But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. St. Louis may not be at the top of the game like they were a few years ago but they still are a dangerous team that can score in the blink of an eye if the defense lets up for even one play. Every pre-game show on Sunday will tell you that the key to this game is to keep Bulger from getting comfortable in the pocket, as if we all don’t already know that. For me, the key will once again be reigning in Marshall Faulk. Anthony Simmons has enjoyed a lot of success in keeping Marshall from busting big plays in the past, and I’d look for him to remain keyed on Faulk all game again this year.
On the offensive side of the ball, Hass needs to read the blitzes accurately when they come (and I expect them to come fast and furious on Sunday). If Hass and his receiver corps can read the blitzes and hit their hot routes, the Seahawks should have a monster game on offense. Last week San Francisco made the Rams D look better than they are, but this week St. Louis is up against a 3-0 unit that has yet to hit their stride.
But enough of my dime-store analysis, let’s hear from the expert – Madden 2005. Now, when I started running the Madden 2005 Sims before Week One, I never thought that we’d be standing here after the bye looking at results that have been … well, more accurate than most of the prognosticators out there. A quick recap for those of you that have joined us late:
Week One: Madden ’05 predicts Seattle with an easy win (and a bad day for Deuce McAllister) 23-5 and the actual score is 21-7.
Week Two: Madden ’05 predicts a hard fought game that comes down to the wire with a Seattle victory 20-19 and the actual score is 10-6.
Week Three: Madden ’05 predicts a wide margin of victory for Seattle 27-9 and the actual score is 34-0.
So, with a deeper reverence for Playstation 2 than can be considered healthy, we look at this week’s match up between the Seahawks and St. Louis Rams.
Once again, I ran a series of five Madden 2005 CPU vs. CPU games on the Playstation 2 with rosters taken from NFL.com on Wednesday, 6 minute quarters and the difficulty set to All-Pro. The Seahawks won four of the five games, by an average of 5.5 points, with the one loss coming on a last second 45 yard field goal by Wilkins.
Three of the five games were played in rain, with the rain switching over to snow (!) during the second half of the second game. Ironically, the weather seemed to have zero effect on the passing games of both teams with Bulger averaging over 250 yards and Hasselbeck averaging over 320 yards passing per game. Marshall Faulk and Shaun Alexander also managed big games with the averages hovering around 90 yards for both running backs. In fact, in all of the games simulated, the last team to have the ball on offense with over a minute to play won the game. Unfortunately for all you Rams fans out there, that team was the Seahawks in 4 of the 5 games.
On the defensive side of the ball both teams struggled with multiple receiver sets, with Bruce and Holt breaking the 100 yard mark in all but one of the games, and Koren Robinson averaging 150 yards per game and Bobby Engram scoring at least one touchdown in each contest. In fact, both teams averaged only one turnover and two sacks per game.
Perhaps most interesting of all was the fact that even in the virtual world, Mike Martz makes questionable calls, twice going for it on 4th and 2 from outside the Seattle 35 in the first quarter of a scoreless game, twice failing with runs up the middle and twice losing the game by one score.
The Silicon Swami’s
Prediction: Seattle 34 St. Louis 28.
Dylan Johnson writes for Seahawks.NET. He’s also well-known as “NJSeahawksFan” on our Fan Forums. Feel free to contact him at email@example.com.