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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: NYG 20, BAL 24 (Line: NYG by 1)

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw

Players to Watch: Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice

This will be an important game. The 8-6 Giants recent loss drops them into a three-way tie in the NFC East and currently there are four teams tied for two wild card spots - any loss is a bad loss now for the reigning Super Bowl champions. But the G-Men are only 3-4 away from home. The 9-5 Ravens are just one game ahead of the Bengals for the AFC North and 5-2 at home but on a three game losing skid. It's Big Boy time with no margin for error anymore.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB 38-10
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS 16-17
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO 52-27
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL 0-34
7 WAS 27-23 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL 29-24 17 PHI -----
9 PIT 20-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 260,1
RB Peyton Hillis 20
RB David Wilson 60
WR Victor Cruz 6-80,1
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Giants have lost four of their last six games to fall back into the pack and now are in real danger of further sliding. There was a concern that Eli Manning had a "tired arm" since his passing was so off after week five and he even went three games without any touchdowns. He seemed to bounce back with 249 yards and three scores on the Packers and yet was back to only one touchdown versus the Redskins. Last week all was well against the Saints when he passed for four scores.

Here is the problem this week. Manning on the road has thrown a total of one touchdown over the last FOUR away games. He had five interceptions in those matchups bit only score and three of the efforts were less than 220 yards. Take away the Philly game and Manning has only thrown for two touchdowns over seven road games this year. That's going to be a factor.

Ahmad Bradshaw may be back this week according to him and yet may not according to HC Tom Coughlin who would rather Bradshaw shut up about his status. It appears most likely that he will return and share the backfield with David Wilson provided his knee remains good in practices. This will be updated through the week as the situation changes. WIlson was a dud last week as he took the start but only because he only received 12 carries in the blowout loss. He still gained 55 yards.

Hakeem Nicks follows the pattern perfectly - he only has three touchdowns on the year and those made for his best games. And all were at home. Victor Cruz was better with plenty of success in all venues through week seven and then his only two scores came in the most recent home games.

This game is harder to call since both teams are not playing as well as they did earlier in the year. But it is hard to ignore the difference in the Giants between home and away.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 21 9 10 21 2 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 25 15 4 30 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000022021 ***
Manning continues to dribble easy matchups down his leg, so no matter that only four teams have given up more passing scores than Washington; Manning's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4005300000 ***
Jennings has been far and away the most productive back on the Raiders' roster; as a thanks for salvaging their ground game following yet another Darren McFadden injury, he got a kick-in-the-teeth score vultured by McFadden last week. No reason to think he'll do anything of note against a Denver defense that's motivated to lock down the top seed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
The Redskins have allowed only two WR TDs in the past month, none to the Giants in the earlier meeting. Between Eli Manning's foibles and the underachieving, injury-depleted Giants receiving corps, the frequently targeted Jernigan might be the best/only fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG WAS 00000000 ***
Randle continues to be frequently targeted, but with the Giants' passing game struggling mightily there just isn't enough here to bank on fantasy help. UPDATE: Randle did not practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable. Not enough upside to offset the risk of using him in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 1133 ***
Brown has been all-or-nothing this year: four double-digit games, yet he ranks 30th in kicker scoring. He managed six points against the Redskins a month ago, no reason to expect a significant uptick here.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK 55-20
2 @PHI 23-24 11 @PIT 13-10
3 NE 31-30 12 @SD 16-13
4 CLE 23-16 13 PIT 20-23
5 @KC 9-6 14 @WAS 28-31
6 DAL 31-29 15 DEN 17-34
7 @HOU 13-43 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE 25-15 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 250,2
RB Ray Rice 100,1 6-40
WR Jacoby Jones 2-30
WR Steve Smith 6-90,1
WR Torrey Smith 4-60
TE Owen Daniels 4-40
TE Dennis Pitta 5-50
PK Justin Tucker 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Ravens are on a three game losing streak, dumped their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and then lost even worse to the visiting Broncos. The offense looked no better and maybe worse last week and yet again opted to little use Ray Rice while Joe Flacco completed only 20 of 40 passes. The Ravens cannot afford any more losses and even worse is the season finale that comes in Cincinnati against the team that they are only one game up on. For a 9-5 team, it all appears as dire as it gets. The defense has allowed over 30 points in the last two weeks and the offense is most often described as "inept".

Bernard Pierce sustained a concussion during Sunday's Week 15 game against the Broncos and may not play which would yield more opportunities for Rice. While Rice was limited to 12 runs last Sunday, Pierce still took five himself before leaving injured and in most weeks has eight or nine. This has to be a big game for Rice. He has scored in five of the last six games in Baltimore and can help keep the Giants pass rush from reaching Flacco so much after he has 15 sacks over just the last five games.

Dennis Pitta stepped up the last two weeks with one or more scores in each and 125 yards on seven catches in the Broncos loss. He may be needed yet again since Torrey Smith sustained a mild concussion last week and Anquan Boldin was held to no catches by Champ Bailey. Boldin scored in both of the previous two weeks though and gets a far better matchup this week. Smith has been a nonfactor since week 12 but mostly because the defenses specifically targeted to stop him. The Giants on the road have already allowed six passing scores to wideouts over just the last three road trips.

This is an equally important game for the Ravens who catch a break in playing at home instead of New York. The passing should be easier for Flacco who needs a decent showing but Ray Rice has to help control this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 19 12 19 10 11 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 26 10 29 15 16 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Joe Flacco, BAL @CIN 0000022012 ****
Flacco has just one multiple touchdown outing in his past six games, or since he threw for 140 & 2 against the Bengals back in Week 10. Cincy has allowed only one multiple touchdown since then as well, plus they've surrendered only eight passing scores in seven home games. Last year Flacco came through in the clutch; this season, expectations are diminished.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ray Rice, BAL @CIN 3006300000 ****
The Bengals have allowed exactly one RB TD in Cincinnati this year, and Rice isn't having the kind of season where he would be a good bet to buck that trend. He's essentially splitting carries with Bernard Pierce and only posting helpful fantasy numbers when an easy matchup is at hand. This is not that matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bernard Pierce, BAL @CIN 200000000 ***
Pierce is seeing a larger share of the workload, but neither he nor Ray Rice are doing anything with those touches--and the matchup isn't particularly favorable, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, BAL @CIN 004501000 ***
Smith scored in the earlier matchup with Cincy, though it took 15 targets for him to do so. The Bengals have allowed five WR TDs in the subsequent five games, and with Smith still the top-targeted Raven wideout he's the best bet of the passing game to score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jacoby Jones, BAL @CIN 004500000 ****
Jones and Marlon Brown continue to alternate adequate showings as Baltimore's secondary target. That has some fantasy value in a favorable matchup, but this isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marlon Brown, BAL @CIN 003400000 ***
Brown and Jacoby Jones continue to alternate adequate showings as Baltimore's secondary target. That has some fantasy value in a favorable matchup, but this isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dennis Pitta, BAL @CIN 004300000 ***
Pitta is still splitting looks with Ed Dickson; against a Bengals defense that's shut out three straight tight ends, there's just not enough to go around here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @CIN 3311 ***
Tucker has been feast or famine of late: three triple-digit games, wrapped around a couple minuscule single-digit efforts. He posted eight points in the previous meeting with Cincy, and this one is likely to play out in a similar fashion as the two teams battle for playoff spots.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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