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

Prediction: SF 23, SEA 20

Friday Update: Jones went through his third straight day of practice and will take over for Justin Forsett who is questionable anyway with a strained quadriceps.

Thursday Update: Julius Jones has returned to full practices and is expected to play this week. I am replacing Justin Forsett with Jones though Forsett will have at least a supporting role and could be more depending on Jones not having any relapses.

The 49ers are 5-6 and still have a mathematical shot at a wildcard bid. But they are only 1-4 on the road and the 4-7 Seahawks are 3-2 at home. The 49ers won 23-10 when the Seahawks visited back in week two.

San Francisco 49ers (5-6)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA 23-10 -1.5 39
3 @MIN 24-27 +7 40.5
4 STL 35-0 -10 37.5
5 ATL 10-45 -2.5 41
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU 21-24 +3 44.5
8 @IND 14-18 +13 45
9 TEN 27-34 -4 41
10 CHI 10-6 -4 43
11 @GB 24-30 +6 42
12 JAC 20-3 -3 42.5
13 @SEA - PK 41
14 ARI - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 DET - - -
17 @STL - - -
SF at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith     230,2
RB Frank Gore 70 20  
TE Vernon Davis   50,1  
WR Josh Morgan   50  
WR Jason Hill   30  
WR Michael Crabtree   60,1  
PK Joe Nedney 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The shift to a more shotgun heavy offense has been paying dividends with nice passing efforts against both the Packers and Jaguars. The 49ers still have a mythical shot at a winning season and even a wildcard but that will be a tough challenge between road trips to Seattle and Philly and a home stand against the Cardinals in the next three weeks. The season will end on a high note with the Lions and Rams but these next three games will define what sort of season the 49ers have.

Quarterback: The move to the shotgun allowed Alex Smith to throw for 227 yards and three scores in Green Bay - almost all of that coming in the second half when the switch was made - and then 232 yards and two scores against the visiting Jaguars last week. In week two, Shaun Hill was still the starter against the Seahawks and only passed for 144 yards and no scores in a game that the 49ers had an easy time running.

This week won't see Frank Gore repeat his 207 yard effort against the Seahawks and the Seattle secondary is bad and getting worse. Over half of the opposing quarterbacks throw for multiple touchdowns against the Seahawks and those who don't are usually making better gains handing off. Expect a healthy showing by Smith here with two scores and decent yardage that could grow big if it turns into a shootout.

Running Backs: Frank Gore has scored in five straight games though the last two were on receptions and not runs. His yardage has been disappointing most of the year with only two efforts topping 100 rushing yards and none remotely as good as the 207 yards and two scores he laid on the visiting Seahawks in week two. He's been limited to less than 17 carries in seven of the last eight games and used even less in these last two weeks that the passing game has improved.

The Seahawks at home have allowed only one touchdown to an opposing running back - this should be where Gore's string ends. No runner has gained more than 67 yards in Seattle as well so look for only moderate yardage propped up with some receiving yards.

Wide Receivers: Michael Crabtree had his first NFL score in week 11 but then only managed four catches for 54 yards against the Jaguars but for the first time he had almost as many targets as Vernon Davis. Josh Morgan also had a surprising eight targets last week with six receptions for 43 yards to lead the wide receivers. Back in week two when the Seahawks visited, no wideout had more than 35 yards since Gore was running so well.

The Seahawks are very weak against wide receivers allowing 17 touchdowns to the position already this season. Crabtree is a good start this week and should see a score. Morgan and Hill could produce as well but have been too inconsistent to consider.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis has nine touchdowns on the year to lead all tight ends and tie for best among all NFL players. These last two games with the shotgun formation has not depressed his numbers at all with a score in each of the last two games and no less than 70 yards. Davis only had 32 yards on two catches in the first meeting, he should do much more this time with Gore unlikely to run as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 21 22 30 2 23 14
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 24 21 30 15 15 15

Seattle Seahawks (4-7)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  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 17-38 +10 46
9 DET 32-20 -10 43
10 @ARI 20-31 +9 47
11 @MIN 9-35 +10.5 47
12 @STL 27-17 -3.5 42.5
13 SF - PK 41
14 @HOU - - -
15 TB - - -
16 @GB - - -
17 TEN - - -
SEA vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     260,1
RB Julius Jones 60,1 30  
RB Justin Forsett 50,1 50
TE John Carlson   30  
WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh   80  
WR Deion Branch   30  
WR Nate Burleson   60,1  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks come off a solid win over the Rams that made losing four of the previous five games better. So far the only wins have all been against the Jaguars, Lions and the Rams twice. Not exactly a tour of the best teams in the league and the 49ers had little problem dispatching the Seahawks back in week two despite going against Shaun Hill. The only really change currently for the Seahawks has been the sharp running of Justin Forsett which has led HC Jim Mora to reiterate that it did not matter since Julius Jones is the starter when healthy.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck had a couple of decent yardage efforts against Arizona and Detroit but only had one score against each and then the last two weeks has not scored or had more than 231 yards. He only has 11 touchdowns on the season and has been a very marginal fantasy choice outside of the first two home games of the year. In week two in San Francisco, Hasselbeck only passed for 97 yards and no scores.

The 49ers secondary has been very weak and given up six 300+ yard games though no quarterback has thrown for more than two scores against them. Of course the 49ers have also faced top quarterback in the last five road trips - Warner, Favre, Schaub, Manning and Rodgers. Only giving up two scores to each of those was an accomplishment. Look for a moderate showing by Hasselbeck who does not belong in the company of those other five quarterbacks.

Running Backs: Julius Jones has missed two games with his rib and lung ailments and continues to feel pain. He is no lock to return this week and I will assume that Justin Forsett again takes the start. Forsett has scored in each of the last three games and comes off a 130 yard effort in St. Louis that sets the high mark for the team this year. He only had nine yards on eight runs in Minnesota though but made up for that with eight receptions for 80 yards. So far Forsett has been a nice plug in showing elusiveness and doubling as a receiver when the rushing game is stopped.

In week two in San Francisco, Jones only gained 11 yards on eight runs but scored on a reception while Forsett had 35 yards on five carries and added 57 yards on six receptions later in the game.

Forsett goes against a defense that has only allowed two runners to top 100 rushing yards but has been victimized often by backs acting as receivers. Expect a decent showing by Forsett with receptions to help boost his totals.

Wide Receivers: Hasselbeck has only thrown seven touchdowns to the position so far and Nate Burleson is tied with T. J. Houshmandzadeh with three each. Most weeks have only mediocre yardage by the individual players and against the 49ers in week two, none scored and Houshmandzadeh led the team with 62 yards on four receptions.

The 49ers secondary has been victimized in recent games but they have been going against the best of the best and that is not what Seattle has. This should be at least a decent yardage game by both Houshmandzadeh and Burleson with one score slightly favoring Nate.

Tight Ends: John Carlson has really taken a major step backwards this year and has only one score since the season opener and even had no catches in week 11. No reason to rely to him.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 16 13 13 25 8 16
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 18 24 21 14 24 18

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