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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 30,, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at MIA* HOU at BAL TEN at IND* DEN at KC Mon 9 PM
CIN at PIT JAC at CLE* Sun 4 PM NYJ at NE SEA at PHI
DAL at NYG MIN at DET* ARI at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Seattle 23, Philadelphia 16

It was common knowledge last summer that this game would pit the best record in the NFC against a team that is fading fast, we just got the teams switched. Seattle is currently 9-2 and on a seven game winning streak. With remaining games including SF, TEN, IND and GB, it would be no surprise to see the Seahawks finish 13-3 on the year. The Eagles pulled out a win last week but it was only the Packers visiting and it was only by five points and they had lost the four previous games. Playing in Philadelphia is a big advantage for the Eagles. Playing without Owens or McNabb is an even bigger disadvantage.

This is a Monday night game so it plays more to the strengths of the better team - Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
1 14-26 @JAC 10 31-16 STL
2 21-18 ATL 11 27-25 @SFO
3 37-12 ARI 12 24-21 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 PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 210,1
RB Shaun Alexander 100,1 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 40 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 40 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 80,1 0
PK Josh Brown 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Seattle needed overtime and a sudden inability to kick by Jay Feeley to beat the Giants last week and several wins have been by three points or less this season, but Seattle has also been playing without their best receiver since week four when they were just 2-2. Jackson may be back as early as this week and outside of the game in Indianapolis, the Seahawks won't be facing another winning record until the playoffs.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck may have been without Jackson for the last nine weeks, but he hasn't had a tough time scoring. He's managed at least one touchdown in each of the last eight games and the only thing limiting him on better production is that all-world Alexander is scoring on a historic pace.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander currently has already scored 20 touchdowns in only 11 games, a pace that would end with 29 touchdowns for the season. His 1339 rushing yards are almost 100 more than the second best (James) and he is on pace for 1947 rushing yards. This just in - his schedule is getting easier for the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson was expected to start practicing this week after an eight week layoff to heal his knee. He may play this week and if he does, I will include it in the Friday update. Bobby Engram has been solid by himself though he has not scored a touchdown this season. Joe Jurevicius comes off a monster 137 yard game with two scores last week against the Redskins, so there's no pressing need to get Jackson back into the lineup any sooner than his condition allows.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens had been consistently turning in around 40 yards per game until last week when he suddenly had no catches. Otherwise, around 30 yards is the worst he will do.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles have been much better at home than on the road when it comes to defending the run but just last week Gado turned in 111 yards and a score. Alexander may be even better than Gado. Just a chance.

Hasselbeck will throw only as much as needed in this match-up and that should end up around 210 yards and at least one score though six of the last eight opponents have ended with at least two or more. The lack of McNabb and Owens into the equation should spell a lower scoring game that favors the run more for Seattle, so that should depress passing yards and scores. The match-ups slightly favor Jurevicius or Jackson if he plays. Tight ends have also been effective against the Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
1 10-14 @ATL 10 20-21 DAL
2 42-3 SFO 11 17-27 @NYG
3 23-20 OAK 12 19-14 GBP
4 37-31 @KCC 13 Dec 5 SEA
5 10-33 @DAL 14 Dec 11 NYG
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @STL
7 20-17 SDC 16 Dec 24 @ARI
8 21-49 @DEN 17 Jan 1 WAS
9 10-17 @WAS . MON SAT
PHI vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Mike McMahon 0 0 200,1
RB Brian Westbrook 80 20 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 50 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 50,1 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 60 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 20 0
PK David Akers 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The post-McNabb era has only gone 1-1 and that thanks to hosting the Packers last week. The rushing game fared better last week but the passing game fell apart with McMahon. At 5-6, Philly will be missing the playoffs for the first time in years and will not be the annual NFC Champ. But with remaining games including the Rams and Cardinals, the Eagles may need only one win from games against the Seahawks, Giants and Redskins to reach .500 and avoid a losing season.

Quarterback: Mike McMahon may have looked good in week 11 when he had 298 yards and one score, but evidently it only took one game's worth of film on his for defenses to figure out what to do. McMahon only completed 12 of 28 passes for 91 yards last week and rushed for 29 yards. His rushing remains consistent. His passing has taken a major dive and that was at home against the Packers.

Running Backs: With nothing left to lose and no reason to save players for the playoffs, the Eagles finally gave Brian Westbrook 21 carries in a game and he turned in 117 yards and one score last week. With the passing game now struggling, his role should remain significant for the rest of the year though his catches may decline.

Wide Receivers: No wideout had more than 10 yards last week and Reggie Brown had no catches at all. Brown had 88 yards and one score the previous week with McMahon but defenses are not exactly going to fear McMahon as they did McNabb. McMahon will improve this week, but his high game will likely have been his first one.

Tight Ends: The one receiver that has continued to enjoy success, if only relative, has been L.J. Smith who has nine catches for 112 yards over the last two weeks with McMahon.

Match Against the Defense: Other than Tiki Barber's big game last week (which came in overtime as well), rushers have not been successful against the Seahawks and no other runner has topped 90 yards against the Seahawks who have only allowed three rushing scores on the entire season. Westbrook ran well last week. Not likely two in row and not likely a rushing score as well.

The Seahawks have allowed almost every opponent to throw for at least one score this season and several have managed big yardage games but McMahon has already showed tremendous variation in week to week and should not be relied on to suddenly return to his big yardage ways. Expect a more moderate showing here of 200 yards and one score which could go significantly up or down depending on which McMahon plays.