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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 23, 2005
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DEN at DAL CHI at TB* SF at TEN* MIA at OAK Mon 9 PM
Sun 1 PM CLE at MIN STL at HOU GB at PHI* PIT at IND
BAL at CIN NE at KC   NYG at SEA Times ET

Prediction: NY Giants 17, Seattle 27

Two division leaders meet this week but the Seahawks already have a four game lead over the Rams in the NFC West but dreams of homefield advantage dancing in their heads will keep them playing hard. The Giants are tied with the Cowboys at 7-3 and have to host the Cowboys next week, followed by a trip to Philadelphia. Seattle is 5-0 at home this year while the Giants are only 2-2 on the road with wins only over the Saints (not actually a road game) and the 49ers.

New York Giants (7-3)
1 42-19 ARI 10 21-24 MIN
2 27-10 @NOR 11 27-17 PHI
3 23-45 @SDC 12 Nov 27 @SEA
4 44-24 STL 13 Dec 4 DAL
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @PHI
6 13-16 @DAL 15 Dec 17 KCC
7 24-23 DEN 16 Dec 24 @WAS
8 36-0 WAS 17 Dec 31 @OAK
9 24-6 @SFO . . SAT
NYG at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 200,2
RB Tiki Barber 60 10 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 50 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 60,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 10 0
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants were caught napping by the Vikings two weeks ago but last week the win over the Eagles likely turns the NFC East into a three team race, if not only the Giants and Cowboys. The Giants have won four of their last five games including a homestand against the Broncos. In Seattle this week will be another test for the rushing defense that has been great other than against Tomlinson - Alexander's only true peer.

Quarterback: Eli Manning continues his season-long streak of throwing at least one score in every game and he currently has 16 passing touchdowns against nine interceptions. He has only two games under 200 yards and three games that ended over 290 yards.

Running Backs: While Tiki Barber has been solid this season and scored six touchdowns, the problem is that every score came in a home game. He has six games over 83 rushing yards - all home games. On the road this season, Barber has not scored nor ran for more than 71 yards and that was against the 49ers. He always shines at home and never on the road so far this year.

Barber injured his foot late in the game last week but is expected to be fine for this match-up.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress has scored once in the three road games but has never gained more than 79 yards in an away game this year. Amani Toomer has scored four times this season but none came in the away games either. Toomer continues to provide his possession role regardless of the venue of the game but he's been unable to find the endzone away from Giants Stadium.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey has a bruised chest and has been taking it lightly in practice lately but he still played last week and had only one catch for one yard - and a touchdown. He is tied with Burress with six receiving scores this season and had been consistently adding about 50 yards or more each week until last Sunday. Most notable here - his three best games came in the three road games this season. Shockey needs to be healthy this week to take advantage of what has been great road success this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks have not allowed a rushing score by a visiting back this year and Barber hasn't had one yet anyway. Expect another moderate yardage game from Barber who apparently is a bit too attached to playing at home.

Manning faces a secondary that has not allowed more than one passing score to any visitor this season and only Marc Bulger was able to gain any significant yardage. Look for a moderate game here by Manning but with a good chance to break the one score limit by turning in two touchdowns as long as Shockey is fine. Both Burress and Shockey match up well and should score here.

Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 31-16 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 27-25 @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 NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 240.2
RB Shaun Alexander 110,1 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 70,1 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 60 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 50,1 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are sitting on top of the entire NFC with that 8-2 record and they are on a six game winning streak with a perfect 5-0 record at home. Considering that the remaining games include TEN, SF and GB, this could end up the best season ever for a Seahawks team.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck has enjoyed a solid season so far and while he has scored in all but one game this season, his biggest job is handing off to Shaun Alexander. Hasselbeck has been very consistent around 240 passing yards in each game despite not having Darrell Jackson since week four.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander has already scored 19 touchdowns this season and has six games with two or more scores. He currently has 1229 rushing yards and that projects out to 1966 on the season - only 34 away from the magic 2000 yard mark. And he still has TEN, SF and GB coming up.

Wide Receivers: Bobby Engram hasn't needed much time to get back on track since returning in week nine. He comes off a six catch, 93 yard effort last week against the 49ers and had 70 yards the previous week against the Rams. Darrell Jackson is still waiting for medical clearance to return to practice.

Joe Jurevicius had been productive when Engram and Jackson were both out but since Engram's return, Jurevicius has not managed more than 40 yards in any game. D.J. Hackett has been starting and now has scores in each of the last two games while gaining about 65 yards in each match-up.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens has been very consistent this season, but that just keeps him in the range between 25 and 50 yards each week and he has not scored since week five.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants defense has been good against the run except when facing a top runner like Tomlinson (192, 3 TD) or Mike Anderson (120, 1 TD). Since Alexander is perhaps the most elite running back of all, figure him to use a home game to pad those amazing stats and score at least once.

The Giants defense has improved as the season progresses, but they still have only really played in three road games this year against SD, DAL and SF. Bledsoe had 312 passing yards and Brees had two touchdowns. Look for Hasselbeck to turn in at least moderate yardage here against a defense that will be freaking out about Alexander (understandably) and throw for two scores unless Alexander steals the opportunity. The matchup slightly favors Hackett again but he has already caught scores in two games and won't be overlooked.