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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: SEA 17, SF 20

Saturday Update: Houshmandzadeh is listed as questionable but is expected to play barring any late setbacks. I am adjusting his numbers down a bit because he never had a full practice.

Friday Update: T.J. Houshmandzadeh was held out of practices because of back spasms but he is not yet expected to miss the game or even be limited. Friday will be key to see where Houshmandzadeh is at but he's expected to practice. Deion Branch has returned to limited practice but he's still no lock to play this week yet. I am not going to add him back in quite yet and Deon Butler has done well in his place anyway.

This should be a very interesting game since both teams should be improved since last year. Both come off wins over NFC West rivals and the Seahawks at home shutout the Rams and the 49ers on the road just beat the NFC champs. These teams traded road wins in 2008 with the Seahawks winning 34-13 in San Francisco and the 49ers winning 33-30 in Seattle. This is a coin flip game but the Seahawks seem to have the better offense with Hasselbeck back.

Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 28-0 -7.5 37
2 @SF - +1.5 39.5
3 CHI - - -
4 @IND - - -
5 JAC - - -
6 ARI - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 @DAL - - -
9 DET - - -
10 @ARI - - -
11 @MIN - - -
12 @STL - - -
13 SF - - -
14 @HOU - - -
15 TB - - -
16 @GB - - -
17 TEN - - -
SEA at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     230,2
RB Julius Jones 50 20  
TE John Carlson   30  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   40  
WR Deon Butler   30,1  
WR Nate Burleson   70,1  
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Assumedly they broke a sweat last week when the Seahawks recorded the first shutout of the season in a 28-0 romp over the hapless Rams. It was a win on all sides of the ball aided in no small part to the Rams constantly shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. This week will be a far better measurement of how good the Seahawks will be this year and a tough schedule looming won't make it easy.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams though he did have two interceptions. He went to work with the two primary wideouts and yet still including the rookie wonder of last year of John Carlson who led all receivers on the team. Hasselbeck looks sharp and he has the passing targets to succeed.

Seneca Wallace was the starter in San Francisco last year and passed for 222 yards and two scores. In week two in Seattle, Hasselbeck only threw for 189 yards in the home game against the 49ers.

The 49ers secondary did a nice job in Arizona though that could partially be attributed to rustiness of Kurt Warner, the absence of Steve Breaston and the limited play of Anquan Boldin. Once Warner set his bearings in the second half he looked much better. Look for at least a decent game here from Hasselbeck with solid yardage and two scores.

Running Backs: Julius Jones started the season with a bang when he rumbled for 117 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown and two catches for 19 yards. A small surprise was the use of Edgerrin James on 11 runs that only covered 30 yards. Justin Forsett (3-17) also had a minor role. Jones perked up his stats with a 62-yard touchdown run - otherwise he was only marginally more effective than James and that could come back into play.

Jones rushed for 127 yards on 26 carries and scored once when the 49ers visited last year but then only gained a paltry nine yards on six runs in San Francisco. Seattle as a team only gained 38 rushing yards on 20 carries in that game. Leonard Weaver had a career best four catches for 116 yards and two scores as a receiver in that game though. Hasselbeck was not playing in that game though.

The 49ers are no doubt emboldened by their win in Arizona and they held the Cards to 44 yards on 15 rushes. Expect better than that from Jones but only marginally. Unless he can break another long run, he's topping at with only moderate yardage. His role as a receiver could be larger and is worth watching.

Wide Receivers: Deion Branch was a gametime scratch last week because of his lingering hamstring injury. He could be back this week but until he is cleared there is no sense projecting for him. T.J. Houshmandzadeh debuted for the Seahawks last week but only had 48 yards on six receptions. Nate Burleson was the bigger star with seven catches for 74 yards and one touchdown. Burleson had 11 targets - two more than Houshmandzadeh. Deon Butler and Ben Obonamu both had one catch but were otherwise nonfactors. How this plays out when the team is not winning a shutout by four touchdowns remains to be seen. Burleson was a nice surprise though and was obviously on the same page as Hasselbeck.

