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

Prediction: GB 20, SEA 17

Update: Koren Robinson has been given the nod over Billy McMullen as the starting split end this week. Deion Branch has not practiced all week and is very unlikely to play despite being listed as questionable. I am removing him from the projections. The biggest news is that Matt Hasselbeck is expected to miss this week because of his knee and Charlie Frye will take the start. I am lowering the game score and changing the winner.

After so many years, this game takes on a new slant. No longer are the Seahawks using Shaun Alexander to wear down defenses and the Packers no longer have... you know.. him. And different too is that both clubs have losing records. This is a coin flip game played at a far lower level than in the past.

Green Bay Packers (2-3)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 24-19 -3 38.5
2 @DET 48-25 -3 45
3 DAL 16-27 +3 51
4 @TB 21-30 +1.5 43
5 ATL 24-27 -3 41
6 @SEA - +2.5 46.5
7 IND - - -
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN - - -
10 @MIN - - -
11 CHI - - -
12 @NO - - -
13 CAR - - -
14 HOU - - -
15 @JAX - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GB at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     240,2
RB Ryan Grant 60    
TE Donald Lee   20  
WR Donald Driver   60,1  
WR Greg Jennings   80,1  
WR Jordy Nelson   30  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: A three game losing streak was not in the plans but the Falcons came to surprise in Green Bay where the defense has some injuries. They are allowing over 25 points per game while the offense has been unable to keep pace these last three weeks. Rodgers is playing injured because he has no other option but at least there won't be a big time defense waiting for them this week. The schedule is not going to get light at any point this season and until the Packers can figure out how to stay healthy they will continue to be not quite good enough.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers gutted out the sore shoulder and played last week but he was visibly wincing between plays. He still passed for 313 yards and three scores but had one very critical interception. Considering that Rodgers has only started five NFL games, he's been impressive throwing for nine touchdowns and three games with over 290 passing yards. He has even scored twice as a rusher. The Packers will no doubt take it easy on him in practice this week but still expect him to play.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant finally had a decent showing with 83 yards on 18 carries against the Falcons but he still has not scored this year and and has been completely ignored as a receiver. Since Brandon Jackson only has one touchdown, that makes Aaron Rodgers as the lead rushing scorer with two touchdowns. Last week was about as favorable a situation as Grant was going to get and he only had 18 carries for 83 yards and no score. Impacted in part by the scoreboard and need to throw late but then again, a better job by the rushing game earlier would have prevented that from happening.

You cannot dump Grant now because you will not get anything for a guy that never scores. But with IND, TEN, MIN and CHI up next it will not likely be getting any better.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings comes off his worst game of the year but he still had four catches for 87 yards and one touchdown. The rest of the offense may struggle but Jennings has been consistently productive. Every week. His 569 receiving yards lead the NFL by 102 yards over #2 Larry Fitzgerald. He is on pace for an 1800 yard season. You can fall well short of that mark and still have a great year.

Donald Driver comes off his second score of the year but he has never had more than 76 yards in a game and on the road has been even worse. This passing attack is all about Jennings with only a little left over for everyone else.

Tight Ends: While the Packers use the position some, there is no consistency. Tory Humphrey had four catches for 67 yards last week but only one catch this year before that. Donald Lee caught his first score of the year but has struggled to get more than 25 yards in a game.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks rushing defense has not been great but at home they have been far better holding Gore to 61 yards on 19 carries and Jackson to 66 yards on 23 runs. Grant is not setting the world on fire as it is so you cannot expect more than just moderate yardage and no score. If last year had not happened, the Packers would probably be looking for another runner right now.

Rodgers goes against a secondary that can be beaten and this could turn into a shootout if the Packers can score first. But more likely Rodgers and his sore shoulder struggle through this game with a couple of scores that strongly favor the wideouts. I like both Jennings (of course) and Driver to score here.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 31 5 18 21 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 22 19 30 7 32 29

Seattle Seahawks (1-3)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 10-34 +1 39
2 SF 30-33 -8 38.5
3 STL 37-13 -10 44
4 BYE - - -
5 @NYG 6-44 +7 43.5
6 GB - -2.5 46.5
7 @TB - - -
8 @SF - - -
9 PHI - - -
10 @MIA - - -
11 ARZ - - -
12 WAS - - -
13 @DAL - - -
14 NE - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @ARZ - - -
SEA vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 200,1
QB Charlie Frye     180
RB Julius Jones 100,2 10  
TE John Carlson   10  
WR Bobby Engram   70  
WR Deion Branch 30
WR Koren Robinson   30  
WR Billy McMullen   40  
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: This swan song for HC Mike Holmgren is not a pretty tune. The Seahawks have been battered in both road games this year and are coming close to panic mode as the Cardinals get better and extend their NFC West lead. The much anticipated return of Branch and Engram obviously had no impact but at least Hasselbeck is expected to be okay to play this week after hurting his knee. This week is about as good a chance at a win that the Seahawks may get this year thanks to an injured Packers defense.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck missed the second half of of the Giants game with a hyperextended knee but an MRI did not reveal any structural damage and he is expected to practice and play this week. All he needs is 191 passing yards to have a season high game. He's only thrown for two touchdowns this year as well but has not had a full complement of receivers at any time. Now that Branch and Engram are back - and at home - Hasselbeck should have his best game yet against a banged up Packers secondary.

Running Backs: Julius Jones ran for 127 yards and a score against the visiting 49ers and then 140 yards and a touchdown against the visiting Rams. Both were visitors like the Packers will be but both were also well known divisional foes. In two road games, Jones only averaged around 50 yards and never scored. This week will be an indicator if the Seahawks have any home magic left.

Maurice Morris is slated to return this week and be added into the mix after being injured back in week one. Jones has been successful at home so far so the expectation is that Morris is only relief this week but that could change if Jones struggles at all.

Wide Receivers: Just when Hasselbeck gets people back, Deion Branch suffered a bruised right heel and will at least be limited for this game. It will come down to his pain tolerance and in the best of cases he won't be playing healthy. Branch had three catches for 31 yards in his first action of the on Sunday.

Bobby Engram also returned to the field and fared much better with eight catches for 61 yards as the lead receiver. Billy McMullen was blanked in New York though in a game that fell apart far too quickly. I will project for Engram and McMullen to start with Branch playing on a limited basis.

Tight Ends: The rookie John Carlson had a hot start to his career with 12 catches for 168 yards during the first three games but now that Engram and Branch are back, he had no catches in New York. He never even had a pass.

Match Against the Defense: This should be another nice game for Julius Jones against a defense that has already given up four different 100 yard games and a total of five rushing scores. LB AJ Hawk is still nursing a groin injury though he is playing and there is secondary injuries as well. Look for Jones to turn in a solid 100 yard game with one score unless the sharing with Morris is more than expected. The Seahawks will run just to keep Rodgers off the field.

Hasselbeck faces a secondary that has always allowed at least one score so look for a nicer effort here by Hasselbeck who doesn't need much to have a season high game. Expect one score to a wideout like McMullen and moderate yardage.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 30 10 25 21 6 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 19 21 17 26 25 14

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