MNF News and Notes

MNF News and Notes

MNF Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Seattle has scored with regularity and gusto in the first half of the preseason, combining for a total of 63 points against the likes of Minnesota and Chicago. But all is not A-ok in the Seahawks’ locker room.

Preparing to get down and dirty in San Diego on Monday night, Seattle has plenty of hurdles to overcome and not just in this exclusive contest on Monday night.

At first glance inside the injury report, ‘Hawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (back) sticks out with his condition listed as ‘questionable’. The latest report indicates the veteran slinger will be taking a seat on the bench for the second straight game. While Seattle is sure to miss the opportunity for Hasselbeck to tune-up, both backup QBs Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye posses the skills to score against the Chargers’ second and third squads.
But what could prove to be the most devastating news, not only for this week but more importantly in the regular season, both sensational wide outs, Bobby Ingram and Deion Branch will miss major playing time. Ingram (shoulder) isn’t slated to return to the field until early October and the news is darker for Branch (knee) who's listed as ‘out indefinitely’.

As for betting trends, Seattle has been a bull on the books with a 24-17-1 against the spread record when installed as the underdog in preseason play since 1990. Most books have listed San Diego as much as a six-point home favorite, but the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino continues to list the ‘Bolts at minus-three points as of Sunday afternoon. A total of 39 ½ has been installed.

The betting numbers are in complete opposition to Seattle’s favorable betting stance. For San Diego, an 11-19-2 ATS record on Monday nights from 1996 to 2007 is complemented by an 8-16-1 ATS performance from home favorites when playing on the same day. This could detract gamblers who put major stock into ATS trends.

While the Chargers scored 31 points in their first outing against Dallas on Aug. 9, a follow up loss against St. Louis last week by the score of 7-6 showcased a stagnate offense. Running back Jacob Hester has been one bright spot for San Diego, combining for 108 yards with two scores in two weeks.

The absence and uncertainty of San Diego’s pro bowl linebacker, Shawne Merriman shouldn’t make or break the team’s outcome on Monday but logical thinking says that the regular season could get a bit more hairy without the explosive defenseman. Merriman has been diagnosed with two torn ligaments in his knee. His future and career are uncertain at this time.

With the Chargers’ fluid RB, LaDainian Tomlinson almost guaranteed to become a spectator on Monday, the early offensive production is going to key on WRs Chris Chamber and Vincent Jackson. But don’t forget about RBs Marco Thomas and Hestor in the latter part of the game.

As reported by several local San Diego based newspapers, Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner has indicated that the starting core of players will be heading into the third quarter in this contest. Turner was quoted as saying, “I like . . . our guys having that feeling of coming out of the locker room at halftime. We played some awfully good football (last year) at the start of the second half in all three phases, and we'd like to continue that.”

With a 17-21-1 ATS record in “practice play”, Turner has never been a preseason backer’s best friend.

If you’re focusing on totals, both teams have had solid results. San Diego is 6-2 on the ‘over’ in its last eight preseason games, while Seattle has been a hot 8-1 on the ‘over’ in its last nine rehearsals.

The 39 ½-point total reflects the Seahawks’ scoring an average of 13 PPG in the first half of its last two outings but the ‘Bolts five PPG in the same two quarters (last two games) almost seems like a tough pill to swallow. That equates to scoring a combined 18 points in the first-half.

Game time is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. EDT, with ESPN providing full coverage.

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NFL Preseason Preview - Seattle (2-0) at San Diego (1-1)
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks will kick off a busy week on Monday night, when the two former AFC West rivals face off at Qualcomm Stadium in the next-to-last preseason game for each team.

Just four nights after they meet in Monday's primetime affair, the teams will both be back on the field to play their preseason finales. The Chargers will travel to play the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night, while the Seahawks will host the Oakland Raiders.

Just hours after finishing those contests, both teams will have to reduce their rosters from 75 players down to the league maximum of 53, and will by Sunday have established an eight-man practice squad as well.

Given the impact of the tight timeframe on possible playing time for Friday's game, Monday's contest is likely to see the Chargers and Seahawks' starters see their last meaningful action until the regular season.

That said, San Diego is nearly certain to be without three of its highest- profile players in its final warm-up before the home fans.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has yet to play in the preseason, as is customary for the Pro Bowl running back.

Tight end Antonio Gates (toe) just recently returned to the practice field and is unlikely to be cleared for game action. Gates is expected to be ready for the regular season.

More concerning for the team, however, is a knee injury to linebacker Shawne Merriman that could reportedly be career-threatening. The Pro Bowler has a torn posterior cruciate ligament, and, at the very least, his status for the Sept. 7th opener against the Carolina Panthers is tenuous.

The Seahawks could also be without their most prominent player on Monday.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been bothered by a sore back, an injury that kept him out of last Saturday's 29-26 overtime win over the Bears.

If Hasselbeck can't go against the Chargers, Seneca Wallace would likely get the start with Charlie Frye coming off the bench. Frye played the entirety of the Bears win, completing 20-of-35 passes for 209 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns.

