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

Prediction: GBP 24, DAL 30

No doubt the most anticipated game of the week and one that should determine the #1 seed in the NFC and the chance to get throttled in the Super Bowl. The winner gets a two game lead over the loser (by virtue of head to head tiebreaker) so this is a huge game. The Cowboys have only lost to the Patriots while the Packers only black mark came against the Bears back in week five.

Green Bay Packers (10-1)
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 37-26 -3.5 48
13 @DAL   +6.5 52
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 DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     310,3
RB Ryan Grant 50 30  
TE Donald Lee   50,1  
WR Donald Driver   70  
WR Greg Jennings   110,1  
WR James Jones   30,1  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The magic season continues and this week could be the only remaining game that the Packers have a shot at losing. The week 16 match-up comes against the Bears in Chicago against the only team so far to beat them but the Bears are hardly hitting on all cylinders lately anyway. One interesting note - this week is also the only time that the Packers will be facing a team with a winning record when they played - besides the Lions last week. A loss here only means the Packers settle for the #2 seed this year but a win would go far to stamping the team as destiny's child for 2007.

Quarterback: He did it. By logging 381 yards against the Lions on Thanksgiving, Brett Favre has now set himself up to only need 507 passing yards to break the vaunted record by Dan Marino and now he can do it at home. All he needs is to average 254 yards the next two weeks and they can stop the action during the game against the Raiders to herald the moment that Favre crossed the final finish line to owning every desirable record by an NFL quarterback in the history of the game.

He already averages 305 yards per game anyway and it must be done in week 13 at home since the following two efforts are on the road. Favre has topped 300 passing yards in seven of the last nine games and he'll need to throw in Dallas this week. He is also on a three game streak with three touchdowns per week.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant comes off his third 100 yard effort after only playing in five games this year. He only carried 15 times but ended with 101 yards and one score in Detroit. He also added six catches for 31 yards and has factored in as a receiver in most games. The Packers have finally settled on their starting running back and are not even bothering with letting any other running backs have a carry. Grant ran for 119 yards and a score against a tough Vikings rush defense but only produced 55 yards on 19 carries in the game in Kansas City.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver finally reversed his trend of lower yardage games when he had a season best ten catches for 147 yards in Detroit but he still has not scored since week three. Greg Jennings is the guy Favre looks for when the endzone is near and he has already scored nine times this season in just nine games played. He remains good for around 50 or 60 yards in most weeks and has a season high of 141 yards as the deep threat that must be accounted for - and yet he also excels in the short touchdown catches.

Part of Favre's success has come from spreading the ball around to many receivers including Ruvell Martin, James Jones and Koren Robinson. This is one of the top passing attacks in the league despite having no "stud" outside of Jennings scoring.

Tight Ends: As if all the wideouts were not enough, Donald Lee also figures in heavily in most games and had a two touchdown effort against the Panthers though he logged a season low one catch for ten yards in Detroit.. He has tended to be more productive in road games though.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys have one of the best rushing defenses in the league in part because teams have to abandon the run but playing in Dallas will mean that Grant should only have moderate rushing yardage at best. No runner has topped 100 yards against the Cowboys though occasionally one will score. That depends on if the Packers end up near the goal line or not. Safest bet is that Grant only has moderate rushing yards but should kick in enough receiving yards to warrant a fantasy start.

Favre goes against a decent secondary but one that should give up points and yards to a pass attack as formidable as the Packers. CB Anthony Henry still is battling a high ankle sprain but should be back on Thursday but he matches against Jennings who should score at least once in this match-up. Since the Packers will likely have to throw with their rushing game less productive, I like Favre to toss three scores in this one with very healthy yardage that will, of course, be spread out among all receivers. This is a big, national game and Favre should be in top form here.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 21 4 10 1 7
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 14 3 20 16 12 14


Dallas Cowboys (10-1)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF 25-24 -10 42
6 NE 27-48 +5 52.5
7 MIN 24-14 -9.5 46
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 38-17 -3 46
10 @NYG 31-20 -1.5 49
11 WAS 28-23 -10.5 47
12 NYJ 34-3 -14.5 47
13 GB   -6.5 52
14 @DET 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 PHI 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @CAR 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @WAS 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DAL vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     270,2
RB Julius Jones 50 10  
RB Marion Barber 60,1 20  
TE Jason Witten   90,1  
WR Terrell Owens   80,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   40  
WR Sam Hurd   20  
PK Nick Folk 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Another big test for the Cowboys at home this year and the last time they faced a top team, the Patriots had their way in the fourth quarter. A win here should seal the NFC East but the final schedule won't be a cakewalk by any means with three road games and only one home stand left to play against the Eagles. A win this week says that the Cowboys are as good or better than anyone in the NFC but a loss would cast a shadow on the playoffs which is already a sore point after last year. The schedule has been kind to the Cowboys with their two biggest games coming at home but the first one did not end well.

Quarterback: Tony Romo is #2 in the NFL with 29 pass touchdowns and has only once had less than two scores in a game. Over the last four games, he's thrown a total of 13 scores and is on pace to shatter Cowboys' franchise passing records. His yardage will vary from 200 to 300 yards from week to week but the scores always have come - thanks to Terrell Owens.

Running Backs: The duo of Julius Jones and Marion Barber continue to be productive though Jones has only scored once this year and typically ends with around 50 yards in most games. Barber comes off his second 100 yard rushing game of the year but has really seen a decrease in his role as a receiver from last year thanks to the success of Owens and Jason Witten in particular. Barber has taken over as the primary runner, but he still shares with Jones too much to allow Barber to be consistently productive.

Wide Receivers: Patrick Crayton was held out last week because of his sprained ankle but there is a chance that he will play this week and was back at practice on Monday. I will assume that he can play but check to make sure he is active for Thursday. It looks favorable.

Terrell Owens is on a six game scoring streak and his 13 touchdowns are second only to Randy Moss. He only had 65 yards against the Jets last week but had over 100 yards in the four previous games. He is critical to the success of the passing game and both sides are well aware of it.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten's production has been all over the map lately though in most games he logs around 50 or 60 yards and has topped 100 yards twice this year. He has six scores so far but that could be more were it not for Tony Curtis catching three passes this year - all touchdowns.

Match Against the Defense: Like the Cowboys, the Packers rush defense has been stellar this year largely because teams do not have the luxury of running much. There could be some success here by the Cowboys but it will be split between Jones and Barber anyway. One area of bigger weakness is the Packers against the receiving of running backs but that too reflects game situations of the past for opponents. Expect one rushing score by Barber but only moderate yardage since it will be split. Dallas will want to run as much as they can if only to keep Favre off the field.

Romo faces a very good secondary by Charles Woodson has injured his toe and may not play this week. He would have drawn Crayton or his replacement on most downs anyway. The Packers pass defense is also harder to evaluate since it has faced very few top quarterbacks this year - Cutler, Campbell, Huard, Bollinger and Holcomb are added to Kitna and Testaverde. Romo should throw for at least two scores in this game though and the Packers have been very weak against tight ends - expect a very nice game here from Witten against a defense that has already allowed three tight ends to exceed 100 receiving yards this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 7 7 1 4 9
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 16 13 5 31 11 2

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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