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

Prediction: BAL 6, SEA 24

Wow. The Ravens are now officially "IT" since they lost to the Dolphins and have the NFL's worst eight game losing streak. And now they are on the road this week where they are only 1-6 on the season. The Seahawks have wrapped by the NFC West and have nothing to play for but are at home where they are 6-1 this season. It was obvious last week that the Seahawks were playing flat and uninspired but being at home against arguably the worst team in the league should be enough to get a win this week.

Baltimore Ravens (4-10)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 20-27 +3 40.5
2 NYJ 20-13 -9.5 33
3 ARI 26-23 -7 35.5
4 @CLE 13-27 -4 40
5 @SF 9-7 -3.5 34.5
6 STL 22-3 -9 36.5
7 @BUF 14-19 -3 35
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 7-38 +4 48
10 CIN 7-21 -4.5 44.5
11 CLE 30-33 +2.5 43.5
12 @SD 14-32 +9.5 38.5
13 NE 24-27 +20.5 51.5
14 IND 20-44 +9.5 44
15 @MIA 16-22 -4 37
16 @SEA   +10 40
17 PIT 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BAL at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Troy Smith 30   150
RB Willis McGahee 60 10  
TE Quinn Sypniewski   10  
WR Mark Clayton   20  
WR Devard Darling   40  
WR Derrick Mason   50  
PK Matt Stover 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: There is low and then there is lose to the Dolphins low. Just to make matters just a little worse, Kyle Boller is likely out this week and Ray Lewis is gone for the season. The Ravens have allowed over 20 points in in each of their last seven games and over 30 points in the two road trips previous to the Miami game. The team is decimated by injuries on defense and now may turn to the rookie Troy Smith as the starter this week. Could it get worse? Oh yeah, they host the Steelers for the season finale'.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller may be out this week with a concussion he suffered in Miami and the Ravens could turn to the rookie Troy Smith instead. On the road against a decent secondary in Seattle is hardly where he would have wanted for a first start, but Smith gets a chance to show if he is worthy of any consideration next year. Last week in Miami, he completed five of 11 for 49 yards. On the plus side, he could hope the Seattle rests some players in the second half and allows some trash time yards.

I will assume that Boller sits out until he has practiced and appears likely to play.

Running Backs: In a season with so very few positives, at least Willis McGahee has held up his end. He rushed for 104 yards in Miami and scored in seven straight games ending in week 13. With an inexperienced quarterback at the helm, it is hard to get very excited about McGahee this week but at least he will get his 17 carries or so in the game. He started the season out well but now has most his road efforts ring in around 60 rushing yards from a lack of carries.

Wide Receivers: The blistering pace for receptions that Derrick Mason was setting earlier in the year and subsided and he has only turned in seven catches over the last two games but did score in Miami - from Boller and not Smith though. The change at quarterback should pretty much kill all fantasy value here which was minimal anyway.

Tight Ends: Quinn Sypniewski only has two catches over the last four games, even this area has fallen to disuse in the last month.

Match Against the Defense: Let's be serious here. The only reliable part of this game is that McGahee should have around 17 carries as he always does but the Seahawks have only allowed three rushing scores this year in Seattle and the Ravens are hardly a powerhouse offense. There is a chance that Seattle tries to mail in this game and allowed the Ravens to look better than they are, but the Seahawks come off an embarrassing loss in Carolina and probably should bounce back this week even if the game has no meaning. Even with the loss in Carolina, they still held them to only 13 points.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 26 17 23 23 18 22
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 4 24 15 7 7 5


Seattle Seahawks (9-5)
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 42-21 -7 44.5
15 @CAR 10-13 -7 38
16 BAL   -10 40
17 @ATL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SEA vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     260,3
RB Shaun Alexander 50 10  
RB Maurice Morris 30 20  
TE Marcus Pollard   20  
WR Deion Branch   70,1  
WR Bobby Engram   80,1  
WR Nate Burleson   50,1  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks were shockingly bad on offense last week but then again, they were on the road in a game that didn't matter. The offensive line played so poorly that Hasselbeck was sacked three times by the lowest ranked defense in sacks in the NFL. This week is a chance to make it look better back at home where the Seahawks always play better. Figure with the final week being against the Falcons, the season is almost over anyway. Plus they get to face the Ravens-lite that is starting a second-string defense.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck managed to keep his nine game scoring streak alive in Carolina but just barely. What matters this week is that he faces an injury decimated secondary and he has thrown for at least two scores in each of the last six home games. The only question here is if Hasselbeck leads another lackluster effort since nothing much is on the line here. He's been throwing for over 270 yards in almost every home game this year.

Running Backs: The running game here has lost all fantasy value thanks to including Shaun Alexander as the primary when he apparently has lost nearly all ability to run fast or break tackles. And that is even if the offensive line can open a hole. Maurice Morris has run better in nearly every situation but the team sticks with the big dollar Alexander who has not rushed for more than 47 yards in any of the last three home games. He appears to have run out of gas after only 186 carries on the season.

Wide Receivers: With Hackett gone, the trio has been very productive and yet no one player has posted much in the way of big numbers in any game this year. Deion Branch has two 100 yards games and none since week four, Bobby Engram has two 100 yard games as well and none since week nine. And Nate Burleson has never had more than 76 yards in a game and that was back in week three. But together they combined for nice totals. Engram tends to be the most consistent with around 70 or 80 yards per week but all will figure in.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value here and while Marcus Pollard had been getting two catches every week for the last nine games, even he had no passes last week.

Match Against the Defense: Let's see here - LB Ray Lewis is gone. CB Chris McAlister is gone. CB Samari Rolle should miss this week. The Ravens are giving up 20+ points every week. Nice time to face them. Still no opponent has any success rushing against them and no opposing runner has topped 100 rushing yards this season. Even beaten up, the Ravens still stop the run well though the loss of Ray Lewis will not help. But the Seahawks are such a poor rushing team this season that there is no reason to assume that Alexander is going to show up big this week or step to the side and let Morris have more playing time.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that has been stripped of playmakers other than Ed Reed so expect some decent passing numbers here against the defense that gave up nine passing scores in the three games prior to the Miami fiasco. This will give each of the Seattle wideouts a chance for moderate numbers and an equal chance to score. Again - it depends on the sense of urgency that the Seahawks display this week but just because the Ravens are showing up is not a reason to shy away from the passing here if you have been relying on it. The Ravens are almost entirely all second-stringers now in the secondary.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 7 21 6 26 9 4
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 22 3 28 3 32 25

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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