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

Prediction: SEA 13, DAL 24

The Seahawks are only 2-9 on the season and lost their last four games. They are also only 1-4 on the road while the Cowboys finally got back Tony Romo and everything started working again on offense. The Cowboys are 4-1 at home and get the benefit of playing this short week with the middle game for Thanksgiving.

Seattle Seahawks (2- 9)
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 17-27 -2.5 46.5
7 @TB 10-20 +11 39
8 @SF 34-13 +4.5 42.5
9 PHI 7-26 +6.5 43
10 @MIA 19-21 +9 43
11 ARZ 20-26 +3.5 47.5
12 WAS 17-20 +3.5 41.5
13 @DAL - +12.5 46.5
14 NE - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @ARZ - - -
SEA @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     170,1
RB Julius Jones 50 10  
RB Maurice Morris 40 10  
TE John Carlson   30  
WR Bobby Engram   40  
WR Koren Robinson   20,1  
WR Deion Branch   40  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: I just never gets any better in Seattle and the return of Matt Hasselbeck has not changed much. The offense still sputters along and gets the advantage of being of little concern or preparation by opponents. The last three games all ended up a loss by six points or less but two were at home and the short week will really be adverse for the Seahawks who have to travel in addition to having insufficient prep time. It's a nice treat to be seen on national TV but this is hardly the season for the Seahawks to show the world what they have... or don't have.

Quarterback: Two weeks back for Matt Hasselbeck and he has only managed 170 yards at most but did come up with two scores against the Redskins last week. And he only had a 50% completion rate in that game along with two interceptions. The Cardinals intercepted him three times the previous week. Hasselbeck is back but the same general malaise still permeates the offense.

Running Backs: The Seahawks pulled a surprise move and went with Maurice Morris as the starter last week over Julius Jones. Morris rank for 103 yards on 14 carries against a normally stingy Redskins defense and he also caught a pass for a touchdown. But Morris hadn't totaled 14 carries over the previous three games combined and had never shown anything remotely suggesting that he was worthy of being a starter.

Julius Jones had done nothing special since around week three when he last scored and had any significant yardage in a game. He had been used around ten or so carries per week but was only given two runs on Sunday. This brings more interest this week since Jones gets to return home and play against his old team that dumped him in the offseason. Jones would love a big game here but history says he'd be lucky with a mediocre showing.

Wide Receivers: Two weeks back for Hasselbeck and nary a touchdown from a wide receiver. No wideout has caught more than four passes or gained more than 54 yards in those two games. The Cowboys have a softer defense than the Redskins but the last two games went off at home and now Hasselbeck hits the road for the first time since week five when he was injured in New York. The wideouts just have not had any reliable fantasy value this year and have been a bit worse with Hasselbeck back since the matchups have been tougher.

Tight Ends: John Carlson scored against the Redskins giving him three touchdowns on the year. But he has rarely had much yardage or many catches in a game and does even less away from Seattle. He's not yet worth a fantasy start but for a rookie has been generally impressive.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys rushing defense has been above average this year playing in Dallas where no opponent has rushed in a score since week two and the last three visitors settled for less than 40 rushing yards. The assumption is that both Jones and Morris play but there ratio is up to Holmgren's whim which changed last week. Holmgren could and probably should give Jones the most work just because he came from Dallas. But it is unlikely account for much just as it didn't when he had a star on his helmet there.

Hasselbeck goes against a secondary that can be beaten by a good team which the Seahawks clearly are not. Ranked #31 for quarterbacks and wide receivers, the Seahawks will do well enough to get one touchdown in this game unless Dallas just absolutely tries to mail it in - unlikely on Thanksgiving at home.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 31 16 31 24 28 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    DAL 14 13 19 5 24 17

Dallas Cowboys (7-4)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 28-10 -5.5 49
2 PHI 41-37 -7 47
3 @GB 27-16 -3 51
4 WAS 24-26 -11.5 46
5 CIN 31-22 -17.5 44
6 @ARZ 24-30 -5 50
7 @STL 14-34 -7 44
8 TB 13-9 -2 42
9 @NYG 14-35 +8.5 41
10 BYE - - -
11 @WAS 14-10 -1.5 43
12 SF 35-22 -11 48
13 SEA - -12.5 46.5
14 @PIT - - -
15 NYG - - -
16 BAL - - -
17 @PHI - - -
DAL vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     260,2
RB Marion Barber 80,1 40  
TE Jason Witten   20  
WR Terrell Owens   110,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   30  
WR Roy Williams   40,1  
PK Nick Folk 3 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys finally had a good offensive showing with Tony Romo back and at 7-4 they remain in the hunt for a wildcard but the 10-1 Giants are making a divisional title a foregone conclusion. This week should be the easiest remaining game and then comes a very challenging stretch with PIT, NYG, BAL and then PHI left to play. The Cowboys need to nearly win out but it will be a big challenge.

Quarterback: After only coming up with 198 yards and one score in Washington, Tony Romo finally returned to his hold productive ways when the 49ers visited last Sunday and he passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Terrell Owens finally had a good game and Romo took control of the offense and moved the ball even when the rushing game was surprisingly less effective. This week should be much more like the 49ers game than the Redskins game.

Running Backs: Marion Barber wasn't able to really get on track last week against the 49ers when he only gained 59 yards on 19 carries but added 50 yards on seven receptions. The 49ers sold out to stop him which was one reason why the passing game and Terrell Owens in particular came to life. The nice part of Barber and a bit of a surprise is that thanks to the injury to Reggie Bush and Brian Westbrook not being himself, that Barber is currently the leading receiving tailback in the NFL with 46 receptions. He is still 162 yards away from a 1000 yard season but has 353 receiving yards and two scores via the pass.

Felix Jones was lost for the year with a toe injury and Tashard Choice has stepped in but only had six carries last week. That's actually about the same as Jones would have had only far less productive.

Wide Receivers: After two weeks with Romo back, Roy Williams has turned in mirror image games of three catches for 36 yards and has been a relative nonfactor so far. Terrell Owens finally broke out of his five week drought of less than 40 yards each game when he caught seven passes for 213 yards against the 49ers. That was encouraging and came about thanks to playing the visiting 49ers and the respect they gave to Marion Barber which allowed Owens to finally have less coverage from the safety.

The showing last week was encouraging for a pass attack that had apparently died when Romo was hurt. Going against an even softer secondary this week should produce more big numbers.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten suffered a shot to his jaw that required x-rays last week but both that and his troublesome ribs did not keep him from practice this week but he has clearly not been himself since hurting the ribs. Witten went from the top of the tight end pile to only totaling four catches for 53 yards over the last four games. Until he shows up healthy and productive, he remains a big risk to use. Even Martellis Bennett has been a better play with a score in each of the last two games though he has been limited in practice because of a sprained ankle.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle rush defense has not bee good but compared to the pass defense it is certainly less of a weakness. The Seahawks have allowed a rushing score in almost every road game and decent yardage to teams who want it. Figuring on this game to be a solid win for the Cowboys Barber should get plenty of work here and even Choice could end up playing more if it gets out of hand.

Romo faces a secondary that has allowed 15 passing scores this year and four games over 300 yards. Romo won't need to press too much in this game but should be good for solid yardage and a nice showing for Owens with at least one score. The short week really hurts the Seattle preparation which wouldn't be that good anyway.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 15 12 1 25 13
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 30 22 30 9 31 18

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