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

Prediction: NOS 3, SEA 24

This is a depressing game. The 0-4 Saints come in after letting their only remotely close game get away from them and now head to Seattle where the Seahawks are 2-0. But those Seahawks are coming off a loss in Pittsburgh where they lost Deion Branch and at least a little bit of their manhood thanks to being the only team shutout this year. This game won't be pretty but it will be a chance for Alexander to rekindle yesteryear when he was unstoppable... unless losing his blocking fullback ends up yet another reason why the run is done in Seattle.

New Orleans Saints (0-4)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 10-41 +6 51.5
2 @TB 14-31 -3.5 41.5
3 TEN 14-31 -4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 CAR 13-16 -4 43
6 @SEA   +6.5 43
7 ATL 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @SF 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 JAC 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 STL 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @HOU 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CAR 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 TB 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @ATL 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 ARI 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @CHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
NOS at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     230
RB Reggie Bush 40 60  
TE Eric Johnson   30  
WR Marques Colston   60  
WR Devery Henderson   50  
WR Lance Moore   30  
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG    

Pregame Notes: What a heartbreaker. After getting blown out in three games this year and losing Deuce McAllister for the year, the bye week gave the Saints a chance to regroup. And then the Panthers without Delhomme managed to comeback and win the game. That close loss has to hurt more than any of the three blowouts. The Falcons come to town in week seven so there is still a good chance the Saints can win a game but on the road to Seattle is a tall order to just keep the game competitive.

Sidenote - do not get comfortable with Olindo Mare. After missing two of four field goals last week (AKA the chance of tying or winning the game), the team is auditioning other kickers this week. This answers the question asked when they signed Mare in the off-season - "what were they thinking?" The answer is that they were not.

Quarterback: On the plus side, Drew Brees decreased his season high four interceptions from week three to only two against the Panthers on Sunday. That about wraps it up for the positive news. Brees now leads the league with nine interceptions and has only one touchdown pass all year. He has lost more fumbles (2) than he has scored. While the receivers are coming around better lately, that still hasn't equated into an actual touchdown and without McAllister there to form a traditional inside rushing game, it only makes the passing attack even more stunted from a defense that now just defends the pass and Bush running around the corner.

Running Backs: Playing without McAllister meant that Reggie Bush had a career best 21 carries that only gained 67 yards but Bush did catch nine passes for 52 yards and that likely will be the rule in most games. Bush doesn't have the inside skills and the defenses refuse to give him the corner so it's three yards a carry at best. Aaron Stecker was expected to see more playing time but only had four carries for 12 yards because the Saints opted to use Mike Karney at the goal line for the rushing score last week.

Bush is still a solid play, but he'll likely have more receiving yards than rushing yards despite being the primary runner in the offense.

Wide Receivers: The positive development is that Devery Henderson actually does play for the Saints and had 101 yards on four catches last week. That's roughly twice what the previous three games produced. But that came at the expense of Marques Colston who had a season low of just 31 yards last week. This offense will continue to look for Colston first and Henderson needs more than one game to prove he is going to be any factor this year. Lance Moore from the slot still has promise though he only had a season low three catches for 32 yards on Sunday.

If Brees could ever get all three wideouts productive in the same game, the offense may start moving. So far he has not and the Saints are a predictable 0-4 because of it.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson still gets four or five catches each week but they never amount to more than 20 or 30 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Bush on the road is not likely to do much running against a defense that is only average thanks to facing other good runners this year. But Bush cannot be considered in the same company so it depends on how many passes he will catch. Chances are that Bush again has a nice reception total this week.

Brees looks to find the end zone for only the second time this year by facing the secondary that has never allowed more than one passing score to any opponent and only three touchdowns all year. No reason to expect that Brees catches fire this week against a team who is coming off a shut out. Decent overall yardage and yet another game without a touchdown.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 30 17 21 26 31 30
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 6 23 11 10 9 6


Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
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 23-3 -1.5 40.5
5 @PIT 0-21 +6 41
6 NO   -6.5 43
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 NOS Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     190,1
RB Shaun Alexander 110,2 10  
TE Marcus Pollard   30  
WR Nate Burleson   50,1  
WR Bobby Engram   60  
WR Ben Obonamu   30  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks return home after the ignominy of being the only team shut out in the NFL this year. The trip to Pittsburgh was bad enough with just the loss, but the Seahawks also saw Deion Branch leave with a foot injury that will seem him miss a couple of weeks and even worse, blocking fullback extraordinaire Mack Strong injure his neck and quickly retire after 15 years of plowing open holes. That is a position that the Seahawks have considered a given since 1994 and not one that can be quickly compensated for by a fill-in. The Seahawks have a near cakewalk schedule coming up for the next month which will afford them time to get Leonard Weaver into the offensive flow.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck struggled against the Steelers last week and only managed to complete 13 of 27 passes for 116 yards and one interception. But that was the first game this year that Hasselbeck did not toss at least one score or gain at least 220 passing yards. The loss of Branch this week is no help but at least the Saints are not bringing a defense that should make it matter.

Running Backs: The last two weeks have not seen Shaun Alexander as productive and in Pittsburgh he only turned in 25 yards on 11 carries. He also lost his blocking full back Mack Strong. But the good news here is that Alexander is at home this week against a bad Saints defense and his two games over 100 yards both came in the only home stands this year. He should be fine this week but later in the year on the road is when Strong's absence could be most felt.

The Seahawks are again saying that they want to involve Maurice Morris more this week but so far he has never had more than five meaningless carries in any game this year.

Wide Receivers: The loss of Branch for a couple of weeks means that now the Seahawks are down to Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson and the rookie Ben Obonamu. D.J. Hackett is close to returning but will likely miss this game as well unless he can practice later in the week. The Saints secondary on the road is always ripe for picking but the Seahawks have as weak a unit to use as they have in years thanks to injuries.

Tight Ends: This could be a nice spot to see increased use of Marcus Pollard but so far he has been sticking around two catches per week. He did score once in week four in San Francisco.

Match Against the Defense: Even with the loss of Mack Strong, Alexander should have a nice game here even if it takes 30+ carries to get there. Expect the 100 rushing yards and at least one rushing score and likely two.

Hasselbeck faces a defense that has always allowed at least one passing score and usually two or three. Expect just moderate passing yardage here with Alexander taking most the offensive plays and for one score to favor Burleson.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 15 20 9 25 17 19
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 23 16 29 18 26 25

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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