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

Prediction: SEA 24, STL 17


Oh yeah, here is a messy game. The Seahawks won 37-13 when the Rams visited in week three but are only 1-5 in road games. The Rams are only 1-5 at home as well. In a sign of just how bad these Rams are, the Seahawks are favored on the road for the first time this year. It is only the fourth time they have been favored anywhere.

Seattle Seahawks (2- 11)
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 9-34 +12.5 46.5
14 NE 21-24 +5 43
15 @STL - -3 44
16 NYJ - - -
17 @ARZ - - -
SEA @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Seneca Wallace     210,1
RB T.J. Duckett 20,1    
RB Maurice Morris 110,1 30  
TE John Carlson   60  
WR Bobby Engram   30  
WR Koren Robinson   30  
WR Deion Branch   50,1  
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The final games of the Mike Holmgren era are ending and while the team has only two wins, the losses have typically been rather close in most games which is consoling in the sense of "she did you a favor when she dumped you." Now the quarterback spot appears to belong to Seneca Wallace and the prized running back acquisition of Julius Jones was never given a carry because "they never got around to it". After this week, time to put the Seahawks umbrella in the closet until next year.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck did not play last week because of the injured disc in his back and he now says that the injury won't likely heal in the next three weeks and they may just shut him down for the season. That leaves Seneca Wallace as the starter and while he looked surprisingly good at home last week against the Patriots when he passed for 212 yards and three touchdowns, the reality is that Wallace struggles in almost every other game and in particular on the road. I will assume he starts and update as warranted.

Hasselbeck passed for 172 yards and one score against the Rams this year.

Running Backs: It is typically a bad sign when a starting running back practices all week, suits up and then never plays a down. Julius Jones was struggling in the last three weeks anyway with never more than 37 yards in the last three weeks but against the Patriots he never saw the field. Maurice Morris had 14 carries for 39 yards and even Leonard Weaver ran five times for 32 yards, but Jones just stood uneasily on the sidelines.

I will assume that Maurice Morris gets the start and is the primary back. I will drop Jones for now from the projections. He signed a contract that effectively made him a one-year see and decide guy. Seems the Seahawks have seen and are already decided.

Jones rushed for 140 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries against the Rams. Duckett gained 79 yards and scored twice on 19 rushes as well. It was not only Jones' best game of the year, it was his final touchdown scored way back in week three.

Wide Receivers: Deion Branch finally got into the endzone when he had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns but those came against his old team and other than last week, Branch had not been good for more than around 50 yards per week and not score. Koren Robinson had been the closest thing to a consistent wideout for a time but he has really declined in the last month as players returned and got back into form. That includes Bobby Engram who is playing out his career by gaining around forty yards per week with apparently no chance of ever scoring.

The receivers back in week three bear no resemblance to the current crew.

Tight Ends: John Carlson may be a rookie, but he has already set the franchise record for tight end receptions with 46 catches and three games left to play. He had a season high eight catches for 69 yards and one score last week but had been far less productive with Wallace than Hasselbeck in the past.

Match Against the Defense: The only difference this time is that the Rams are scoring even less than back in week three so the need to score in this game is not high. Look for Morris to have a very nice game this week and there should be two rushing scores that will involve Duckett for at least one. As long as Jones is not suddenly reintroduced to the offense, Morris should have some solid numbers this week.

Wallace won't need to throw too much and should end up with just one passing score and moderate yardage. The score favors Branch the most but could end up anywhere.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 27 19 29 16 26 25
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 18 31 22 14 30 31

St. Louis Rams (2-11)
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 13-37 +10 44
4 BUF 14-31 +8 41.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @WAS 19-17 +13.5 44
7 DAL 34-14 +7 44
8 @NE 16-23 +7 43.5
9 ARZ 13-34 +3 49
10 @NYJ 3-47 +8.5 44.5
11 @SF 16-35 +6 44.5
12 CHI 3-27 +9 43
13 MIA 12-16 +7.5 43.5
14 @ARZ 10-34 +13.5 49
15 SEA - +3 44
16 SF - - -
17 @ATL - - -
STL vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     240,1
RB Steven Jackson 80,1 40  
WR Torry Holt   70,1  
WR Donnie Avery   70  
WR Dane Looker   40  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Yeah, it has been a long year. And yet another bad one. The Rams are on a seven game losing streak which is second only to the Lions. The offense has not scored more than 16 points since week seven and this week is a small ray of hope since the Rams are only three point underdogs instead of the usual 7+ points. Then again, last time this happened the Cardinals waxed them 34-13. The season is in free fall and nothing is going to slow it down.

Quarterback: It is a surreal year when Marc Bulger comes off a game with 228 yards and one score and the prevailing thought is "what a great game for him!" Bulger has thrown for only eight touchdowns against 12 interceptions this year and he has even lost four fumbles. This is a season which has gone so badly that it has to have affected Bulger's career outlook even though he was a top quarterback only a few years ago.

Bulger only passed for 177 yards and one score in Seattle this year.

Running Backs: A small bright spot in an otherwise black hole of an offense is Steven Jackson being back for two weeks and gaining 110 total yards against the Dolphins and then scoring a touchdown with his 67 yards in Arizona last week. That was his first score since week seven against the Cowboys but it has been a lost season for Jackson no matter how you spin it. The best he can hope for is a new coaching staff that will feature him next year.

Jackson gained 66 yards on 23 carries in Seattle but added five catches for 62 yards.

Wide Receivers: Sadly the wideout crew here are not improving and barely even register in the box score most weeks. Torry Holt has been reduced to only around 50 yards in most games and has only two scores on the year and none in the last five games. Donnie Avery has been marginally productive this year but even he has almost completely disappeared in the last three games where he only caught a total of three passes. Not much happening here and only one instance of a 100 yard game by any Rams receiver this year.

No Rams receiver had more than 37 yards in the last game in Seattle.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams offense has been nothing short of pathetic for the entire season and it is only getting worse. The only play here worth considering is Steven Jackson who should have a decent showing since the Seahawks defense is hardly anything special.

What is bothersome is that the Rams face the worst defense against quarterbacks and running backs and yet how can there be any confidence here? This will be the softest secondary that Bulger has gone against this year but relying on more than one score and moderate yardage is without precedent this season. This is like the worse offense facing the worst defense. Does anything happen or nothing?

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 31 29 21 30 25 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 32 20 32 23 32 18

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