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

Prediction: NYG 24, DET 30

Here's a very interesting game that pits two teams who really need the win. The Giants come off their loss to the Cowboys that ended a six game winning streak. Both teams are currently 6-3 and the Lions are 4-0 at home this year but come off being manhandled by the Cardinals in Arizona. But the key here is that the Giants won six games against some very bad teams and the Lions have remained stellar at home. One very big consideration here - the Giants lead the league with 32 sacks on the season. And the Lions also lead the league with 37 sacks allowed. Bad combination and how that plays out will determine this game.

New York Giants (6-3)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @DAL 35-45 +5.5 44
2 GB 13-35 -2.5 38.5
3 @WAS 24-17 +3.5 40.5
4 PHI 16-3 +2.5 47
5 NYJ 35-24 -3 41
6 @ATL 31-10 -3 43.5
7 SF 33-15 -9.5 40
8 @MIA 13-10 -9.5 48
9 BYE - - -
10 DAL 20-31 +1.5 49
11 @DET   -2.5 49.5
12 MIN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @CHI 2-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
14 @PHI 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 WAS 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @BUF 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NE 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NYG at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     270,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 80 30  
TE Jeremy Shockey   50,1  
WR Plaxico Burress   60,1  
WR Amani Toomer   50  
WR Sinorice Moss   30  
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The loss last week completed the Cowboys sweep of the Giants and makes winning the division very hard if not impossible now. Add in that the Giants schedule turns now with four road games over the next six weeks plus a season ender against the Patriots who the Giants pray will no longer care what happens in the game. Beating the Jets, Falcons, 49ers and Dolphins was fun but Dallas showed that the Giants are not quite there yet. And they are set up for yet another late season slide with a tougher schedule pocked marked with road games.

Quarterback: When the Giants needed Eli Manning to step up last week, he ended with only 236 yards and one score against two interceptions and five sacks. Rather similar to when the Giants lost to the visiting Packers and he only had 211 yards and one score. Manning went on a three game spree with multiple scores but the Jets, Falcons and 49ers let most teams do as much. This week will be rather critical in a non-obvious way. If Manning can put together a solid showing, the Giants can get back to winning but if he returns to the same mediocre showing of 200 or so yards and one score, then the Giants and Manning will both yet again start slipping backwards.

Running Backs: Maybe the first month did not go as planned, but since week five when Brandon Jacobs returned he has been solid for the Giants. Last week he gained 95 yards on 23 carries against the Cowboys and has three efforts over 100 rushing yards in the last five weeks. He is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 104 yards per game. Derrick Ward has missed the last three games but could return this week to spell Jacobs but Reuben Droughns has only been asked for a handful of carries in the interim. This is the Jacobs show and he is getting the job done.

Wide Receivers: After opening the season with eight scores in the first six games and never less than one per game, Plaxico Burress has now gone three games without a score and never more than 43 yards per week. His ankle continues to be an issue that prevents him from practicing and that is taking a toll as the season progresses. Even against the 49ers and Dolphins, Burress only had 57 yards combined.

Dovetail that into Amani Toomer who rarely has more than 40 yards in any game and the wideouts here are looking worse with every week. Steve Smith is back in practice but not used in games yet while Sinorice Moss uses his blazing speed to gain up to ten yards on his one catch per week.

Tight Ends: The only bright spot last week was Jeremy Shockey catching a career high 12 passes for 129 yards and one score which gives him three touchdowns on the season - all caught in home games. With the decline of the wideouts in recent weeks, Shockey will be relied on more as the season progresses and is up to the task - if Manning can reach him with the ball.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions have been great against runners this year in Detroit where no opposing tailback has scored. Not one has managed a 100 yard game yet though invariably the Lions always give up receiving yardage to backs more than any other team. Jacobs has only had a limited role as a receiver but it could increase this week. Expect a good game here from Jacobs who is running well but likely no score and not big yardage.

Manning faces a secondary that has been shredded this year though which plays better at home. Expect two passing scores here and decent yardage because this match-up will be about the best for Manning to have a good game for the rest of the year. This could well be his "ceiling" and should get Burress back to scoring. If not - Burress really is playing with too much of an injury to matter the rest of the year. I like the chance for a defensive score here.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 16 6 18 10 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 30 26 25 5 32


Detroit Lions (6-3)
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 21-31 +1 45
11 NYG   +2.5 49.5
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 vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     240,2
RB Kevin Jones 50 10  
RB T.J. Duckett 20,1    
TE Sean McHugh   10  
WR Roy Williams   60,1  
WR Mike Furrey   60  
WR Calvin Johnson   50,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   50  
PK Jason Hanson 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The loss in Arizona reminded the Lions that they are not good everywhere yet but at 4-0 at home and already owning two road wins, the team is certainly on the right track to reach that 10 win plateau predicted by Jon Kitna. With two games remaining against the Packers and a home stand against the Cowboys, it may be tough to reach but even a .500 season is cause for celebration in Detroit and they certainly play at least that well. The defense had come to life this year and then took a step back in Arizona but if they can play well in three of every four games, these Lions have not stopped making some noise this year.

Quarterback: After going scoreless for three games, Jon Kitna has turned in two touchdowns in both of the most recent games and had well over 250 passing yards. He still has a problem with being sacked but at least much of that happens whenever he leaves Detroit - on the road he was been dumped 26 times in just five games but four home stands have only totaled 11 sacks and six came in one meeting with the Bears. So long as Kitna can remain healthy, these Lions definitely have a shot at winning - at least when at home.

Running Backs: After several impressive games that suggested that the run was back in Detroit, Kevin Jones stumbled mightily in Arizona and his four carries only produced a net four yard loss. This after averaging around 80 yards per game over the three previous weeks. What was even worse was Jones twice leaving the Cardinals match-up because his left foot was sore - the same one he injured seriously last year. Can it be that Jones is not durable? Could it be that he cannot last more than five weeks without something hurting?

For now expect Jones to continue to start but for T.J. Duckett to likely get more action to relieve him. I will update if Jones appears much limited or out this week. HC Rod Marinelli was elusive and noncommittal about Jones status this week which should make Jones' owners nervous.

Wide Receivers: Roy Williams comes off a two touchdown effort in Arizona but only had six catches for 45 yards. Those were his first scores wince week three and his yardage has typically remained at 50 or less since then. Calvin Johnson still has not had more than three catches in a game since week two and his yardage struggles to reach 50 yards since the start of the season. Mike Furrey has been a solid possession player with just one score and Shaun McDonald has been the most productive receiver for the last three weeks. This is a diverse passing game that no one no matter how high you drafted Roy Williams or Calvin Johnson.

Tight Ends: Sean McHugh had a freak high game last week when his one catch went for 46 yards. Expect the one catch much more than the 46 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have been strong against the rush though less so on road games. With Jones hobbled to some degree, do not look for a big yardage effort here and though I like one rushing score, it would more likely end up with Duckett.

Kitna faces a secondary which has been much improved going against bad offenses but even Trent Dilfer had two scores against them. The pass is the key here and with a certain heavy pass rush, I like Kitna to throw a bit shorter this week which should held both Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson a bit. Expect two scores here that could be three.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 10 27 2 31 10 1
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 23 12 17 27 4 12

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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