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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 18, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
JAX at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND   *updated

Prediction: MIN 13, SEA 20

The Vikings are 3-2 and in second place in the NFC North but with Chicago there it doesn't really matter. The Vikings offense has struggled for the entire season with no signs of much improvement. The Seahawks come off a big comeback win over the Rams and "Look Ma - No Alexander". The only loss for the Seahawks was in Chicago and back at home, consider this one a forgone conclusion.

Minnesota Vikings (3-2)
1 19-16 @WAS 10 --- GB
2 16-13 CAR 11 --- @MIA
3 16-19 CHI 12 --- ARZ
4 12-17 @BUF 13 --- @CHI
5 26-17 DET 14 --- @DET
6 Open Bye 15 --- NYJ
7 --- @SEA 16 --- @GB
8 --- NE 17 --- STL
9 --- @SF - MON THU
MIN at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 220,1
RB Chester Taylor 50 30 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 50 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 30 0
WR Troy Williamson 0 50,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 40 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Vikings opened with wins over the Redskins and Panthers, though that doesn't seem nearly as impressive as it once did. The only win since then has been over the visiting Lions and on the road, Minnesota couldn't even beat the Bills. They have a lesser chance in Seattle this week though their defense has kept them in most games. And their offense will keep them on the wrong side of the score when facing a better than average team.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson is not asked to be more than a game manager and that is fortunate because he never is more than that. He has thrown for only three touchdowns on the season against four interceptions and just dink and dunks for the entire game. He goes normally end up above 200 yards but almost never above 250 and without more than one touchdown in any game, his fantasy value couldn't be lower.

Running Backs: The good news is that Chester Taylor's last game had 123 yards on 26 carries with 31 yards on five receptions. The bad news is that he has not scored in the last four games and his worst efforts always come on the road. He had 88 yards against the Redskins in week one but needed 31 yards to get there. In week four, he had only ten carries for 23 yards in Buffalo. His role in the passing game had been locked at three catches each week for around 15 yards as well though that should increase in a game like this one since he'll be the closest receiver for Johnson..

Wide Receivers: The season started with Troy Williamson turning in games of 77 and 102 yards and he's taken a nosedive in every game since with less than 40 yards in the last three efforts. That just brings him down to the level of every other wideout on this team. The Philly-style dink-n-dunk of Brad Childress has sunk the fantasy value here of any wideout.

Tight Ends: While Jermaine Wiggins has been as good as six catches for 59 yards, he has been as bad as one catch for nine yards. The lone bright spot - his best two efforts came in the two road games this year. But he has yet to score or post more than those 59 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle rush defense has been very good this year, particularly in home games. Expect only moderate yardage from Taylor with no score though he could post a few yards if they will just throw it to him more than three times. This week they likely will need to just to stay on the field.

Johnson is a safe bet for a moderate yardage game with one score and no more. Where that score ends up could be anywhere though Williamson is still as good a bet as any other wideout since the speed receivers have done well against Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
1 9-6 @DET 10 --- STL
2 21-10 ARZ 11 --- @SF
3 42-30 NYG 12 --- GB
4 6-37 @CHI 13 --- @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 --- @ARZ
6 30-28 @STL 15 --- SF
7 --- MIN 16 --- SD
8 --- @KC 17 --- @TB
9 --- OAK - MON THU
SEA vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 20 0 230,2
RB Maurice Morris 60 20 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 20 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 70,1 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 30 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Even without the stud Alexander (who has not been all that studly this year anyway), Seattle was able to manufacture a win last week over the Rams and post a lot of points in the process. Alexander will be gone against for at least this week but back at home these Seahawks just don't lose games and never to a team like the Vikes who don't score many points.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck has been feast or famine this year, with three games combining for just one touchdown and never more than 220 yards and two other games spitting out a total of eight touchdowns. The reality is that Hasselbeck has just been only what he needed to be in order to win games and the lone match-up in Chicago was the predictable exception. Now that Deion Branch is integrated into the offense, the passing game looks even brighter - if it needs to be.

Running Backs: With Alexander out again this week, Maurice Morris takes his third start with a shot at getting his first score of the year. He had rather bad timing in the sense both his first starts came on the road against the Bears and Rams and he has not ran well enough to make anyone less than itching to get Alexander back. Morris had 74 rushing yards against the Rams but needed 23 carries to get there - just a 3.3 YPC. Once again he faces a team that has an above average rush defense but at least he is finally at home.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson had scored four times in the last four games and remains above 60 yards in every game with a high of 127 yards back in week two. Deion Branch is the reason for excitement on this squad though, in only three games he has increased his role on the offense and comes off a six catch, 76-yard game last week with two touchdowns. He is proving to be everything that Nate Burleson wasn't and makes this offense look formidable in the passing game.

Tight Ends: Jerramy Stevens was a late scratch Sunday because his knee still didn't feel right but he is expected to return this week. Itula Mili has done almost nothing as a replacement, so Stevens could lend a spark at times and his blocking is even more important to get back into the offense.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings rushing defense is very good and has not allowed any runner to top 78 rushing yards so far though three different runners have scored once against them. But Morris has not been all that effective running, so figure on those 78 yards being a ceiling that he won't likely reach and he won't score.

Hasselbeck will have to win this game against a secondary that has only given up three scores all year and never more than one per opponent. At home with the weapons to get the job done, I like Hasselbeck to throw for two scores and end up with respectable yardage. He has been either huge or small every week so far but this game should finally cough up a "middle of the road" performance since he has to do well to win the game but the Vikes won't make it too easy.