Public Favors Redskins

Seattle, WA - Jim Zorn is as much a prominent part of Seattle Seahawks' history as anybody who's played for the franchise, but his only focus this week is beating his former team.

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The first-year Washington Redskins coach hopes his club can avoid a third straight loss when he returns to Seattle for the first time to face the struggling Seahawks on Sunday.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made the Redskins -3.5 point spread favorites (View NFL Football odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 79% of bets for this game have been placed on the Redskins -3.5 (View NFL Football bet percentages).

Zorn was the first-ever starting quarterback for the Seahawks, starring for the franchise from 1976-1984. The 1976 NFC offensive rookie of the year also is one of eight players inducted in the team's ring of honor. Prior to being named Redskins' coach, Zorn spent the previous seven seasons as quarterbacks coach for Seattle, which included grooming current starter Matt Hasselbeck.

While Zorn will be filled with emotion, he can't afford to get caught up in the moment as the Redskins (6-4) have struggled in losing consecutive home games to Pittsburgh and Dallas, scoring just one touchdown total.

"It'll be an interesting game from the standpoint of me going back to Seattle," Zorn said. "But I'm going to look at it as the next test. I've got to get our guys prepared. We have a lot of work to do."

Though Seattle (2-8) is off to is worst start since going 1-9 in 1992, Zorn isn't taking his former team lightly knowing it has pride to play for.

"This is the time in the season where those teams that actually are going upward start making that climb, if you will,'' said Zorn, whose Redskins are tied with the Cowboys for second in the NFC East and very much in the wild-card position. "And we haven't made the climb.''

Washington was held to 228 total yards in a 14-10 loss to Dallas last Sunday, one game after totaling 221 yards - including 60 on the ground - in a 23-6 loss to Pittsburgh.

Clinton Portis, who wasn't expected to play against Dallas due to a sprained knee, carried 15 times for 68 yards and went over 1,000 yards, said he expects to play this week.

"It's better than it was last week,'' said Portis, who has 1,063 yards and seven TDs this season. "I'm playing this week. No ifs, ands, buts about it, I'll be playing.''

Zorn, though, said the league's second-leading rusher will again be a game-time decision. If Portis can't go, it will be interesting to see if former Seahawks star Shaun Alexander would see extensive time.

Alexander, who owns at least a share of 24 club records and was named league MVP in 2005 while helping Seattle reach the Super Bowl, has seen limited action since being signed by Washington after nagging injuries forced the Seahawks to release him in April. He has rushed 11 times for 24 yards in four games with the Redskins.

The Redskins hope quarterback Jason Campbell can regroup after throwing all three of his interceptions this season in the last two games.

Washington's mediocre offense could flourish against a Seattle defense that has fallen on hard times, ranking 26th in the NFL allowing 25.7 points per contest.

Seattle, which has lost three in a row and is poised to miss the playoffs for the first time in six years, is nowhere near the team that beat Washington 35-14 at home in a wild-card playoff game in January. A rash of injuries, an underachieving defense and malfunctioning offense have all contributed to the expected end of the Seahawks' string of four consecutive NFC West titles.

"It's tough. ... I don't think we feel that way about ourselves,'' said Hasselbeck, who went 17-for-29 for 170 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in a 26-20 home loss to division-leading Arizona last Sunday. "We feel like we're a better team. But you are what your record is.''

Playing in his first game in six weeks after suffering from a bulging disk in his back, Hasselbeck was battered physically against the Cardinals, but is expected to play against his mentor. Hasselbeck was 20-for-32 for 229 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the playoff game against Washington.

The Seahawks are 1-4 at home, and have lost three in a row at Qwest Field. The Redskins, meanwhile have won three straight road games since a season-opening loss to the New York Giants.

Washington looks for a fifth consecutive regular-season win over the Seahawks in the teams' first meeting outside of the playoffs since 2005.

Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
SEATTLE is 5-5 against the spread versus WASHINGTON since 1992
SEATTLE is 5-5 straight up against WASHINGTON since 1992
5 of 10 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
SEATTLE is 1-0 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons 
SEATTLE is 1-0 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at SEATTLE since 1992
SEATTLE is 3-2 against the spread versus WASHINGTON since 1992
SEATTLE is 3-2 straight up against WASHINGTON since 1992
4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 1-0 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons 
SEATTLE is 1-0 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[DE] Alex Buzbee IR - Achilles - 09/04/08
[WR] Malcolm Kelly missed last game %27?%27 - Knee - 11/03/08
[RB] Ladell Betts missed last game , doubtful - Knee - 11/03/08
[OL] Chris Samuels is "?". - Undisclosed - 11/05/08
[LB] Phillip Daniels IR - Knee - 07/21/08
[CB] Shawn Springs is upgraded to probable - Calf - 11/04/08
[DT] Anthony Montgomery is upgraded to probable - Achilles - 11/04/08
[WR] Santana Moss is "?". - Hamstring - 11/04/08
[DE] Jason Taylor is upgraded to probable - Calf - 11/04/08
[SS] Reed Doughty IR - Back - 10/14/08
[LB] David Hawthorne injured last game, "?". - Calf - 11/03/08
[DT] Red Bryant injured last game, downgraded to likely to miss several weeks. - Ankle - 11/06/08
[DE] Patrick Kerney is out indefinitely. - Shoulder - 10/29/08
[WR] Ben Obomanu IR - Shoulder - 08/31/08
[WR] Nate Burleson IR - Knee - 09/08/08
[TE] Will Heller missed last game, downgraded to expected to miss. - Knee - 11/06/08
[LB] Lofa Tatupu is upgraded to probable - Groin - 11/06/08
[WR] Koren Robinson is "?". - Knee - 11/06/08
[WR] Deion Branch is downgraded to expected to miss - Heel - 11/06/08
[RG] Rob Sims IR - Pectoral - 09/09/08
[WR] Logan Payne IR - Knee - 09/15/08
[LB] Wesley Mallard IR. - Knee - 08/06/08
[OG] Floyd Womack is "?". - Foot - 11/06/08
(!) [QB] Matt Hasselbeck missed last 4 games, expected to miss. - Back - 11/02/08
[FB] Leonard Weaver is upgraded to probable - Foot - 11/06/08

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Posted: 11/20/08 12:28 PM ET

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