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

Prediction: DET 24, CHI 27

This should be a very worthy game of watching now that the Bears have become suspiciously similar to the Lions (pass well, no rushing and questionable defense). This is a replay of when the Lions won 37-27 when the Bears came to Detroit for weeks ago. A win here by the Lions keeps them within striking distance of the Packers and a loss by the Bears sends them back towards the cellar again. But a Bears win still keeps meager hopes alive fed by the resurgent passing attack of Brian Griese. The Lions are only 1-2 on the road this year and lost their last two trips away from Detroit in dramatically bad ways.

Detroit Lions (4-2)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 36-21 +1 39
2 MIN 20-17 -3 42.5
3 @PHI 21-56 +6.5 44.5
4 CHI 37-27 +2.5 46
5 @WAS 3-34 +4 44.5
6 BYE - - -
7 TB 23-16 -1.5 43
8 @CHI   +5 44
9 DEN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @ARI 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 NYG 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 GB 22-Nov THU 12:30 PM
13 @MIN 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 DAL 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @SD 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 KC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @GB 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DET at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     230,2
RB Kevin Jones 80,1 30  
TE Sean McHugh   10  
WR Roy Williams   60  
WR Mike Furrey   30  
WR Calvin Johnson   50,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   50,1  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The win over the Buccaneers was needed and showed some life in the rushing game even if the passing game has started to dry up these last weeks. But all receivers are healthy again and with that specter of Kevin Jones running the ball, the defenses will have to react. The schedule is no friend to Kitna's prediction of a ten win season and this week will answer much if that is a possibility or not. Regain the swagger of the opening weeks and these Lions can compete. Remain the same as the last few weeks and a .500 season will be hard enough to produce.

Quarterback: Jon Kitna's big start of the year has evaporated in the last two games with no touchdowns and never more than 147 passing yards in a game. His best efforts have been away from Detroit (OAK and PHI) but since week four the passing game has been lackluster and even last week with the receivers finally all healthy again, Kitna only had 147 yards. But he completed 16 of 20 passes against a tough Buccaneers defense and the Lions did win the game. Kitna is not done by any means but he needs to turn back to the more productive ways that greeted the first games.

Kitna threw for 247 yards and two scores against the visiting Bears this year but was sacked six times.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones is finally looking like 2006 again when he ran for 76 yards on 15 carries (5.1 YPC) against the solid Buccaneers defense and he scored once. Jones also collected six receptions for 34 yards. If you have been sitting on him this year waiting for a reason to start him, your wait is over. With Jones back, Tatum Bell never had even one carry last week. But do not get rid of Bell quite yet since there are nine more games left for Jones to potentially leave injured.

Bell and Jones split carries in the first meeting with the Bears and totaled 84 yards with one score by Jones.

Wide Receivers: The low passing numbers of late have really hit this unit hard and Roy Williams only had nine catches for 76 yards and no scores over the last two weeks. Calvin Johnson healed up over the bye week and ran in a score against the Buccaneers on Sunday but only turned in two catches for 37 yards. This unit was formidable to start the year but going against two good secondaries in the last games has really turned down the dial on the passing game.

With Johnson out that week, Mike Furrey had five catches for 91 yards against the Bears while both McDonald (3-31) and Walters (2-36) scored touchdowns. Roy Williams was held to 53 yards on six receptions.

Tight Ends: With the running game starting to spark and the receivers all healthy again, the tight ends are back to one catch per game for giggles.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions ran fairly well in the first meeting and the Bears rushing defense has not improved as shown by Adrian Peterson. Look for a healthy Jones to turn in good rushing numbers here and one rushing score. That alone is a sign of change for the Bears.

Kitna had two scores and good yardage against the Bears the last time and this could end up as a shoot-out since Griese is playing and the Bears can score some points via the pass now. Look for two scores again that will favor the wideouts. The Bears typically give up long passing scores, so that should favor McDonald and Johnson the most.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 8 27 3 32 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 15 29 15 24 19 29


Chicago Bears (3-4)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SD 3-14 +5.5 42.5
2 KC 20-10 -12 34.5
3 DAL 10-34 -3 41
4 @DET 27-37 -2.5 46
5 @GB 27-20 +3 41
6 MIN 31-34 -5 35.5
7 @PHI 19-16 +4.5 40.5
8 DET   -5 44
9 BYE - - -
10 @OAK 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 @SEA 18-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
12 DEN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 NYG 2-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
14 @WAS 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @MIN 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 GB 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NO 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CHI vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese     310,3
RB Cedric Benson 60 10  
TE Desmond Clark   40  
TE Greg Olsen   50,1  
WR Bernard Berrian   100,1  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   80,1  
WR Rashied Davis   20  
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bears comeback in Philadelphia could be a defining moment that signals the return of the team to the cream of the crop in the NFC North. Or it could just be one meaningless game against a non-divisional opponent that has plenty of problems themselves. The Bears are only 1-2 at home this season and the rushing of Benson is hardly propping up this offense. The defense has already allowed three opponents to top 34 points in game. But Griese has re-invigorated the passing game to all new heights and this week faces the weakest secondary of them all. Even Grossman had a good game against the Lions.

Quarterback: Oh yeah, you have seen the last of Rex Grossman as starter. In four starts this year, Brian Griese has thrown for eight touchdowns and his last two efforts topped 320 passing yards. It may not look like Bears football anymore, but it looks like the scoreboard in Chicago still works.

Griese threw for 286 yards and two scores in Detroit this year.

Running Backs: Cedrick Benson suffered a mild hyper-extension of his knee last week but remained in the game and gained 46 yards on 17 carries. Outside of the one home stand against the Chiefs, he has not gained more than 67 yards in any game and has only two touchdowns on the season. So far he is only averaging 60 yards on 20 carries per week for a weak 3.0 rushing average. No wonder Griese is throwing so much. He is expected to play this week.

Benson only gained 50 yards on 15 carries against the Lions this season.

Wide Receivers: While Griese has been throwing for a lot of yards lately, he hasn't been locking onto any one receiver in a game. Muhsin Muhammad has enjoyed new life with three scores over the four games played by Griese but his 79 yards last week was a season high and no other game has topped 50 yards. Bernard Berrian has been above 65 yards in three of the last four games but only has one touchdown in that time. The exciting development here has been Devin Hester who factors in late in games though only with marginal yardage overall. The more Hester becomes a factor that must be respected, the more this passing game becomes dangerous.

Berrian had eight catches for 99 yards while Muhammad scored once and gained 49 yards on five receptions in Detroit four weeks ago.

Tight Ends: What Griese has done is to use both Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen with nice results. Clark has been solid every week with between 30 and 60 yards and has scored twice this year - both with Griese. Olsen is coming on strong now as well with around 50 yards in the last two games and one score.

Desmond Clark gained 77 yards on seven catches and scored once against the Lions this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions defense is among the worst in the league and ranks particularly low against QB, RB and WR - not exactly what you want out of a defense. Benson is banged up and hasn't run well this year so expect a decent game here but not the big effort that seems available.

Griese has to be licking his chops at the prospect of facing a secondary that always gives up two passing scores a week at least. Even in Detroit in his first start, Griese threw for 286 yards and two scores and now he's playing better. Start your Bears receivers this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 19 29 20 8 12 6
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 30 32 26 7 10 32

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
On Bye

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