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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 20, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
updated IND at HOU TEN at BUF CIN at DEN NYJ at MIA

Prediction: NO 31, NYG 27

The Saints have already won the NFC South but at 9-5 remain locked with the Cowboys for a first round bye and have the first tie breaker. Any loss could mean playing in round one and this is all too new to the Saints to stop playing hard. The Giants are 7-7 and still in the hunt for a wildcard bid - they cannot afford any loss. The Giants have all the motivation they need but the Saints offense means the Giants defense will need to step up big this week.

New Orleans Saints (9-5)
1 19-14 @CLE 10 31-38 @PIT
2 34-27 @GB 11 16-31 CIN
3 23-3 ATL 12 31-13 @ATL
4 18-21 @CAR 13 34-10 SF
5 24-21 TB 14 42-17 @DAL
6 27-24 PHI 15 10-16 WAS
7 Open Bye 16 --- @NYG
8 22-35 BAL 17 --- CAR
9 31-14 @TB - - MON
NOR at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 300,3
RB Reggie Bush 30 40 0
RB Deuce McAllister 80,1 20 0
TE Billy Miller 0 10 0
WR Terrance Copper 0 40 0
WR Marques Colston 0 110,1 0
WR Devery Henderson 0 80,1 0
PK John Carney 1 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: The party on Bourbon Street after the win in Dallas evidently extended into last week when the Saints were trapped by the visiting Skins. Not to worry - winning out can still assure a first round bye and no other NFC team can catch the Bears anyway. The offense (other than last week) has been as good as any and the defense has not given up more than 17 points in the last four games. These Saints are for real and not that happy about last week.

Quarterback: Last week was a throw away game and Drew Brees on the road has scored 15 times in seven trips away from New Orleans. He has also thrown for over 300 yards in each of the last six road trips and now faces the #32 defense against quarterbacks. This could be good.

Running Backs: Deuce McAllister plays very well on the road where he has scored eight touchdowns versus just two at home. His better yardage games tend to come in the Superdome but he's been consistently scoring on the road. The two games when he had no scores he gained at least 90 rushing yards.

Reggie Bush varies greatly in games but away from the Superdome he usually ends up with 40 or less rushing yards and around 40 receiving yards. He only has scored twice in road games.

Wide Receivers: Joe Horn was inactive last week with a groin strain for the second game. Devery Henderson is starting in his place now and had 90 yards and a score in Dallas but only 30 yards in the trash game last week. Marques Colston is still waiting for his first big game since returning in week 14 but still led the team with 84 yards on seven catches last Sunday. Colston was on a tear through week ten and is overdue for a big game. This week is a nice set-up. Brees still wants Colston to be considered for Rookie of the Year and a big game in New York won't hurt that effort.

I am assuming Horn misses this week as well but will update as needed.

Tight Ends: With Mark Campbell out with a knee injury, Billy Miller is the starter.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have been much softer on defense for the last month and four different runners have scored as visitors there in just the last three weeks. Expect McAllister to continue his mastery on the road with a score and decent to good yardage. No running back has turned in more than 40 yards as a receiver including Westbrook so look for only a moderate game here from Bush.

Matching up Brees is always hard because he consistently does more than anyone else. The main reason for the Giants poor ranking against quarterbacks stems from allowing four different teams to rush in a score from the position - Brees won't likely do that. But this is the same team that allowed Weinke to throw for 423 yards so expect a return to big yardage in the passing game and at least two passing scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 4 3 2 24 9 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 32 11 19 26 14 9


New York Giants (7-7)
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 27-13 @CAR
6 27-14 @ATL 15 22-36 PHI
7 36-22 @DAL 16 --- NO
8 17-3 TB 17 --- @WAS
9 14-10 HOU - MON SAT
NYG vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 240,2
RB Tiki Barber 130,1 40 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 50,1 0
WR David Tyree 0 20 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 100,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 10 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Giants had ended a four game slide with their win over the Panthers but the Eagles last week eliminated any good and now the Giants are 7-7 and fighting for a wildcard. While the offense has made their gaffs lately - largely turnovers by Manning - the defense is hardly free from blame and has allowed 23 points or more in each of the last five losses. This is the final home game for Tiki Barber so that carries much significance in this game but the frustration and dissatisfaction of going 1-5 after starting out 6-2 is weighing heavy.

Quarterback: In home games this season, Eli Manning has only averaged one touchdown per week though recent games against the Cowboys and Eagles finally got him above the 200 yard threshold. Manning has thrown for 270 and 282 yards in those games. This week Barber's likely focus could decrease the passing attempts but if the Saints are successful in running up the score, Manning will be forced to throw more.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber always runs better at home and this could be the finale in New York for him. He has gained over 100 yards four times at home and never had less than 88 total yards. This is Tiki's good-bye to the city and should be a good one.

Wide Receivers: While Plaxico Burress ended his four game streak of scoring, he comes off a season high 120 yards against the Eagles. No other wideout here has more than 30 yards in a game since Toomer left. Burress already has nine scores on the season but never more than one per game. If an air war breaks out this week - Burress should come up big.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey may not turn in big yardage games this year - his best is 82 yards against the Jaguars - he is very consistent around 50 yards or more each week and he's scored in two of the last three games.

Match Against the Defense: The Saints on the road are only average at best against the run and this should be Tiki's big game. Expect big numbers here both as a runner and a receiver. If Barber remains in the game at the goal line any time this year, it should be this week.

Manning will likely need to air it out this week because the Saints can score quickly and often. Expect healthy numbers here with at least two scores and decent yardage depending on how well Barber runs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 17 10 17 7 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 28 10 29 24 5 4