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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: ARI 6, WAS 20

The Cardinals did win on the road in St. Louis this year but that was a rare event (and it was just a three point win in St. Louis). The Redskins come off a loss in Green Bay and really need this win to maintain hopes that they can stay in the race with the Cowboys.

Update: Anquan Boldin is over his hip injury and has practiced fully this week. He is expected to play and I am adding him into the projections. There is still some question as to the Cards starting quarterback since Kurt Warner has been able to practice on a limited basis and while he is wearing a brace on his non-throwing arm, he still has pain and difficulty handing the ball off though. HC Ken Whisenhunt has not named a starter yet because he wants to see if Warner can play. I am not adding Warner into the projections and the safest bet here is that he does not play. The Cards have a bye week on the other side of this game and holding out an injured Warner would give him almost three weeks to heal before he would play again. The Skins have an outstanding secondary so you are not missing much by not playing Warner anyway.

Since Santana Moss has been able to practice fully this week, I am bumping up his numbers.

Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 17-20 +3.5 45
2 SEA 23-20 +2.5 42.5
3 @BAL 23-26 +8 35.5
4 PIT 21-14 +6 42.5
5 @STL 34-31 -3 40.5
6 CAR 10-25 -6 38.5
7 @WAS   +7 37
8 BYE - - -
9 @TB 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 DET 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 @CIN 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 SF 25-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
13 CLE 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 @SEA 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 @NO 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 ATL 23-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
17 STL 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
ARI at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Rattay     170
RB Edgerrin James 50 10  
TE Leonard Pope   10  
WR Anquan Boldin   50  
WR Jerheme Urban   30  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   50  
WR Bryant Johnson   20  
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: It was bad enough that the Cards lost Matt Leinart - at least they had Kurt Warner. Knowing that they needed a veteran back-up, they tried to get Vinny Testaverde and settled for Tim Rattay. With David Carr's back seizing up on him and then Warner getting knocked out of the game, it ended up that newly signed Tim Rattay became the starter going against Testaverde last week. And evidently, they should have tried harder to get Vinny. For a new offense, this is going to be a recipe for disaster since now the starting quarterback has only seen the playbook since last week and the play calling will have to be simplified like it was for Leinart when the Cards were getting waxed in games.

Quarterback: Not pretty. With Kurt Warner knocked out of last week and at least the next several games with a hyper-extended elbow and torn tendon in his non-throwing arm. Tim Rattay will get the call despite just joining the team last week. Against the Panthers, Rattay only completed 12 of 24 passes for 159 yards and three interceptions though he was without Boldin. This week on the road against a great secondary, Rattay will struggle. The Cards have a great schedule after week nine of the season, so much depends here on how quickly Warner will be back - or if he will.

Running Backs: Even with the change in quarterback, Edgerrin James still ran very well against the Panthers with 80 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown though it was the first game of the year without a single catch. The Cards are going to rely as heavily as possible on James until Rattay can get completely on board with the offense or for Warner to return but that only means the defenses will be game planning specifically to stop him first from now on. His carries should increase unless the opponents can force the Cardinals to throw more by virtue of getting a big lead over them. Losing Warner is not a positive for James but may not be the end of his fantasy value by any means.

Wide Receivers: With Anquan Boldin out for the last three games, Larry Fitzgerald has stepped up to his best three games of the year and even in the Panthers match-up last week with Rattay under center, he still caught six passes for 97 yards. One of the oddities about Fitzgerald though is that he has lost one fumble in three of the last four games.

Boldin continues to nurse his sore hip and has said that he would return for this game but until the practices show that he can participate, I am not including him in the projections. Boldin is an excellent possession receiver and would be invaluable to Rattay.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value here and even more reason to stay in and block for Rattay.

Match Against the Defense: This was a really, really bad time to be using a quarterback that was watching games from his easy chair and eating corn chips less than two weeks ago. The Skins secondary has only given up two passing scores this year and no one has turned in more than 240 passing yards against them. Even Favre only had 188 yards and no scores last week. Expect bad things here as the team transitions to a simplified offense on the road to a great defense.

