This year’s matchup features the Green Bay Packers representing John Kerry and Democrats against the hometown Washington Redskins representing George W. Bush and the Republicans. The 3-4 Democrats come into the game favored by 2 points over the 2-4 Republicans, but with a margin of error of +/-3 on the spread, it’s a statistical dead heat. One thing is for sure, with both teams struggling, this promises to be a knock-down drag-out affair that has a real chance of going to overtime.
TRICK OR TREAT?
That will be the big question of everyone’s mind on Halloween as the Seahawks try to rebound off of the worst game of the season last week in Arizona. During the “Debacle in the Desert” Matt Hasselbeck looked overanxious and confused and displayed none of the poise and confidence that enabled him to rally the Seahawks to multiple come from behind victories in 2004, despite being given new life from a Ken Lucas interception returned for a touchdown, and having 3 opportunities late in the fourth quarter to win the game. Since my glass is usually half-full, I’m willing to write off last week as an aberration and state with as much confidence as I can muster after three-straight losses that Matt will bounce back and TREAT the hometown crowd at Quest field with a Halloween victory.
THE SILICON SWAMI
Madden 2005 suffered its second loss of the season last week, putting the season record at 4-2. This week’s matchup once again required a lot of prep work to get the rosters accurate, with multiple injuries to both teams (not to mention the trade of Jerry Rice which Madden STILL refuses to do on its own). As usual, the prediction is based upon the average of 5 CPU vs. CPU games played at All-Pro level on Madden 2005 for the Playstation 2 with six minute quarters.
The Seahawks squeaked out 3 of 5 victories with a combined margin of victory for Seattle of one point. Shaun Alexander managed big games in all but one of the contests, due in large part to huge touchdown runs counterbalanced by a lot of no-gains. Once Shaun made it past the Carolina D-line, it was off to the races, and he won the lion’s share of them. In the one game that Shaun failed to break the 100 yard mark, he left the game in the 1st quarter with an ankle injury, only to return in the 4th with his ankle taped up (kudos to the folks at EA Sports for this nice realistic touch to the game). Maurice Morris had no success at all vs. the Carolina front four, and, not surprisingly, this was one of the two games that the Seahawks lost.
The passing game enjoyed quite a bit of success using the “dink and dunk” West Coast style, with a few long balls thrown to keep the defense honest. Once again, the simulation foresees Jerry Rice being key on long 3rd downs with Jerramy Stevens playing a significant role in the middle of the field. The offensive line managed to give Matt just enough time find the open man, surrendering just one sack in each of the five contests.
When Carolina had the ball, Rod “He-Hate-Me” Smart (Editor's Note: ESPN.com lists Smart (knee) as out for Sunday's game against the Seahawks) was held in check in every game, managing a maximum of 36 yards, but Jake Delhomme was able to pick up the slack with his own high percentage short passing game that targeted the 2nd and 3rd string linebackers for Seattle. Once Seattle got into a nickel defense, however; Delhomme's success evaporated and he averaged 2 INT per game. The decimated Seattle defense managed just one sack per game, although they were able to keep all the games close, relying on the offense to win it at the end.
Swami’s prediction: Seattle 21, Carolina 20.
Dylan Johnson writes for Seahawks.NET. He’s also well-known as “NJSeahawksFan” on our Fan Forums. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.