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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
*updated

Prediction: SEA 13, DAL 27

Early Update: Matt Hasselbeck was held out of practice on Wednesday to rest his ribs but returned on Thursday. He’ll play in Dallas with no limitations.  

The Seahawks are 2-4 on the season and 0-2 on the road. The Cowboys are 4-2 overall and 2-1 at home. The Cowboys will want to win one more in their new stadium before hitting a meatier part of their schedule and the Seahawks are just in the way.

The Seahawks lost 9-34 in Dallas last season.

Seattle Seahawks (2-4)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 28-0 -7.5 37
2 @SF 10-23 +1.5 39.5
3 CHI 19-25 +2 37
4 @IND 17-34 +10 43.5
5 JAC 41-0 +3 40
6 ARI 3-27 -3 47
7 BYE - - -
8 @DAL - +9.5 45
9 DET - - -
10 @ARI - - -
11 @MIN - - -
12 @STL - - -
13 SF - - -
14 @HOU - - -
15 TB - - -
16 @GB - - -
17 TEN - - -
SEA at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     230,1
RB Julius Jones 40 10  
TE John Carlson   30  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   80,1  
WR Deion Branch   20  
WR Nate Burleson   50  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks blew out the visiting Jaguars in week five but just when it appeared they were getting back on track with a healthy Hasselbeck, the Cardinals came in and spanked them 27-3 before the Seahawks took their bye. They have lost both their road games by 13 or more points and head to Dallas where the Cowboys are on a two game winning streak.

Quarterback: Well that didn't last long. After passing for 241 yards and four scores against the visiting Jaguars, Matt Hasselbeck completed only 10 of 29 for 112 yards and no scores when the Cardinals showed up. Hasselbeck also was sacked five times. Hasselbeck has seven touchdowns this year but all of them came in just two home games against the Rams and Jaguars.

Hasselbeck passed for 287 yards and no touchdowns in Dallas last year.

The Cowboys have never allowed less than one passing score and most teams have two touchdowns via the pass with moderate yardage. Only Eli Manning had more than 220 passing yards in Dallas though and Hasselbeck so far has not been much in road games. Look for at least one passing score and possibly two with moderate yardage.

Running Backs: Julius Jones gets a shot at his old team but it won't be his first. He only gained 37 yards on 11 runs in Dallas last season. He doesn't make a very attractive start this week since his previous road trips only produced 25 rushing yards in Indianapolis and 11 rushing yards in San Francisco. At home against a weak team, Jones is a marginal fantasy starter but on the road against even a decent defense he loses almost all fantasy value. Both Edgerrin James and Justin Forsett get some work each week as well.

The Cowboys defense has been even better against the run when at home. No reason to start a Seahawks running back this week.

Wide Receivers: Nate Burleson has the team lead with three receiving touchdowns but all came in home games as did his best yardage efforts so far. At the 49ers and Colts he did not exceed 50 yards or score in either game. But T.J. Houshmandzadeh has at least turned in his best yardage games when away from Seattle and has been the more reliable on the road. Deion Branch has been up for trade with no takers so far and his involvement is minimal each week at best. This unit is all about Burleson at home and Houshmandzadeh on the road so far.

No wideout had more than 56 yards in Dallas last year.

Chances are best that the passing score goes to a wideout and the #1 player for each opponent has been hard to stop by the Cowboys secondary who have allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers. Played in Dallas makes the wideouts here only marginal starts though either starter could score.

Tight Ends: John Carlson has not scored since week one but he has been a solid part of the passing game and offers up 30 or 40 yards every week with upside for more. The Cowboys have been very good against tight ends so far this year, particularly when at home.

