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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 2
September 10, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at JAX MIA at NYJ WAS at ATL SEA at ARZ *CHI at MIN
CLE at BAL *PIT at KC Sun 4 PM *DEN at SD Mon 9 PM
*DET at GB SF at STL CAR at TB NE at PHI DAL at NYG
*HOU at NO *TEN at IND *CIN at OAK Times EST *updated
   
Detroit vs Green Bay Sun, Sep 14; 1 PM on FOX at Lambeau Field
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 200,2
RB Olandis Gary 50 0 0
RB Shawn Bryson 10 30,1 0
TE Mikhael Ricks 0 20 0
WR Bill Schroeder 0 40 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 20 0
WR Charles Rogers 0 60,1 0
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 240,2
RB Ahman Green 100,1 40 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 40,1 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 30 0
WR Antonio Freeman 0 40 0


Game Prediction: DET 20, GB 27

Update: Antonio Freeman has signed a one year deal. Donald Driver is definitely out and Robert Ferguson has not been officially ruled out but do not count on him playing. The Packers are preparing to play with Walker and Freeman as the starters and Ahman Green will be relied on heavily to produce a rushing game.

The Mariucci era started with a nice bang as the Lions dispatched the Cardinals 42-24 providing the first 40+ game in over three years and showcasing their new hot rookie Charles Rogers who scored two touchdowns in his first game. Ah - if only they could all be the visiting Cardinals.

Joey Harrington threw 17 of 30 for 195 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Rogers ended with only four catches for 38 yards while Bill Schroeder turned in four catches for 36 yards and one score. Toss in an endzone pass to Cory Schlessinger for the quartet and life is good in Motor City.

The rushing game was less impressive. Olandis Gary was the primary rusher with 44 yards on 12 carries and Shawn Bryson only managed eight yards on five carries though he had 41 yards on three catches. Gary will continue as the primary rusher but the Lions were happy with using Bryson on passing downs. Since the running game is not yet effective and the Lions need to control the ball to prevent teams rolling up scores on them, Harrington will be using more short passing in replacement of rushing which will keep Bryson on the field enough to negate what a true full-time Gary could do.

The Detroit special teams returned a punt for one score and Dre Bly returned an interception for 48 yards and another score. It was a great way to usher in a new era with a win even if they gave up 458 yards of offense and allowed a second round rookie to set the all-time receiving record for a first game played. The Lions just signed CB Otis Smith a week ago and CB Alex Molden this Monday to shore up a secondary that was terrible on Sunday.

The Packers experienced a nightmare on Sunday when they lost to the Vikings 30-25 in a game that Brett Favre threw four interceptions and lost Donald Driver (neck) and Robert Ferguson (ankle/knee). Driver has a neck strain and a slight concussion and is very unlikely to play this Sunday. Ferguson had an MRI which only showed a strain to his ligaments and he is not yet ruled out for Sunday. The Packers also lost Karsten Bailey due to a hamstring injury.

So far that leaves only Javon Walker and Antonio Chatman as healthy options though the Packers are searching the streets for free agent receivers with West Coast experience.

Ahman Green only managed 53 yards on 15 carries though he scored twice late in the game and added seven catches for 62 yards. Green also had his first fumble in 248 carries. It was that sort of game for the Packers.

Green Bay was already in trouble before the injuries came and will not be back to strength in time for this weekend. Can it be a turning the soil of the NFC North? Not yet. Look for Favre to bounce back even if he doesn't have Driver to use. The Lions are bound to improve under Mariucci but without a rushing game and now on the road to an embarrassed Packerland, the Lions will not have the same field position or weak defense to exploit. The Packers allowed the Vikings to take the game from them and then with injuries were unable to mount a comeback.

Ahman Green will get plenty of use in this game while Favre sorts out the receiving picture. The absence of a running game will make the Lions more open to mistakes that the Packers can capitalize on and though this game will be closer than the 40-14 blowout last season, the Packers will use this game to get back on their feet.

DET
GB
2003 Averages
GB
DET
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
195
195
Pass yards
248
363
4
3
Pass TDs
1
3
0
50
Interceptions
4
1
-1
0
Rush yards
0
12
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
66
89
Rush yards
61
95
0
0
Rush TDs
2
0
78
19
Receive yards
62
17
1
1
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
74
173
Receive yards
164
281
3
2
Receive TD's
1
2
---
---
TE's
---
---
43
3
Receive yards
22
65
0
0
Receive TD's
0
1
---
---
PK's
---
---
0
3
Field Goals
1
1
7
3
Extra Points
3
3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1
1
Fumbles
3
0
2
4
Interceptions
0
0
2
0
Touchdowns
0
0
2
1
Sacks
2
0
0
0
Safeties
0
0

 

Lions(1-0)
Score Opp.
42-24 ARZ
Week 2 @GB
Week 3 MIN
Week 4 @DEN
Week 5 @SF
Week 6 BYE
Week 7 DAL
Week 8 @CHI
Week 9 OAK
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @SEA
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 GB
Week 14 SD
Week 15 @KC
Week 16 @CAR
Week 17 STL
Packers (0-1)
Score Opp.
25-30 MIN
Week 2 DET
Week 3 @ARZ
Week 4 @CHI
Week 5 SEA
Week 6 KC
Week 7 @STL
Week 8 BYE
Week 9 @MIN
Week 10 PHI
Week 11 @TB
Week 12 SF
Week 13 @DET
Week 14 CHI
Week 15 @SD
Week 16 @OAK
Week 17 DEN
(Statistics are game averages from current season )