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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 15, 2004
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
PIT at NYG 1 * BUF at CIN * SD at CLE* STL at ARZ BAL at IND *
WAS at SF 5 * HOU at CHI SEA at NYJ DEN at KC * Mon 9 PM
CAR at ATL 8:30 JAX at GB * DAL at PHI * NO at TB NE at MIA*
Times ET MIN at DET TEN at OAK * *updated Times ET
  Dallas Rush Catch Pass
QB V. Testaverde 0 0 240,1
RB Julius Jones 90,1 10 0
RB Richie Anderson 10 10 0
TE Jason Witten 0 60,1 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 60 0
WR Terrance Copper 0 50 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 40 0
PK Bill Cundiff 0 FG 2 XP -
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 20 0 250,3
RB Brian Westbrook 70,1 20 0
RB Dorsey Levens 20 0 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 30,1 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 80,1 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 30 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 70,1 0
PK David Akers 3 FG 4 XP -

DAL (5-8) vs PHI (12-1)

Game Prediction: DAL 14, PHI 37

This is a rematch of week 10 when the Eagles won 49-21.

Update: Terrell Owens is sitting out of practice with a sore back but he is expected to play. I am lowering his numbers slightly on the premise that once the Eagles have a nice lead, they won't overuse Owens knowing he needs to be healthy for the playoffs.

Pre-Game Notes - DAL

The Cowboys have discovered they have a running game and yet nothing else. Kind of reverse from last season which reflects in the standings.

Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde remains the starting quarterback for now even though the season is now officially over. As HC Bill Parcells said, there is no sense in throwing Drew Henson into this game where he'd likely do little more than ruin whatever confidence he may have left. Testaverde had 254 yards and two touchdowns in the last meeting with the Eagles with one interception.

Henson's outlook is much less rosy now and that is apparent from Parcells stating that Henson might be sent to NFL Europe like they did for Chad Hutchinson.

Running Backs: Julius Jones fell off from his torrid pace of the previous two weeks, but he still turned in 88 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown last week against the Saints. Along with the rest of the offense, it was a disappointment. In the previous game against the Eagles this season, Anderson and George combined for only 67 rushing yards on 17 carries and George scored on touchdown.

Wide Receivers: The Cowboys must have spent everything in the tank during the win in Seattle, because they come off facing a terrible secondary of New Orleans and the best Keyshawn Johnson could do was 50 yards on two catches while Terrance Copper had two passes and caught neither. Quincy Morgan was the most prolific wideout because he had three catches for 26 yards. The passing game is dying here and the Cowboys had little success with the wideouts in the last game against Philadelphia anyway. The best was Keyshawn who only had 58 yards on four catches and there were no scores from the position.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten had 59 yards on four catches last week and remains the only consistent (relatively speaking) receiver for the Cowboys. Witten had a monster game in week 10 when he last faced the Eagles. He caught nine passes for 133 yards and two scores and literally was the entire offense for the Cowboys in that game.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys were throttled by the Eagles in the last game and now they will be playing in Philadelphia. The team is down since they realize that 2004 is officially a lost cause and the first road game after that realization is rarely a good one.

Expect that Julius Jones turns in a moderate game here. He'll likely have some success rushing but not receive enough carries as the game score starts to get away from the Cowboys. Testaverde had a decent game in the last meeting with the Eagles but he does not have Terry Glenn anymore and the passing game has been looking worse. Whatever he gets will be during trash time but mostly it will go on shorter routes to Witten.

Pre-Game Notes - PHI

The Eagles are now 12-1 for the first time in franchise history and with a two game lead on the Falcons can already put it into cruise control for the next three games. They'll likely let their guard down but with only DAL, STL and CIN left, it may not matter anyway. If the Eagles do mail in a game and get caught, it won't likely be the visiting Cowboys who get that gift.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb only had one score against the Redskins last week and he has a very odd tendency to either score only once or do it four times in a game. Over the last eight games, he has four outings with four or five scores and four outings with only one score or none. Back in week 10, McNabb threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns against Dallas.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook is running well and Dorsey Levens even had a score last week. The only question for the next three games is if the Eagles want to rest up Westbrook for the playoffs. The Eagles ran with ease in the last meeting with the Cowboys - Westbrook gained 118 total yards and scored once while Levens had 73 yards and one score as well.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens had no scores last week for the second time in the last three games. Then again, his one scoring game was 161 yards against the Packers. The last meeting in Dallas produced 134 yards and three touchdowns for Owens while even Todd Pinkston had one catch for 59 yards and a score. Pinkston had 99 yards on three catches last week and is the target of at least two or three long passes a game. He just doesn't catch many of them.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith had a touchdown last week and one the previous game as well giving him five scores on the year. Chad Lewis hasn't had a catch in two games and the Eagles only used the tight ends for 12 yards on two catches in the previous matchup with the Cowboys.

Match Against the Defense: There is little reason to assume this game is much different than the first time except the Eagles have less motivation than before and at some point have to consider resting players for the post season. But that can wait one more week because a win here guarantees homefield throughout the playoffs and gives the hometown fans a win over the Cowboys. Throw in Reid's promise to wear spandex if Owens catches 15 touchdowns this season (one away) and this game still has meaning.

DAL PHI 2004 Averages PHI DAL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
228
224
Pass yards
278
242
1.2
1.0
Pass TDs
2.2
1.9
1.4
1.2
Interceptions
0.5
0.6
3
8
Rush yards
14
10
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.2
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
102
101
Rush yards
89
99
0.9
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
0.8
26
38
Receive yards
64
42
0.1
0.2
Receive TD's
0.5
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
140
139
Receive yards
171
166
0.6
0.5
Receive TD's
1.2
1.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
63
44
Receive yards
43
38
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.6
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.1
Field Goals
2.0
1.5
2.2
1.5
Extra Points
3.0
3.1
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.5
Fumbles
0.8
0.8
0.6
0.5
Interceptions
1.1
1.5
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.3
2.2
2.2
Sacks
3.2
1.9
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Cowboys (5-8)
Score Opp.
17-35 @MIN
19-12 CLE
21-18 @WAS
Week 4 bye
10-26 NYG
20-24 PIT
20-41 @GB
31-21 DET
3-26 @CIN
21-49 PHI
10-30 @BAL
21-7 CHI
42-39 @SEA
13-27 NO
Week 15 @PHI
Week 16 WAS
Week 17 @NYG
Eagles (11-1)
Score Opp.
31-17 NYG
27-16 MIN
30-13 @DET
19-9 @CHI
Week 5 bye
30-8 CAR
34-31 @CLE
15-10 BAL
3-27 @PIT
49-21 @DAL
28-6 WAS
27-6 @NYG
47-17 GB
Week 14 @WAS
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CIN