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

Prediction: NYG 20, CHI 16

Update: Derrick Ward has been in full practices and is expected to play this week though he will likely share with Reuben Droughns to some degree. I am adding him into the projections. Plaxico Burress has not practiced on either day because of knee soreness and his sprained ankle but still could play. The Giants are noncommittal on his playing status but he has been injured almost every week this year and played. I am not changing his projections but be aware that at the least he is not better than he has been and may be worse.

Interesting game that has the Giants on the road where they are 4-1 this year against the Bears who are just 2-3 at home. But the Giants come off a surprisingly bad game against the Vikings while the Bears beat the Broncos last week. Should be a close one that will be determined by just how many turnovers the Giants have this week.

These teams played in week 13 of last year when the Bears won 38-20 in New York.

New York Giants (7-4)
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 16-10 -2.5 49.5
12 MIN 17-41 -7 41
13 @CHI   -1.5 43
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 CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     230,1
RB Reuben Droughns 20 10  
RB Derrick Ward 80,1 20  
TE Jeremy Shockey   40  
WR Plaxico Burress   70,1  
WR Amani Toomer   40  
WR Sinorice Moss   30  
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The loss to the Vikings last week was hitting the bottom of the barrel for the G-Men who saw Eli Manning turn in a historically bad performance and by all appearances lose to a Vikings team that has not been nearly that good. The loss probably ensures that the Giants have no chance for the NFC East title but at 7-4 they are currently first in line for a wildcard. This road trip is followed by going to Philly and the season ends against the Pats, so the Giants will be challenged to remain this high in the standings. In their favor - the NFC is just mediocre this year and just a couple more wins should lock down that wildcard.

Quarterback: There's bad and then there's so bad that all you can do is just shrug the shoulders and pretend it didn't happen. That is what happened last week when Eli Manning threw four interceptions of which three were returned for Vikings touchdowns. Manning appears to be getting an early start on his normal late season slide with only one score in each of the last four games.

Manning had only 121 passing yards and no scores against the Bears last year.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs has not yet practiced because os his hamstring strain and is likely out this week as well. Derrick Ward is expected to return to practice this week and should play after missing the last four games with ankle and groin injuries and that would be a positive for the Giants since Reuben Droughns only picked up 46 yards on 15 carries against the Vikings though he scored once. I am going to assume that Ward starts and shares with Droughns until more information is known. Updates as warranted.

Last year against the Bears, Tiki Barber had a big 141 yard rushing day while Brandon Jacobs scored two touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress ended his four game drought when he scored against the Vikings and had seven catches for 93 yards. That was well above any game he had over the past month when he languished with four straight games without a score or more than 47 yards. Burress has nine of the 11 touchdowns caught by a Giants wideout this year and Amani Toomer has done little this year other than catch those two other scores. He had turned in over 40 yards in a game only twice this year.

Burress only caught four passes for 48 yards versus the Bears last season.

Tight Ends: Other than the nice showing in the Dallas game, Jeremy Shockey has been unusually unproductive this year and has remained below 45 yards in four of the last five games. He only has three scores on the season.

Shockey only had one catch for 15 yards against the visiting Bears last year.

Match Against the Defense: This would have been a nice game to have Jacobs healthy but either Ward or Droughns should manage at a score here against a defense that has allowed 11 rushing touchdowns already this year and several nice yardage games. If it is a split backfield, then only moderate numbers for the starter but if Ward can return and play healthy, he would have a nice game here.

