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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: PHI 17, SF 22

Update: LeSean McCoy has not practiced because of his fractured rib and the Eagles want to wait until late week to make a decision about his playing status but he is a longshot to play. Even McCoy himself said as much. No reason to change the projections and Mike Bell should see significant playing time.

Update #2 - LeSean McCoy returned to a full practice on Friday and HC Andy Reid said he expects him to play a full game. Mike Bell will drop back to a short yardage, relief back so I am changing the projections to add in McCoy and remove Bell. McCoy remains a risk though playing with a rib that is still painful.

The Eagles not only lost a home game to the Redskins, it appears they've lost their running back and quarterback for at least this Sunday. The 0-4 49ers are struggling to get any win and have already dumped their offensive coordinator looking for a spark. This is a non-divisional road trip with a replacement offense for the Eagles. That should be just enough to get the 49ers that desperately needed win.

The Eagles won 27-13 when the 49ers came to Philly in week 15 of last year.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 GB L 20-27 10 @WAS --
2 @DET W 35-32 11 NYG --
3 @JAC W 28-3 12 @CHI --
4 WAS L 12-17 13 HOU --
5 @SF -- 14 @DAL --
6 ATL -- 15 @NYG --
7 @TEN -- 16 MIN --
8 Bye - 17 DAL --
9 IND -- - - -
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 240,2
RB LeSean McCoy 40 30 -
TE Brent Celek - 50,1 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 60 -
WR Jason Avant - 40 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 50,1 -
PK David Akers 2 XP 1 FG -

Pregame Notes: The Eagles are searching for a replacement quarterback and tailback if only for depth now that Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are expected to be out. The loss to the Redskins was painful in many ways but losing players is probably the worst since this could bleed into several more weeks. Not that Kevin Kolb or even Mike Bell do not have the coaches confidence but the team is suddenly short in two vital areas. At least this will give Kolb more playing time but the schedule is starting to get rocky and the Eagles are only 2-2 already.

QUARTERBACK: Michael Vick was sandwiched perfectly between two defenders that both hit him on either side of his ribs. Vick remains in much pain for even breathing with his rib cartilage damage and estimates are that he'll miss two to six weeks. Problem is that he may not be able to play fully or that the Eagles start to be evasive about the starter and thereby making both Kevin Kolb and Vick a big risk to rely on as early as next week.

Kolb has the additional burden of McCoy being out and a lack of a rushing game will force him to throw much more this week. The 49ers have allowed at least one passing score to every opponent and all but one had at least two with 250+ yards. Look for a decent game here from Kolb as he tries to get into form.

McNabb passed for 306 yards and a score on the visiting 49ers last year.

RUNNING BACKS: The Eagles have not ruled LeSean McCoy out but he is nursing a broken rib and barring a week of practices, he'll likely miss at least this week. Mike Bell will see his workload increase but he's not likely to be used nearly as much as McCoy would have. Bell has not had more than five carries in any game as Eagle.

The 49ers have only allowed one rushing score by a running back and no runner has topped 100 rush yards though both the runners in Kansas City came close. WIth McCoy out, figure on Bell for only mediocre yardage and no scores. He could see more work as a receiver since McCoy had 12 catches last week for 110 yards but that could also end up with Brent Celek.

McCoy gained 48 yards and one score on nine carries against the 49ers last year. Leonard Weaver had 52 yards on 17 runs in that game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The troublesome part of last week was that the wideouts went from being wildly productive to nearly unused. DeSean Jackson had two games with over 130 yards and a score in each but only settled for 19 yards on three catches with Kolb there. Jeremy Maclin had scored one or more touchdowns every week but then settled for only one catch. Jason Avant actually did better with four catches for 31 yards and he also had his fingers on what could have been a game winning catch but failed to come down with it.

DeSean Jackson had six receptions for 140 yards and one score against the 49ers last year. Maclin did not play.

The 49ers are weaker against the pass and wideouts in particular so expect a minor bounce back by Maclin and Jackson. The 49ers are using a rookie safety now and that should allow Maclin or Jason Avant to get the score.

TIGHT ENDS: If any player is happy about the shift to Kolb, it is likely Brent Celek who has languished in obscurity with Vick under the center but then last week turned in a touchdown on three catches for 27 yards thanks to Kolb. Kolb was dumping off to McCoy mostly last week but he is probably out as well. That could spell a heavier reliance on Celek if only for one week.

Celek turned in 73 yards on four receptions versus the 49ers last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 8 10 25 22 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 26 24 16 19 30 26
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) PHI 24 16 6 -6 8 7


San Francisco 49ers (0-4)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SEA L 6-31 10 STL --
2 NO L 22-25 11 TB --
3 @KC L 10-31 12 @ARI --
4 @ATL L 14-16 13 @GB --
5 PHI -- 14 SEA --
6 OAK -- 15 @SD --
7 @CAR -- 16 @STL --
8 DEN -- 17 ARI --
9 Bye - - - -
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 230,1
RB Frank Gore 110,1 60 -
TE Vernon Davis - 70,1 -
WR Josh Morgan - 40 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 30 -
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough times for the 49ers who seemed to be turning a corner last year but ends up it was just into another wall. The progress that Alex Smith made in 2009 seems to have evaporated and the offense remains little more than Frank Gore and Vernon Davis. Worse yet is a defense that has taken a step backwards as well. Twice the 49ers have come within a field goal of winning a game. They have to turn the corner this week and pick up one or two more wins before the week nine bye or there will be mid season changes that will not help anyone with 49ers on their fantasy teams.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith is plugging along with moderate yardage and one touchdown in most games but he's never any better than that. He has failed to connect with his wide receivers and cannot generate enough offense to come from behind to win. Last week they almost beat the Falcons but mostly on the talents of Gore and Davis. HC Mike Singletary remains behind Smith as the starter and realistically - is David Carr going to do any better?

Smith passed for 177 yards and one score in Philly last year.

The Eagles have a great secondary against wide receivers so no reason to expect a change in Smith this week. He'll struggle to post more than moderate stats and will need to rely on Davis even more. With the Eagles banged up, chances are that Gore could take over this game.

RUNNING BACKS: While Frank Gore only has one game over 100 rushing yards, that was the lone home game that the 49ers have played so far and it also contained the only scores that Gore has on the season. He has always propped up his fantasy stats with plenty of receptions and his 29 catches are six more than any other running back in the league. The Eagles biggest weakness is against running backs so look for a breakout game from Gore this week with over 100 rushing yards and at least one touchdown and maybe two. The Eagles are coming in with a wounded offense and that should leave the 49ers with ample chances to run the ball.

Gore gained 107 yards on 16 carries In Philly last season.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is the area of most concern and disappointment. Michael Crabtree has been unable to turn in more than 58 yards in a game and has publicly grumbled how his ineffective sophomore season is not his fault. It is a rarity for any of these wide receivers to get more than 30 yards in a game and the Eagles bring in the #3 ranked secondary against the position. Leave them on your waiver wire or bench this week.

Morgan managed seven receptions for 61 yards and a score on the Eagles last year. Crabtree only had four receptions for 26 yards.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis finally got his first score of the year but still has been much less productive than in 2009. Davis did have a season best 78 yards on four receptions in the only other home game so there is hope that he can replicate that success again. The passing score almost has to end up with either Gore or Davis. Chris Cooley just scored on the Eagles last week,

Davis was held to 43 yards on three catches against the Eagles in Philly last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 25 9 32 7 31 30
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 12 27 3 12 10 11
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SF -13 18 -29 5 -21 -19

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
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