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

Prediction: SEA 27, STL 19

Seattle is on a two game winning streak and is only 1-3 on the road while the Rams are also on a two game win streak and are only 1-4 at home. The Seahawks crushed the Rams 33-6 in week seven but that was at the height of the Rams injuries. This match-up will be far closer but the Rams still have a ways to go and the Seahawks are healthier this week than they were in week seven as well.

Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
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 17-28 -6 43
7 STL 33-6 -9 40
8 BYE - - -
9 @CLE 30-33 +1 47
10 SF 24-0 -10 39.5
11 CHI 30-23 -5.5 37.5
12 @STL   -3 44.5
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 STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     280,2
RB Maurice Morris 70,1 20  
TE Marcus Pollard   20  
WR Deion Branch   50  
WR Bobby Engram   80,1  
WR D.J. Hackett   100,1  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks got Deion Branch back last week though without much production and the absence of Shaun Alexander is actually a positive for now. Hasselbeck is throwing well with a healthy crew once again and the defense has stepped up well enough in home games to reach a 6-4 record. On the road is the big test since the only win away from Seattle was against the 49ers.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck either re-aggravated his strained oblique or injured his rib cage last week but is expected to play on Sunday even if he misses a day or two to rest his chest. He continued to play last week and still posted one of his best games of the year when he ended with 337 yards and two scores against the Bears. He is on a nice streak now with the last five games having two touchdowns in each with healthy yardage as the Seahawks turn to a heavier pass-oriented attack now that they admit the run is no longer king in Seattle this year.

Hasselbeck threw for 195 yards and two scores when the Seahawks pasted the Rams in week seven.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander has been put on ice for now to rest up his wrist, knee and confidence. He is likely to miss this week as well and Maurice Morris will start. Morris has back-to-back games with 87 rushing yards and a score. In week seven when Alexander was still being used, Morris had ten carries against the Rams and gained 42 yards.

Wide Receivers: D.J. Hackett has been on fire since returning three weeks ago with a score in each game and a season high 136 yards last week against the Bears. Deion Branch finally returned after missing four games but only posted four catches for 31 yards. Bobby Engram remains one of the better slot receivers in the NFL and usually has upwards of 70 yards in most games with two efforts topping 120 yards when Hackett and Branch were out.

The Seahawks are passing the ball around well and the addition of Branch helps but not nearly as much as Hackett has been. Branch should start to increase his numbers though and that will only make this unit even deadlier.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard is good for only a couple of catches per week and only has one score on the year. No fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams rushing defense has been better than most realize and no runner has topped 100 rushing yards against them even during the darker weeks when most the team was injured. Morris should have moderate yardage on the ground and may make it up as a receiver but still should ring in less than 100 total yards. He has a decent chance at one score here.

The only reason why the Rams defense is not ranked worse against the pass is thanks to playing the Ravens and the 49ers (twice). Five times this year they have yielded multiple touchdowns and that fits neatly into what Hasselbeck does each game anyway. Expect a nice game here from Hackett and Engram. Branch could turn it up a notch as well but it will depend on his health.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 7 20 6 22 7 10
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 19 21 18 21 27 26


St. Louis Rams (2-8)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 13-27 +1 42
2 SF 16-17 -3 44
3 @TB 3-24 +4 38.5
4 @DAL 7-35 +13 47
5 ARI 31-34 +3 40.5
6 @BAL 3-22 +9 36.5
7 @SEA 6-33 +9 40
8 CLE 20-27 +3 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @NO 37-29 +12 46
11 @SF 13-9 -2.5 41
12 SEA   +3 44.5
13 ATL 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @CIN 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 GB 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PIT 20-Dec THU 8:15 PM
17 @ARI 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
STL vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     250,1
RB Steven Jackson 60 30  
TE Randy McMichael   40  
WR Torry Holt   70  
WR Isaac Bruce   50  
WR Drew Bennett   40,1  
PK Jeff Wilkins 4 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams come off two wins - their only of the season - and they both came in road games thanks to playing the Saints and 49ers. The offense has healed up after a catastrophic start to the season and even the offensive line is better though Bulger continues to get battered. Not to worry that the Rams are just messing up their draft pick next April because the rest of the season looks rather tough with this game, road trips to Cincinnati and Phoenix and home games against the Packers and Steelers. It's been fun the last two weeks but it is not the start of a big turnaround.

Quarterback: After turning in two games over 300 passing yards, Marc Bulger struggled a bit more in San Francisco when he only produced 155 yards and one score. During these two wins, he has not turned the ball over but still was sacked ten times and that is not going to keep him healthy for the long term with tougher games coming his way.

Bulger only had 225 passing yards and no score in the first meeting with the Seahawks.

Running Backs: Going against two very soft defenses helped Steven Jackson to turn in decent numbers recently but he still only has one game over 100 rushing yards on the season and that was in week three when he had 30 carries in Tampa Bay. During these two wins, he scored one touchdown and yet only averaged 3.7 yards per carry against defenses that were worse than any remaining on the schedule. At least Bulger has resumed using him more as a receiver with nine catches for 48 yards over the last two weeks. Given the success of the offense last year when Jackson was heavily used as a receiver, it is a mild surprise that the Rams have still not returned to the same level of work for him as a receiver.

Wide Receivers: Torry Holt continues to gut it out with a bum knee and scored his fifth touchdown on the season last week but only ended with 55 yards on seven receptions. That came on the heels of two efforts over 110 yards though and Holt has maintained his fantasy value this year despite all odds. Isaac Bruce has been playing his typical brand of possession receiving with around 50 or 60 yards per week while Drew Bennett varies in workload from week to week but rarely has more than 40 yards in a game.

Holt turned in eight catches for 82 yards in the first meeting with the Seahawks. Bruce had 52 yards on two catches.

Tight Ends: Though he only had one catch for four yards in San Francisco, Randy McMichael has been sold this year with around 30 or 40 yards in almost every game and two scores. He typically shows up better in the tougher match-ups and had 34 yards on three catches in the first meeting.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle rushing defense has been better than the ranking suggests since four scores went to Jamal Lewis in his one-yard plunge game. Look for Jackson to post only moderate rushing yardage here and likely no score but he could turn in decent total yards if the Rams continue to use him as a receiver.

Bulger struggled against the Seahawks the first time this season and more problematic is that Seattle has already recorded 31 sacks on the season. The Seattle secondary has only given up five passing scores this year so do not expect more than one this week. Bulger could have decent yardage but it will depend on how much time is just trash time when Seattle has secured a win.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 27 28 13 20 16 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 4 25 8 6 10 4

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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