The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, GuestJOINHELP


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

Prediction: ARI 17, TB 20

The Cardinals are just 1-3 on the road and the Bucs are 3-1 at home but this should still be a competitive, close game with both teams already showing a knack for games that go to the final drive. The Cards come off their bye week and should be healthier than they have for several weeks but the Bucs at home always play tough.

Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
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 19-21 +7 37
8 BYE - - -
9 @TB   +3.5 37.5
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 TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     210,1
RB Edgerrin James 80,1 10  
TE Leonard Pope   20  
WR Anquan Boldin   70,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   60  
WR Bryant Johnson   30  
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Three of the four losses by the Cardinals have been by three points or less - for the want of a field goal they might be 6-1 on the season. But the Cardinals lead the league in penalties as a sign of a young team learning new schemes on offense and defense. The bye week comes after a two game losing streak but the remaining schedule isn't the toughest in the league by any stretch. This week will be tough but then the Cardinals have one of the easiest schedules of any team.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner played in week seven after damaging a ligament in his non-throwing elbow and had 282 passing yards and two scores in Washington - pretty impressive all things considered. His left elbow will take weeks to completely heal and he will have to deal with pain for now but is gutting it out and posting some nice fantasy points in the interim.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James doesn't catch many passes in this new offense but he has been solid with yardage and has gained at least 77 rushing yards in all games not played in Baltimore (he only had ten carries there). He has scored four times this year but three were at home and the only road touchdown was back in week one in San Francisco. He's only average in leagues that award reception points but he's very consistent in yardage leagues. Problem is that he only scores at home.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin finally returned to the playing field after missing three games and while he only had 29 yards on his eight catches, he scored twice against the Redskins. He also scored twice against the Ravens in a game that he caught 14 passes for 181 yards. While he has only played in four games this year, he has scored at least once in each road trip and yet not so far at home. He's the preferred target in this offense regardless of which quarterback is playing.

Larry Fitzgerald has been very consistent with his last five games all over 85 yards but he only has one touchdown on the year. No other wideout here has much of a role.

Tight Ends: Leonard Pope comes off his best game of the year but that was only three catches for 35 yards and one touchdown. He is little used so far though Warner tends to look for him a little more than Matt Leinart did.

Match Against the Defense: The Buccaneers weakest link is against the rush where they have already given up seven rushing scores and several nice yardage games. Look for a solid effort here by James that will fall just short of the century mark but with a decent chance for a touchdown.

Warner faces a secondary that has been very good this year in only giving up six passing scores and two of those went to Peyton Manning. No wideout has managed more than 80 yards against them and none have ever scored more than once. Look for a game that will peak around 200 passing yards and one score unless the Bucs get an early, sizable lead and force the Cards to throw more.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 11 23 5 29 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 1 28 2 3 6 4


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 6-20 +6 41
2 NO 31-14 +3.5 41.5
3 STL 24-3 -4 38.5
4 @CAR 20-7 +3 39
5 @IND 14-33 +9 45
6 TEN 13-10 -2.5 37
7 @DET 16-23 +1.5 43
8 JAC 23-24 +4 32.5
9 ARI   SUN 1:00 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 @ATL   -3.5 37.5
12 WAS 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @NO 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @HOU 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 ATL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SF 23-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
17 CAR 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TBB vs ARZ Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia     220,2
RB Earnest Graham 60 10  
RB Michael Bennett 40 30  
TE Jerramy Stevens   20,1  
WR Joey Galloway   80,1  
WR Ike Hilliard   50  
WR Maurice Stovall   30  
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: After starting 3-1 on the season, the Buccaneers have reversed that with a 1-3 showing that closely aligns with where the game was played. The loss to the Jaguars last week was the first home game not to go in the favor of the Buccaneers and this week's game takes on more importance since three of the next four match-ups come on the road where the Buccaneers are only 1-3. Just a half game behind the Panthers and having beaten them in Carolina already, the Bucs are in good shape to stay in contention in the NFC South even with the recent losses.

Quarterback: It had to happen eventually and when it did, the Bucs lost. Jeff Garcia had not thrown an interception through the first seven weeks but against the Jags he threw one that was returned for a critical defensive score. And then another. And finally on the last drive, he recorded his third. Still Garcia has thrown for at least one score in each of the last four games and he's remained above 260 passing yards in each of the last three contests. There's not enough production here to merit being a fantasy starter but he's turning into a rock solid back-up and worst-case replacement for a starter.

Running Backs: The Bucs ground game looked a little improved last week when Earnest Graham turned in 62 yards on 14 carries but the more optimistic part was Michael Bennett catching a side lateral that he turned into a touchdown. He had 23 yards on just two runs and should see increased workload. Excluding his one game in Detroit, Earnest Graham hasn't been much help for the offense and hasn't scored in the four games since he became a starter. The trade for Bennett will become more important as the season continues.

Expect to see both Graham and Bennett sharing the load unless Bennett looks clearly better and eventually takes over. That is unlikely if only because he won't stay healthy that long.

Wide Receivers: Joey Galloway still reigns as the best wideout here and comes off a nice six catch, 115 yard effort against the Jaguars. No other wideout here has more than one touchdown while Galloway leads the team with four. He usually is stuck around 50 yards in most games but has three efforts of 90 yards or better because he turned in a long gainer. Ike Hilliard was quiet last week with his worst game of the season but he's surprisingly solid each week with around 50 or 60 yards.

Tight Ends: With Alex Smith out injured, Jerramy Stevens is getting more playing time and had two catches for 45 yards last week, one being an impressive if not improbable snag of a Garcia pass. He's always had the talent but just never stayed out of trouble long enough in Seattle to be a factor there.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals pass defense is underrated and has only given up eight passing scores in seven games. The rushing defense is also better than most and should be able to handle the Bucs new two-pronged attack unless Bennett breaks a long run off - always a possibility. Expect just moderate rushing yardage here that gets split up between Graham and Bennett.

Garcia has been passing better recently though the Bucs have also been losing games. Expect moderate passing numbers here with one score likely and two possible. Not likely more than that and the score has to favor Galloway strongly since he catches most of them for the Bucs and the Cards have been weakest against the split end anyway. He could catch the second one as well or it could go anywhere.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 20 13 18 22 22 29
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 12 14 24 1 26 20

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Other Features

Fantasy Statistics
Training Room
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Tunnel Vision
a d v e r t i s e m e n t