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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CHI at GB IND at TEN TB at NO KC at DEN CAR at ATL
CIN at BAL OAK at PIT WAS at NYG MIA at NE Mon 9 PM
DAL at PHI SD at DET Sun 4 PM NYJ at BUF STL at CLE
HOU at JAX SEA at MIN ARZ at SF *updated Times EST
   
Arizona vs San Francisco Sun, Dec 7; 4 PM on FOX at San Francisco Stadium
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Blake 20 0 240,1
RB Emmitt Smith (-2) 10 0
RB Marcel Shipp 40 10 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 50 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 30 0
WR Bryant Johnson 0 50 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 70,1 0
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 10 0 250,2
RB Garrison Hearst D D D
RB Kevan Barlow 100,1 10 0
TE Jed Weaver 0 10 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 110,1 0
WR Tai Streets 0 40 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 50,1 0

Game Prediction: ARZ 7, SF 27

This is a replay of week eight when the Cardinals beat the 49ers 16-13. The key here is that both teams have not won a road game this season and San Francisco has lost only once at home. They have a score to settle and may not be able to beat any other teams on their schedule (@CIN, @PHI, SEA) so this may be as good as it gets.

The 49ers have scored from 24 to 30 points in their last three home games and the Cardinals have never scored more than 15 on the road this entire season after week one.

Arizona Notes

Cardinals are yanked down to 3-9 with their drubbing by the Bears. They have lost their last four games.

Quarterbacks::Jeff Blake comes off a 163 yard effort in Chicago with no touchdowns but two interceptions and one lost fumble. In the last seven games, Blake has either thrown two touchdowns (4) or has no scores with less than 164 yards passing (3). There is no middle ground for Blake.

In the previous game against the 49ers, Blake only had 97 yards passing. With him, the question is if he will have a great game or a stinker.

Running Backs: Marcel Shipp ran for 165 yards on 35 carries the last time he faced the 49ers but has not reached the 100 mark in the past four games. His last two road games have resulted in either 23 or 34 yards rushing.

Emmitt Smith returned last week but only had one carry for a three yard loss and caught one pass for a five yard gain.

Receivers: Since the Bears were able to cover Anquan Boldin (4-33), Blake resorted to finding Freddie Jones for six catches and 62 yards. No other receiver mattered last week and once Boldin is stopped the entire scheme falls apart. In week three, the 49ers held Boldin to only 29 yards on three catches which was tops for any receiver in that game.

Match against the Defense: The Cardinals are a horrible road team and the numbers always bear that out. Expect that the Cardinals will be unable to run against a team that they embarrassed two months ago. The 49ers have never allowed any runner to gain over 64 yards as a visitor and will certainly have it out for Shipp for ripping them on the road.

A lack of rushing should perk up the passing numbers and the 49ers have allowed a passing score to all opponents this season. That means Boldin has to score since no other wideout has scored since week seven except Bryant Johnson once a few weeks ago. Boldin has four scores in that time.

San Francisco Notes

The 49ers fall to 5-7 on the season with their spanking by the Ravens.

Quarterbacks:: Jeff Garcia finally regained the start last week and then threw for only 112 yards and four interceptions. The 49ers are continually humbled on the road and Garcia was unable to do anything against the same defense that Seattle shredded the previous week.

Still, the 49ers braintrust think that Garcia gives them the best chance to win so he will get one more start against the same defense that he only produced 153 passing yards in Arizona in week eight. Back at home against the Cardinals he will be better. They always are.

Running Backs: Garrison Hearst tore the meniscus in his right knee during the second quarter of the 49ers loss to the Ravens and will not play this week. Kevan Barlow gets the starting nod this week and should see ample carries.

Receivers: Obviously with only 112 yards to share, not much was happening with this crew last week. Terrell Owens only had 23 yards on three receptions and failed to score for the first time in four games. Coincidentally perhaps, those three previous games were all under Rattay. Owens has not caught a Garcia pass for a score since week seven. Owens had six catches for 53 yards against the Cardinals a month ago but should see more numbers this week.

Tai Streets finally bottomed out last week when he had no catches against the Ravens. In his last six games he has never had more than 34 yards receiving though he has scored twice during that time.

Match against the Defense: You can basically throw out the last game in Arizona as any clue to this one. Both teams are clueless on the road and San Francisco has lost only once at home.

Expect that Kevan Barlow will follow the proud tradition of Brock Forsey and run well against the visiting Cardinals. This is a golden opportunity for him and a great way to pump up his name for next season.

Garcia should also score since every road game by Arizona has yielded more than one touchdown by the pass. They have yielded 16 passing scores on the road in only six games. They have not allowed less than 280 yards passing in the last three games.

Since Owens has been the only receiver to perform well (when they actually are doing well), he should be a lock for one score and maybe two since three other receivers have scored twice against the Cardinals.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
ARZ Scores
21
32
25
12
24
22
SF Allows
23
14
28
14
8
6
ARZ AP
2
-18
3
2
-16
-16
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
SF Scores
11
21
15
28
19
13
ARZ Allows
31
16
32
5
32
30
SF AP
20
-5
17
-23
13
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.
ARZ
SF
2003 Game Averages
SF
ARZ
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
185
228
Pass yards
201
241
1
1.5
Pass TDs
1.1
1.5
1.4
1.5
Interceptions
1.2
0.9
17
9
Rush yards
16
10
0.2
0.1
Rush TDs
0.3
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
77
95
Rush yards
111
94
0
0.6
Rush TDs
0.3
0.6
24
37
Receive yards
36
39
0.1
0
Receive TD's
0.1
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
123
162
Receive yards
144
176
0.7
1.2
Receive TD's
0.9
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
38
29
Receive yards
20
26
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.2
Field Goals
1.5
1.9
1.4
2.3
Extra Points
1.9
2.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.4
0.3
Fumbles
0.5
0.7
1.2
1.3
Interceptions
1.5
1.2
0.2
0.1
Touchdowns
0.1
0.4
1.3
1.9
Sacks
2.1
1.8
0
0
Safeties
0
0.2
49ers (5-7)
Score Opp.
49-7 CHI
24-27 @STL
12-13 CLE
7-35 @MIN
24-17 DET
19-20 @SEA
24-7 TB
13-16 @ARZ
30-10 STL
Week 10 BYE
30-14 PIT
10-20 @GB
6-44 @BAL
Week 14 ARZ
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @PHI
Week 17 SEA
Cardinals (3-9)
Score Opp.
24-42 @DET
0-38 SEA
20-13 GB
13-37 @STL
7-24 @DAL
18-26 BAL
Week 7 BYE
16-13 SF
17-14 CIN
15-28 @PIT
6-44 @CLE
27-30 STL
3-28 @CHI
Week 14 @SF
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 MIN

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points