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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: NYG 20, CAR 17

This should come off as the Angry Bowl. The Giants have lost their last four games to drop to 6-6 and nearing elimination from the playoffs if they continue. Their last two losses came by just three points in each. The Panthers are one a two game losing streak and are also 6-6 and their last two losses came by four points or less. The Giants are only 3-3 on the road this year while the Panthers are 4-2 at home. Both teams have quarterbacks that started the season as demi-gods and are now the subject of scorn on a weekly basis. The winning team here still can entertain thoughts of the post season. The losing squad won't have the media harping on the quarterback - they'll be after the head coach.

Update: Jake Delhomme is questionable to play this week with his sprained and swollen thumb. He was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and his playing status likely won't be known until game time unless his thumb magically heals and he practices on Friday. Not likely. It is to the advantage of the Panthers to keep the Giants guessing as well. He was reported to not have a torn ligament but the swelling still has not subsided and he is being iced every day. On top of that, he cannot grip the ball well which is the biggest problem since it is on his throwing hand. Given that, I am projecting for Chris Weinke to start but HC John Fox said that Delhomme would not be barred from playing even if he missed every practice as long as he was healthy on Sunday. Fortunately, this is a morning game so his starting status should be certain before the first kick-off of the day.

I am also adding DeShaun Foster back into the projections as he is back at practice and should have some playing time this week if not be the primary running back. While Foster is not really a safe start, he does add much risk to relying on DeAngelo Williams this week.

New York Giants (6-6)
1 21-26 IND 10 20-38 CHI
2 30-24 @PHI 11 10-26 @JAX
3 30-42 @SEA 12 21-24 @TEN
4 Open Bye 13 20-23 DAL
5 19-3 WAS 14 --- @CAR
6 27-14 @ATL 15 --- PHI
7 36-22 @DAL 16 --- NO
8 17-3 TB 17 --- @WAS
9 14-10 HOU - MON SAT
NYG at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 230,1
RB Tiki Barber 70 40 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 20,1 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 80,1 0
WR David Tyree 0 20 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 60 0
WR Tim Carter 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The schedule has not been kind to the Giants this year but this four game skid has caused internal dissension and finger pointing and has even gotten so bad that Coughlin is no longer throwing players under the bus after a loss, he's actually starting to act much nicer like a coach that realizes his career is now in the hands of those he has been yelling at. The last two losses have been heartbreakers when a last second field goal has made the difference. Nothing matters now but this game and yet the Giants defense has allowed at least 23 points to each of the last four opponents.

Quarterback: Eli Manning took his share of the blame in the first three losses when he threw two interceptions in each game but last week he had 270 yards and two scores with no turnovers. That was clearly his best game since the last time he played the Cowboys in week seven and yet - it was not good enough. Manning has struggled without Toomer in the line-up but he's adjusted by now - he just can't keep up with what the defense has been allowing.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber has been a part of this general slide down by the Giants. He has turned in decent numbers but hasn't been over 90 rushing yards now for the last three games and he has only been averaging 3.4 yards per carry. That comes in part from the loss of Petitgout from the offensive line. Barber has caught five passes in the last two games but he's still not playing up to form.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress is now the only wideout that Manning looks for and while he has scored in each of the last three games, his yardage has not been more than 65 yards in those games. Burress has not topped 100 yards since week two - but he catches scores. His eight scores ties for the NFL lead for wideouts, Sinorice Moss is starting to get playing time but only has a catch in each of the last two games. It's all about Burress (or Shockey) and the rest of the wideouts have a very small role.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey scored last week for the first time since week nine and that gives him six touchdowns on the season. Manning relies on Shockey almost as much as Burress and in most games, Shockey will end with about 50 or 60 yards.

Match Against the Defense: This should be an interesting game. The Panthers at home have only allowed four rushing scores to visitors this year and all recent visitors have rushed for only moderate yardage other than the Cowboys who had the luxury of 33 carries. Barber on the road is usually a bit less so look for only moderate rushing yards but enough as a receiver to still turn in a good game. Figure on one short score by Jacobs but likely no more than that.

Manning goes against a secondary that has only allowed the last five visitors to throw for a total of three touchdowns and that includes Brees, Romo and Bulger. This should be a down game for Manning with one score and only average yardage unless there is a big lead by Carolina that promotes trash time - unlikely. Shockey should be a lock to score the touchdown against the #32 defense against tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 19 7 17 8 18 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 21 7 6 32 12 6


Carolina Panthers (6-6)
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 24-27 @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 vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 240,2
QB Chris Weinke 10 0 200,1
RB DeAngelo Williams 50,1 30 0
RB DeShaun Foster 50 0 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Steve Smith 0 90,1 0
WR Drew Carter 0 20 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 50 0
PK John Kasay 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The last two games - both on the road - produced frustrating losses to opponents that the Panthers were favored to beat. Now the Panthers are tied with the Falcons at 6-6 and two games behind the Saints. but they play both - on the road - in the last two weeks so the Panthers fate is in their own hands.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme is under fire after being viewed as a major reason why the Panthers have lost the last two games - thanks in part to two interceptions against both the Skins and Eagles. but Delhomme did throw for 269 yards and three scores last week and he has scored in all but one game since week three when Steve Smith returned. Delhomme has also thrown at least one interception in each of the last seven games.

Running Backs: With Deshaun Foster still out because of his hyper-extended elbow, De'Angelo Williams took the start again last week and the results were impressive. After a slow start, Williams ended with 74 yards on 17 carries and added seven catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. After two weeks as the starter, Williams has gained more than Foster had in any of his five games prior to his injury. I am still counting Foster out this week and even when he returns - the writing has to be on the wall about which runner deserves the bulk of work. Williams is a true dual threat compared to Foster who only offers mediocre rushing yards in most games.

Wide Receivers: While Steve Smith has not turned in much yardage lately, he has scored in each of the last five games and even tries an end-around each week. When the Panthers win, Smith almost always has a score and over 90 yards. Keyshawn Johnson scored last week and had 65 yards but he;s been more consistently turning in around 40 to 50 yards in most games. This offense largely revolves around getting the ball to Smith and for a good reason.

Tight Ends: No real fantasy value though Kris Mangum had two catches for 23 yards last week - unusually high.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants rushing defense on the road is really only average and the last time they faced a team like the Panthers, the Jags got two scores and 124 rushing yards. Expect a decent game here by Williams with a good shot at one score and enough receiving yardage for a nice fantasy game here.

Delhomme faces a defense that is ranked very low against quarterbacks and most throw for two scores against them in road games. Delhomme needs a good game here just to quiet the critics and the Giants secondary can be exploited. Look for two scores that could both end up with Steve Smith but could include Johnson as well. The Giants are weak against tight ends but the Panthers rarely use them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 22 19 10 32 15 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 31 10 12 27 15 10