Carlson led the team with 105 yards on six receptions in Dallas last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 15 24 15 17 16 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    DAL 22 12 29 15 14 9


Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TB 34-21 -5 39
2 NYG 31-33 -3 43.5
3 CAR 21-7 -9 46
4 @DEN 10-17 -3 43
5 @KC 26-20 -9 42.5
6 BYE - - -
7 ATL 37-21 -5.5 47.5
8 SEA - -9.5 45
9 @PHI - - -
10 @GB - - -
11 WAS - - -
12 OAK - - -
13 @NYG - - -
14 SD - - -
15 @NO - - -
16 @WAS - - -
17 PHI - - -
DAL vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     280,2
RB Marion Barber 60,1    
RB Felix Jones 50 10  
TE Jason Witten   60  
WR Roy Williams   70,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   40  
WR Miles Austin   80,1  
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The win over the Falcons was much needed because it saw the Cowboys finally hitting on all cylinders between defense and offense. A win here is important in the tight race of the NFC East and the Cowboys are reaching mid-season having played only one divisional game (and losing that no less). Miles Austin has been the savior for two weeks in a row but that is bound to normalize lower than multiple touchdowns and league leading receiving yardage each week. This week is a tune up for the challenging part of the schedule yet to come.

Quarterback: Tony Romo had another big game when he passed for 311 yards and three scores against the Falcons and as long as opponents fail to cover Miles Austin (amazing as that has been), this can go on and on. Romo struggled for two weeks without a touchdown and fielded many negative calls from the fans and media until Austin came to life.

Romo passed for 331 yards and three scores against the visiting Seahawks last year.

What is positive is that the three decent quarterbacks to face the Seahawks so far have all had 250+ yards and two or more passing touchdowns. Consider that to be the least you would get from Romo this week and a chance for a big game since it is at home and Romo could always use the good PR from a big win.

Running Backs: The Cowboys now have a full complement of healthy runners again and despite indications from coaches and Jerry Jones that Tashard Choice was in line for more work because of his success, that actually translated into almost completely leaving him out of the offense and he only had one catch for 23 yards and no rushes against the Falcons.

Marion Barber took his full load and gained 53 yards on 15 carries and Felix Jones was back after a three week absence and had his standard eight runs which only gained 37 yards against the Falcons. Barring future developments or injuries, Choice has to be considered just bench material now and Barber and Jones again split up the rushing duties. If this week turns into a rout early on there is a chance that Choice gets playing time but it has be considered too unreliable for now.

Barber scored once but only produced 32 yards on ten runs against the Seahawks in 2008. Choice added 57 yards on 11 runs.

The Seahawks have been very good against the run and since Frank Gore's monster game in week two (which was primarily one long run), no runner has gained more than 66 yards against the Seahawks. Brown and Addai combined for only 79 rushing yards when the Seahawks visited though both had a touchdown. Barber should manage to get a score here and Jones will turn in at least his standard yardage.

Wide Receivers: What's left to say about Miles Austin after his back-to-back games of 250 and 171 receiving yards and four touchdowns scored? In the matter of just two games he has outscored everything else that the Cowboys wide receivers did this year while boosting the Cowboys passing game back up to "T.O." levels or better. That won't last every week of course but the bigger surprise was his six catches against the Falcons who already knew to watch out for him. More than anything, he has made Roy Williams look really, really bad by comparison. As in they should swap paychecks if the NFL pay was predicated on performance.

Owens had five receptions for 98 yards and a score against the Seahawks last year.

Can the Seahawks cover Austin? They have allowed six wide outs to score this year with solid yardage for players like Wayne, Fitzgerald and the like. You are going to start your waiver wire bonanza regardless of what I say but he really could have one more good game before the schedule works against him. I like for a second score to another wideout which is what happened in both the previous road games by the Seahawks. I'll credit it to Williams but it could go to Patrick Crayton just as easily. It seems more reasonable that they would want to get Williams a score in what should be an easier game like this.

Tight Ends: The Cowboys have only thrown one touchdown to Jason Witten and that was back in week two. He has chugged along with around five catches per game and up to 77 yards but he's no longer the mainstay as he was last year. The Seahawks have also been very good against tight ends this year and allowed just one score so expect just the yardage again this week from Witten.

Witten led the Cowboys with nine receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown versus the Seahawks last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 9 8 8 12 8 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    SEA 12 21 27 8 12 11

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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