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

Prediction: STL 14, NO 27

Update: Reggie Bush has been held out of practice on Wednesday and then limited on Thursday to rest the bone bruise to his knee. He is expected to play.

The Rams come off their bye week and hit the road where they have always lost by at least 18 points per game. The Saints are only 2-2 at home but have won their last four games and have been improving weekly. The Rams also lay claim to be the lowest scoring team in the entire NFL. Add it all up and the respective streaks continue.

St. Louis Rams (0-8)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 13-27 +1 42
2 SF 16-17 -3 44
3 @TB 3-24 +4 38.5
4 @DAL 7-35 +13 47
5 ARI 31-34 +3 40.5
6 @BAL 3-22 +9 36.5
7 @SEA 6-33 +9 40
8 CLE 20-27 +3 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @NO   +12 46
11 @SF 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 SEA 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 ATL 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @CIN 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 GB 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PIT 20-Dec THU 8:15 PM
17 @ARI 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
STL at NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     220,2
RB Steven Jackson 50 20  
RB Brian Leonard 20 20  
TE Randy McMichael   30  
WR Torry Holt   80,1  
WR Isaac Bruce   30  
WR Drew Bennett   40,1  
PK Jeff Wilkins   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Like the Dolphins, the Rams come off their bye week still looking for their first win of the season. Unlike the Dolphins, the Rams still have some of their original offense except for the offensive line. Steven Jackson is back and the time off was a major help in healing up Marc Bulger who has been pummeled this season. The Rams will win a game or more this year but this week looks like one more week of "not enough".

Quarterback: Marc Bulger comes off his best game in a long time when he threw for 310 yards and one score against the non-existent secondary of the Cleveland Browns and the shocking part was that he was never sacked in the game. Realize that the previous two games against the Seahawks and Cowboys resulted in a total of ten sacks and four interceptions. On the year, Bulger only has three scores going against eight interceptions, three lost fumbles and a total of 18 sacks. Throw in a few rib and knee injuries and it has not been a banner year for Bulger.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson missed four games with a partially torn groin but returned in week eight and ran for 41 yards on eight carries as his first game back. He also scored his first touchdown of the season. But Jackson has only been averaging 3.6 yards per carry and only once had more than 60 rushing yards in his four games played. Brian Leonard replaced Jackson for those four weeks and he averaged - doh! - the same 3.6 yards per carry. Looks like Jackson needs about 28 carries in a game to top the 100 yard mark.

Wide Receivers: After eight games played, Torry Holt finally comes off his first 100 yard game of the year when he gained 110 yards on six receptions against the visiting Browns in week eight. That was his fourth game with a score but he has only averaged about 70 yards per week and has been playing with a sore knee that is not expected to improve. Isaac Bruce also had a decent showing against the Browns but in most games remains under 50 receiving yards. Drew Bennett rarely tops more than 40 yards in any week.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael has been solid this year but never has more than two or three catches per week for around 30 yards and has only scored once.

Match Against the Defense: As bad as the Saints defense started the season, there has been tremendous progress made and even with those initial losses, the Saints still were good against the run. The Saints have not allowed a rushing score in the last five games and no runner has gained more than 61 yards against them this season. Expect only a moderate game at best here from Jackson with no touchdown,

The Saints have been much softer against the pass and every opponent scores at least once through the air. The Rams have struggled this year but Bulger should managed a decent showing this week with over 200 passing yards and at least one score and possibly two. Those should favor Holt and Bennett the most.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 26 31 19 19 22 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 28 5 30 11 20 9


New Orleans Saints (4-4)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 10-41 +6 51.5
2 @TB 14-31 -3.5 41.5
3 TEN 14-31 -4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 CAR 13-16 -4 43
6 @SEA 28-17 +6 43
7 ATL 22-16 -9 43
8 @SF 31-10 -2.5 40
9 JAC 41-24 -3.5 40
10 STL   -12 46
11 @HOU 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CAR 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 TB 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @ATL 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 ARI 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @CHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
NOR vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     280,2
RB Reggie Bush 60,1 50  
TE Eric Johnson   30  
WR Marques Colston   80,1  
WR Devery Henderson   20  
WR David Patten   70,1  
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Saints have been a tale of two teams this year. The first month saw them never score more than 14 points and lose all their games. The last four weeks have witnessed them average around 30 points per week and win every game. Winning in Seattle and now routing the Jaguars sends a strong signal that the Saints have figured out their problems and now can tie the Bucs for the NFC South lead.

Quarterback: The recent success of the Saints draws a direct line to Drew Brees. After only throwing for one touchdown against nine interceptions over the first four weeks, Brees has reversed that with 11 scores and just one interception in the last four games. He has not thrown for less than two scores in each week and comes off a season high 445 yards and three scores against the Jaguars. Drew has his groove back.

Running Backs: Reggie Bush continues to impress as the primary runner and while he still has yet to rush for more than 100 yards, he has been solid in total yardage and comes off a 72 yard effort on 17 carries against the Jaguars that saw him score both a rushing and receiving score and add 43 yards on his standard seven catches in the game. He has been right around 25 touches per game since McAllister has been out and is still holding up and improving as a complete running back.

Aaron Stecker had 12 carries for 35 yards last week in the blowout over the Jags but he only plays when the Saints are well ahead and need to rest Bush.

Wide Receivers: The success of the passing game has happened with the diversity of the passing. No longer is the offense revolving around just Marques Colston and Devery Henderson. David Patten has stepped up as the best flanker in the rotation and had three nice games in the last four weeks including his first score of the season against the visiting Jags on Sunday. Lance Moore is worked in and has his second touchdown in the last three weeks with three catches for 26 yards. Henderson still figures in but only as a rotation player. This has allowed Colston more breathing room that last week became ten catches for 159 yards. He had three touchdowns and 85 yards the previous week. No player here is consistent every week but all combined they are letting Brees top that 300 yard mark for the last two weeks.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson remains good for around 30 yards in most weeks but last Sunday was joined by Billy Miller who had a season high 75 yards on three catches. Johnson has consistency but a rather low ceiling.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams have never allowed less than 22 points in a road game and the Saints are on a roll now. The Rams rush defense has been better than most realize with no opposing runner topping the 100 yard mark despite the Rams trailing in every game. Look for Bush to have his standard seven catches and good total yardage here with a chance for one rushing score.

Brees faces a secondary that has given up good yardage and two or three scores to every decent passing team it has faced. Colston will always be the most likely wideout to score but look for the flankers to have a decent showing as well with one score. That could go to any of the three other wideouts but Patten has been the best so far.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 9 14 5 17 32 21
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 21 25 22 12 28 28

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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