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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 25, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
BAL at NO SF at CHI NYJ at CLE NE at MIN  
HOU at TEN TB at NYG PIT at OAK   updated

Prediction: ARZ 14, GB 24

The Cardinals head up to Green Bay after disappointing loss #6 while the Packers come off a surprise win in Miami. The Cardinals have not won on the road this year, they haven't even come remotely close actually but the Packers have yet to win at home. Something has to change and reason says those cheesehat-wearing cheeseheads deserve to finally get a treat.

Update: This game gets a bit tougher to call. Greg Jennings is doubtful to play and has not practiced this week because of a sprained ankle. He's been on crutches earlier in the week. While he could return to practice the more likely outcome is that he will either be inactive or at least limited in this game. I am removing him from the projections because he is just not a safe start this week. But the Packers don't have any more wideouts other than Shaun Bodiford who they just claimed off waivers from Detroit.

I would expect much more work for the tight ends this week and am adjusting the projections based on Jennings missing the game.

Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
1 34-27 SF 10 --- DAL
2 10-21 @SEA 11 --- DET
3 14-16 STL 12 --- @MIN
4 10-32 @ATL 13 --- @STL
5 20-23 KC 14 --- SEA
6 23-24 CHI 15 --- DEN
7 9-22 @OAK 16 --- @SF
8 --- @GB 17 --- @SD
9 Open Bye - - MON
ARZ at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Leinart 0 0 230,2
RB Edgerrin James 50 10 0
TE Leonard Pope 0 10 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 110,1 0
WR Troy Walters 0 20 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 60,1 0
PK Neil Rackers 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals are redefining disappointment and now the questions are popping up - is Denny going to be fired? The Cardinals have been much better at home than on the road this year though and at 1-6, it's never been all that good at any point. Leinart gets a chance to redeem himself after last week but he's finding out the hard way - this team has never been good on the road.

Quarterback: Cinderella was finally done it by his evil stepsisters in Oakland. After two thoroughly impressive showings against the Chiefs and Bears where Matt Leinart scored twice, he was held to no scores by the Raiders and only completed 13 of 32 passes for 203 yards and two interceptions. There were several culprits that could explain the sudden downturn - first road game, change in offensive coordinators only days before and coming off a mortifying loss the previous week. Throw in that the Raiders finally decided not to play like the #31 defense and Leinart suffered his first downturn.

Leinart faces another soft secondary this week but he still has the same conditions he had last Sunday. Except instead of barely losing to the best defense in the league he just got throttled by one of the worst ones.

Running Backs: Football is a business and players are there to get paid. Edgerrin James is learning the flip side of big money now that he cannot find an open running lane anywhere and he's counting his money as his career veers down Obscurity Street. James comes off his worst game yet with only 34 yards on 13 carries and he Cardinals under Leinart has only completed one pass per game to him. James has only scored while at home and not all since week three.

Wide Receivers: After his big 12 catch game against the Bears, Anquan Boldin settled down to only 59 yards on four catches last week while Bryant Johnson had three catches for 87 yards. The absence of Larry Fitzgerald hasn't helped the passing game especially on the road. His hamstring strain made Fitzgerald inactive for the second week and I will assume he is out again this week until he practices. The initial report on Fitzgerald was that he would miss at least two weeks - now we see just how well his hamstring has responded to treatment. He's really missed a couple of "fun" games.

Tight Ends: Evidently Matt Leinart hasn't made it the chapter about tight ends in the playbook. He never even threw a pass to a tight end last week.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers defense has been fairly good against the run this year and oddly enough has actually given up more yardage via the pass than the run to running backs (447 vs 496). But so far the Cardinals have not been using James as a receiver. Not even last week after they dumped OC Keith Rowen and Green took over play calling. James should end with just barely moderate rushing yards this week and miss a great opportunity because the Cards won't throw to him.

Leinart faces the worst secondary in the NFL. For each of the last five weeks, the Packers have given up two passing scores and tons of yardage - up to 414. Three over 340. The Cards on the road are weaker and Leinart showed last week the difference the team undergoes in away games (and losing the OC is no help for consistency either). No quarterback has turned in less than 220 yards against the Packers so expect that to be the floor with a very high potential ceiling. Then again, it is about as high as he had last week...

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 17 29 2 31 13 4
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 32 23 32 15 32 18


Green Bay Packers (2-4)
1 0-26 CHI 10 --- @MIN
2 27-34 NO 11 --- NE
3 31-24 @DET 12 --- @SEA
4 9-31 @PHI 13 --- NYJ
5 20-23 STL 14 --- @SF
6 Open Bye 15 --- DET
7 34-24 @MIA 16 --- MIN
8 --- ARZ 17 --- @CHI
9 --- @BUF - MON THU
GBP vs ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 220,2
RB Ahman Green 90,1 20 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 20 0
TE David Martin 0 30,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 90,1 0
WR Ruvell Martin 0 30 0
WR Greg Jennings 0 70,1 0
PK Dave Rayner 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers have won two games this year but still nothing at home. This is a shot - and maybe the only one of the year - that the Packers can win back-to-back games. Ahman Green looks healthy again and Favre hasn't thrown an interception since week four. It's time for the cheeseheads to witness a game-winning Lambeau Leap.

Quarterback: Brett Favre was hot when he had back-to-back 340 yard games with three touchdowns in each but only managed one score in the next two games. Last week in Miami, he went back to more normal numbers when he had 206 yards and two touchdowns in Miami. Notable too is that Favre hasn't thrown an interception in the last two games and now faces a weaker secondary with the visiting Cardinals.

Running Backs: The bye in week six helped Ahman Green to heal up. After sitting out weeks four and five, Green returned to the field in Miami and turned in a season high 118 rushing yards and one touchdown on just 18 carries after breaking for a 70-yard scoring run. In fantasy terms, the troubling aspect was that he had his first game of the year with no passes. Not one. And this after he recorded eight catches for 68 yards in his previous start.

The Packers relied on both Vernand Morency (7-12) and Noah Herron (2-5) but neither had the success of Green.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver comes off one of his best games of the year when he had 93 yards on 10 catches in Miami with one touchdown. He needed to step up too, since Robert Ferguson is gone and Koren Robinson had been suspended. That left only Driver and Greg Jennings who only managed to catch one pass for 15 yards last week after four previous big games. The rookie Ruvell Martin was activated for the first time but he only had two catches for 25 yards in his debut. The Packers have no other wideouts to use, so the trio needs to get into synch.

Ferguson has damage to his Lis Franc joint in the middle of the foot and has been placed on injured reserve.

Tight Ends: It was expected that the tight ends would step up last week since the wideout crew has been decimated and David Martin had a touchdown but only two catches while Bubba Franks only had one catch. Martin's score was the first by a Packers tight end this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals are truly two very different teams on the road and at home. The away version that the Packers face has allowed at least one touchdown in each of the three previous road trips. The opponents have always logged over 100 rushing yards. The opposite is true in Arizona. Look for Ahman Green to score once this week and have at least a good game with a chance for a big one if the Cardinals continue to be error prone.

The only game where the traveling Cardinals did not give up 220+ passing yards and one passing score was when Michael Vick ran for 101 yards. Expect Brett Favre to toss at least one score here and very likely two - the fans need a reward. That strongly favors a nice if not big game from Driver and Jennings both.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 13 13 12 20 11 9
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 14 24 12 8 28 31