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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 10
November 5, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM TB at CAR Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Weeks
ARZ at PIT HOU at CIN TB at CAR BAL at STL Denver
ATL at NYG IND at JAX MIN at SD Mon 9 PM New England
CHI at DET MIA at TEN BUF at DAL PHI at GB New Orleans
CLE at KC SEA at WAS NYJ at OAK *updated San Francisco
   
Philadelphia vs Green Bay Mon, Nov 10; 9 PM on ABC at Lambeau Field
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 20 0 180,1
RB Duce Staley 20 0 0
RB Brian Westbrook Q Q Q
RB Correll Buckhalter 70,1 10 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 30 0
WR James Thrash 0 50 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 30 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 40,1 0
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 230,1
RB Ahman Green 100,2 30 0
TE Wesley Walls 0 20,1 0
WR Javon Walker 0 50 0
WR Donald Driver 0 80 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 30 0

Game Prediction: PHI 19, GB 24

The Eagles have been a good road team this season and the Packers lost at home to both the Vikings and the Chiefs. But Green Bay has the look of a team that is peaking (though it could prove early) and the Eagles are still struggling to regain lost form. Green Bay is also coming off a huge emotional win against the Vikes in a game that they had to win.

There should be plenty of running in this game but Green Bay will likely be more successful. And if the game has to move to passing, the Packers are a clear favorite.

Philadelphia Notes

The Eagles rise to 5-3 with their win over the Falcons.

Quarterbacks: Sit down. Try to remain calm. Donovan McNabb threw for 312 yards and a touchdown to the wideout last week. Sorry - I'll try to remember to wait until you have swallowed your coffee next time. Here's a towel.

McNabb completed 21 of 33 passes last week. He even ran for 22 yards on two scrambles. He threw to ten different receivers. Granted, the only one that really did much was the rookie tight end with one long pass, but after throwing for 126 (DAL), 64 (NYG) and 141 (NYJ), a 312 yard passing day is more than a little notable. Okay, granted that the Falcons had benched their entire starting secondary, but that one game rocketed the Eagles up to 30th in passing.

McNabb did bruise his back in the game but x-rays showed no damage. He is expected to play this week.

Running backs: With Brian Westbrook out with an ankle injury, the rushing load last week was primary shouldered by Correll Buckhalter (23-92) and Duce Staley (3-14) was given one short touchdown run. Westbrook's status will likely not be made public until Thursday after the team gets a look at him and holds their normal press day on Thursday. I am assuming that he is still out pending more information. It is likely that he will miss his second game.

Wide Receivers: Last week Freddie Mitchell did what was thought impossible. He scored while wearing a jersey number that started with "8". It was obvious that the Eagles were trying out this new passing thing against a phantom secondary and James Thrash (4-69) and Todd Pinkston (2-15) had their typical five passes in a game. They just managed to catch them this time.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith had six catches for 97 yards last week and is developing nicely. Since Chad Lewis is down to only about one catch per game, he is going quietly in that good night.

Match against the defense: Now here is an interesting little matchup. Though the Packers will not be so kind as to bench their secondary, they are still one of the worst teams against the pass. In the last three games, they have allowed eight passing touchdowns and 872 passing yards. Then again, the Eagles are not exactly the Rams, Chiefs or Vikings.

The place where Green Bay is softest has been on the corners but Thrash and Pinkston have not been exactly lighting it up lately (read - previous ten months). Since Gonzalez (121-1) did well against the Packers, there is hope that Smith can turn in a good game.

The Packers have a pretty good rush defense though not great and the Eagles will look to pound the ball more this week and forget all the fun of the Atlanta game. Philly's best shot is to have sound defense, slow the game down and chew up the clock.

Green Bay Notes

The Packers rise to 4-4 on the season with their win over the Vikings.

Quarterbacks: Brett Favre threw for three touchdowns last week even though he had a broken thumb. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 194 yards and was only sacked once. Being the backup quarterback in Green Bay has to be the most cushy job on the planet.

Running backs: Ahman Green shredded the Vikings for 137 yards on 21 carries and added 52 more yards on five catches with one touchdown. Last week Tony Fisher and Najeh Davenport combined for ten carries and 81 yards as well. The Packers feature the most dominating rushing game in the league right now and while normally that would be a concern that the running back will get worn out - get this - Green only carries about 20 times a game anyway. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Wide Receivers: The biggest news last week was that Javon Walker had two touchdowns. He had gone three games without a score and the previous week he only had one catch for 26 yards. Against the Vikings, he only had one catch for 18 yards other than the two scores. Favre has been spreading the ball around so well that no one receiver has been notable. Walker gets that because of the two scores and while he is developing as a receiver, last week was more the aberration than the norm. Robert Ferguson did not have any catches last week which may have been a result of his illegal motion penalty that called back a Driver touchdown.

Tight Ends: Last week the only tight end with a catch was David Martin. Wesley Walls is a factor now and apparently to the detriment of Bubba Franks. Too much sharing of the wealth here to make any one matter.

Match against the defense: The first consideration is how well Philly will be able to stop Ahman Green.

The Eagles allowed Curtis Martin to gain 110 yards and that does not bode well against the Packers. The duo of Barber and Levens had 143 yards rushing three weeks ago. The Eagles ranking has been helped by facing several poor rushing teams but the Packers will have some success here.

Philadelphia has improved against the pass with the return of several starters to the secondary but Favre is red hot right now and the Packers passing scheme is complex enough to cause problems.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
PHI Scores
30
2
31
19
15
10
GB Allows
32
18
30
27
31
5
PHI AP
2
16
-1
8
16
-5
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
GB Scores
9
1
25
8
8
30
PHI Allows
19
10
14
6
20
12
GB AP
10
9
-11
-2
-12
-18
Offensive ranks lower = gains more points, Defensive ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advatage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
PHI
GB
2003 Game Averages
GB
PHI
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
164
258
Pass yards
226
219
0.7
1.5
Pass TDs
2.2
0.7
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
0.8
0.8
18
22
Rush yards
0
12
-0.2
0.5
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
119
100
Rush yards
153
88
1.5
0.7
Rush TDs
1.3
0.5
36
30
Receive yards
67
42
0.5
0.2
Receive TD's
1.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
84
180
Receive yards
120
155
0.2
1.0
Receive TD's
0.7
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
43
48
Receive yards
39
22
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.5
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
2.2
Field Goals
1.5
2.0
2.5
2.8
Extra Points
3.5
1.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.3
Fumbles
0.2
0.5
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
0.3
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0.2
2.2
1.2
Sacks
1.8
3.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Eagles (5-3)
Score Opp.
0-17 TB
10-31 NE
Week 3 BYE
23-13 @BUF
27-25 WAS
21-23 @DAL
14-10 @NYG
24-17 NYJ
23-16 @ATL
Week 10 @GB
Week 11 NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @CAR
Week 14 DAL
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 SF
Week 17 @WAS
Packers (4-4)
Score Opp.
25-30 MIN
31-6 DET
13-20 @ARZ
38-23 @CHI
35-13 SEA
34-40 KC
24-34 @STL
Week 8 BYE
30-27 @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

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points