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

Prediction: STL 14, SEA 27

The battle for the NFC West cellar is on and features perhaps two of the most disappointing teams in the NFC. The Rams have just been obliterated for the first two weeks while the Seahawks have been unable to keep any receivers healthy. Both these teams smack of a season-long black cloud but at least one of them gets to get a win.

The Seahawks swept the Rams last year, winning 33-6 at home and later 24-19 in St. Louis.

St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PHI 3-38 +7 44
2 NYG 13-41 +8.5 41.5
3 @SEA - +10 44
4 BUF - - -
5 BYE - - -
6 @WAS - - -
7 DAL - - -
8 @NE - - -
9 ARZ - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 @SF - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 MIA - - -
14 @ARZ - - -
15 SEA - - -
16 SF - - -
17 @ATL - - -
STL at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     200,1
RB Steven Jackson 60,1 40  
TE Randy McMichael   40  
WR Torry Holt   80,1  
WR Donnie Avery   20  
WR Dane Looker   10  
PK Josh Brown 2 XP    
Pregame Notes: The schedule has been no friend to the Rams but that is hardly enough to explain how the defense has allowed no less than 38 points in each of the first two games. The new offense is sputtering a team that once was a fantasy football powerhouse has morphed into one of the worst teams in the league. In every almost every category. There is a very realistic chance that the Rams could be the last team to get a win this year.

Quarterback: The new offense had hardly suited Marc Bulger though in fairness the offensive line problems had been significant. He has only thrown for one touchdown this year and yet has been sacked ten times. The same guy that routinely posted 300 yard games with Mike Martz around now is averaging roughly half that much per week.

Bulger passed for 225 yards and no scores in Seattle last year. He later was knocked out of the home meeting with the Seahawks and Gus Frerotte passed for 161 yards and one score in that game.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson is not receiving the volume of carries necessary for him to post decent rushing totals and the blocking is suspect even if he could have more than 14 carries in a game. At least he is being used in the passing game and led the team with seven catches last week. But he still has yet to score or have more than 90 total yards in a game.

The Rams were without Jackson in week seven in Seattle and only had 53 rushing yards and no scores. During week 12 at home, Jackson gained 90 yards on 23 carries and scored once.

Wide Receivers: It just keeps getting worse. After losing Drew Bennett last week, the Rams have lost Keenan Burton to a knee injury requiring surgery. Granted, Burton had not yet caught a pass yet but the Rams are looking for more options. Donnie Avery is healthy again and HC Scott Linehan has vowed to get more work for the first wideout taken in the NFL draft. Torry Holt came off his one catch game in Philadelphia and posted six catches for 76 yards and one score against the Giants but the score came on a 45 yard pass play where Holt literally ripped the ball away from a defender in the endzone. Otherwise, he only would have had five catches for 31 yards. The Rams have signed Eddie Kennison and he may be active this week.

Holt caught eight passe for 82 yards in Seattle last season and later gained 54 yards on five receptions at home.

Tight Ends: After an impressive (relatively speaking) five catches in week one, Randy McMichael only had two receptions for 24 yards last week and isn't reliable enough for fantasy use yet.

McMichael had games of 36 and 24 yards against the Seahawks last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle rushing defense has been decent only allowing 3.6 yards per carry to Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore but the volume of carries allows for at least a decent showing and Jackson is being used more as a receiver. Look for him to top 100 total yards and score one touchdown.

Bulger has been horrible passing this year but the Seahawks just gave up 321 passing yards to the 49ers. Look for a better week from Bulger but he'll have a couple of turnovers and get sacked a lot. Holt has a shot at a decent game here since the Seahawks have allowed a 100 yard receiver in both games this year but he has absolutely no help from other wideouts.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 27 32 24 16 28 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 24 12 27 21 32 31

Seattle Seahawks (0-2)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 10-34 +1 39
2 SF 30-33 -8 38.5
3 STL - -10 44
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 STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     210,1
RB Julius Jones 120,1 20  
RB T.J. Duckett 20,1    
TE John Carlson   60,1  
WR Billy McMullen   70  
WR Courtney Taylor   20  
WR Michael Bumpus   20  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: It's been a long time since the Seahawks have looked this bad and it's not just one facet of the team. The defense has allowed 67 points to start the year and the offense has been hit so hard and fast by injuries that jersey names are attached with velcro so they can reuse the numbers. Times were so tough last week that Seneca Wallace was converted to a wideout and then injured his calf after the game inactives were turned in. Then Logan Payne tore a knee ligament to start the game. The Seahawks have to win this week because they may not get as good a chance again for a month or more.

Quarterback: Times are tough for Matt Hasselbeck when his receiver corps has a faster turnover rate than a downtown McDonalds. He has thrown for right at 190 yards per game and only scored once against three interceptions. The revolving door for wideouts is something that even Hasselbeck cannot overcome. He faces the softest secondary of the year when the Rams show up but there just is no one left to catch the ball. The Seahawks may add a free agent by the Friday update.

Hasselbeck passed for 195 yards and two scores when the Rams came to Seattle last year. He later passed for 249 yards and one score in St. Louis.

Running Backs: With Maurice Morris out due to a knee sprain, Julius Jones made good on his joining the team when he rushed for 127 yards and a score on 26 carries against the 49ers on Sunday. That was far better than the 45 yards on 13 carries the previous week and since Morris remains out, Jones gets another excellent chance at a good game here. T.J. Duckett did come in for one rushing score last week but he only had two carries. Purely a short yardage player.

The Seahawks never gained more than 100 rushing yards or one score during the two meetings with the Rams last year.

Wide Receivers: It's like a bad version of musical chairs with this unit. Seneca Wallace is likely to miss this week and Logan Payne has been lost for the season with a torn knee ligament. Deion Branch is not expected to play until after the week four bye though he has returned to some limited practice. The Seahawks are down to newly signed Billy McMullen, Courtney Taylor and the rookie Michael Bumpus. McMullen led the group with three catches for 48 yards against the 49ers. Taylor has been a starter for two weeks and only has a total of four catches for 39 yards.

The Seahawks have signed Koren Robinson and traded for Keary Colbert but I will not add them in until it is official that they are expected to play.

Engram had six catches for 73 yards in the home meeting with the Rams and later Branch had a score on five receptions for 92 yards in St. Louis. Engram gained 79 yards on seven receptions in that game.

Tight Ends: The rookie John Carlson continues to have a big role in this passing offense with a team high six catches for 78 yards last week. While the wideouts will eventually be replaced by Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, Carlson will already have chemistry with Hasselbeck and continue to contribute.

Seattle got two scores from tight end Will Heller when the Rams visited last year.

Match Against the Defense: Let's not beat this to death. The Rams have the worst defense in the NFL and if the Seahawks only score 37 points it would still bring the points allowed average down for the Rams. Jones will get a heavy load this week and should once again top 100 yards with a score and give another one for Duckett this week.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that has allowed at least three passing scores per game this year but that won't happen here. Expect only a moderate game since Hasselbeck has been stripped of options. He should have at least one touchdown pass but likely no more. There could obviously be a defensive score here as well but the Seahawks may actually be bad enough not to get that gift.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 24 14 22 11 13 18
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 32 30 32 22 26 25

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