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

Prediction: DET 20, ARI 24

The Lions are 6-2 but they are only 2-2 on the road with their two worst losses coming away from Detroit. The Cardinals have lost their last three games but are 2-1 at home with only their fourth home game this week. The Lions are definitely better but the Cards at home always play a bigger game.

The Cardinals won 17-10 when the Lions came to Arizona last year.

Detroit Lions (6-2)
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 16-7 +5 44
9 DEN 44-7 -3 45.5
10 @ARI   +1 45
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 ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     240,1
RB Kevin Jones 70,1 20  
TE Sean McHugh   10  
WR Roy Williams   70,1  
WR Mike Furrey   30  
WR Calvin Johnson   50  
WR Shaun McDonald   50  
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Big win over the Broncos propels the Lions into a lofty 6-2 record but the rest of the schedule is pockmarked with tough games - NYG, GB, DAL and @GB alone should be more than this team can handle. But the Lions defense has been quietly outstanding these last three weeks with only allowing ten points per opponent on average and the rushing game has come to life. It's like the Bears and Lions have changed places this year.

Quarterback: After three scoreless games, Jon Kitna posted two touchdowns and 252 passing yards against the visiting Broncos last week and what is more encouraging is that his best two games of the year came on the road in Oakland and Philadelphia. The offense is more balanced now and Kitna throws more when he must. The receivers are healthy again and the passing game should be more reliable against a tougher schedule from here on out.

Kitna threw for 248 yards and no scores in Arizona last year.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones only gained 71 yards on 17 carries against the Broncos but that's still better than what the Lions could do when he was out. Jones has topped 70 rushing yards in each of the last three games and had at least 15 carries in each. His only game over 100 rushing yards came on the road in Chicago so he's not limited to only home showings. What was new last Sunday was including T.J. Duckett for five runs where he gained 48 yards and one score but that was just a function of a big lead in a decided game. Jones remains the primary with almost no need for help.

Wide Receivers: The Lions passing game is diverse and totals good yardage in most games but that also means that no individual receiver has done that much. Roy Williams hasn't scored since week three and has only averaged 47 yards per game. Calvin Johnson only averages 46 yards each week. Mike Furrey has averaged 45 yards per game. The most productive wideout here is actually Shaun McDonald with 56 yards per game. The totals are fine but they usually involve all four wideouts.

Both Roy Williams and Furrey turned in 67 receiving yards in Arizona last year.

Tight Ends: Sean McHugh may gave up to 40 yards in a game but still has not scored and usually hangs in around 20 or so yards per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals rush defense has been dinged in recent games and not just on the road. Jones is running well and the Lions want more balance so expect a decent game here with one rushing score.

Kitna's production will depend on game situation but the Cards pass defense is only average and can be exploited. Look for a score here by Kitna in a game where he will need to throw since the Cards will be scoring. The wideouts will all contribute but best bet is for Williams to have the best game.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 10 26 3 31 6 1
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 9 14 24 1 24 16


Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
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 10-17 +3.5 37
10 DET   -1 45
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 vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     250,2
RB Edgerrin James 70,1 20  
TE Leonard Pope   20  
WR Anquan Boldin   70,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   100,1  
WR Bryant Johnson   30  
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Since the big win over the Steelers, it's been a tough four games with injured quarterbacks and only one three point win over the Rams. Last week was the low point with even James running into a wall and Warner ineffective against the Buccaneers back at home the Cards can use a little desert magic on the Lions as they did last year. Notable too is that the Cards have a wonderful fantasy schedule coming up with DET, CIN, SF and then CLE on tap. Even if the wins do not come, there should be a bounty of fantasy points along the way.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner comes off his worst game as a starter this year when he only completed 10 or 30 passes for 172 yards and two interceptions in Tampa Bay but he's scored in every other game he's played and posted 258 yards in Washington the previous week. This will be his first home game as a starter this season.

Leinart threw for 233 yards and one score against the Lions last season.

Running Backs: While Edgerrin James only gained 15 yards on nine carries in Tampa Bay, he been around 80 rushing yards or more in most other games and has scored in each of the three previous home stands. His best efforts have largely come in Phoenix and should be back to form this week.

James ran for 96 yards on 22 carries against the Lions last year.

Wide Receivers: While Anquan Boldin has been in consistent in yardage this year, he has five of the seven passing scores thrown to wideouts and has the season best 184 yards in a single game back in week three in Baltimore. Otherwise he has yet to top 40 yards in a week. Larry Fitzgerald may only have one score on the year but at least he has been very productive with at least 95 receiving yards in each of the last five outings. He has stepped up nicely and has been the long ball threat for the Cardinals.

Boldin had five catches for 87 yards against the Lions last year and Fitzgerald only managed two catches for 30 yards.

Tight Ends: While Leonard Pope has two scores on the year - more that Fitzgerald does - he has been wildly inconsistent and each time he scored he had 30 yards in those games and yet had no catches the following week.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions rush defense has been far better than the ranking suggest bit has always attracted a lot of passes thrown to backs - they only have given up 748 rushing yards and yet 648 receiving yards to running backs. Since James is rarely used in that capacity, expect just a moderate showing here but one rushing score.

Warner faces a secondary that has been much improved though still gives up the yards and the more recent opponents have hardly been big passing teams anyway. Look for a solid showing here by Warner who should have good yardage and two scores split by both Fitzgerald and Boldin.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 16 27 8 30 23 20
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 29 30 23 15 5 32

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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