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

Prediction: MIN 13, DAL 27

The Vikings come off their exciting win over the Bears last week and were finally on the right side of a three point game. The Cowboys come off their first loss of the season and could be a bit flat this week but need to continue to win now that that the Skins and Giants are nipping at their heels. More than anything, this is the chance for a guy from Palestine High School (pronounced pal-a-steen) to give a show to all his extended family and childhood friends - Adrian Peterson. He may have gone to school in Oklahoma, but several states are now putting in a claim on him.

Minnesota Vikings (2-3)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB 16-23 +1 38
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI 34-31 +5 35.5
7 @DAL   +9.5 46
8 PHI 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 SD 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @GB 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 OAK 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @NYG 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DET 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @SF 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CHI 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 WAS 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 10   160
RB Chester Taylor 40 10  
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 30  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Troy Williamson   30  
WR Bobby Wade   50  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Vikings offense has been rather lethargic this year but finally discovered that all they had to do was keep feeding Adrian Peterson. Got a kick-off? Yo, AD, put on your helmet. Peterson put on a show for the ages in Chicago last week and he'll hardly surprise anyone from now on. That performance avoided the third road loss of the year.

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson returned after a two week absence and only completed 9 of 23 passes for 136 yards and a score. Having Peterson excel last week covered up another low game by Jackson who only threw for 166 and 163 yards in the first two games.

Running Backs: The only fact more amazing than Adrian Peterson rushing for 224 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns was that he was not the primary runner in the game. Chester Taylor had 22 runs for 83 yards. The goal is to get Peterson 25 touches per game from here on out and in five games played, the rookie has failed to reach 100 yards only once. Taylor will continue to figure in and may even continue to start, but all eyes will be on #28. Including the defense though that doesn't always matter.

Wide Receivers: Hidden in the fine performance by Peterson was that Troy Williamson caught a 60-yard touchdown. First - he caught a pass. Second - he turned it into a touchdown for the first time since two years ago almost to the day. He only had one more catch in the game which went for nine yards, much closer to his average. Williamson had not exceeded 23 yards in any other game. With Jackson back, Sidney Rice quickly picked up where he left off in week two by only catching one pass for 13 yards. Rice had a 75 yard game with a score under Holcomb but HC Brad Childress is firm in his affection for Jackson.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe only has receptions every other week and he is coming off a one catch for 11 yards game.

Match Against the Defense: No doubt that the Vikings want to run the ball and Peterson has plenty of motivation to play well with many of his childhood friends and family in attendance. But the Cowboys are ranked #1 against running backs and are at home. They have only given up two rushing scores on the year and no runner has topped 66 yards against them in the last five games. With the Cowboys likely to get a decent lead that forces Jackson to pass - which is very bad for the Vikes - the lack of carries will be more an issue for Peterson along with sharing with Taylor.

Jackson goes against a secondary that is poorly ranked thanks to Tom Brady's monster game last week. Prior to that game, the last three opponents had not thrown a score against the Cowboys. Expect minimal numbers from Jackson here.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 30 1 29 27 14 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 25 7 28 9 16 26


Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF 25-24 -10 42
6 NE 27-48 +5 52.5
7 MIN   -9.5 46
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 4-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
10 @NYG 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 WAS 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 NYJ 22-Nov THU 4:15 PM
13 GB 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 @DET 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 PHI 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @CAR 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @WAS 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DAL vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     300,3
RB Julius Jones 40 10  
RB Marion Barber 50 20  
TE Jason Witten   80,1  
WR Terrell Owens   90,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   80,1  
WR Sam Hurd   20  
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Dallas took a tumble last week when the Patriots showed up but played them tough for three quarters and even had a lead in the third quarter before Tom and Company decided to just put the game away. But they came out of that game healthy and with their manhood as intact as can be expected in a 21 point home loss. The offense continues to be productive and the defense only struggles to keep up with top passing attacks which does not describe the Vikings. With a bye week waiting on the other side of this game, reaching 6-1 already exceeds expectations.

Quarterback: Tony Romo's string of multiple touchdown games remains intact and he has thrown for 15 touchdowns this season - a pace that would result in 40 touchdowns on the season. He's also added two rushing scores along the way and never throws more than one interception unless in Buffalo in front of a national audience. With the Vikings biggest weakness being pass defense, Romo will have an opportunity to head into his bye week with that scoring trend still going.

Running Backs: Last week was not kind to the running backs here as neither had more than 51 yards against the Pats. What is a little surprising is that for the last three weeks, Julius Jones has actually been the more productive runner with 31 carries for 144 yards and one score (4.6 YPC). Marion Barber has not scored in the last three weeks after totaling five touchdowns in the first three games. He has only run 24 times for 125 yards (5.2 YPC). He has exactly eight carries in each of those games. Facing the Bills and Rams should have resulted in more gains by both and this week greets one of the very best run stopping defenses.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens finally broke his three game drought when he scored once against the Patriots and ended with six catches for 66 yards. The two previous games only held a combined total of five catches for 58 yards. Patrick Crayton has now scored in each of the last three games while he enjoys the Houshmandzadeh-effect by playing #2 to a wideout everyone wants to stop. Over the last three weeks, Crayton has 170 yards and four touchdowns. Owens only had 121 yards and one score.

Tight Ends: The Patriots also did what few others could and shut down Jason Witten to only three catches for 47 yards on Sunday. Witten has scored in each of the three previous games and never done worse than six catches for 71 yards in that time.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings bring in a great rushing defense that has yet to allow any rushing scores this year. No runner has topped 67 yards against them this year though the Vikes have not faced a big-time rusher this season. Look for only moderate yardage here at best that will be split between Barber and Jones.

Romo goes against a team that also has a bad secondary - very bad. The two most recent games were when Favre and Griese both had over 344 passing yards and at least two scores each. Look for a good passing effort here that will spread the wealth around. This is a good week to start the Cowboys principal receivers.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 8 7 2 3 7
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 27 2 30 25 18 18

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye


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