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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 12, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARZ at CLE JAX at TEN WAS at CAR NYJ at IND DAL at NE
ATL at NO KC at CIN Sun 4 PM GB at TB Mon 9 PM
BAL at MIA NYG at PHI DET at SEA MIN at OAK PIT at SF
HOU at BUF STL at CHI SD at DEN Updated Times EST
   
NY Giants vs Philadelphia Sun, Nov 16; 1 PM on FOX at Osaka Dome
  New York Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 200,1
RB Tiki Barber 80 30 0
RB Dorsey Levens 10 0 0
TE Marcellus Rivers 0 20 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60,1 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 50 0
WR Tim Carter 0 30 0
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 0 0 150
RB Duce Staley 50,1 10 0
RB Correll Buckhalter 20 0 0
RB Brian Westbrook 70,1 10 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 20 0
WR James Thrash 0 40 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 30 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 30 0

Game Prediction: NYG 13, PHI 17

Update: Ike Hilliard is listed as questionable to play with both foot and knee injuries and has missed practice. He is still considered likely to play but I am lowering his numbers slightly on the premise that he will be more limited than normal. If he proves healthy, he has a nice matchup against Troy Vincent that he could exploit.

Correll Buckhalter is considered questionable from the shot to his ribs in last week's game and while he has not practiced, he is still likely to play. But I am lowering his numbers and raising Staley who looked sharp last week. Westbrook has improved enough to regain his punt return duties so I am more comfortable with his numbers.

Todd Pinkston is questionable to play and has not practiced. He is expected to play but I am lowering his numbers slightly.

These games are always low scoring affairs and Philly has won four of the last five matchups. If you want to run to your bookie to bet on the over-under, remember that the last three times they have played the total points were never more than 24 points.

The reality of last week is that the Giants clearly were caught looking ahead to this week but got scalped instead and lost their star tight end. The fans are calling for Fassel's head and Barber keeps fumbling. The Eagles are no offensive powerhouse but back at home with a team making fewer mistakes and getting back Westbrook, the Eagles should nip out another win.

NY Giants Notes

The Giants slink down to 4-5 on the season with their pasting by the Falcons. In case you are at the next home game and strain to understand the what the crowd is chanting, the refrain is "FI-RE FASS-EL",

Quarterbacks: Just when Kerry Collins had remembered how to throw touchdowns again and comes off two 300+ yard games with two scores in each, he turns in a 202 yard effort with two interceptions against what was considered the worst secondary in the league, made up largely of substitute players because Dan Reeves had benched the starters. As they say at the Collins family dinner table, "let's talk about something else, shall we?"

Now Collins gets to face the Eagles again after having his worst game of the year against them in week seven.

Running backs: Tiki Barber had a nice 16 carry, 120 yard rushing game last week and he had 10 catches for 38 more yards. But it will be the two fumbles he will remember from that game, adding up to five on the season for the lead in the NFL for runningbacks along with Ahman Green.

Fassel was adamant that he would not change his use of the fumble-prone Barber.

Dorsey Levens only had two carries in the game but one was for a touchdown.

Wide Receivers: Last week was supposed to be like an amusement ride for the wideouts but was more like a calculus midterm after Nickel Beer night down at the club. Amani Toomer only had four catches for 33 yards and Ike Hilliard ended with two receptions and 18 yards. Tim Carter (4-56) supplied as much production as Hilliard and Toomer and that is a bad sign.

In further bad news, the numbers of Toomer and Hilliard are pretty close to what they did the last time they met the Eagles too.

Tight Ends: As if getting smeared by the Falcons was not enough, the Giants have now learned that Jeremy Shockey is out for at least six weeks with a partial tear to his knee ligaments. Shockey had been viewed as the key to holding the offense in place and setting up the rest of the game plan. Now we get to see if Marcellus Rivers can fill in with any significance. Visanthe Shiancoe will become the new backup and worth a casual look since he was wowing the team in the preseason with his ability to catch. Right now the biggest need is someone to fall on Barber's fumbles.

Match against the defense: When these two teams last met in week seven, they had a defensive war ending with a 14-10 Philly win. Kerry Collins only threw for 174 yards and one score to Jeremy Shockey who is no longer there. Amani Toomer (4-54) and Ike Hilliard (1-11) were nonfactors in that matchup.