No Seattle receiver had more than 31 yards in either meeting with the 49ers last year. But that reflects week two when Jones ran all over them. The second meeting did not have Hasselbeck. Look for only moderate numbers here from Burleson and Houshmandzadeh.

Tight Ends: John Carlson is apparently going to be just fine with Hasselbeck back. He led all NFL tight ends last week with six catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Carlson had six catches for 78 yards in the home meeting with the 49ers last year and later was held to just one catch for 13 yards in San Francisco. No tight end that visited San Francisco had more than 57 yards and most only managed less than 20. Except much lower numbers from Carlson this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 4 7 14 1 24 24
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 19 14 22 1 30 16

San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA - -1.5 39
3 @MIN - - -
4 STL - - -
5 ATL - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU - - -
8 @IND - - -
9 TEN - - -
10 CHI - - -
11 @GB - - -
12 JAC - - -
13 @SEA - - -
14 ARI - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 DET - - -
17 @STL - - -
SF vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     200,1
RB Frank Gore 90,1 30  
TE Vernon Davis   40  
WR Josh Morgan   40,1  
WR Isaac Bruce   50  
WR Arnaz Battle   30  
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The 49ers come off a big win in Arizona and have only one road game in the next four games. The new offense is all about the running game even when it does not work. The defense was outstanding against the Cardinals though it was helped in small part by injuries to Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin. A win this week gives the 49ers a big hand up to the division lead but it won't come easily against a team that not only knows them well, but who has dominated this match-up until recently.

Quarterback: Shaun Hill was reasonably good when he had 209 yards and a score in Arizona and more importantly, he was good in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. Hill was sacked four times and lost a fumble but improved as the game progressed. He not only used his wide receivers, he even got five completions to Vernon Davis.

J.T. O'Sullivan was the starter in both games with the Seahawks last year. He threw for 321 yards and a score in Seattle and later just 173 yards and one score in the home meeting.

Hill at home against the Seahawks should have at least some success since the Seahawks secondary is nothing special. Expect at least moderate yardage here and at least one score.

Running Backs: The season opener was rough for Frank Gore who only gained 30 yards on 22 carries as a symbol of how OC Jimmy Raye's focus is "Run it , dammit. Run it again." Gore salvaged his fantasy value when he had touchdowns on both a run and a reception but otherwise his stats were plenty bleak. He only totaled 48 total yards with 25 touches in the game.

Glenn Coffee is sitting on someone's roster in your league, no doubt wishing ill-will to Frank Gore. He should too because Gore too almost every carry and Coffee only managed one run for a net three yard loss. Coffee will matter in the future,but for now he's just a relief player for someone who never gets tired.

Gore ran for 61 yards and a score in Seattle last season along with five receptions for 38 yards. He later had 94 yards on 18 rushes and seven catches for 65 yards in the home meeting. The Seahawks did a decent job shutting down Steven Jackson and holding him to no catches. Expect a decent game by Gore but nothing gaudy. The Seahawks still allowed Steven Jackson around four yards per carry last week in Seattle.

Wide Receivers: Hill threw the most to Isaac Bruce with eight targets and four catches for 74 yards. Josh Morgan ranked second with three receptions for 38 yards. Hill actually spread his passes around but Bruce had a 50-yard completion to jack up his stats. Hill is not the next Joe Montana by any means but he can use the wideouts for at least average numbers.

Isaac Bruce had 153 yards on four catches in Seattle last year and Bryant Johnson turned in 78 yards on six catches along with a score. Back at home, the best was Bruce's 49 yards though Jason Hill had a touchdown in that game. The Seahawks were able to contain the Rams last week but still have a weaker than average secondary. Unless Gore runs really well, Hill should connect with one of these wideouts for touchdown.

Tight Ends: Jimmy Raye wants to use Vernon Davis and showed his commitment with seven passes thrown to the tight end this week. His five receptions were tops on the team and Davis would be a sleeper to go grab had you not done that two or three times in the past. He still has to prove some consistently, but at least Davis is on an upswing.

Davis had no catches in Seattle and later four receptions for 29 yards in the home meeting with the Seahawks.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 24 20 23 19 9 13
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 5 3 13 13 1 15

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