic duo will be getting their 30 combined carries so they should combine for nearly 100 yards.