Tiki Barber only gained 79 yards on 19 carries in that game but had no fumbles.

This week the offense will be facing the Eagles on the road and without Shockey there, the passing numbers will be hard to improve upon from last time.

Philadelphia Notes

The Eagles win their fourth game in a row and rise to 6-3, one game behind the Cowboys.

Quarterbacks: While Donovan McNabb only completed 15 of 31 for 198 yards and a score in the driving rain of Green Bay, he also added five runs for 26 yards and a rushing touchdown as well. It was his first rushing score of the season.

Running backs: Brian Westbrook was activated for the game but only had five carries for a total of one yard gain. He should be back to better health and use this week. Duce Staley had the rushing lead with 53 yards on 10 carries and added 45 yards on two catches. Correll Buckhalter was less effective on the slow, wet field and only gained 23 yards on nine runs.

When these two team played in week seven, Westbrook had taken over the running chores and had 67 yards and one score on 15 carries with only four carries divided between Buckhalter and Staley. I am assuming that Westbrook returns to more use this week but later news about the state of his ankle could change that.

Wide Receivers: Last week's game was a change for McNabb. Instead of running backs, he threw to wideouts and gave James Thrash (2-55), Todd Pinkston (3-26, 1 TD) and even Freddie Mitchell (3-26) one of their better games this season. McNabb has gone back to liking Thrash who has been thrown at least five passes each game for the past three weeks and actually doing something with them.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith could not find the handle on any of his three throws last week and McNabb went back to looking for Chad Lewis (2-33) after pretty much ignoring him the past month. Smith remains the preferred target.

Match against the defense: These Eagle-Giant matchups are always defensive wars.

In the previous game, McNabb only had 64 yards passing and the Eagle offense had no success beyond a few Westbrook runs and an eventual Westbrook punt return for a score that won the game.

This time around the Eagles will be better offensively, at home and facing the Giants who bring less offense without Shockey and CB Ralph Brown who had replaced Will Peterson dislocated his shoulder last week and will himself be replaced by the rookie Frank Walter. That should help on the passing slightly, but this game will be all about the run and defense.

Look for the Eagles to find room to roam with Westbrook, Staley and Buckhalter and there is no reason to expect McNabb to do much passing though he is scoring on the ground again finally.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NYG Scores
8
14
12
4
24
20
PHI Allows
11
19
10
5
16
11
NYG AP
3
5
-2
1
-8
-9
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
PHI Scores
27
2
31
20
16
8
NYG Allows
5
23
15
2
4
25
PHI AP
-22
21
-16
-18
-12
17
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
NYG
PHI
2003 Game Averages
PHI
NYG
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
274
203
Pass yards
169
183
1.1
0.7
Pass TDs
0.7
1.3
1.4
0.9
Interceptions
0.6
0.9
4
12
Rush yards
19
12
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.1
0.1
---
----- 
RB's
----- 
---
106
109
Rush yards
117
110
0.6
0.6
Rush TDs
1.3
0.9
52
40
Receive yards
40
38
0.0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.4
0.1
---
----- 
WR's
----- 
---
145
141
Receive yards
87
123
1.0
0.4
Receive TD's
0.3
1.1
---
----- 
TE's
----- 
---
77
22
Receive yards
42
21
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0
0.0
---
----- 
PK's
----- 
---
1.3
1.7
Field Goals
1.4
1.0
1.9
1.7
Extra Points
2.4
2.6
---
----- 
DEF/ST
----- 
---
0.6
0.4
Fumbles
1.1
0.9
0.9
0.6
Interceptions
0.7
1.4
0.0
0.1
Touchdowns
0.3
0.3
2.6
2.7
Sacks
2.4
1.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Giants (4-5)
Score Opp.
23-13 STL
32-35 DAL
24-21 @WAS
Week 4 BYE
10-23 MIA
6-17 @NE
10-14 PHI
29-27 @MIN
31-28 @NYJ
7-27 ATL
Week 11 @PHI
Week 12 @TB
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 WAS
Week 15 @NO
Week 16 @DAL
Week 17 CAR
Eagles (6-3)
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
17-14 @GB
Week 11 NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @CAR
Week 14 DAL
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 SF
Week 17 @WAS

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points