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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

Prediction: CIN 27, SEA 24

Here's the meeting of two teams coming off painful losses. The Bengals had a game for the ages when the Browns suddenly showed up with the biggest surprise game of the young season and all the scoring of the Bengals still wasn't enough to stem the tide. The Seahawks stumbled in Arizona against a divisional rival as well but that was far less of a shocker than the Browns game was. The Bengals thought they could win without preparation and got caught. The Seahawks knew the game would be a challenge and still couldn't get it done. This is a critical week for both teams because 1-2 will be a deep hole to dig out of and both teams have big games waiting for them next week as well.

Update: T.J. Houshmandzadeh did not practice on Wednesday to rest his sore knee but returned on Thursday and is expected to play without limitation this week.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 BAL 27-20 +3 40.5
2 @CLE 45-51 -7 41.5
3 @SEA 23-Sep +3 50
4 NE 1-Oct MON 8:30 PM
5 BYE - - -
6 @KC 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 NYJ 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 PIT 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 @BUF 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @BAL 11-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
11 ARI 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 TEN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @PIT 2-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
14 STL 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @SF 15-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
16 CLE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @MIA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CIN at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     290,2
RB Rudi Johnson 80,1 30  
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   110,1  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   60,1  
WR Glenn Holt   60  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bengals defense did what no one thought could be done - make the Browns look like an offensive powerhouse. Nothing wrong with the offense here that posted gaudy numbers but the defense couldn't stop anything and using a two week view, really wasn't terribly effective in shutting down a Ravens offense either. In fantasy terms this is wonderful because we need more shootouts.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer takes the NFL lead now thanks to a six-touchdown, 401 yard effort last week and the notion that Chris Henry's absence cannot be compensated for is just wrong. This passing attack is already hitting on all cylinders and Chad Johnson is on fire to start the year instead of stumbling early as he did in 2006.

Running Backs: Like the rest of the Bengals offense, Rudi Johnson had a great game last week after a tough time against the Ravens. He's not only only been running well, he's also been catching more passes this year and had four for 33 yards last week with his first touchdown of the year on a reception. So far Johnson has 41 of the 42 carries made by Cincy running backs this season.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson is starting the year on a rather astronomic note with 304 receiving yards and three scores already. His 11 catches for 209 yards last week is a NFL high for the year. T.J. Houshmandzadeh hasn't done nearly as much with yardage and only has only averaged seven yards per catch but he has 17 so far and has scored three times. Tab Perry pulled a hamstring last week and left the game but Glenn Holt stepped in with Chris Henry like results and added 52 yards and a score to the ridiculous totals.

Tight Ends: 45 points in one game and the tight ends still are worthless here.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks defense looked good enough at home against the Buccaneers but last week in Arizona gave up plenty of rushing and passing yards against an offense much worse than the Bengals who likely were overlooking the Browns last week and got caught. Expect at least a decent game here from Rudi Johnson.

Palmer faces a secondary that allowed 299 yards to Leinart last Sunday. Look for the Bengals to bounce back this week with a good showing from the offense again. Chad Johnson gets the best match-up here and should score yet again and Houshmandzadeh should provide the possession role. This week should be a mini-shootout of sorts with both teams motivated to do well.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 1 23 1 28 16 4
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 11 19 12 20 23 5


Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 20-6 -6 41
2 @ARI 20-23 -2.5 42.5
3 CIN 23-Sep -3 50
4 @SF 30-Sep SUN 4:05 PM
5 @PIT 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 NO 14-Oct SUN 8:15 PM
7 STL 21-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 @CLE 4-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
10 SF 12-Nov MON 8:30 PM
11 CHI 18-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
12 @STL 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @PHI 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 ARI 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 @CAR 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 BAL 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @ATL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SEA vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     250,2
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 10  
TE Marcus Pollard   10  
WR Deion Branch   90,1  
WR Bobby Engram   60,1  
WR Nate Burleson   70  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Seattle returns home where they usually play best and that is needed after being unable to win in Arizona last week. The rushing game has done well so far because Alexander is averaging 22 carries per game and he is scoring each week and the passing attack improved last Sunday but the defense still needs a game to show how well they will play this year. The Bucs were not a big challenge and the Cardinals were a little too much. This is a major test for the Seahawks defense - if they falter here then the Seahawks are going to need to get comfortable with the fact that they are no longer an elite team.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck has thrown for one score in each game and he did have 281 yards las Sunday in Arizona. But aside from the numbers with Branch last week this offense lacks the go-to guy who is critical in tougher games. Already short D.J. Hackett, Hasselbeck has to continue to refine his chemistry with Branch.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander played with a cast on his left wrist to protect a minor injury that he refuses to discuss and that hasn't affected him anyway. Alexander has scored in both games so far and he ran for 70 yards in Arizona but overall he has a respectable 175 rushing yards on the season on 45 carries for a less than spectacular 3.9 yards per carry average. It all depends on him getting a higher volume of carries so far.

Wide Receivers: After being blanked in week one, Deion Branch came to life last week when he caught seven passes for 122 yards and Bobby Engram managed to snare five receptions for 71 yards. Nate Burleson has replaced D.J. Hackett and while he only had two grabs for 39 yards, he did score once. This passing attack still lacks obvious consistency but should look good this week. With Alexander more of a plodder so far, this unit needs to step up.

Tight Ends: After starting out with a nice five catch game in week one, Marcus Pollard failed to record a catch last Sunday. That mostly reflects the success of the wideouts.

Match Against the Defense: Okay, before you go counting your winnings this year because you have players going against the Bengals defense, realize that this unit held Steve McNair to only 203 yards and three interceptions and Willis McGahee only turned in 77 yards on 19 carries. Alexander should have another moderate game here with a nice chance for another score.

Hasselbeck will have to throw and will have some success but not like last week's aberration for the ages. Look for Branch to turn in solid numbers again this week and for Hasselbeck to end with two passing scores in what should be a mini-shootout. The Seahawks will run as much as they can to keep the Bengals offense off the field but it depends on how long it takes Cincy to get a lead and force Seattle to throw. It is a safe game to start Seattle players, but temper expectations.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 17 2 17 25 13 21
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 29 29 27 29 32 20

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