Manning could be a little shell-shocked after last week but the Bears pass defense has been on a downturn lately and allowed two passing scores to both of their last opponents. That may be high side to expect from Manning but he should manage at least one score here. Burress is an obvious most likely player to catch it but the Bears have been giving up a number of scores to their opponents #2 receivers. But Toomer just hasn't been that productive.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 15 6 17 13 14 6
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 9 29 16 24 23 30


Chicago Bears (5-6)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SD 3-14 +5.5 42.5
2 KC 20-10 -12 34.5
3 DAL 10-34 -3 41
4 @DET 27-37 -2.5 46
5 @GB 27-20 +3 41
6 MIN 31-34 -5 35.5
7 @PHI 19-16 +4.5 40.5
8 DET 7-16 -5 44
9 BYE - - -
10 @OAK 17-6 -3 38.5
11 @SEA 23-30 +5.5 37.5
12 DEN 37-34 -2.5 41
13 NYG   +1.5 43
14 @WAS 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @MIN 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 GB 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NO 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman     200,1
RB Adrian Peterson 50 30  
TE Greg Olsen   20  
WR Bernard Berrian   80,1  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   50  
WR Devin Hester   10  
PK Robbie Gould 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Losing Cedric Benson for the year may not seem like a major blow, but falling back on Adrian Peterson is unlikely to jumpstart this lethargic rushing game. The win over the Broncos last week was thrilling but was largely thanks to Devin Hester scoring twice on returns and that 's hard to rely on - even with Hester around. With two road games following this week and a match-up against the Packers looming, the Bears seem destined to turning in a losing season on the heels of a Super Bowl appearance.

Quarterback: While Rex Grossman has not killed the Bears since returning as a starter, the reality is that he hasn't been a difference maker other than connecting on one bomb to Berrian in Oakland. He only had two scores in his three games since returning and has managed to lose three fumbles over those weeks. Grossman has been better than he was in his first starts because he hasn't taken to throwing multiple interceptions each week but with Benson gone, the passing game is needed no less.

Grossman threw for 246 yards and three scores against the Giants last season.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson ran well in Seattle but was underused. Last week, he started out again running much better but after eight carries for 47 yards, his ankle was rolled on by a defender and now he is gone for the season. That leaves Adrian Peterson as the starter with some expected help from the rookie Garrett Wolf. While fans have called for Peterson to get more work, that was only because Benson was under performing in the past. There is a reason why Peterson was not a starter and rushing 17 times for 45 yards against the Broncos soft rush defense is why.

I will project for Peterson as the starter but keep an eye on Garrett Wolf to see if he starts getting more involvement. He's too small for every down work but could offer a change of pace to Peterson.

Benson only ran for seven yards on six carries in New York last year but Thomas Jones gained 113 yards on 30 carries and scored once.

Wide Receivers: Bernard Berrian likes Grossman even if no one else does. Berrian has scored in two of the three most recent starts by Grossman and had a season high 102 yards in the game when he did not score. There is no secret here, the Bears will use Berrian on a few deep routes each week and it just depends if he can catch them. Muhsin Muhammad had been used more by Grossman for his first two games back with around 75 yards in each but then fell back to just 26 yards on two receptions against the Broncos thanks to Champ Bailey. Muhammad remains a decent fantasy play for yardage, likely more so with Benson out and the passing game even more important.

Muhammad caught seven passes for 123 yards and a score against the Giants last season while Mark Bradley turned in four receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown as well. Berrian did not play in that game.

Tight Ends: The hot rookie Greg Olsen started in week five with impressive play and had four straight games of 50 or 60 yards with a couple of scores along the way, And then came Grossman, the Olsen killer. In three games with Grossman as the starter, Olsen has only had a combined 53 yards and no scores. Last week he settled for only one catch for ten yards. At least Griese used him.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears are switching to Peterson right when one of the better rush defenses is coming to town,. The Giants have only allowed two rushing scores over the last seven games and never more than 88 rushing yards in that time. Expect only moderate numbers here with no score. Peterson could make up for that with receiving yards though.

Grossman faces a secondary that has been only average and yet a problem is that Grossman has been much more likely to be sacked than Griese was. in the last two weeks, Grossman was sacked eight times while the Giants recorded seven sacks in their most recent two games. Add in Grossman's penchant for fumbling and that could spell some trouble here. No reason to expect more than average yardage and one score here that has to favor Berrian.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 26 22 7 12 5
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 22 8 23 22 6 25

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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