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

Prediction: ARI 13, SEA 27

Update: I am not changing the projections but the situation with Larry Fitzgerald remains uncertain. He has been able to practice on a limited basis this week and actually increased his workload on Thursday. The best bet here is that he does attempt to play but that is risky as a fantasy starter since it is a later afternoon game and your options may be limited by that time. With a groin injury, there is no certainty that it will not get tweaked in pregame warmups or even during the game. He remains in question and should be followed on game day to see if he is active. Even if he is, that is no guarantee that he will be productive, particularly with Boldin out this week.

The Cardinals pulled out a win over the Browns last week but hit the road where they are only 2-4 this year. The Seahawks are 5-1 at home but a win by Arizona would draw the two teams to within one game for the NFC West. But the Cards are no road warrior and are now dealing with significant injuries to their receiving corps.

The Cardinals won 23-20 against the visiting Seahawks in week two.

Arizona Cardinals (6-6)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 17-20 +3.5 45
2 SEA 23-20 +2.5 42.5
3 @BAL 23-26 +8 35.5
4 PIT 21-14 +6 42.5
5 @STL 34-31 -3 40.5
6 CAR 10-25 -6 38.5
7 @WAS 19-21 +7 37
8 BYE - - -
9 @TB 10-17 +3.5 37
10 DET 31-21 -1 45
11 @CIN 35-27 +3 48.5
12 SF 31-37 -10 38
13 CLE 27-21 -1 51.5
14 @SEA   +7 44.5
15 @NO 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 ATL 23-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
17 STL 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
ARI at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     220,1
RB Edgerrin James 60 10  
TE Leonard Pope   40  
WR Sean Morey   30  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   60  
WR Bryant Johnson   40,1  
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals made up for the loss to the 49ers with their victory over the Browns but now hit the road to Seattle who will not take kindly to having lost to them already this year. The good news is that even a loss to the Seahawks this week will not preclude the Cards from ending up with a winning season or even possibly a wildcard bid. Ending with the Saints, Falcons and Rams should result in no worse than a 8-8 season which alone is a success for first year HC Ken Whisenhunt.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner has been playing very well the last month with at least two scores in each game. Over the last four weeks, he has thrown for nine scores and even had 484 yards against the 49ers. But injuries to Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald could make that impossible to continue.

Matt Leinart was the starter back in week two and only threw for 102 yards and one score against the Seahawks.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James comes off his best effort since week two when he ran for 114 yards on 24 carries against the Browns. But he has only scored twice in the last six games and almost all his bad yardage games have come on the road. James rushed for 92 yards on 26 carries with one touchdown when the Seahawks visited in week two. Unfortunately, James has almost no role as a receiver in this offense.

The plan to use Marcel Shipp more resulted in a touchdown run in week 12 but against the Browns he never had a carry.

Wide Receivers: Now for the bad news. Larry Fitzgerald missed last week as a gametime scratch because of a sore groin but there is guarded optimism that he may play this week - it depends on how his groin heals and if he can practice. I will assume that he can play at least a limited role for now and update as needed.

But Anquan Boldin injured his toe which has been reported as broken. The Cardinals are trying to arrange special shoes for him that would allow him to play with the injury but it is unlikely for this week and playing with a broken toe has significant effects for a wideout, particularly a possession receiver like Boldin who plays in traffic. I will assume he is out this week until he is cleared to play.

The absence of Fitzgerald last week allowed Bryant Johnson more playing time and he had six catches for 56 yards and a score but that was at home against the Browns. Figure on Steve Breaston and Sean Morey seeing more plays with either of the wideouts absent this week.

Both Fitzgerald and Boldin only had about 20 receiving yards versus the Seahawks this year though Boldin scored once.

Tight Ends: Leonard Pope does not yet carry reliable fantasy value but he has been used more than any tight end for years in Arizona. He has scored five times this season with a high of 52 yards but only has around 20 or 30 yards in most games. His use can see an uptick with Bolding likely to miss this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Cards pulled off a win at home in week two against the Seahawks but on the road with injured receivers will be different. Look for James to return to his more typical moderate yardage and have a shot at a touchdown if the Cards end up near the goal line.

Warner faces one of the best secondaries in the league that has only allowed five passing scores over the last nine games and the last three visitors had no passing scores there. Warner has been solid this past month and should be again, but this will be his worst match-up of the remaining games. Anything beyond one score and just moderate yardage will be a surprise. Seattle is already very familiar with the Cards.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 10 28 6 20 24 10
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 5 25 8 5 8 7


Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
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 24-19 -3 44.5
13 @PHI 28-24 +3 43
14 ARI   -7 44.5
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 ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     240,2
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1    
RB Maurice Morris 30 30  
TE Marcus Pollard   20  
WR Deion Branch   90,1  
WR Bobby Engram   70,1  
WR Nate Burleson   30  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are on a four game winning streak that included road victories in St. Louis and Philadelphia. At 8-4, they need only to win this game to lock up the NFC West with three games left to play. Alexander is back now and the offense has been cranking out 24+ points over the last six match-ups. This is a big game for Seattle, at least as big as it gets in the NFC West.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck may be without D.J. Hackett again, but he's hardly had him this year anyway and back at home he has never had less than two passing scores since week one. Two of his three games over 300 passing yards came in home stands but that all depends on how well opponents keep up with the Seahawks. In games against softer opponents, his yardage tends to fall since it is not needed.

Hasselbeck passed for 281 yards and one score in Arizona this year.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander returned last Sunday and picked right up with only 65 yards on 20 carries but he did score for the first time since week two and had at least moments of decent running. It was good enough to limit Maurice Morris to just five carries against the Eagles though he did gain 64 yards and scored as well. Morris will not disappear, but the Seahawks are going back to Alexander as the primary runner.

Alexander ran for 70 yards on 18 carries and scored once versus the Cardinals this year.

Wide Receivers: With Hackett gone, there really isn't a primary wideout since Deion Branch varies wildly from week to week as does Nate Burleson who just scored in Philly but rarely has more than 60 yards in any game. Bobby Engram has been the most reliable with 60+ yards in most weeks but he too is inconsistent with scoring. It all gets done each week, but there is no truly reliable scorer or even yardage guy here other than Engram with his moderate showing every week.

Branch turned in seven catches for 122 yards in Arizona earlier this year. Engram caught five passes for 71 yards while Burleson had the lone passing score.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard has exactly two catches in each of his last seven games but never more than 33 yards and just one touchdown on the year. No fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks should manage to score at least one rushing touchdown here that favors Alexander if only because he gets more carries. This could be a nice game for him to get decent yardage - it will be his softest match-up for the rest of the year.

Hasselbeck always throws for two scores and the Cards have allowed exactly two in each of their last four games, along with nice yardage of 250 or more. Expect two of the wideouts to score this week. Branch already had his way with the Cardinals secondary this year and Engram has been used more than Burleson.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 9 18 7 28 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 18 17 27 1 18 17

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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