Elsewhere on the injury front for Seattle, wide receivers Bobby Engram (shoulder), Deion Branch (knee), right tackle Sean Locklear (knee), and center Chris Spencer (back) are unlikely to appear against San Diego.

Seattle leads the all-time preseason series with San Diego, 5-3, including a 24-16 road victory prior to last season.

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SEATTLE (2 - 0) at SAN DIEGO (1 - 1)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.
Head-to-Head Series History
SAN DIEGO is 1-1 against the spread versus SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons 
SAN DIEGO is 1-1 straight up against SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons 
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

Seattle at San Diego

Seattle: 6-0 Over as an underdog
San Diego: 17-6 Over off Under

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Hats off for all the detail information. Keep up the good work and thanks.

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What bettors need to know: Seahawks at Chargers

Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers (- 5½, 37)

Hasselbeck still out

Matt Hasselbeck missed practice all week with a tight back and will not play Monday against the Chargers.

With Hasselbeck missing his second straight preseason game, third-string quarterback Charlie Frye will get his second straight start and likely play most of the game. Backup Seneca Wallace, who was slowed by a groin injury earlier this week, will be available and could play on Monday.

New plan for Holmgren

In past third exhibition games, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren always wanted the starters to come out in the third quarter. But not Monday, with the rash of injuries to several potential starters.

With injuries to Hasselbeck, center Chris Spencer, right tackle Sean Locklear and receivers Bobby Engram and Deion Branch, Holmgren will play it close to the vest, choosing to use his starters sparingly with the hopes of keeping them injury-free.

Spencer worked with the first unit during drills on Friday but likely will not see action against the Chargers. However, because Spencer has not played in any preseason games, Holmgren may play him against Oakland in the last preseason game to check Spencer’s progress.

Spencer said his back feels good and he’s close to being ready.

Carlson fitting in nicely

The Seahawks drafted John Carlson in the second round because they envisioned the tight end sitting in the middle of soft zone defenses. Holmgren loves utilizing his tight end downfield, but had to improvise last season because Marcus Pollard faded and was eventually released.

So far, so good.

“I really feel he is the player we thought he was when we drafted him,” Holmgren said. A 6-foot-5 target with the ability to make big catches.

Merriman has torn ligaments

Chargers Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman has two torn ligaments in his left knee and has been told by doctors that he could suffer a possible career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery.

Merriman said he has tears in both the posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. He said doctors agree that he needs surgery to repair the damage. “It could be career-threatening if I did (play),” Merriman said. “It’s a possibility. That possibility is still open.”

A course of action has not been decided. Merriman, who will consult with a doctor in Miami early this week before making a decision, has been told reconstructive surgery would sideline him for the entire 2008 season.

Chargers plus away

The Chargers were missing two starters on their offensive line with center Nick Hardwick (foot) and left tackle Marcus McNeill (stinger) ailing. But what’s different than in past seasons is that San Diego can plug in two savvy veterans instead of inexperienced backups.

Jeremy Newberry filled in for Hardwick and might have to do so for the first month of the season. The only drawback is Newberry playing so much now instead of saving himself for September. The friction in his knees — where the cartilage has dissipated with it basically being bone-on-bone — would be unbearable for some but Newberry is known for his high tolerance for pain.

L.J. Shelton, who started 16 games for Miami last year, subbed for McNeill.

Gates update

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was taken off the PUP list earlier this week and participated in parts of practice after passing a physical. He had surgery nearly six months ago to repair a tear in the plantar plate of his left foot. He injured his left big toe during a playoff game against Tennessee last January.

He said his prospects look good for playing in the regular-season opener against Carolina on Sept. 7, but only if he doesn’t have any setbacks with his foot.

“It’s one of those things where it feels really good one day and you come back another day and it’s sore,” he said. “It’s one of those injuries where you have to really monitor and make sure I’m not overdoing it.”

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Monday's NFL Research
By Indiancowboy

Seattle vs. San Diego

Charlie Frye had an unceremonious under 50 passer rating in his last start, while Seneca Wallace continues to be the sound backup for the Seahawks team, the Seahawks remember were solid last year as they finished the year at 10-6 and ended up losing to the Packers on the road in the playoffs. This team still continues to be solid in the NFC West and in fact, you can get them at a 1/1 price right now to win the NFC West - considering the threats are from the likes of the Cardinals, 49ers and Rams, this team has a rock solid chance of getting done once again. In fact, this might just be my top future bet to see this team come out on top in the NFC West especially at even money. As per this game, won big at Minnesota and defeated the Bears at home by a field goal, San Diego, if you look at their ATS stretch has actually covered their last 10 games stretching back to last year, they come off a road cover at the Rams and bea the Cowboys big at home in the first game, the public is split 50/50 on this game, and note that this was the same situation with the Bills vs. the Colts yesterday and the Bills ended up winning the game outright. The under has taken a hit coming into this game as well as it opened up at 37.5 and to be honest, I see value in the Seahawks on the road here with the points as they have looked sound in the first 2 games, but the Chargers at home are another team, look at game 1 in the preseason, plus, one only knows who gets what reps today, and on top of that, this team has covered 11 in a row.

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