This will obviously impact Fitzgerald and Boldin (if he plays). It is more than optimistic to expect anything beyond marginally moderate passing numbers here. James faces a defense that has only allowed two running backs to score this year. If the Cards can score any touchdown in this game it will be a success - bottom line. The Skins have to win this game after their loss last week. And they can.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 18 21 5 30 13 18
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 1 12 2 12 12 10


Washington Redskins (3-2)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 16-13 -3 35
2 @PHI 20-12 +7 38.5
3 NYG 17-24 -3.5 40.5
4 BYE - - -
5 DET 34-3 -4 44.5
6 @GB 14-17 +3 40.5
7 ARI   -7 37
8 @NE 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 @NYJ 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 PHI 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @DAL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @TB 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 BUF 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CHI 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @NYG 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @MIN 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DAL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
WAS vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 10   210,1
RB Clinton Portis 90,1 20  
TE Chris Cooley   50,1  
WR Santana Moss   60  
WR Antwaan Randle El   50  
WR Brandon Lloyd   10  
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Tough loss in Green Bay last week since a win would have tied the Skins for the NFC East lead. What was just as bad was the injury to center Casey Rabach who left the game with an injured groin since the Skins offensive line has been the weaker link of the offense thanks to injuries. The patchwork has mirrored the decline in the effectiveness of Clinton Portis but the defense has stepped very well in every game besides the loss to the Giants. The offensive line will come together again and the defense will remain the strength of this team that will be in the thick of a wildcard chase if not challenge for the divisional title.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell is consistent if nothing else. In fantasy terms, he offers only marginal bye week replacement since he invariably gains around the average 210 yards and one passing score every week - he did it again in Green Bay in Sunday. In NFL terms, he has been a solid cog in the offense and holds promise to improve once he can get his receivers all healthy and his offensive line can return to form. Last week he scored his first rushing touchdown of the year.

Running Backs: The offensive line problems combined with a balky knee condition has done much more to limit Clinton Portis than the presence of Ladell Betts. Portis has yet to gain over 100 rushing yards and he started the season with three consecutive games with a touchdown, he hasn't scored since week three. Portis had his heaviest workload of the season on Sunday when he ran 20 times in Green Bay but only gained 64 yards and he has lost a fumble in each of the last two games.

Ladell Betts has been a non-factor and comes off his worst showing of the season when he only had three carries last week. The Skins are willing to lean heavily on Portis but it's just not getting done there largely because of the offensive line.

Wide Receivers: If this unit could ever get healthy and play together, the Skins passing game would take off. Santana Moss returned last week only to fail to catch any of the six passes thrown to him and his one end-around not only gained nothing, he lost a fumble that was returned for the game winning score. Moss still is not completely healed from the groin injury that forced him out for a couple of games.

Antwaan Randle El has been bothered by his hamstring but has played in every game. So far his role has been minimal unless the team is at home against a bad defense and then he has turned in two efforts over 100 yards. He was questionable last week but still had two catches for 20 yards. After five games played, the wideouts here still have not caught a touchdown this year.

Tight Ends: Speaking of touchdowns, Chris Cooley has scored in each of the last four games and only FB Mike Sellers has any other receiving touchdowns for the Skins this year - and he only has one. Cooley has provided almost all scoring ability for Jason Campbell and last week he finally stopped having only two or three catches and minimal yardage when he had a career best nine catches for 105 yards. Cooley is a goldmine in a touchdown only league and continues to grow as a receiver for Campbell - the only one that he actually trusts near the goal line.

Match Against the Defense: This week should provide Portis a chance for better numbers so long as the offensive line can stay together and make it all game without losing yet more players. The Cards have only given up three rushing scores this year but the primary runner in each of the last three games posted at least 98 rushing yards. This is definitely a good chance for Portis to finally get back to scoring touchdowns and at least challenge for 100 rushing yards since he will have the opportunity for plenty of carries in this game.

Campbell faces a secondary that always play worse on the road and even Gus Frerotte had three scores against them in the last road game. Expect at least the normal passing game from Campbell who will still have less than 100% healthy receivers outside of his favorite Cooley. Moss would have a decent chance to score in this game if everyone was healthy.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 16 11 28 10 22 16
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 20 13 26 2 28 13

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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