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

Prediction: SEA 20, SF 17

The Seahawks and the 49ers both come into this match-up with a 2-1 record but the 49ers swept the Seahawks last year, winning 20-14 at home and later 24-14 in Seattle. The only time either team has played against a team with a winning record was last week when the 49ers were pummeled by the Steelers. This game gives both a chance to beat a winning record team and take control of the NFC West.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 20-6 -6 41
2 @ARI 20-23 -2.5 42.5
3 CIN 24-21 -3 50
4 @SF   -2 41
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 at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     240,1
RB Shaun Alexander 90,1 10  
TE Marcus Pollard   20  
WR Deion Branch   60  
WR Bobby Engram   70  
WR Nate Burleson   60,1  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks clipped the Bengals last week and so far have only lost to a divisional rival - not the best team to let win. The offense has been rushing well enough though hardly a reprising of 2005 and the passing game has been solid enough. The Seahawks need this game with a trip to Pittsburgh looming on the other side and besides, a little payback is in order after losing both meetings with the 49ers last year.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck may not have Darrell Jackson anymore (though he can wave to him in this game), but he's maintained what he always had - good but rarely great numbers. The Bengals game gave him a season high three scores but he only had one in each of the first two games this year. He's been staying between 220 and 280 passing yards each week. He remains good - just not great.

Hasselbeck threw for 220 yards and one score at home against the 49ers but in week 11 in San Francisco Seneca Wallace was the starter and threw for 252 yards and two scores with three interceptions.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander is playing with a broken left wrist this week but the team is not saying when it happened or the diagnosis other than he will continue to play. Alexander has already had two games over 100 yards this year (though just barely) but his one road game was in Arizona when he only managed 70 yards on 18 carries though he scored once. Alexander has two catches every week which is new but rather unproductive since he never turns them into more than 12 yards. I am assuming that Alexander only has slight limitations if any at all from the wrist since he played last week.

Alexander only gained 37 yards on 17 carries during week 11 in San Francisco but later had 73 yards and a score on 23 carries at home against the 49ers.

Wide Receivers: Life after Darrell Jackson is shaping up to be okay, even with the injury to D.J. Hackett. Deion Branch had 77 yards and a score last week after turning in 122 yards in Arizona. Bobby Engram turns in around 70 yards per week and Nate Burleson has been coming on with six catches for 76 yards and a score against the Bengals last Sunday. Burleson also scored in Arizona as well. There's no big stud here, but the trio combined has allowed Hasselbeck to post good numbers.

Branch caught seven passes for 113 yards and a score in San Francisco last year.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard only has one catch over the last two games. Safe to say he's busy blocking.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers rush defense hasn't been quite as good this year with Parker running for 133 yards last week and James gaining 92 yards and a score against them. Alexander has struggled against them in both games last year and the Seattle line is not that much better this year. But the 49ers offense hasn't been lighting any fires this year and Alexander could get decent numbers here if only because he gets a lot of carries.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that is improved and the defense already has nine sacks on the year. But the Rams lit it up for 368 yards in week two and as long as you stay away from Nate Clements, the receivers can have a good game. This week Clements should be on Branch on most plays so expect Engram and Burleson to have the better match-ups. Hasselbeck should manage at least one passing score in this game but the 49ers defense will prevent any shootout from happening. This game will be largely both teams running the ball.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 12 10 6 28 15 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 13 21 13 25 26 27


San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ARI 20-17 -3.5 45
2 @STL 17-16 +3 44
3 @PIT 16-37 +9 35.5
4 SEA   +2 41
5 BAL 7-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
6 BYE - - -
7 @NYG 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 NO 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 @ATL 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @SEA 12-Nov MON 8:30 PM
11 STL 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 @ARI 25-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
13 @CAR 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 MIN 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CIN 15-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
16 TB 23-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
17 @CLE 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SFO vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10   160
RB Frank Gore 110,2    
TE Delanie Walker   30  
WR Darrell Jackson   60  
WR Arnaz Battle   40  
WR Taylor Jacobs   30  
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The 49ers undefeated season only lasted two games but that's better than most recent years anyway. After losing to Pittsburgh last week, the 49ers face home games against the Seahawks and Ravens before reaching their bye week so just having a winning record by week six will be a challenge. The rushing game with Gore has been struggling and the passing game bears very little resemblance to last year despite having better receivers. Losing Vernon Davis for a couple of weeks won't help either.

Quarterback: After such an encouraging 2006 season, Alex Smith has slid backwards this year and last week he finally had his first touchdown of the year. With back-to-back games of 126 passing yards to start the year, his 209 yards in Pittsburgh seemed like an improvement but losing by 21 points tends to allow plenty of trash time throws. Losing Vernon Davis this week will only make Smith less likely to improve. Smith has already been sacked nine times this year while holding on to the ball waiting for a receiver to get open.

Smith threw for around 160 yards in both meetings with the Seahawks last year with one score in the home game and two on the road.

Running Backs: Frank Gore is not immune to the Flop Flu that has seemingly hit all top running backs drafted last summer. After three games, he has not had more than 81 rushing yards though he played the Rams and Cardinals to start with this season. He has scored better with three touchdowns already but he only has 175 yards on 52 carries after three weeks - just 3.4 yards per carry. Gore had precautionary X-rays on his right hand after the Steelers game which were negative. He is expected to play without limitation other than being in this offense.

Gore had monster games against the Seahawks in 2006, gaining 212 rushing yards at home and later 144 yards in Seattle. This would be a great week for him to rediscover the magic of 2006.

Wide Receivers: Darrell Jackson comes off his best game of the year but that was just four catches for 69 yards and he has yet to score a touchdown. Taylor Jacobs has the lone receiving touchdown this season for the 49ers although he only had two catches for 26 yards - both last Sunday. Arnaz Battle may be even worse than last year now that he has four catches for 44 yards over the last two games. It is just not happening with this unit and the presence of Jackson shows that it is mostly about the quarterback in San Francisco. Jackson has a chance to get back at his old team this week but so far Smith does not spawn much optimism that a big game is in the making here.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis suffered a knee sprain last week and will likely miss two or more weeks. Recall last year when he healed slowly as well and it does not bode well for the second year player. Delanie Walker will take his place and he had three catches for 19 yards in Pittsburgh. Those are like wide receiver numbers for the 49ers.

Match Against the Defense: This should be a game where Gore has a good chance to rack up some yardage against a team he demolished in 2006 and that has given up 128 rushing yards to Edgerrin James already this year. The passing game is not working though and that guarantees that Gore will be wading through plenty of Seahawks on every play.

Smith goes against an average secondary but it really doesn't matter much when Smith can barely hit 200 passing yards in a game and now has lost Vernon Davis. Jackson may crave a big game here but handing off to Gore is just as good to Smith. Expect Smith to return to his mediocre ways without a score.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 28 22 25 21 10 20
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 16 18 22 10 21 10

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