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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: SF 10, SEA 20

Update: Dieon Branch went through limited practice every day this week but he's not likely to play for a few more weeks.

Oddly enough this game is for the NFC West cellar and the Seahawks have the biggest loss in the division so far. But if there is one factor you can rely on (and there may not be) it is that the Seahawks at home always beat the 49ers. It is only a question of how badly. The 49ers are looking forward to this matchup since it gives them a chance to score a touchdown against the Seahawks. That was something they never did last year when they were beaten 0-24 in Seattle and 3-23 at home.

San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ARZ 13-23 +2.5 41.5
2 @SEA - +8 38.5
3 DET - - -
4 @NO - - -
5 NE - - -
6 PHI - - -
7 @NYG - - -
8 SEA - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @ARZ - - -
11 STL - - -
12 @DAL - - -
13 @BUF - - -
14 NYJ - - -
15 @MIA - - -
16 @STL - - -
17 WAS - - -
SFO at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB J. T. O'Sullivan     200,1
RB Frank Gore 70 60  
TE Vernon Davis   50  
WR Arnaz Battle   20  
WR Bryant Johnson   40,1  
WR Isaac Bruce   20  
PK Joe Nedney 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: Another offense, another ho-hum year. The fantasy world was not surprised to see Frank Gore not only have a great opening game of the season, but for him to be rather alone in having a positive experience from the 49ers offense. So far the new Mike Martz offense has met expectation on turnovers and sacks but not so much on the whole yardage thing let alone actual touchdowns. It was just a first game out but it came at home against the Cards and only scored one touchdown (thanks Frank, I really mean it buddy).

Quarterback: The J. T. O'Sullivan era has begun and the previously unknown starting quarterback actually did complete 14 of 20 passes for a respectable 70% completion rate. But he only threw for 195 yards and one interception. Plus he lost two fumbles. And was sacked by the Cardinals four times. All this while at home. It was an inauspicious start that can only get better, at least after the trip to Seattle is over.

The 49ers never passed for more than 128 yards in either meeting with the Seahawks last year.

Running Backs: Frank Gore was the focal point of the offense and about the only part that worked. He gained 96 yards on just 14 carries (6.9 YPC) and scored one touchdown. He added four receptions for 55 yards as the most productive receiver. DeShaun Foster was used to spell Gore four times but this team is all about Gore. And maybe only about Gore.

Gore never had a big game against the Seahawks last year. He never scored and never had more than 79 rushing yards in either match-up.

Wide Receivers: As a sign of the times, the 49ers acquired Isaac Bruce to help install the new offense and while he was on the field almost every offense play, he never even had a pass thrown to him. Not one. The best wideout ended up to be Bryant Johnson with just three catches for 48 yards. Rookie phenom Josh Morgan had three passes but no catches while Arnaz Battle had the only other catch by a wideout. Not a good start.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis had a decent game, relatively speaking, when he caught three passes for 51 yards and did not drop a single pass. With a lack of other receivers stepping up, Davis could end up as the team's go to receiver. Where "go to" leads can be debated, but he and Bryant Johnson are the only non-Gore players to matter at all so far.

Match Against the Defense: No big secret here. The 49ers never scored a touchdown in 120 minutes of playing time last year and the Seahawks have figured out that as goes Gore, so goes the 49ers. Look for a lower rushing effort by Gore this week though he could make up the difference as a receiver. Seattle needs a bounce back game after the Buffalo debacle and the 49ers are just the team to do it. Look for the 49ers to score a touchdown this time but only the one and most likely to Johnson or Davis.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 29 9 28 18 12 23
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 12 15 12 27 28 32

Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 10-34 +1 39
2 SF - -8 38.5
3 STL - - -
4 BYE - - -
5 @NYG - - -
6 GB - - -
7 @TB - - -
8 @SF - - -
9 PHI - - -
10 @MIA - - -
11 ARZ - - -
12 WAS - - -
13 @DAL - - -
14 NE - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @ARZ - - -
SEA vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     160
RB Julius Jones 90,1 30  
RB T.J. Duckett 40    
TE John Carlson   50  
WR Billy McMullen   10  
WR Courtney Taylor   30  
WR Logan Payne   30  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: It all went horribly wrong last week in Buffalo and as if the Seahawks were not already in a bad enough situation, they lost yet another receiver. Nate Burleson tore his ACL and is gone for the year. Maurice Morris sprained his knee and will miss a few weeks as well. The season is only one week old and the Seahawks are already decimated by injury on offense. These next two home games are mercifully against SF and STL but after the week four bye, the Seahawks have got to get healthy if 2008 is going to more than a lost cause.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck is normally one of the more productive quarterbacks in the league. Never a top guy but never worse than an average starting fantasy quarterback. But this year could challenge that. Hasselbeck only completed 17 of 41 passes at Buffalo and was sacked five times. He only passed for 190 yards and one score with an interception as well. By now, he is just aiming at jerseys the same color as his on pass plays since the depth chart is spinning like a slot machine. It could get worse before it gets better.

Hasselbeck passed for 281 yards and two scores in San Francisco last year. He later had 278 yards and two scores at home against the 49ers. But he had receivers in those games.

Running Backs: Maurice Morris is expected to miss a few weeks with a sprained knee and the Seahawks waived the preseason sensation Justin Forsett so this week Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett will be the only two Seattle running backs. Jones has some nice timing on the start since the passing game is falling apart and only the 49ers are showing up this week. Jones gained only 34 yards on 13 runs last Sunday while Morris was limited to only six carries for 31 yards. Given the state of the receivers, this is a big opportunity for Jones to step up and reward the Seahawks faith in him.

Morris gained 87 yards and one score on 28 carries against the visiting 49ers last season.

Wide Receivers: Just amazing. Nate Burleson was lost for the season last week which leaves the Seahawks with a not ready Bobby Engram, Deion Branch who is barely good enough to show up at practices but not well enough to play. They just cut Jordan Kent after he failed to catch even one of the five passes thrown to him. So the wideouts are now down to Logan Payne who had two catches for 25 yards last week, Courtney Taylor who has two receptions for 19 yards (out of nine passes thrown) and the recently added Billy McMullen who failing to have enough time to see a playbook will have his routes drawn on the center's stomach in the huddle. Seattle is already dangerously close to being the one team each year that is decimated by injuries and never has a chance. Only playing in the NFC West prevents them from already owning the dubious title.

Tight Ends: Bright spot in a very dark world. The rookie tight end John Carlson was second only to the recently departed Nate Burleson with four catches for 52 yards last week. He may be a rookie, but he has seniority over most of the current receivers for the team. Carlson not only had four catches, he was the only Seahawk to catch every pass thrown to him.

Match Against the Defense: This won't be the standard rubbing of the 49ers since the Seahawks are curiously fresh out of playmakers but Jones has a shot at a good game here. Look for one score and around 80 yards - more if he can break one. Hasselbeck could throw a score here but likely not. Fortunately the 49ers are bringing in a raw Martz offense which means the defense should get a score in this game.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 23 25 20 17 21 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 9 18 24 2 30 31

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