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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 29, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
ATL at WAS MIN at CHI   TB at PIT Updated

Prediction: CAR 20, PHI 14

After struggling to stand up again, the Panthers dropped their match-up with the Skins last week that underscored one major problem - they usually struggle on the road. They did beat the Ravens in Baltimore but their only other road win was against Tampa Bay by only two points. The Eagles have plenty of problems of their own now that McNabb is gone because evidently he took the defense along with him. This is a coin flip game because neither team is quite sure who they are this year. This Monday night game looked far more interesting before the season started.

Update: DeShaun Foster is listed as questionable this week but he has returned to practice and is expected to play. I am lowering DeAngelo Williams' projections and adding in Foster but the ratio of sharing is unclear. The Panthers are not in a big hurry to have Foster take over a heavy primary load since he was less than spectacular even when he was healthy. But his presence can only serve to lower what Williams could do.

Donte Stallworth is still having a problem with his hamstring so be aware if you intend on starting him. He has been playing rather limited lately anyway.

Carolina Panthers (6-5)
1 6-20 ATL 10 24-10 TB
2 13-16 @MIN 11 15-0 STL
3 26-24 @TB 12 13-17 @WAS
4 21-18 NO 13 --- @PHI
5 20-12 CLE 14 --- NYG
6 23-21 @BAL 15 --- PIT
7 14-17 @CIN 16 --- @ATL
8 14-35 DAL 17 --- @NO
9 Open Bye - - MON
CAR at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 200,1
RB DeAngelo Williams 70,1 10 0
RB DeShaun Foster 40 0 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Steve Smith 0 100,1 0
WR Drew Carter 0 20 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 40 0
PK John Kasay 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Since their week nine bye, the Panthers looked like they were coming back together after their whipping by the Cowboys in week eight. The Buccaneers fell easily and then the Rams were shut out - both in Carolina. But the road trip to face the Redskins was just another loss in a game that got away from them. Now the Panthers are a game behind the Saints again and cannot take any opponent lightly.

Quarterback: Hard as it would have been to believe even a month ago, but there have been calls from the media and fans to consider benching Jake Delhomme who has struggled in the last month. Delhomme's two interceptions killed their chances last week and he has been throwing at least one in each of the last six games. Over the last four games, he has only thrown for four scores and only once been above 200 yards. Take away Steve Smith and Delhomme's numbers would be shockingly low. He needs a bounce back game badly after a month of too many bad throws and interceptions. HC John Fox has stated that Delhomme remains the starter but the amazing part is that he would need to formally say that.

Running Backs: With Foster out last week, DeAngelo Williams took his chance at starting and gained 63 yards on 17 carries - just a shade under four yards per run. Foster is still recuperating from a hyperextended elbow and while he may play on Monday I will not project for him until he is cleared to play. The Panthers will have an extra day to heal him up so there will be updates if warranted. Chances are that Williams would get the bulk of carries even in the best case for Foster who has been mediocre at best for the last six weeks.

Wide Receivers: While Delhomme's numbers have waned, at least Steve Smith is doing his part to keep the Panthers moving. He has scored in each of the last three games even though his yardage has been as low as 34 yards just last week. But Smith remains above 90 in most weeks and is the only productive, consistent receiver on the team thanks to his scoring. Keyshawn Johnson has really fallen off over the last six weeks and rarely has more than 40 yards in a game. Keary Colbert went three weeks without catching his lone pass each game and was inactive last week. Drew Carter is not much better but at least he plays.

Tight Ends: Kris Mangum may gain up to 20 yards in a game but it is probably going to have to come on his one catch.

Match Against the Defense: The Philly rushing defense has gone into a deep funk over the last month even before the injury to McNabb. Addai ripped them apart last week and Travis Henry had 143 yards the previous game. The Jags ran for 180 the prior game. Look for a nice effort here from Williams that could turn into a big game if he can break for a long run. Williams hasn't scored since week two but looks likely to notch one in this game.

Delhomme faces a secondary that has been very good statistically but lately that 's because everyone just runs against them well enough that the pass is less needed. Expect just one passing score in this game with Smith the recipient, of course.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 25 19 10 31 14 24
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 9 25 7 5 19 26


Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
1 24-10 @HOU 10 27-3 WAS
2 24-30 NYG 11 13-31 TEN
3 38-24 @SF 12 21-45 @IND
4 31-9 GB 13 --- CAR
5 38-24 DAL 14 --- @WAS
6 24-27 @NO 15 --- @NYG
7 21-23 @TB 16 --- @DAL
8 6-13 JAX 17 --- ATL
9 Open Bye - - MON
PHI vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 10 0 220,2
RB Brian Westbrook 100 50,1 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 70,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 40 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 40 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 20 0
PK David Akers 0 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The post-McNabb Eagles are merely the same inconsistent squad with less passing. The loss to the Colts showed the rush defense as the major weakness of the year - not the loss of McNabb who never steered the Eagles to enough points this year that could have won that game. So far the early results on Jeff Garcia are not entirely bad and Westbrook is running as well as he has all year. The Eagles are hardly done just because McNabb is gone. But they may be done because the defense has taken a big turn for the worse lately.

Quarterback: Jeff Garcia sprained his shoulder in the fourth quarter Sunday but should be fine this week according to HC Andy Reid. Garcia had an efficient game against the Colts, completing 19 of 23 passes for 140 yards and two scores. The deep pass was gone from the repertoire and it appears the wideouts will have to work their way back into the gameplan, but for a dink and dunk offense, the Eagles could have done worse than Garcia.

Running Backs: The good news is that Brian Westbrook is still chugging even with Garcia there. He ran for 124 yards on just 20 carries and scored his first touchdown in the past month. Better yet, Westbrook had seven catches for 46 yards. This offense now belongs to Westbrook, at least until he too is injured. Asking him for too heavy a load has been a recipe for injury in the past.

Wide Receivers: Garcia is a death knell to the wideouts so far. Donte Stallworth only had two catches for nine yards but is bothered, yet again, by a hamstring injury that was aggravated. I will include him in the projections but it appears they should not be high anyway. Reggie Brown scored last week for the first time since week seven but he too only had two catches for nine yards. The best wideout here was Hank Basket with just 20 yards. In a game where the Eagles trailed badly from the first quarter on, it is a bad sign that Garcia could not involve them for more than six catches for 38 yards.

Tight Ends: While Garcia did not try to connect with L.J. Smith much more than any other player, Smith did had one touchdown and caught all four passes thrown to him last week. With the deep ball now missing and the passes short, Smith is the best target that Garcia has other than Westbrook.

Match Against the Defense: Westbrook faces a defense that has only allowed one rushing score to an opposing rusher during a road game and other than the Dallas fiasco, only two runners have scored against them. The yardage should be there for Westbrook who will add on enough receiving yardage to have a good game here but a score is unlikely.

Garcia goes against a defense that has been much weaker on the road and each of the last three opponents on the road had two or more passing scores against the Panthers. That fits into what Garcia has already done and he'll have even more time to prepare this week. Given that the Panthers are the worst against tight ends, figure on Smith being a lock for at least one of the scores. The Panthers have great corners, so the second score will go to either Baskett or Lewis, though it could end up with Westbrook as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 1 10 9 7 21 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 14 7 5 32 11 7