fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    
HOME ARTICLES NEWS DRAFT GUIDE REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS NFL TEAMS MESSAGE BOARDS

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
2005
Divisional
Round
Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday
4:30 P.M. 8 P.M. 1 P.M. 4:30 P.M.
NYJ at PIT STL at ATL MIN at PHI IND at NE
  St. Louis Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 300,2
RB Marshall Faulk 50 20 0
RB Steven Jackson 30 10 0
TE B. Manumaleuna 0 10 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 100,1 0
WR Torry Holt 0 120,1 0
WR Shaun McDonald 0 40 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 2 FG 2 XP -
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 80,1 0 160,1
RB Warrick Dunn 90,1 20 0
RB T.J. Duckett 50,1 10 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 50,1 0
WR Dez White 0 20 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 4 XP -

STL (8-8) vs ATL (11-5)

Game Prediction: STL 20, ATL 31

(Line - Falcons by 7)

The Rams had won the last seven meetings until earlier this season in week two when the Falcons won 34-17. In that game the Rams were completely unable to run the ball - Faulk had 12 carries for only 20 yards while Steven Jackson had only three runs for 10 yards. It was Bulger who still had some success, throwing for 285 yards and one score. In that matchup, the only two players for St. Louis that had any success were, of course, Isaac Bruce (8-102) and Torry Holt (9-121, 1 TD). No other player had more than 40 yards in that game.

Michael Vick ran for 109 yards that week on only 12 carries while Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett split carries to gain 97 yards and two scores. It was mainly ball control with Vick popping off long runs at will. The only receiver of note was FB Justin Griffith who had 78 yards and one touchdown.

Breaking down where these teams have headed in the last 15 weeks shows actually little movement in either team other than better running by Steven Jackson and the loss of Griffith by the Falcons. There's no reason why Bulger shouldn't throw for at least 275 yards and two scores here - maybe more even more yardage in particular. The Falcons have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards this season which includes the record 499 yards they yielded to the Broncos. Holt gets the same matchup that Muhammad (135, 1 TD) and Rod Smith (208, 1 TD) both had fun against.

It's not likely that the Rams can rush for over 100 yards since only four runners have managed as much all season and both Jackson and Faulk will figure in here. As always, it will be all about the pass with the Rams and they should manage some decent success with a healthy cast that includes not only Holt and Bruce, but a mixture of Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald.

The Falcons enter the game healthy though Vick has not played a full game in three weeks now and Duckett is returning from injury after missing two weeks and then only carrying the ball eight times in the final game, There's no big secret in how the Falcons offense will run - lots of rushing by Dunn, Duckett and Vick with only enough passing to keep the chains moving.

The Rams were very effective in stopping Shawn Alexander last week but had already been ripped for 326 yards in the two previous games. St. Louis was intent on stopping Alexander last week and succeeded since the Seahawks were unable to keep up with little more than Darrell Jackson to provide the offensive push. But the Rams have allowed opposing runners to gain over 100 yards eight times this season and the ability to stop the run is their Achilles heel this year. While they were able to focus on stopping Alexander last week, this time they have three runners to worry about.

The Rams have been pretty good against tight ends this season and Crumpler is the only real weapon in the passing game, but the Rams did not face many of the truly good receiving tight ends this year. It was St. Louis that allowed Eric Johnson to catch 10 passes for 113 yards in week 4 and Mark Campbell had three touchdowns against the Rams in week 11.

This game matches up to pit the STL passing game against the ATL rushing attack. While both sides will have some success, the rested Falcons at home should manage to control the game with their three headed running scheme and eventually force the Rams into abandoning the running game to catch up. That only gives the opportunistic Falcon defense yet another edge.

 

STL ATL 2004 Averages ATL STL
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
288
240
Pass yards
165
210
1.4
1.2
Pass TDs
0.9
1.4
1.4
1.2
Interceptions
1.0
0.4
6
3
Rush yards
58
15
0.2
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
95
97
Rush yards
106
118
0.5
1.1
Rush TDs
1.1
0.7
37
40
Receive yards
35
40
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
249
158
Receive yards
83
136
1.4
0.8
Receive TD's
0.4
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
14
42
Receive yards
51
37
0.1
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.0
Field Goals
1.1
1.9
2.0
2.4
Extra Points
2.5
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.9
Fumbles
0.9
1.1
0.4
0.9
Interceptions
1.1
1.4
0.2
0.1
Touchdowns
0.4
0.4
2.3
3.1
Sacks
3.0
3.1
0.0
0.1
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Rams (8-8)
Score Opp.
17-10 ARI
17-34 @ATL
25-28 NO
24-14 @SF
33-27 @SEA
28-21 TB
14-31 @MIA
Week 8 bye
22-40 NE
23-12 SEA
17-37 @BUF
17-45 @GB
16-6 SF
7-20 @CAR
7-31 @ARI
20-7 PHI
32-29 NYJ
Falcons (11-5)
Score Opp.
21-19 @SF
34-17 STL
6-3 ARI
27-10 @CAR
10-17 DET
21-20 SD
10-56 @KC
41-28 @DEN
Week 9 bye
24-14 TB
14-10 @NYG
24-21 NO
0-27 @TB
35-10 OAK
34-31 CAR
13-26 @NO
26-28 @SEA