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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD Updated *
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: Green Bay 14, Atlanta 20

Hmm... Packers on the road relying on Gado and Chatman. That sounds a bit less than Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick playing at home. The Packers were never a great road team in a dome in the past when they had actual NFL-quality players on the offense and this season they have earned that 1-7 standing. The Falcons are tied with the Panthers for the NFC South lead and Vick is now crowing because he can throw for as many yards and scores in one game as Favre typically has by halftime in any game. On the road this could be a trap game but in Atlanta, the Falcon defense alone could win this game.

Green Bay Packers (1-7)
1 3-17 @DET 10 Nov 13 @ATL
2 24-26 CLE 11 Nov 21 MIN
3 16-17 TBB 12 Nov 27 @PHI
4 29-32 @CAR 13 Dec 4 @CHI
5 52-3 NOR 14 Dec 11 DET
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 19 @BAL
7 20-23 @MIN 16 Dec 25 CHI
8 14-21 @CIN 17 Jan 1 SEA
9 10-20 PIT . . MON
GBP at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 260,2
RB Sam Gado 50 10 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 30,1 0
TE Donald Lee 0 20 0
WR Donald Driver 0 90,1 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 70 0
PK Ryan Longwell 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Packers are now down to their fifth-string running back who was never drafted somehow the defenses are figuring out that covering Donald Driver might be a good idea. The amazing thing is that the Packers have been in close games but still manage to lose all but the one Saints crushing. The offense started the year with a weak offensive line and is progressively becoming a mere shell of what was only a year ago. Let anything happen to Driver or Favre and the Packers are just decide immediately what to do with that first overall pick in the NFL draft.

Quarterback: For the first time in six games, Brett Favre finally failed to throw for a score though he did lose a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Steelers. Favre ended with a season low 214 yards and even he cannot will the Packers to play well when he doesn't even know the first names of most of his teammates anymore.

Running Backs: Tony Fisher is now out for a while with a fractured rib and the Packers conveyer-belt-o-running-backs has spit out Sam Gado, the previously undrafted and unknown tailback that suddenly becomes the next starting back to be risking a season ending injury with every carry. Gado had 62 yards and one score last week but required 26 carries to get there for a less than hefty 2.4 yards per carry average. It isn't so much that Gado is slow, it's just that the other 21 players on the field are so fast. Gado will be spelled by Reshard Lee who is likely trying to reduce the deductible on his medical insurance knowing that all too soon he will be needing it.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver remains the only player that Favre consistently relies on and the only one that the secondary really cares about anymore. Antonio Chatman had 97 yards against the Bengals but only managed 43 yards on four catches last week. The good news is that Robert Ferguson is making noise that his return is imminent but likely it won't happen until week eleven if not week twelve. Favre has done a nice job spreading the wealth to the ever-changing cast of receivers but Driver is the only player with enough consistency to be worth a weekly fantasy start.

Tight Ends: David Martin has missed the last two games with a strained groin and Favre has been using Bubba Franks and Donald Lee more. Franks had 84 yards and one score in the last two games and Lee had 37 yards and a touchdown in that time as well.

Match Against the Defense: The Falcons have allowed each of their last seven opponents to score at least once on the ground and Gado could manage to get into the endzone. He'll likely only manage moderate yardage at best but could be a decent fill-in this week since the Falcons are about average against the run.

Favre goes against a secondary that has given up 250+ yards to any offense that can throw well. He'll likely meet at least the 250 mark or more though anything more than two scores would be a genuine surprise, especially on the road in a dome. The Falcons are about the same against wideouts and tight ends, so where the scores could go is hard to reliably gauge other than Driver is a favored receiver and likely tight ends will continue to be a part of the passing scheme.

Atlanta Falcons (6-2)
1 14-10 PHI 10 Nov 13 GBP
2 18-21 @SEA 11 Nov 20 TBB
3 24-16 @BUF 12 Nov 24 @DET
4 30-10 MIN 13 Dec 4 @CAR
5 28-31 NE 14 Dec 12 NOR
6 34-31 @NOR 15 Dec 18 @CHI
7 27-14 NYJ 16 Dec 24 @TBB
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 CAR
9 17-10 @MIA M THU SAT
ATL vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 50 0 180,2
RB Warrick Dunn 80 10 0
RB T.J. Duckett 20 0 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 80,1 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 40 0
WR Michael Jenkins 0 20 0
WR Roddy White 0 30,1 0
PK Todd Peterson 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Falcons have risen to a 6-2 record largely by having a light schedule so far and this week could be the easiest of them all. Vick was forced to stay in the pocket last week and he was fairly defiant to his detractors that his 228 yards and one score was an example of "See - I can do it if I want to, I just don't usually want to". T.J. Duckett should be back this week but outside of Vick, Dunn and the defense, not much else matters here.

Quarterback: Michael Vick made some regrettable quotes after the Miami game about how people should "praise him when he does good" and to not criticize him about an inability to pass because he just had a 228 yard game with one passing touchdown even though that was 70 yards and two scores less than Schaub had in his only start of the season. Vick is Vick though and he is not a pocket passer by any stretch of the imagination. It's like expecting a home run hitter to pitch games as well. It can happen sometimes, but it won't happen often.

Running Backs: Warrick Dunn remains the focus of the offense and he's totaled over 100 yards in each of the last six games with three touchdowns. His best games have always happened at home on the fast carpet at the Georgia dome where three of his 100+ yard rushing efforts have occurred. He's averaging 103 rushing yards per game over the last six weeks.

Wide Receivers: Brian Finneran had a big 103 yard effort in week five when Schaub was the quarterback but then had no catches over the next two games. Last week when Vick decided to throw, he had eight catches for 92 yards and the lone receiving score in the game. Michael Jenkins missed last week with his sprained ankle and was replaced by the rookie Roddy White who had three catches for 50 yards. Since Vick will return to being Vick this week, this likely returns to a fantasy wasteland once again.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler chugs along about 60 yards in virtually every game. He only has two scores on the season and none in the last three games.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers defense has been very good against the run this year and has allowed only two different rushers to score and only one to have more than 87 yards in the game. Dunn should remain under 100 this week but on his own turf he'll still have decent fantasy value.

Vick goes against a very soft secondary that is the main reason why the Packers are only 1-7 on the season. But Vick doesn't usually throw and gets all huffy when he actually does. Look for him to most likely pass more than usual and have success when he does. He should manage two scores here with Crumpler finally getting back into the touchdown column and one wideout as well - that could be any of them.