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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
Sunday Late
DET at CHI OAK at BAL STL at SF   updated

Prediction: ARZ 13, SEA 27

The Cardinals come off a good win over the 49ers and opened up the season in their new stadium with the best possible match-up they could get. The Edgerrin James rushing game has added to the Cardinals offense a new dimension but then again - it was just the 49ers visiting. The Seahawks come off a surprisingly tough win over the Lions that not only denied a touchdown to the current NFL record holder, they didn't allow anyone on Seattle to cross the goal line. Here's a chance to reclaim some of the 2005 glory back at home where Seattle just does not lose.

Seattle had little problem defeating the Cardinals last year, winning games 37-12 and 33-19.

Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
1 34-27 SF 10 --- DAL
2 --- @SEA 11 --- DET
3 --- STL 12 --- @MIN
4 --- @ATL 13 --- @STL
5 --- KC 14 --- SEA
6 --- CHI 15 --- DEN
7 --- @OAK 16 --- @SF
8 --- @GB 17 --- @SD
9 Open Bye - - MON
ARZ at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner 0 0 250,1
RB Edgerrin James 50 30 0
TE Leonard Pope 0 20 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 60,1 0
WR Larry Fitzgerald 0 80 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 40 0
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals got to open their season with a win that included not only Edgerrin James but an actual rushing score. And Warner was on fire throwing to Boldin and Fitzgerald but somewhere in all that back-slapping someone needs to notice that they just gave up almost 400 yards and 27 points to Alex Smith and the 49ers who were on the road. That defensive showing won't cut it against Alexander and Hasselbeck.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner started the season out with a bang, throwing for 301 yards and three scores against the 49ers with only one lost fumble and three sacks allowed. The Seattle defense looks even better than last year and that won't be a blessing for the Cards who never fare as well away from the nest.

Warner was injured during the week three game in Seattle last year but he had 334 yards and one score in week nine against the Seahawks.

Running Backs: The Edgerrin James era started out well enough with a rushing score and 73 rushing yards but James had 26 carries and only averaged 2.8 yards per rush. He added three catches for 13 yards but in total this was not a mirror of his days in Indianapolis. He won't often be getting 26 carries in games so his rushing average could be the defining stat and not his one rushing score.

Wide Receivers: While the 49ers ran more than usual last week, Larry Fitzgerald still had nine catches for 133 yards on 14 passes thrown to him. Anquan Boldin only ended with four catches for 62 yards but had one score and with nine passes thrown to him, the duo remains the dynamic force in the passing game. Troy Walters had a touchdown catch but that was on only two catches for 15 yards.

Larry Fitzgerald had games of 41 and 102 yards against Seattle last year with no touchdowns in either. Boldin played only in the first game and had 88 yards and no score.

Tight Ends: The Cards are still not using the position much though Adam Bergen caught one score. The rookie Leonard Pope only had one catch for nine yards.

Match Against the Defense: Bad news for Edgerrin owners. Seattle had the #1 defense against running backs in 2005 and just held Kevin Jones to 35 yards on 14 carries in Detroit. Expect a down game from James here who could approach moderate numbers with enough receptions.

The Seattle secondary with and Trufant and Herndon will make it tougher for Warner this week. Trufant on Boldin should keep his numbers lower and force Warner to rely more on Fitzgerald though that is not a treat either. Expect that Warner in Seattle is reminded that all teams are not the visiting 49ers. Trash time should boost the numbers though.

Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
1 9-6 @DET 10 --- STL
2 --- ARZ 11 --- @SF
3 --- NYG 12 --- GB
4 --- @CHI 13 --- @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 --- @ARZ
6 --- @STL 15 --- SF
7 --- MIN 16 --- SD
8 --- @KC 17 --- @TB
9 --- OAK - MON THU
SEA vs ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 230,1
RB Shaun Alexander 110,2 10 0
TE Itula Mili 0 20 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80,1 0
WR Bobby Engram 0 60 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 50 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Seattle offensive juggernaut hit a surprising bump in the road in Detroit and was lucky enough to leave with a 9-6 win. Week two and the team still awaits their first touchdown. Back at home the Seahawks were undefeated last year and that looks like a streak that remains safe. Gore just gored (my apology) the Cards and Alexander is perhaps the premier tailback in the league.

Quarterback: In the surreal opening of the 2006 season, Matt Hasselbeck joined the many other players that had down performances when he ended with 210 yards and no scores against the Lions last week. But just as important, he had no turnovers and completed 25 of 30 passes. Hasselbeck sustained bruised ribs in the game though he continued to play and is expected to be fine this week.

Hasselbeck threw for 242 and 158 yards against the Cardinals last year and only managed one touchdown as Alexander proved more than enough.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander had a surprisingly inauspicious start to the 2006 season when he had just 51 yards on 19 carries and lost one fumble. The new Marinelli defense game planned exceptionally well against Alexander. But Alexander started out without a score and a low game last year as well. Back at home, no doubt that Alexander gets it back into gear this week.

Alexander's record-setting season on 2005 could not have been possible without the Cardinals who allowed him games of 140 yards and four touchdowns and later 173 yards and two scores.

Wide Receivers: This unit is getting hard to figure out. Darrell Jackson (5-47) played well last week when he was thrown the ball as did Bobby Engram (5-52). The free agent pick-up of Nate Burleson only had one catch for 36 yards and now Seattle has acquired Deion Branch in exchange for a 2007 first round pick. Hasselbeck has the targets for sure, but for any of them to emerge with big numbers is getting hard to imagine. There was speculation that the move to acquire Branch was a sign that Jackson's health may not be as good as billed, but the team strongly denies that and Jackson did look sharp on Sunday. They evidently just really like wide receivers.

Darrell Jackson had eight catches for 125 yards in the first meeting against the Cards last year but was out in week nine when no wideouts did more than 46 yards.

Tight Ends: With Jerramy Stevens out, Itula Mili started and had four catches for 24 yards last week. That's been about the ceiling for Mili for the last year or so.

Match Against the Defense: Alexander has always ripped the Cardinals defense apart and even Gore had nice success last week. Home opener after a squeaky win last week? Alexander wants to make a statement and the Cards have little say.

Hasselbeck will just tack on what Alexander doesn't get and that hasn't been much when these teams play. Expect a moderate game from Hasselbeck that should favor a good game from Jackson this week.