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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 22, 2004
Season Ticket
Friday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
GB at MIN CHI at DET ATL at NO * NE at NYJ * CLE at MIA
Saturday NYG at CIN * BAL at PIT BUF at SF * Mon 9 PM
DEN at TEN 8:30 HOU at JAX * CAR at TB WAS at DAL PHI at STL
OAK at KC 5 * SD at IND * Good Luck!!! ARZ at SEA *updated
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 220,2
RB Nick Goings 80 10 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 30 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 80,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 30 0
WR Keary Colbert 0 60,1 0
PK John Kasay 2 FG 2 XP -
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 0 0 270,2
RB Michael Pittman 70 60 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 10 0
WR Michael Clayton 0 80,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 30 0
WR Joey Galloway 0 70,1 0
PK Jay Taylor 1 FG 2 XP -

CAR (6-8) vs TB (5-9)

Game Prediction: CAR 20, TB 17

This is a rematch of week 12 when the Panthers won 21-14 at home.

Pre-Game Notes - CAR

After a five game winning streak the Panthers finally were unable to pull out a late win in Atlanta and lost in overtime 34-31 last Saturday. With the loss, they are now most likely out of the playoffs officially though in the NFC this season, stranger things have happened.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme comes off his biggest game of the season when he threw for 340 yards and two scores last week against the Falcons. He's passed for at least one touchdown in each of the last eight games and only once fallen below 200 yards in that time. Delhomme had 213 yards and two scores in his last meeting against the Buccaneers.

Running Backs: Nick Goings finally broke his streak of 100+ yard games when he ended with 61 yards on 24 carries in Atlanta but he did score once and added 29 yards on three receptions. Goings ran for 106 yards on 23 carries in the week 12 meeting against the Bucs and did not score in that game.

Wide Receivers: Not unlike every opponent, the Falcons knew that the Muhsin Muhammad show was coming to town last week and still could only hold him to 10 catches for 135 yards and one score. Both Keary Colbert and Ricky Proehl did little in the game with only around 40 yards each and only accounted for three receptions between both of them. Back in week 12, Muhammad had his only bad production in the last eight games when the Bucs held him to only 52 yards on two catches with no scores. Colbert actually led receivers with 74 yards and two scores in that game and that has been about the last time that he has done anything this season.

Tight Ends: Kris Mangum comes off his best game of the year when he caught four passes for 53 yards and one score last week but he also had 44 yards on three catches in the previous matchup with the Buccaneers. The Panthers don't often use the tight ends unless facing a secondary which is taking the wideouts out of the picture and Delhomme has to throw which is likely this week.

Match Against the Defense: Nick Goings already had a 100 yard game against the Bucs but this time the running should be a bit tougher against the home version of Tampa Bay. Expect a solid game but he's not likely to score since only Tomlinson has managed that in the last five games against the Bucs.

Delhomme is throwing very well and should be a lock to throw for at least two scores which falls into line with what he has been doing and what the Bucs have been allowing lately. Look for yardage to remain fairly moderate. The only bad game that Muhammad had in the last six weeks was against the Buccaneers and last time it meant that Colbert scored two times. Expect more of a split this week.

Pre-Game Notes - TB

The Buccaneers lost another game last week, this time to the visiting Saints and yet at 6-8 they are still not eliminated from a wild card bid.

Quarterback: Maybe Brian Griese was just over due for a bad game or maybe the Saints actually have magically produced a defense overnight, but for whatever the reason, Griese's 118 yards and one score with one interception was a major disappointment. It was actually the second down game for Griese in the last three weeks which made even more surprising since Galloway has really improved the last three weeks.

Griese had a huge game in the last meeting in Carolina when he threw for 347 yards and two scores.

Running Backs: Michael Pittman comes off his biggest yardage of the season when he ran for 131 yards on 24 carries against the Saints though he never scored. It was his first 100 yard game in the past month. In the last meeting with the Panthers, Pittman was held to only 29 yards on 18 carries but he had an incredible eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns - the best performance by a running back in the passing game for this season in the NFL.

Wide Receivers: Michael Clayton's hot streak earlier this year is still sputtering with only four catches for 53 yards last week and only 15 yards three weeks ago. The problem is less about Clayton, he's just not getting nearly the same amount of passes now that Joey Galloway has been a bigger factor during the last three weeks. Galloway has scored four times in those last three games and accounted for 19 passes and 11 completions by Griese that used to head to Clayton.

Clayton had eight catches for 77 yards the last time against the Panthers while Joey Galloway only managed 34 yards on three catches in the final game before he began to reassume his productive ways this season.

Tight Ends: They never matter here anymore. The tight ends only had two catches last meeting with the Panthers.

Match Against the Defense: This will be interesting. The Panthers have been tough against the run in most games but occasionally allow monster games. There is little middle ground and the Panthers handled Pittman easy enough last time.

Griese had the biggest game allowed by the Panthers to any quarterback this season with his 347 yards only four games ago and yet Griese has struggled since then. Figure since this is a home game that the Bucs will play better defense and rushing which will depress his passing from the last game anyway. But he should manage two scores here - the Panthers have allowed as much in three of the last four games.

CAR TB 2004 Averages TB CAR
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
241
180
Pass yards
231
226
1.6
1.2
Pass TDs
1.4
1.0
1.1
1.1
Interceptions
1.0
1.7
4
16
Rush yards
4
14
0.1
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
94
105
Rush yards
92
106
0.6
0.6
Rush TDs
0.6
1.1
40
29
Receive yards
46
40
0.2
0.1
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
166
114
Receive yards
151
154
0.9
0.9
Receive TD's
0.9
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
36
Receive yards
34
45
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.1
Field Goals
1.1
1.4
2.1
2.1
Extra Points
2.1
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
0.9
Fumbles
0.9
0.6
1.6
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
1.1
0.1
0.4
Touchdowns
0.3
0.2
2.1
2.7
Sacks
3.1
1.9
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Panthers (6-8)
Score Opp.
14-24 GB
28-17 @KC
Week 3 bye
10-27 ATL
17-20 @DEN
8-30 @PHI
6-17 SD
17-23 @SEA
24-27 OAK
37-27 @SF
35-10 ARI
21-14 TB
32-21 @NO
20-7 STL
31-34 @ATL
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 NO
Buccaneers (5-9)
Score Opp.
10-16 @WAS
6-10 SEA
20-30 @OAK
13-16 DEN
20-17 @NO
21-28 @STL
19-7 CHI
Week 8 bye
34-31 KC
14-24 @ATL
35-3 SF
14-21 @CAR
27-0 ATL
24-31 @SD
17-21 NO
Week 16 CAR
Week 17 @ARI