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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 30,, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at MIA* HOU at BAL TEN at IND* DEN at KC Mon 9 PM
CIN at PIT JAC at CLE* Sun 4 PM NYJ at NE SEA at PHI
DAL at NYG MIN at DET* ARI at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Green Bay 6, Chicago 25

The surprising Bears have now won seven straight games thanks to the NFL's #1 defense while the Packers have only the one trap game in Atlanta to make them feel good about the last six weeks. The Packers never get blown out, they just always lose. This is a nice match with the Bears since they never blow anyone out and yet always win.

These teams traded games last year with the visiting team winning each time. The Packers won 31-14 in week 17 while the Bears won in Lambeau 21-10 back in week two of 2004.

Green Bay Packers (2-9)
1 3-17 @DET 10 33-25 @ATL
2 24-26 CLE 11 17-20 MIN
3 16-17 TBB 12 14-19 @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 CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 170
RB Sam Gado 20 0 0
TE Donald Lee 0 30 0
TE David Martin 0 40 0
WR Donald Driver 0 50 0
WR Robert Ferguson 0 20 0
WR Antonio Chatman 0 10 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: If there is any single player that embodies a sense of sorrow this year, it is Brett Favre. He now looks like he still is in the race each week only he's driving an AMC Pacer instead of a Formula One car. The Packers remain competitive each week, but only in the sense it keeps the fans watching for the whole game before, once again, being certain that the Packers will lose.

Quarterback: There is actually an end to doing "more with less" and Brett Favre is defining that this season. He has thrown for a score in all but one game but he's only had five scores in the last five games against 11 interceptions. That is no way to enter into a game against the Bears in Chicago.

Running Backs: Samkon Gado comes off a career best game, gaining 111 yards on 26 carries against the Eagles and scoring for the fourth time in four games played. Problem here is that he only managed seven yards on ten carries against the Vikings and he's hardly a miracle worker. In Chicago this week, he may consider those seven yards as a good game.

Wide Receivers: Robert Ferguson is back but for the last two weeks that has only meant a total of three catches for 20 yards. Donald Driver comes off one of his worst games of the year when he only had 50 yards against the Eagles and he has only scored in one of the last five games. Antonio Chatman has managed to make the slot absolutely worthless now and the Packers are throwing more to tight ends and backs than wideouts lately. Just as well, Favre has no need to throw for more potential interceptions.

Tight Ends: Just to make things even worse, Bubba Franks suffered a head/neck injury that doesn't appear to be major but will likely keep him out this week. He had been the only receiver besides Franks with any consistency this season. David Martin filled in well though and caught four passes for 41 yards and a score. Martin actually leads all tight ends with three touchdowns this season though he has only played in seven games.

Match Against the Defense: Facing the #1 defense in the league is no place to expect a rare win. The last four visitors to Chicago never managed more than field goals. Look for Gado to challenge that horrible game against the Vikings for his worst of the year and to not score.

Favre has been trying to salvage something this season with little results. The wideouts are pretty much out of the equation here other than Driver with a moderate game and the tight ends should matter more. But this game smacks of a potential shutout and Favre's recent penchant for the interception could be a major disaster in the making here.

Chicago Bears (8-3)
1 7-9 @WAS 10 17-9 SFO
2 38-6 DET 11 13-3 CAR
3 7-24 CIN 12 13-10 @TBB
4 Open Bye 13 Dec 4 GBP
5 10-20 @CLE 14 Dec 11 @PIT
6 28-3 MIN 15 Dec 18 ATL
7 10-6 BAL 16 Dec 25 @GBP
8 19-13 @DET 17 Jan 1 @MIN
9 20-17 @NOR . . .
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton 0 0 140,1
RB Thomas Jones 80,1 10 0
RB Adrian Peterson 20 10 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 50,1 0
WR Justin Gage 0 40 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 10 0
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears defense has become nothing short of frightening this season. The last three home games have allowed no more than nine points to opponents which is fortunate since the Bear's offense is one of the least effective in the league. That doesn't much matter when the other team is just plain scared to take the field. The trip to Pittsburgh the following week will likely end this winning streak but then again, no team has had a chance to score since week six.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton is finding that playing for a team with a #1 defense means never having to say he's sorry. He just hands off for the most part and has topped 150 passing yards only once this year. But he has scored in seven of the last eight games. Nothing flashy and minimal fantasy value but effective enough to win since the opponents have not been managing that touchdown each game.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones has cooled considerable this year as the season grows old and his body gets even more pounded. He has not scored in the last five games and hasn't been over 87 yards in the last month. But he gets all but four or five carries each week that go to Adrian Peterson and with volume of carries he still has moderate fantasy value.

Wide Receivers: There have been only four touchdowns thrown to wideouts this season and Muhsin Muhammad has three of them. Minimal production each week from this unit since only about 140 passing yards are divvied up each week but Muhammad usually manages a team high of 40 or 50 yards.

Tight Ends: Just to tamp down the nail in Desmond Clark's fantasy production coffin, the Bears elected to throw the lone score last week to John Gilmore on his only catch of the year.

Match Against the Defense: No secret here. Benson is still out and Jones will take the primary role for about 80 yards or so in a game. He'll likely end up with one score though since inevitably the Bears will recover a fumble or intercept the ball near the goal line.

Orton - 140 and one score. Every week. Muhammad is most likely but that doesn't mean a lot since the Bears have such minimal passing and are not really relying on any one receiver for anything. I do love the chance for at least one defensive score here. The defense could actually end up outscoring the offense in this one.