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

Prediction: CAR 10, JAC 27

The Panthers come off their very first home win (go figure) and now hit the road where they have been 4-2 this year. But the Jaguars are coming off their first loss in four weeks and are 4-2 at home and playing better than ever. Just maybe not as good as the Colts. The Panthers needed the 49ers defense to show up before their offense awoke but these Jags are likely to put them back to sleep.

Carolina Panthers (5-7)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @STL 27-13 -1 42
2 HOU 21-34 -6.5 39
3 @ATL 27-20 -4 37.5
4 TB 7-20 -3 39
5 @NO 16-13 +4 43
6 @ARI 25-10 +6 38.5
7 BYE - - -
8 IND 7-31 +6.5 45
9 @TEN 7-20 +4 40
10 ATL 13-20 -4.5 36.5
11 @GB 17-31 +10 37.5
12 NO 6-31 +3 41
13 SF 31-14 -3 35.5
14 @JAC   -10.5 38
15 SEA 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 DAL 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @TB 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CAR at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde     220,1
RB DeShaun Foster 50 10  
RB DeAngelo Williams 20 20  
TE Jeff King   30,1  
WR Steve Smith   70  
WR Keary Colbert   30  
WR Drew Carter   50  
PK John Kasay 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Fortunately the Panthers won last week and even looked pretty good doing so thanks in no small part to the 49ers visiting. But that should be the end of the wins for the year since the schedule now features four straight division leaders in what could be an ugly ending to the year. The Panthers decided to just have fun last week and they won. Probably not going to be nearly as fun this weekend. Or the next week. Or the next.

Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde returned last week and had a decent 169 yard, two touchdown showing against the 49ers in a game where the rushing was enough to win anyway. David Carr is likely gone at the end of the season after being demoted to third-string which is important since the closing schedule could easily get Testaverde knocked out yet again. That will leave Matt Moore as the starter when and if that happens.

Running Backs: Last week saw DeShaun Foster only gain 58 yards on 21 carries though he scored for only the third time this year. His normal output is right around that yardage but DeAngelo Williams also was given 17 carries in the blowout over the 49ers and turned in 82 yards on 17 carries and had a 46-yard catch as well. Like so many other teams in the NFL, Williams was more successful running than the primary back and yet the brain trust in Carolina are never interested in featuring him more. The only two teams that Williams had a good game against this year were the Cards and 49ers and the rest of the year hardly features that easy an team.

Wide Receivers: Nothing new here other than they are starting to use Steve Smith as a runner a couple of times each week. On this offense, the very best play is anything that gets the ball into his hands and since the passing game is largely on the sideline with Jake Delhomme, a couple of end-arounds are a great idea. With Vinny under center again, Smith had eight catches for 64 yards but he hasn't scored since week six and there's no pretense that the Panthers have a quarterback capable of replacing Delhomme. All those critics that blamed Delhomme for last year and that wanted Carr to be the starter are pretty quiet right now. About as quiet as the Steve Smith owners.

Tight Ends: The season started with Jeff King appearing to have taken the next step up but that has quickly vanished along with Delhomme. While King did score last week for only the second time this year, he only had two catches for four yards and usually remains under 30 yards in most games.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars rushing defense has been solid this year and only allowed three rushing scores at home. Since the Panthers are typically sparse on rushing production, figure if Foster reaches even his normal 60 yard mark it will be an accomplishment here.

Testaverde has a shot at some success in this game against a defense that has allowed at least one passing score to each of the last eight opponents with surprisingly big yardage for most but this offense is all about Steve Smith who will be blanketed on the road. Expect that one score which will most likely end up with King again since that is the main weakness of this defense. There is a chance that Smith could have a nice game here, but it will require the other wideouts to step up and give the Jags something else to think about.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 25 22 21 18 28 26
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 26 14 16 29 7 5


Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TEN 10-13 -6.5 37.5
2 ATL 13-7 -10.5 34.5
3 @DEN 23-14 +3 35.5
4 BYE - - -
5 @KC 17-7 -2 35
6 HOU 37-17 -7 37
7 IND 7-29 +3.5 45
8 @TB 24-23 -4 32.5
9 @NO 24-41 +3.5 40
10 @TEN 28-13 +4 35
11 SD 24-17 -3 41
12 BUF 36-14 -7.5 36
13 @IND 25-28 +7 44.5
14 CAR   +10.5 38
15 @PIT 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 OAK 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @HOU 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
JAX vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     200,1
RB Fred Taylor 90,1    
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 50,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30,1  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40  
WR Ernest Wilford   40  
WR Reggie Williams   60  
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: While the loss to the Colts ensures that the Jags can only get a wildcard this year, their 8-4 record has them in the lead to play in the first round of the playoffs over Cleveland (7-5). A win this week and again at home against the Raiders should wrap it up and make the game in Pittsburgh less important and the finale' in Houston probably meaningless. The offense has really come to life after a sluggish first half of the season and the Jags have scored 24+ points in each of their last six games including a near win in Indy last week.

Quarterback: The four games off this year seemed to have helped David Garrard since he has thrown for five scores in the last three weeks and had solid passing yardage every week. One bigger change is that he rarely runs anymore but the improvement in the rushing game totals have helped to decrease the need. Garrard threw an interception in Indy on Sunday - his first of the year.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor comes off back to back games with exactly 14 rushes for 104 yards and he has been running better lately than any other time of the year. Maurice Jones-Drew has scored in each of the last four games but has been less effective running than Taylor and has not been involved as a receiver much since week ten. Six of his last seven games have seen him turn in 50 rushing yards or less. But he has scored well and has eight touchdowns on the season - all rushing.

Wide Receivers: Though he seems less suited for a slot role, Reggie Williams has recharged his career lately with three straight games with around 60 receiving yards that coincides with the return of Garrard. His six touchdowns leads all receivers and is likely one explanation why Jones-Drew has fallen off as a receiver. Dennis Northcutt scored last week for the third time this year but remains under 40 yards in almost every game and Ernest Wilford comes off a season high of 72 yards on five receptions against the Colts. There is nothing flashy here to be sure, but at least Williams is showing some consistency each week.

Tight Ends: The return of Garrard has also helped Marcedes Lewis who has scored twice over the last three games and had around 100 total yards in that time. He is still a marginal fantasy starter but is starting to make some small waves.

Match Against the Defense: The Panthers rushing defense is about average and only two runners have topped 100 rushing yards against them this year. But much of that comes from playing soft opponents earlier in the year and lately they always give up one rushing score on the road to an opposing runner. Look for a standard showing here from Taylor and Jones-Drew that will only grow big is the Jags get a sizable early lead. I like both runners here to score since this should be a game that the Jags can win with defense.

Garrard has been solid these last three weeks and the Panthers have allowed multiple passing scores to any team that has a decent passing attack. He should throw at least one and possibly two but that will happen only if the Panthers play better than expected and make this into a closer game.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 18 4 19 14 21 15
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 17 15 9 23 13 11

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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