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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN* CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR* PHI at DET* SEA at DEN* JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL* STL at OAK* NYG at IND*
*Updated MIA at MIN* KC at CLE* NE at NYJ NO at SF*

Prediction: CHI 14, DAL 27

The Bears squeaked past the Lions more on a technicality than better play while the Cowboys head home where bar fights break out arguing on which play most led to the Cowboys collapse in Washington. So that is the Bears almost getting beaten by the visiting Lions versus the Cowboys explosive implosive offense that now ranks #32 in scoring. Cowboys at home have to quickly get back on track. The Bears can hope to find some new rule to help them but "a game can end on an offensive play" has already been used.

Chicago Bears (1-0)
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET W 19-14 10 MIN --
2 @DAL -- 11 @MIA --
3 GB -- 12 PHI --
4 @NYG -- 13 @DET --
5 @CAR -- 14 NE --
6 SEA -- 15 @MIN --
7 WAS -- 16 NYJ --
8 Bye - 17 @GB --
9 @BUF --   - -
Bears Report | Statistics | Roster
CHICAGO at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler - - 270,2
RB Matt Forte 40 70,1 -
RB Chester Taylor 20 20 -
TE Greg Olsen - 20 -
WR Devin Hester - 30 -
WR Devin Aromashodu - 40 -
WR Johnny Knox - 70,1 -
PK Robbie Gould - 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bears squeaked past the Lions but Cutler is cranking up the stats in the new Martz offense and Matt Forte is back to being a beast when he catches the ball. The Bears also benefited with Matt Stafford getting knocked out of the game. Last week was probably the last time the Bears will be favored at least until week seven greets the visiting Redskins.

QUARTERBACK: Jay Cutler only passed for two scores but had 372 yards and even ran five times for 22 more. He had just one interception and a fumble (this is progress from last year) but was sacked four times. The Cowboys have above average cornerbacks currently and that is going to effect Cutler but he already has shifted to throwing to backs and even the tight end.

Look for decent to very good yardage here and likely a couple of scores but the Cowboys will be cranking up for more turnovers and sacks.

RUNNING BACKS: Matt Forte (17-50) still is not running the ball effectively and that was in a home game against the Lions. Chester Taylor added on nine more runs but only gained 29 yards with his. It is the same lethargic rushing averages from last year. But Forte opened with seven receptions for 151 yards and two scores against the Lions and scored from 28 and 89 yards out. Take away the one 89-yard touchdown and Forte still has a decent game but the Bears lose. Encouraging though was the speed that Forte had on that touchdown since he slowed last year from injuries.

The Bears are not rushing effectively and that is sure to be the case in Dallas where the Cowboys are among the best run stoppers. The question becomes what Forte will do as a receiver and with a decent secondary and aggressive pass rush, Forte should be called upon to be a receiver throughout the game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While Cutler passed for 372 yards last week, the wideouts were not that much help and it was the Lions who were visiting. Devin Aromashodu led the group with five catches for 71 yards and Johnny Knox only managed 52 yards on three catches and Devin Hester had just one pass that he caught for 17 yards. A partial problem here is that the Martz offense is complicated and takes time for everyone to get on the same page, particularly the wide receivers.

The corners for the Cowboys have been good and Knox should see the lighter matchup. But it is still uncertain how these receivers are going to mix and match so be prepared to risk a bad game if you start one. It will be a few more weeks before you can be confident in how the wideouts are going to shake out.

TIGHT ENDS: Greg Olsen actually got six targets and four receptions for 37 yards in an offense that often would have zero throws to tight ends in the past. This is not the start of something, it is the inability of Cutler to find a receiver down field for now.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 2 2 24 23 16 13
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 6 3 6 22 17 23


Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG --
2 CHI -- 11 DET --
3 @HOU -- 12 NO --
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN -- 14 PHI --
6 @MIN -- 15 WAS --
7 NYG -- 16 @ARI --
8 JAC -- 17 @PHI --
9 @GB -- - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 280,2
RB Marion Barber 40 10 -
RB Felix Jones 70,1 10 -
RB Tashard Choice 30 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 50 -
WR Roy Williams - 20 -
WR Dez Bryant - 60,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 100,1 -
PK David Buehler 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys come off one of the most botched losses in the history of the franchise. While the Skins could never score an offensive touchdown, the Cowboys obliged by having Tashard Choice fumble at midfield when time expired at halftime and let DeAngelo Hall return it for what really was the game winning score. New kicker David Buehler missed a 37 yard field goal. And of course the infamous play where not only did Roy Williams manage to catch a game winning ball, it was all for naught because RT Alex Barron opted to ride the defensive end piggy back instead of just blocking him. The Cowboys need to quickly get it together and take care of business here and next week in Houston or that week four bye is going to be a rough one at Valley Ranch.

In good news, the Cowboys may get RT Marc Columbo back this week. That's a week short of when they needed him most.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo generally played a good game last week when he completed 31 of 47 for 282 yards and one score with no turnovers and just one sack. But as has been the complaint all summer, he is not finishing drives with a score. And when your kicker is missing from 37-yards out, it gets even worse. The Cowboys have always had challenges against the Redskins who have a very good defense. Romo needs to toss several touchdowns into the endzone this week. Suddenly that game in Houston next week is looking like Romo better get it together immediately.

The Bears secondary was good at home against the Lions last week (who lost their quarterback). But on the road they have been much less daunting in recent seasons and typically allowed multiple passing scores in away games with healthy yardage. Look for Romo to post that yardage and he needs at least two crisp scoring drives just to shut up the local media. If Dallas can, they will roll up the score here. The question remains - can they? This is the easiest matchup of the first half of the season.

RUNNING BACKS: The three musketeers are alive and well in Dallas. There is Marion Barber (8-39) and Felix Jones (8-38) and even Tashard Choice (5-18) assuming he hasn't been kidnapped and left on a departing oil tanker after losing the fumble last week. Just to make it even more fair, each player had two receptions in Washington. They are the new triplets in Dallas only these come with almost no fantasy value.

This week they go against the Bears who were tough on the run at home but should soften up a bit on the road. Felix Jones always plays better at home so look for him to have the marginally better stats that still are not really enough to warrant a fantasy start. Short of a flu epidemic taking out two of the runners, there may be no worthwhile starts here this season.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The debut of Dez Bryant included eight catches for 56 yards and he was actually the most targeted player with 12 passes thrown his way. Miles Austin was thrown to 11 times and caught ten of them for 146 yards and one score. And then there was the called back score of Roy Williams but Bryant has already taken over for Williams and the Cowboys are looking to accelerate his learning curve with a dozen passes in his first real game since September of 2009 with Oklahoma State. It was also a case of the Skins doubling on Jason Witten that led Romo to target Bryant as much.

The Bears will be chasing the two main wideouts all game and even if the rushing attack works, the Cowboys are going to ensure that the passing game is looking better and finishing drives. Austin has been a must start for a year now but Bryant has to be considered at least as a WR3 if he is going to be getting a dozen passes thrown his way. This week - Bryant has his first touchdown.

TIGHT ENDS: The Skins doubled Jason Witten who had been a problem for them in other games and he finished with just there catches for 27 yards though he had seven targets. What remains to be seen or at least proven is that the addition of Dez Bryant doesn't deduct passes from Witten. Austin is always going to get his but where else can they sacrifice if they intend on throwing more to Bryant?

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 15 19 6 24 32 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 3 20 7 20 4 28

WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR PHI at DET SEA at DEN JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL STL at OAK NYG at IND
  MIA at MIN KC at CLE NE at NYJ NO at SF
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