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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 13
November 26, 2003
Season Ticket
Thu 12:30 Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at DET ARZ at CHI MIN at STL CLE at SEA TB at JAX
Thu 4:05 ATL at HOU NE at IND NO at WAS Mon 9 PM
MIA at DAL BUF at NYG PHI at CAR DEN at OAK TEN at NYJ
*updated CIN at PIT SF at BAL KC at SD Times EST
   
Philadelphia vs Carolina Sun, Nov 30; 1 PM on FOX at Ericsson Stadium
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 30 0 200,1
RB Duce Staley 40 20 0
RB Brian Westbrook 40,1 40 0
RB Correll Buckhalter 20 0 0
TE Chad Lewis 0 30 0
WR James Thrash 0 30,1 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 20 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 40 0
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 230,1
RB Stephen Davis 100,1 0 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 60 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40,1 0
WR Steve Smith 0 80 0

Game Prediction: PHI 17, CAR 20

This is a coin flip game.

The Eagles are playing very well now but are on the road with a six game winning streak while the Panthers are back at home and mad about their loss in Dallas. The Eagle defense is not as good as Dallas but gets the job done. The slight advantage will be Delhomme having an easier time throwing and the Eagles inability to move the ball quickly at the end of the game.

Philadelphia Notes

The Eagles rise to 8-3 and remain tied with the Cowboys in the AFC East. They have won their last six games.

Quarterbacks:: Donovan McNabb continues to resume his role as topflight quarterback last week when he completed 16 of 25 for 259 yards and one touchdown. Just as important, he has not thrown an interception in the last four games and finally has more touchdowns (8) than interceptions (7). He hit ten different receivers last week and added 54 yards rushing on seven runs.

Running Backs: Taken individually, the Philly running backs are merely good and combined, they are playing great. Last week Brian Westbrook (9-52, 1 TD), Correll Buckhalter (7-18, 1 TD) and Duce Staley (8-77) joined up for 147 rushing yards. They also combined for six catches and 93 receiving yards. Throw in Jon Ritchie's touchdown on his only pass and there is a whole lot of production lining up being McNabb.

Receivers: Last week was a return to obscurity for the wideouts who only accounted for 99 yards and five catches. Todd Pinkston's lone catch in the game was for 48 yards and was almost half the wideouts yards on the day.

Chad Lewis and L.J. Smith combined for three catches and 65 yards and were more effective than the wideouts.

Match against the Defense: The Philly offense's diversity is what presents the biggest challenge to opponents and last week the Panthers lost in Dallas thanks to passes to the runningbacks and tight ends. The Eagles have far better ones than the Cowboys.

The Panthers have given up two passing scores in each of the last three games and two of them - TB and DAL - have similar though less productive offenses than do the Eagles.

This should prove to be a great game to watch since the Panthers are angered that they allowed the Cowboys to dink and dunk them into a loss last week but now face the master of dink and dunk. The Panthers have been very tough against the run, but which one do they worry about. If Aveion Cason can scoot through for a 15 yard score last week, Brian Westbrook should find similar success.

Carolina Notes

The Panthers fall to 8-3 but still maintain a three game lead over the Saints in the NFC West.

Quarterbacks:: Jake Delhomme turned in his lowest game in a month with only 175 yards passing and one score against one interception and this time around, he could not point at a successful ground game as the reason why passing numbers were low. Delhomme only completed nine passes in the game of 24 attempts.

Notable too is that Delhomme has faced some of the worst secondaries in the league this season but when he found himself in a game where they could not run, he was unable to connect with the pass.

Running Backs: Stephen Davis refused to talk with reporters following Sunday's game after being held to his second lowest output of the season - 59 yards on 26 carries. Davis did score once but all his big yardage games have come against very soft defenses - ATL, NO twice and HOU.

DeShaun Foster was a scratch last week but is expected to return to practice Wednesday. He may have to wear a small cast on his broken left hand.

Receivers: Last week Steve Smith turned in a respectable 73 yards on four catches and Muhsin Muhammad came back to earth with only two catches for 58 yards after having his monster 189 yard effort the previous week. The lone passing score went to FB Brad Hoover.

Kevin Dyson may suit up this week.

Match against the Defense: The Panthers should be able to establish the run here since the Eagles have given up big rushing yardage the past three weeks to McAllister (184, 2 TDs), Barber (111 yards) and Green (192 yards, 1 TD). Stephen Davis is steamed about his poor showing last week and will be extra motivated while facing a team he has played twice a year his entire career.

Jake Delhomme faces a secondary that has given up big yards the last two weeks to Collins and Brooks and FS Brian Dawkins still has a sore foot and missed last week. CB Bobby Taylor is still out with a foot injury as well and while both could be back this week, they would still be limited at best. Taylor would normally go against Muhammad on most plays so Muhsin has a chance at a better game while Smith could have some decent yardage.

Particularly thanks to Dawkins being out or being hobbled, of the six wideout scores against the Eagles, five have been from a #3 receiver this season. Ricky Proehl has as good of a chance to score here as any Panther receiver.

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
20
2
32
20
13
9
CAR Allows
18
1
22
16
12
14
PHI AP
-2
-1
-10
-4
-1
5
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CAR Scores
24
4
13
30
6
15
PHI Allows
15
22
11
11
14
5
CAR AP
-9
18
-2
-19
8
-10
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.
PHI
CAR
2003 Game Averages
CAR
PHI
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
195
205
Pass yards
216
220
0.9
1.4
Pass TDs
0.9
0.8
0.4
0.8
Interceptions
0.8
0.8
21
10
Rush yards
2
10
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
114
92
Rush yards
134
119
1.4
0.3
Rush TDs
0.8
0.7
54
28
Receive yards
32
39
0.7
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
103
141
Receive yards
160
150
0.2
1.2
Receive TD's
0.7
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
37
36
Receive yards
24
31
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.6
1.4
Field Goals
2.1
1.7
2.7
2.1
Extra Points
2.0
1.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
1.1
Fumbles
0.4
0.4
0.7
0.8
Interceptions
0.9
0.4
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.2
0.1
2.4
1.2
Sacks
2.2
2.4
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Eagles (8-3)
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
28-10 NYG
33-20 NO
Week 13 @CAR
Week 14 DAL
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 SF
Week 17 @WAS
Panthers (8-3)
Score Opp.
24-23 JAX
12-9 @TB
Week 3 BYE
23-3 ATL
19-13 NO
23-20 @IND
17-37 TEN
23-20 @NO
10-14 @HOU
27-24 TB
20-17 WAS
20-24 @DAL
Week 13 PHI
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 @ARZ
Week 16 DET
Week 17 @NYG

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points