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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 15, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
CIN at NO PIT at CLE     updated

Prediction: NE 24, GB 20

What could be worse than the Patriots losing two in a row for the first time in 57 games? Have them both come at home to the hated Colts and the Jets led by the defector Mangini! The Patriots now head to Green Bay while the ground crew is hurriedly installing turf so that Brady's uniform doesn't get so messy next time. The Packers come off a win in Minnesota but return home where they are only 1-3 this year. New England is 4-0 on the road. That's a bit backwards from the norm but at least it works to the Patriots favor in their quest to return to the win column.

Update: I am removing David Martin from the projections since he has missed practice this week because of shoulder and thigh injuries. He could end up playing but will not be 100%. Brett Favre and Ahman Green were both held out of practice on Wednesday but returned on Thursday and are expected to play. They were just given one day to rest. Vernand Morency has practiced this week and may be available for playing time on Sunday but I am not adding him in.

New England Patriots (6-3)
1 19-17 BUF 10 14-17 NYJ
2 24-17 @NYJ 11 --- @GB
3 7-17 DEN 12 --- CHI
4 38-13 @CIN 13 --- DET
5 20-10 MIA 14 --- @MIA
6 Open Bye 15 --- HOU
7 28-6 @BUF 16 --- @JAX
8 31-7 @MIN 17 --- @TEN
9 20-27 IND - - MON
NEP at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 240,2
RB Corey Dillon 70,1 0 0
RB Lawrence Maroney 40 0 0
TE Ben Watson 0 20 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 20 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 50,1 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 50,1 0
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Patriots come off a sloppy loss that was due in part to ex-coordinator Eric Mangini likely knowing his opponent a bit too well. But the Patriots are now in panic mode, such as it ever gets in New England, with two straight losses which still preserves their lead in the AFC East. One lingering problem that was evident last week was the offensive line that already had been hit with injuries and now just lost starting guard Billy Yates. But the Pats have won their last three road games by at least 20 points in each and evidently this is a team that travels better than most.

Quarterback: Tom Brady started the year on a low note but most blamed the lack of chemistry with new receivers for the noticeable drop in production from 2005. By week four, Brady started a streak of multiple touchdown games that extended into the Vikings game when he had 372 yards and four scores. Everything back to normal? Not hardly. Brady went against the Colts and only managed 201 yards and four interceptions and then had just 255 yards, one score and one interception last week against the Jets. Both were home games. Last week Brady was being crushed on a regular basis when he dropped back to pass.

Now the Patriots have signed Vinnie Testaverde assumedly to provide back-up for Brady and perhaps some veteran observations to help Brady from his slump. Then again - how many Super Bowl rings can Vinnie wear?

Running Backs: Facing the worst rushing defense in the league last week, Corey Dillon turned in 98 yards on just 11 runs but never scored. It was a season high game for Dillon in the muddy, rainy mess last Sunday. But Laurence Maroney only managed 37 yards on 12 carries and that makes five straight games that Maroney has not gone over 65 rushing yards or scored. Through week four, Maroney was thoroughly impressive but since week five he has been just another rookie tailback that cannot score.

Wide Receivers: Though the lengthy list of wideouts rarely ever includes players that offer much consistency for the Pats, Reche Caldwell has scored in two of the last three weeks and had both those efforts come in with around 90 yards. Of course he sandwiched a one catch for 21 yard game between them just to prevent anyone from relying on him. Doug Gabriel is also up and down every week and had just 30 yards against the Jets. Now even Jabar Gaffney is getting into the action with 65 yards on three catches last week. In fantasy terms, it remains little more than spin the bottle and then pick the other guy each week - if he or anyone does much anyway.

Tight Ends: Ben Watson comes off his worst game of the year with only 16 yards against the Jets. He has only scored once this season but was hanging around 50 yards in most games.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers rush defense has been more than adequate this year and no runner has topped 100 rushing yards against them. Dillon has a nice chance at a score here but neither he nor Maroney should have a big yardage game.

Brady goes against the very worst secondary in the NFL but then again, the Pats couldn't score against the worst rushing defense last week. Look for Brady to throw for two scores here unless he is hurt more than they are letting on. He was pretty roughed up by the Jets but hasn't been mentioned as limited this week. Those scores will go to wideouts almost guaranteed with Watson turning in low numbers lately and the Packers are already #2 against tight ends. But the wideouts with scores could be any of them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 13 4 17 9 26 22
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 32 20 31 2 26 13


Green Bay Packers (4-5)
1 0-26 CHI 10 23-17 @MIN
2 27-34 NO 11 --- NE
3 31-24 @DET 12 --- @SEA
4 9-31 @PHI 13 --- NYJ
5 20-23 STL 14 --- @SF
6 Open Bye 15 --- DET
7 34-24 @MIA 16 --- MIN
8 31-14 ARZ 17 --- @CHI
9 10-24 @BUF - MON THU
GBP vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre 0 0 240,1
RB Ahman Green 80,1 20 0
TE Bubba Franks 0 20 0
TE David Martin 0 20 0
WR Donald Driver 0 90,1 0
WR Ruvell Martin 0 40 0
WR Greg Jennings 0 60 0
PK Dave Rayner 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Packers have now won three of their last four games and at 4-5, a wildcard bid is not impossible (at least not yet). After this week and the Seattle game, the Packers could turn up enough wins for at least a .500 season with the remaining schedule. Now all the Packers have to do is win at home for only the second time this year and beat a team with a winning record - that would be a first.

Quarterback: Brett Favre comes off his best yardage game of the year when he threw for 347 yards in Minnesota and scored twice. Favre has scored in each of the last five games and has 13 touchdowns on the season. Oddly enough, he hasn't had more than one passing touchdown in either of his last two home games. Last week was little more than pitch and catch with Donald Driver and that won't be nearly as effective against the motivated Patriots this week.

Running Backs: Ahman Green ended his three game spree of over 100 rushing yards when he only managed 55 yards on 22 carries in Minnesota but Vernand Morency is still probably out this week and Noah Herron offers only spot relief. Green will get the bulk of whatever rushing is there each week and has been surprisingly effective until last week.

The starting RT Mark Tauscher injured his leg last week and won't be available for this game. The rookie Tony Moll will replace Tauscher but that's not likely to help the running game.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver came to the rescue last week with an incredible six catch, 191 yard effort with one touchdown. Greg Jennings could only turn in 38 yards on three carries and Ruvell Martin had just 47 yards. The Packers attempt at wideout depth took another hit when Shaun Bodiford hurt his shin last week and was on crutches following the game. He could be lost for the season with a broken shin. Jennings was a big contributor through week five but since his injury, he has not scored or done much over the last four games. Driver has scored in three of the last four match-ups - either he gets it done or it just doesn't happen in the passing game. Driver currently leads all NFL wideouts with 56 receptions.

Tight Ends: While David Martin and Bubba Franks are there to be used, Favre has not relied on either the last couple of weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers catch a break with Rodney Harrison out. Even Barlow was able to run for 75 yards and a score last week without worrying about Harrison. The Patriots are into a more desperate mode now though so don't expect more than a good game from Green with a good chance that he'll score.

Favre faces one of the better secondaries and only three teams have thrown for touchdowns against the Pats this year. Look for Favre to be the fourth but only once and almost assuredly to Donald Driver since the flankers have accounted for all the wideout scores against the Patriots other than Cotchery.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 12 11 12 15 9 8
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 7 6 23 3 3 14