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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
Divisional Week
January 14, 2005
Season Ticket
Washington at Seattle
4:30 PM Saturday on FOX
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis
1:00 PM Sunday on CBS
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New England at Denver
8:00 PM Saturday on CBS
Carolina at Chicago
4:30 PM Sunday on FOX

Prediction: Washington 6, Seattle 27

This is a replay of week four when the Seahawks were the traveling team and the Redskins won 20-17 by kicking a field goal in overtime after letting the Seahawks tie the score with a late score to Darrell Jackson before he was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and missed the next ten games. This is sort of a full circle game, with Jackson ready to shine once again and the Seahawks taking the hosting duties. Seattle is 8-0 at home this year while the Redskins were just 4-4 on the road but Washington is on a six game winning streak that includes a win in the last four away games.

Line: Seahawks by 8.5, Over/Under = 41
Weather: 48 degrees, rain

Washington Redskins (10-6)
1 9-7 CHI 10 35-36 @TBB
2 14-13 @DAL 11 13-16 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 17-23 SDC
4 20-17 SEA 13 24-9 @STL
5 19-21 @DEN 14 17-13 @ARI
6 21-28 @KCC 15 35-7 DAL
7 52-17 SFO 16 35-20 NYG
8 0-36 @NYG 17 31-20 @PHI
9 17-10 PHI . MON SAT
WAS Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 150
RB Clinton Portis 70 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 50 0
WR Santana Moss 0 60 0
WR Taylor Jacobs 0 20 0
WR James Thrash 0 10 0
PK John Hall 2 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Redskins have certainly decided to peak at the right time. They have gone from being 5-6 to taking a wildcard with a 10-6 record. Their second trip to Tampa Bay this year produced a 17-10 win over the Bucs despite producing almost no offense in the game. Their 136 total yards was the lowest by any winner ever in a playoff game but that defense has kept the last six opponents to 20 points or less.

Quarterback: Hard to imagine that a quarterback who only threw for 41 yards and one interception could be playing his second playoff game but here is Mark Brunell. Back in week four, Brunell had 226 yards and two scores against the visiting Seahawks but he hasn't been over 194 yards in any of the last eight games and has only thrown for two scores against five interceptions over the last four road games.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis ran for 90 yards on 25 carries in week four against the Seahawks but ended the regular season with five consecutive 100+ rushing yard games. That ended last week in Tampa Bay when he only managed 53 yards on 16 carries though he scored once.

Wide Receivers: There has never been a Redskins wideout worthy of note outside of Santana Moss who has every wideout touchdown scored by the team this year. Moss had six catches for 87 yards with no score in the previous meeting with the Seahawks and has scored in only two of the last 11 games. The only other wideout with even a catch against the Seahawks this year was Taylor Jacobs who just had two receptions for 17 yards. No secret here - cover Moss, cover Moss, cover Moss.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley had four catches for 61 yards in week four and remains the only other passing option for Brunell.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks opened the season by allowing Duckett to score once - and that was the last time a visiting running back had a touchdown in Seattle. The Seahawks already held Portis to 90 yards in Washington which included an overtime period so expect an even more moderate game here by Portis. The game weather is likely to be rain and a slick field won't likely help the shifty Portis.

Brunell has been little more than a game manager for the final half of the season and his poor performance last week only underscores the problem here - only Cooley and Moss matter. Moss has already been held down by the Seahawks this year and in Seattle - he won't be any better. He's always a risk to catch a long pass but the Seahawks are well aware.

Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
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 41-3 SFO
6 42-10 HOU 15 28-24 @TEN
7 13-10 DAL 16 28-13 IND
8 Open Bye 17 17-23 @GBP
9 33-19 @ARI . MON SAT
SEA Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 220,2
RB Shaun Alexander 110,1 10 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 70,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 60 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 40,1 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Seattle takes the best record in the NFC and a perfect home record in their first test of the playoffs. The Seattle offense has been posting 28+ points in almost every game since mid-season while the defense at home has been holding opponents at bay in every game. Coming off a restful bye week, the Seahawks open their playoffs against the least diverse offense remaining in the hunt for the Super Bowl though this will be the best defense they've seen since... well... since they saw the Redskins back in week four.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck threw for 242 yards and one score in the last meeting with the Skins but he's been money in every game since - scoring at least one and ending the year with nine touchdowns in the final three full games he played. This just in - he's been doing all that without Darrell Jackson other than week 15 when he had 285 yards and three scores against the Titans. Jackson doesn't take away from the solid passing numbers - he only adds to them.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander ran for 98 yards and one score back in week four and there was only one game other game since that he failed to score at least once. The new all-time NFL leader in touchdowns ran for over 100 yards in 7 of his 8 home games this year and half of them were over 140 yards.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson's final game before his knee injury had him catching seven passes for 55 yards and one score against the Redskins while Bobby Engram had nine receptions for 106 yards. In the time since, Joe Jurevicius has turned in a career best year and is slated to remain in the passing mix that now includes a completely healthy Jackson once again. Unlike the Redskins, stopping one wideout still leaves two others just as deadly.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens had three catches for 31 yards against the Skins this year but comes off three straight games with a score to end the regular season (he did not have any passes in the last meaningless game). Stevens adds yet another receiving option that Hasselbeck has been relying on more as the season progresses.

Match Against the Defense: Seattle has developed into a more formidable offense as the season progressed and will be better this game. Already 8-0 at home with the best runner in the NFL, four viable receivers means that no defense can load up against the run without paying the price. Expect a solid game here from Alexander with at least one rushing score - it's Alexander after all.

Hasselbeck had decent yardage in the last meeting though he needed to throw more than usual thanks to trailing in much of the game. Expect the addition of Jackson back into the mix to mean his passing will be more efficient. There won't be a need for a big yardage game here but he should manage at least two passing scores as a tune-up for the NFC Championship next week.