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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 7, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CLE at CIN* OAK at NYJ SF at SEA MIA at SD* Mon 9 PM
IND at JAC TB at CAR BAL at DEN Updated* Times ET

Prediction: San Francisco 3, Seattle 31

It's hard to imagine that the best record in the NFC only managed a two point win over the worst record in the NFC just three games ago. The Seahawks won 27-25 when these teams met in week 11 in San Francisco. The 49ers remain winless on the road and the Seahawks have yet to lose a home game. Just cannot imagine an upset of this magnitude.

San Francisco 49ers (2-10)
1 28-25 STL 10 9-17 @CHI
2 3-42 @PHI 11 25-27 SEA
3 31-34 DAL 12 22-23 @TEN
4 14-31 @ARI 13 10-17 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
SF at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 0 0 160
RB Kevan Barlow 30 20 0
RB Frank Gore 30 10 0
TE Trent Smith 0 10 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 60 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 40 0
WR Rasheed Marshall 0 10 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The 49ers are already in "evaluate for next year" mode and with three consecutive road games now we'll get an exciting match-up never seen before in the NFL. The 49ers and Texans will face off in week 17 in San Francisco with the winner... I mean loser... getting the first pick in the NFL draft.

Quarterback: Alex Smith is showing signs of improvement since after three starts he has now busted past the 100 passing yard mark in a game and ended with 185 last week against the Cardinals. Sure, he had three interceptions but he's doubled his career best yardage game now.

Ken Dorsey threw for 249 yards and one score in week 11 against the Seahawks.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow was held out last week with a balky knee but is expected to play in this game. Barlow only gained 21 yards on 12 carries in the previous meeting with the Seahawks and after he was injured, Maurice Hicks came in and reeled off 83 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown in that game but Frank Gore is back and should carry the split with Barlow.

Wide Receivers: Alex Smith only connected on five passes for 47 yards with Brandon Lloyd last Sunday but Johnnie Morton enjoyed a season high 66 yards in relief of Arnaz Battle who was inactive with a knee sprain. Lloyd had 119 yards and one score against the Seahawks this season while Battle and Morton had no more than two catches and 22 yards. The chances of even that much repeating in Seattle with Alex Smith is remote.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers enjoyed a surprise revival against the Seahawks in week 11 but they still lost and now Alex Smith has been given the reins. Look for only minimal production from the running game that will be split between at least Gore and Barlow and maybe even Hicks.

Smith on the road against the Seahawks. Don't look for a score or more than 160 yards unless the Seahawks truly lose all interest here. With only the Titans waiting in week 15, no reason for the Seahawks to be looking ahead.

Seattle Seahawks (10-2)
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 42-0 @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 SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 200,1
RB Shaun Alexander 140,3 0 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 20 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 80,1 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 40 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 50 0
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: Seattle is just cruising now with a 10-2 record and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs if they can remain ahead of Carolina and Chicago. With only SF, TEN, IND and GB remaining, there's a great chance the Seahawks end up with a 13-3 record this year. The 42-0 blowout of the Eagles hardly left the Seahawks winded though a sportsmanship move by Holmgren took Alexander out of the game and off his pace to reach 2000.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck threw for 243 yards and a score against the 49ers this year and that's about what he does every week. Hasselbeck has failed to score in only one game this season and that was when Alexander had four scores against the Cardinals.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander only ran for 49 yards (and two touchdowns) last week before being yanked from the snowy slaughter in Philadelphia. That leaves him with a total of 1388 rushing yards with only four games left to play. This means he would need 153 rushing yards a game - pretty tall order and likely not going to happen. But with 22 rushing touchdowns, he is only five away from the NFL record of 27 by Priest Holmes. There is a record he can reach.

Alexander ran for 115 yards and two scores in San Francisco earlier this year.

Wide Receivers: The Darrell Jackson watch continues. He was scratched again from the game last week and while he could possibly return this week - why? The Seahawks won't need him and another week off won't hurt. Bobby Engram had 93 yards against the 49ers in week 11 while D.J. Hackett turned in 78 yards and a score. Joe Jurevicius was held to only 27 yards but now takes the starting role that Hackett was filling in week 11.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Stevens only had one catch for 27 yards in the previous meeting with the 49ers and has not managed even that much in the two games since.

Match Against the Defense: With two road games and a match-up against the Colts coming up, this is a great chance for Alexander to get a jump start on finishing off the rushing touchdown record. He already had two scores in week 11 so expect more obscene numbers from the leagues top runner.

Hasselbeck will just manage the game but he'll end up throwing for at least one score just because he can. But this week should be heavy on the Alexander, light on the pass.