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Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
September 19, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
STL at ATL DEN at JAX* Sun 4 PM IND at TEN Mon 9 PM
CLE at DAL* CAR at KC* SEA at TB* NYJ at SD MIN at PHI*
HOU at DET SF at NO* BUF at OAK* Times ET *updated
  Chicago Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman 10 0 210,1
RB Thomas Jones 60 40 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 30 0
WR Justin Gage 0 20 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 50,1 0
WR David Terrell 0 50 0
PK Paul Edinger 1 FG 1 XP -
  Green Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 190,1
RB Ahman Green 130,2 10 0
RB Tony Fisher 40 0 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 10 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
WR Donald Driver 0 40 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 50 0
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 3 XP -

CHI (0-1) vs GB (1-0)

Game Prediction: CHI 10, GB 30

Another NFC Central battle.... err - North battle. Whatever.

The Bears come to town wearing tee shirts that read "I'm Somebody in Detroit" while the Packers come off a very impressive road opener against the NFC Champ Panthers. Bad equation really.

Pre-Game Notes - CHI

Chicago did lose to the Lions but it was not the fault of the defense that held Detroit to only 13 points. Unfortunately with this Bear's offense in Chicago, that was enough. Same offense now goes to Green Bay where Rex Grossman may look like a deer in the headlights of a Mack truck.

Quarterback: The debut of the year of the Grossman was not an occasion for fireworks. Rex Grossman did throw for 227 yards, but lost one fumble, threw two interceptions and completed only 16 of 35 passes. Other than Thomas Jones and David Terrell, no receiver had more than one catch. Substitute Terrell for Gonzalez and this really is the KC-style offense.

Running Backs: When you give the Lions their first road win in 25 games, the effort to find a positive is made harder but to a man the Bears are pleased with what Thomas Jones has brought to the offense. He had 67 yards on 21 carries for two touchdowns and caught six passes for 38 yards. A 3.3 YPC is nothing to write home about but the two scores are rare. Running more effectively will not get any easier this week.

Wide Receivers: David Terrell should savor this week. For the first time in his somewhat tarnished career, he is "the man" in the passing game. He caught five passes for 126 yards and was flagged for taunting, in addition to making such a ruckus on the sideline that he was held out for a few plays to calm him down. This is Terrell's dream. Act however he wants because no other receiver is doing anything and he can get away with it.

Justin Gage and Bobby Wade both only had one catch. The promise of a diverse passing attack has yet to materialize to the chagrin of Terrell.

Tight Ends: Desmond Clark had one catch for 28 yards though Dustin Lyman had two throws (he caught neither). So far this is not reminding anyone of Tony Gonzalez. Clark even fumbled at the end of the one catch.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers, on the road, were able to hold Stephen Davis to only 26 yards on nine carries. Chances are Jones will need to break one to reach that level of production. David Terrell had a great game last week but now will hardly be a surprise since no other receiver is showing the ability to step up. Terrell benefited last week when Dre' Bly went out with a knee sprain.

Above all else, the Packers blitz packages should be a major problem for the Bears and be enough to prevent Jones from being a big contributor in the passing game since he'll have to block. The Packers could overlook the Bears and no one would blame them but playing in Green Bay, these Packers look like they could win big without breaking much sweat.

Pre-Game Notes - GB

The Packers have served notice to the league that this year they return all the same pieces and they are working better than ever. Everyone warned now? Good - next victim.

Quarterback: Brett Favre only threw for 143 yards and one score on Monday night because that was all he needed to do. The rushing game and blocking were so good that he finally had no need to win a game on the road and instead merely managed the plays.

Running Backs: Ahman Green was a workhorse against the Panthers feared frontline, gaining 119 yards on 33 carries and scoring twice on the ground and once on an endzone pass. Considering that the Panthers rarely give up 100 yard games, a visitor to Carolina accomplishing the feat was very impressive and Green showed power all night.

He was spelled by Tony Fisher nine times since Najeh Davenport injured his knee. Fisher will be the backup again this week and if the game progress like Monday night did, Fisher could actually post some decent numbers from the #2 spot.

Wide Receivers: Since Favre only attempted 22 passes, the numbers here were predictably low. The Packers rushed 46 times against the Panthers. They might do that again this week unless Favre cannot resist taking a few shots down the field.

Tight Ends: if you thought the wideouts were bad, why are you looking here? The Packers do not feature tight ends much now that the running game is so good and Ahman Green has now apparently even taken over the endzone catches away from Bubba Franks.

Match Against the Defense: Well, just count the ways.

The Bears defense was actually very solid against the run when they faced the Lions but on the road against a team that just put tread marks on the Panthers, it is unlikely they will manage the same success. Since the Packers should get and keep a lead the entire game, the offense will be able to choose how to proceed which will most likely be rushing.

If Favre does look downfield, he'll likely go toward the left corner where Roy Williams had success which should spell a better game for Javon Walker who had scores in both the meetings in 2003. Ahman Green gained over 260 yards and three scores in the two matchups last year.

You also have to love the chance for a defensive score in this game.

CHI GB 2003 Averages GB CHI
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
227 284 Pass yards 143 187
0 2 Pass TDs 1 1
2 1 Interceptions 0 1
21 1 Rush yards -1 6
0 1 Rush TDs 0 0
--- --- RB's --- ---
81 37 Rush yards 153 77
2 0 Rush TDs 2 0
52 63 Receive yards 22 69
0 1 Receive TD's 1 0
--- --- WR's --- ---
147 206 Receive yards 81 99
0 1 Receive TD's 0 1
--- --- TE's --- ---
26 15 Receive yards 40 19
0 0 Receive TD's 0 0
--- --- PK's --- ---
0 2 Field Goals 1 2
2 2 Extra Points 3 2
--- --- DEF/ST --- ---
0 1 Fumbles 1 2
1 1 Interceptions 1 2
0 0 Touchdowns 0 1
1 2 Sacks 2 3
1 0 Safeties 0 0
Bears (0-1)
Score Opp.
16-20 DET
Week 2 @GB
Week 3 @MIN
Week 4 PHI
Week 5 bye
Week 6 WAS
Week 7 @TB
Week 8 SF
Week 9 @NYG
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 IND
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 MIN
Week 14 @JAX
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 @DET
Week 17 GB
Packers (1-0)
Score Opp.
24-14 @CAR
Week 2 CHI
Week 3 @IND
Week 4 NYG
Week 5 TEN
Week 6 @DET
Week 7 DAL
Week 8 @WAS
Week 9 bye
Week 10 MIN
Week 11 @HOU
Week 12 STL
Week 13 @PHI
Week 14 DET
Week 15 JAX
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 @CHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points