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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 27, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
MIA at HOU SF at KC NE at CIN   updated

Prediction: DET 17, STL 20

The win-less Lions head off to St. Louis after finally getting over the double-digit scoring hump last week during the home loss to the Packers. The Rams are 2-1 having somehow beaten Denver and Arizona and yet losing to the 49ers. Oh yes, they were on the road. Not so this week. Mike Martz finally gets to hear what St. Louis sounds like when they cheer.

Update: Corey Bradford was released by the Lions to make space for another offensive tackle. He is removed from the projections but his replacement is not clear enough to warrant adding another receiver at this point.

Detroit Lions (0-3)
1 6-9 SEA 10 --- SF
2 7-34 @CHI 11 --- @ARZ
3 24-31 GB 12 --- MIA
4 --- @STL 13 --- @NE
5 --- @MIN 14 --- MIN
6 --- BUF 15 --- @GB
7 --- @NYJ 16 --- CHI
8 Open Bye 17 --- @DAL
9 --- ATL - - THU
DET at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 240,1
RB Kevin Jones 70,1 30 0
RB Shawn Bryson 10 20 0
TE Dan Campbell 0 30 0
WR Roy Williams 0 80,1 0
WR Mike Furrey 0 50 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Lions offense finally got into gear but the defense slipped yet another notch last week. The new Martz offense looked pretty good against the poor secondary of the Packers but Favre used to struggled in Detroit in the past but not last week. The chore for Detroit now is to hold on to the gains for the offense while bringing up the defense.

Quarterback: After two score-less games with around 230 yards, Jon Kitna finally put together a Martz-esque offensive showing when he threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. He was sacked three times which is almost mandatory in that scheme. But the gains did come against the Packers and this week is the first time that Martz will be back in front of those St. Louis fans. He knows most of the defense from last year and he gets to go head to head against Scott Linehan (AKA the other offensive guru). And Kitna will be the primary weapon that Martz will use.

Running Backs: After two "here we go again" weeks, Kevin Jones showed up strong against the Packers had ran for 81 yards on 17 carries with one score and added five catches for 44 yards. While Jones rushing numbers have been nothing to brag about, his 16 catches in the first three games ties him for second best in the NFL so far this year.

The Lions had been using Shawn Bryson for just one catch per game but he had two last week and turned one into a 37-yard touchdown. It's just one play but if he continues to do something with his minimal role, he could end up horning in on all those catches that go to Jones.

Wide Receivers: While the usual Martz offense will spread the wealth around, that hasn't happened yet. Mike Furrey was posting around 60 yards per game but only had 38 last week while Roy Williams is the clear #1 in the offense and comes off seven catches for 138 yards and one score. His chemistry with Kitna is increasing and that only spells better things down the road. Az-Zahir Hakim even played and had a couple of catches. Mike Williams has now gotten as far as dressing for games and could actually play in the near future. Corey Bradford had minimal numbers in the first two weeks but no catches against the soft Packer secondary. So far the wideouts are still in transition but Roy Williams remains the lone sure thing.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard has been nearly invisible in this offense but surprisingly Dan Campbell had three catches for 53 yards last week despite being a blocking tight end. He only had one catch in each of the first two games but gained 23 and 30 yards with them.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams defense is pretty used to facing a Martz-style offense but then again, Martz is used to the Rams defenders even if they are in a new scheme this year. St. Louis has allowed one rushing score to each opponent so far with at least good yardage so expect a decent game here from Jones with a chance for a score.

Kitna faces a secondary that gave up one score to both Alex Smith and Kurt Warner and it's likely that the Lions will be throwing deep. The only reasonably likely wideout to catch a score here would be Roy Williams though as noted, the roles continue to evolve for Lions receivers. Kitna will top 200 yards but it will be up to Martz as to how farther he goes.

St. Louis Rams (2-1)
1 18-10 DEN 10 --- @SEA
2 13-20 @SF 11 --- @CAR
3 16-14 @ARZ 12 --- SF
4 --- DET 13 --- ARZ
5 --- @GB 14 --- CHI
6 --- SEA 15 --- @OAK
7 Open Bye 16 --- WAS
8 --- @SD 17 --- @MIN
9 --- KC - - MON
STL vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 0 0 260,2
RB Steven Jackson 70 30 0
TE J. Klopfenstein 0 10 0
WR Torry Holt 0 120,1 0
WR Isaac Bruce 0 80,1 0
WR Kevin Curtis 0 20 0
PK Jeff Wilkins 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Rams took a close win in Arizona last week by an unusual move - they let the Cardinals make the game losing mistakes. With a home stand here against the Lions and then a trip to Green coming up, this team could be 5-1 when they finally host the Seahawks in week six.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger finally comes off a nice game when he threw for 309 yards and one score against the Cardinals last week. With the ground game struggling, Bulger finally consistently moved the team but could only get into the endzone once and had to settle for three field goals to win the game. After three weeks, the Rams only have two touchdowns scored and both went to Torry Holt.

Running Backs: After rushing for over 100 yards in each of the first two games, Steven Jackson only managed to gain 62 yards on 24 carries in Arizona last week but added three catches for 59 yards to maintain nice fantasy numbers. Stephen Davis had five carries in week two but never took a handoff last week.

Wide Receivers: Torry Holt has long been the biggest cog in the machinery here but right now he is really the only one. He has both touchdowns scored by the Rams this year and comes off an eight catch, 120 yards game in Arizona last week. Isaac Bruce plays the possession role with around 75 yards per game and no other wideout is worth mentioning. Kevin Curtis just had one catch for seven yards - his time in the sun is over until Bruce retires or gets injured.

Tight Ends: Not a part of the scheme yet.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions rush defense has been very good this year, allowing no rushing scores and holding opposing runners to around 65 yards at most (about 3 yards per carry). That doesn't bode well for Jackson to get back to 100 yards this week. Look for a decent game here but not a big one and no score from Jackson.

Bulger faces a secondary that seemed great when it stuffed Seattle but that has given up seven touchdowns in the last two games with 290 or more passing yards. Bulger will have to win this game and he will need more than just Torry Holt to do it. The Rams have been very soft against tight ends (giving up three scores already) but the Rams have yet to use them. Look for more of Holt and Bruce this week with good numbers from each.