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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at TB 1 BAL at CLE NYG at DAL ARZ at SEA DEN at IND
KC at MIN 5 CIN at STL NO at JAX SD at PIT Mon 9 PM
NE at NYJ 8:30 DET at CAR TEN at HOU SF at PHI GB at OAK
Times EST MIA at BUF WAS at CHI *updated
   
Detroit vs Carolina Sun, Dec 21; 1 PM on FOX at Ericsson Stadium
  Detroit at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 190
RB Shawn Bryson 50 10 0
RB Artose Pinner 30 10 0
TE Mikhael Ricks 0 20 0
WR Bill Schroeder 0 30 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 70 0
WR David Kircus 0 20 0
  Carolina vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 220,1
RB De'Shaun Foster 80,1 10 0
TE Wiggins/Mangum 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 40 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40 0
WR Steve Smith 0 90,1 0

Game Prediction: DET 6, CAR 20

Here we go - a chance at history. The Lions can set the record for road futility with their 23rd consecutive loss and the only way that does not happen is that the Panthers rest most of their team and HC John Fox gives Mariucci a gift. It might not even happen then.

Detroit Notes

The Lions tuck away another loss and fall to 4-10. They can make history this week with their 23rd consecutive road loss.

Quarterbacks:: As if things would not become bleaker for the Lions, Mariucci has decided that he needs to see Mike McMahon in action to determine if he is a keeper next season. So expect that Joey Harrington may give way to McMahon, particularly if the game gets out of hand.

Running Backs: Shawn Bryson ran well last week, gaining 105 yards and one score on 18 carries against the always soft Chiefs run defense. Artose Pinner took nine carries and gained 26 yards and should see more action in the final two games. Olandis Gary was not used in the game.

Receivers: Az-Zahir Hakim scored his third touchdown of the season last week against the Chiefs and his 72 yards was actually the best he has done. Somehow Bill Schroeder has had at least six throws in each of the past five games and still never managed to catch more than four nor gain more than 44 yards.

Match against the Defense: This is a bad equation.

One of the worst rushing teams goes on the road to face a top ten rushing defense. Look for Bryson to share more with Pinner but for neither of them to really matter this week.

The Panthers can give up passing yardage, but with a potentially changing quarterback situation and no real receivers anyway it just adds up to loss #23. Pity.

Carolina Notes

The Panthers rise to 9-5 and have clinched the NFC south. They now have nothing to play for since they will undoubtedly be playing in week one of the playoffs anyway.

Quarterbacks:: Jake Delhomme comes off his fourth straight game with a touchdown and threw for 236 yards against the Cardinals. He continues to have problems with turnovers, losing six in the last three games.

Running Backs: With little to win (or worry about), the Panthers will likely hold Stephen Davis out this week since he reinjured his ankle and tweaked his knee last Sunday. In his place, De'Shaun Foster should get the starting nod. Foster has scored only once this season last week on a pass and his best effort was against the Colts when he gained 85 yards on 16 carries.

Receivers: Steve Smith had 99 yards on nine catches last week while Muhsin Muhammad only managed 11 yards on one reception. That was Smith's best production since week eight of the season and with Detroit coming to town, Smith should see a nice bump to his stats this week.

Match against the Defense: The Panthers intend on resting several players which could have an effect on the game. Davis is most likely out which will allow Foster to face the team that just allowed Holmes to score twice. Most runners do not top 100 with the Lions since throwing is so much easier and quicker to score. But with a chance to see Foster more, the Panthers may elect to run more.

Delhomme faces a secondary that can be beaten in so many ways that choosing one is a problem. Most teams throw for around 200 yards and two scores against the Lions and the most likely scorer is whoever the quarterback likes the best.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
DET Scores
20
27
18
8
31
20
CAR Allows
25
8
14
19
13
15
DET AP
5
-19
-4
11
-18
-5
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CAR Scores
18
21
12
28
11
13
DET Allows
31
31
8
31
6
20
CAR AP
13
10
-4
3
-5
7
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.
DET
CAR
2003 Game Averages
CAR
DET
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
208
187
Pass yards
219
263
1.0
1.0
Pass TDs
1.0
1.6
1.6
1.0
Interceptions
1.2
1.0
13
41
Rush yards
3
20
0.0
0.4
Rush TDs
0.2
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
79
85
Rush yards
91
102
0.4
0.8
Rush TDs
0.6
1.0
37
29
Receive yards
32
74
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.4
0.6
---
---
WR's
---
---
126
124
Receive yards
174
137
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
0.4
0.4
---
---
TE's
---
---
45
35
Receive yards
13
52
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.4
1.4
Field Goals
1.8
0.4
2.4
2.2
Extra Points
1.8
4.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
1.2
Fumbles
0.8
0.2
1.0
1.2
Interceptions
1.0
1.6
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.2
0.6
1.4
1.0
Sacks
2.8
0.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Lions(4-10)
Score Opp.
42-24 ARZ
6-31 @GB
13-23 MIN
16-20 @DEN
17-24 @SF
Week 6 BYE
7-38 DAL
16-24 @CHI
23-13 OAK
12-10 CHI
14-35 @SEA
14-24 @MIN
22-14 GB
7-14 SD
17-45 @KC
Week 16 @CAR
Week 17 STL
Panthers (9-5)
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
16-25 PHI
14-20 @ATL
20-17 @ARZ
Week 16 DET
Week 17 @NYG

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points using only the last five games played