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

Prediction: GB 24, DET 23

Turkey Day #1

This is the first game against these divisional rivals. In 2006, the Packers swept the Lions, winning 31-24 in Detroit and later 17-0 in Green Bay. The Packers are riding higher than in the Lombardi years though it would hard to imagine anyone lifting a McCarthy trophy. The Lions are continuing their on-again, off-again ways but are 4-1 in Detroit after losing to the Giants who these Packers have already beaten in New York. The Lions are improved but these Packers are apparently strapped to the destiny bandwagon. This should be a game where records and stats are thrown out.

Green Bay Packers (9-1)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 16-13 +3 43.5
2 @NYG 35-13 +2.5 38.5
3 SD 31-24 +5 43
4 @MIN 23-16 -1 38
5 CHI 20-27 -3 41
6 WAS 17-14 -3 40.5
7 BYE - - -
8 @DEN 19-13 +3 44
9 @KC 33-22 +2.5 38.5
10 MIN 34-0 -6.5 40.5
11 CAR 31-17 -10 37.5
12 @DET   -3.5 48
13 @DAL 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 OAK 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @STL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DET 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
GBP at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     320,3
RB Ryan Grant 60 30  
TE Donald Lee   50,1  
WR Donald Driver   80  
WR Greg Jennings   100,2  
WR James Jones   30  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The media is all ga-ga over Brett Favre and perhaps rightfully so but that only serves to hide the strength of this team - the defense and a set of no-name receivers getting the job done. The Dallas game looms on the following Thursday but the Packers know enough not to look past this well known opponent. After the Dallas match-up, the only likely stumbling block is the road trip to Chicago.

Quarterback: After three straight weeks with over 300 passing yards, Brett Favre "fell back" to only 218 yards against the Panthers but he did throw three touchdowns which extends his current multiple score streak to four games and a total of seven on the season with two more touchdowns. Favre currently has 2975 passing yards on the season. He needs to reach 3862 yards to break the final Marino record for career passing yards. That sets up a quandary. He is 887 yards short. He throws for almost 300 per week. That means he has to throw for 887 yards in the next three weeks to have him breaking the record in a home game (Oakland - week 14) because weeks 15 and 16 are on the road. No doubt that he will have 887 yards by week 17 when the Lions come to town, but he is going to have to really push it to meet the 887 over the next three games against the Lions, Cowboys and Raiders.

Given that he will want badly to set the new record at home, he will be passing probably even more in the next three games, even to the detriment of the rushing game. Bet I am right on this.

Favre had a big game in Detroit last year, throwing for 340 yards and three touchdowns.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant twisted his ankle at the end of the Panthers game last week but it is considered minor and he is expected to play on Thursday. Grant made his third straight start and gained 88 yards on 20 carries after turning in 119 yards and a score against the Vikings the previous week. He is a definite upgrade that only took half a season to be given the chance.

Wide Receivers: Much of Favre's success this year has come from his spreading the ball around more than in recent years. Donald Driver is still solid enough with yardage but has not scored or had over 100 yards since week three. Greg Jennings is a touchdown machine with seven on the season but he usually caps out around 80 yards in games and is the deep threat in most games. James Jones has been as high as 107 yards and as low as no catches - in successive weeks. Even Koren Robinson and Ruvell Martin figure in. For all the yards and scores, there's surprisingly little fantasy value here other than Jennings' scores and Drivers' yardage.

Driver only managed three catches for 20 yards in Detroit last year though one went for a touchdown.

Tight Ends: Bubba Franks is expected to miss his fifth game but Donald Lee more than makes up for the shortfall with three scores over the last two games and several efforts netting over 50 yards. Lee typically gets four passes every game.

Match Against the Defense: This is a better Packers team than the one that tore up the Lions last year and while Detroit has a better offense, the defense still ranks as one of the worst in the league. Favre is on a quest for records regardless what politically correct thing he says and this is one place that he should pick up some decent yardage. The Lions are not nearly as bad against the run, but the #30 ranking on running backs is due in large part to the receiving yardage that running backs always post when they play the Lions. No opposing runner has rushed in a score in Detroit and none have topped 100 yards. Only one tailback has tallied the 100 against the Lions this year (Westbrook - 110).

This is all about passing and you know how Favre likes his big audience.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 22 4 7 4 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 30 22 24 7 32


Detroit Lions (6-4)
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 10-16 +2.5 49.5
12 GB   +3.5 48
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 GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     280,2
RB Kevin Jones 50 40  
TE Sean McHugh   10  
WR Roy Williams   50  
WR Mike Furrey   60,1  
WR Calvin Johnson   40  
WR Shaun McDonald   70,1  
PK Jason Hanson 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Lions really could have used that win against the Giants but the offense sputtered with Jon Kitna throwing three interceptions and Kevin Jones yet again unable to mount any ground game. The ten-win pledge by Jon Kitna means that the Lions would have to win four of their next six and those games will include two meetings with the Packers and one against Dallas. Throw in a road trip to Minnesota and San Diego and maybe Kitna was being a little optimistic.

Quarterback: After a three game drought, at least Jon Kitna has been scoring for the last three weeks and his 377 yards against the Giants was his second best of the year. But he also threw a season high three interceptions in that game thanks in part to tipped passes and the Lions were unable to punch in scores. Kitna is on a four game stretch of topping 250 passing yards though and he only needs some semblance of a rushing attack to help soften the defenses.

Kitna threw for 342 yards and two scores against the visiting Packers in 2006. He only had 135 yards and no scores in Green Bay late in the season.

Running Backs: After roaring to life for a month, Kevin Jones is back to being banged up and ineffective with only 15 carries for 21 yards total in the last two weeks. He did score against the Cardinals and still is a small component of the passing but he's really tailed off both in carries and effectiveness.

Jones only played in the away game against the Packers but rushed for 81 yards and a score in Green Bay.

Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson was the hot rookie this year but he has certainly cooled thanks to a lingering back condition. Johnson scored last week but has not caught more than three passes during the last seven games played. He only has four scores on the year and hasn't turned in more than 45 receiving yards since week three.

Roy Williams was also languishing since week three but finally showed up with 106 yards on six catches against the Giants. He also had two scores the previous week though only 45 yards on six catches. While the primary receiver, Williams has been surpassed by Shaun McDonald during the last seven games for yardage gained. McDonald is actually the most consistent Lion's receiver working from the slot against safeties. The passing game is still here, but it is really spread out and changes almost weekly who the hot receiver is.

Roy Williams had seven receptions for 138 yards and a score against the visiting Packers last year.

Tight Ends: Sean McHugh has no fantasy value beyond 10 or 20 yards per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers rushing defense has only allowed two rushing scores by opposing runners this season and only one has topped 100 yards (Peterson of course). With Jones already struggling and the Lions likely to fall behind, Jones is not an attractive start this week unless he turns up his receiving workload.

Kitna faces a secondary that is very good against wideouts so look for McDonald to end up with the better numbers. The Lions will have to pass this week and the Packers will give up scores in road games. Expect two touchdowns here with a shot for a third. The Packers are #32 against tight ends but the Lions never use McHugh much. That could translate into Jones out of the backfield more this week but the Packer's corners have been outstanding this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 9 29 2 31 12 1
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 18 11 4 32 8 2

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
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