The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, GuestJOINHELP


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

Prediction: STL 24, CIN 27

Update: With Marc Bulger suffering a relapse of his concussion, the Rams intend on using Brock "last man standing" Berlin. What this means to the is obviously hard to gauge knowing that Berlin has no real track record to guage but he is going against one of the worst secondaries in the league and will have to pass a good bit in this game.

Two one-time offensive powerhouses that have fallen on hard times. The Rams are 2-4 on the road this year while the Bengals are just 3-3 at home. This game could go either way since the defenses are both bad and the offenses for each vary between bumbling and high-level play. Take the home team here but do not feel safe about it. Were it in St. Louis, the Rams would be favored.

St. Louis Rams (3-9)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 13-27 +1 42
2 SF 16-17 -3 44
3 @TB 3-24 +4 38.5
4 @DAL 7-35 +13 47
5 ARI 31-34 +3 40.5
6 @BAL 3-22 +9 36.5
7 @SEA 6-33 +9 40
8 CLE 20-27 +3 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @NO 37-29 +12 46
11 @SF 13-9 -2.5 41
12 SEA 19-24 +3 44.5
13 ATL 28-16 -4.5 42
14 @CIN   +7 47
15 GB 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PIT 20-Dec THU 8:15 PM
17 @ARI 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
STL at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger 270,2
QB Brock Berlin     220,2
RB Steven Jackson 80,1 40  
TE Randy McMichael   20  
WR Torry Holt   80,1  
WR Isaac Bruce   50,1  
WR Drew Bennett   30  
PK Jeff Wilkins 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Rams now hit the had part of their schedule but at least are a bit healthier.With three wins in the last four games, they are definitely improved but then again, the Saints, 49ers and Falcons are hardly world class teams this year. Bulger is expected back this week and Steven Jackson is running much better. Even the defense has played better but again - the opponents have been weaker than most. After this week are home stands against the Packers and Steelers, so the good times are probably over for this year.

Quarterback: The Rams will welcome back Marc Bulger since he passed his neuropsych exam and has been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion in week 12. That'll be just in the nick of time too since Gus Frerotte has a sprained shoulder and a partially torn labrum. Bulger was back on top with a couple of 300 yard games against the Saints and Browns but then only managed 155 yards and one score in San Francisco. His biggest goal will be to stay healthy since the Rams are down to unsavory choices if Bulger gets hurt. This is a team that has allowed 40 sacks this season.

Running Backs: Since returning in week eight, Steven Jackson has scored in four of his five games and rushed for over 90 in each of the last three weeks. He even comes off a season high four catches for 71 yards against the Falcons in a role he perfected in 2006 but that has been much less used this year. For the last four games, he has topped 100 total yards each week.

Wide Receivers: He may have a chronic knee condition, but Tory Holt hasn't let that stop him from still producing. He comes off a season best 135 yards and a score against the Falcons and has three 100+ yard games in the last five weeks. The biggest asset to him has been the return of the rushing game with Jackson which has coincided with all three big games.

Isaac Bruce has also been in better form with a touchdown catch in three of the last four games and usually around 60 yards in each. Drew Bennett has just never really caught on with all but one game producing less than 40 yards and scoring only twice this season.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael was having better games back when the team was largely injured and the running game was sputtering. He now ends up below 30 yards in almost every game though he has the occasional touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals have allowed six runners to top 100 rushing yards and most teams score one rushing touchdown. Jackson's output will depend on the game situation but if he can get his normal 20+ carries, he should have another very nice game here with a score.

Bulger faces a secondary that has given up two or more scores to any team with the ability to pass well. I like this game to become a bit of a shootout with Bulger tossing two scores and turning in nice yardage as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 22 26 13 22 22 25
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 29 16 31 22 24 15


Cincinnati Bengals (4-8)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 BAL 27-20 +3 40.5
2 @CLE 45-51 -7 41.5
3 @SEA 21-24 +3 50
4 NE 13-34 +7.5 54
5 BYE - - -
6 @KC 20-27 -3 42
7 NYJ 38-31 -5.5 46.5
8 PIT 13-24 +3.5 48.5
9 @BUF 21-33 -1 43.5
10 @BAL 21-7 +4.5 44.5
11 ARI 27-35 -3 48.5
12 TEN 35-6 +1.5 42
13 @PIT 10-24 +7 46
14 STL   -7 47
15 @SF 15-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
16 CLE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @MIA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CIN vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     270,2
RB Rudi Johnson 70,1 10  
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   90,1  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   70,1  
WR Chris Henry   60  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bengals were crushed by the Steelers last week but the last home game was a huge win over the Titans. Of course the game before that was a loss to the visiting Cardinals. Such is life as a Bengal. The remaining schedule is about as sweet as they come with games against STL, @SF, CLE and @MIA so there is actually a chance that this team could win out and reach an improbable 8-8 record on the year but that would be entirely thanks to a scheduling quirk.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer is actually having a decent year were it not in this season of huge stats by Brady and Romo. He has 21 passing s and four efforts over 300 yards. His last two home games saw him scoring five times and passing for 329 and 283 yards. The offense is healthy again and unsuspended and the only question is if they can keep up with what the defense allowed opponents to do.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson is finally back to health and while he only had 34 yards on 14 carries in Pittsburgh, he did score once. He gained 88 rushing yards against the Titans on 25 carries and scored in that game as well. Kenny Watson is no longer getting in the way with only nine carries in these last two weeks but the rushing game here is still a level below 2006. Those two recent scores by Johnson were his first on the season and he only has 389 rushing yards in total - a far cry from his consistent numbers from the last three seasons.

Wide Receivers: The three amigos have been reunited since week ten but the numbers are not as good as 2006. As usual, Chad Johnson had a monster three touchdown game against the Titans but had not scored since week two and only has that 100 yard game since week seven. T.J. Houshmandzadeh too has calmed down from his eight straight scoring games to only having one touchdown in the last four games and less than stellar yardage. And even Chris Henry started out with a 99 yard game and over the course of four weeks has worked his way down to just 31 yards in Pittsburgh. This unit should come to life much more in the final month with a cakewalk of a schedule.

Tight Ends: Reggie Kelly has not scored this year and rarely gets more than one catch per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams rushing defense has yet to allow any opposing runner to top 100 yards this year though most manage one rushing score, particularly during road games. Expect just moderate yards here by Johnson but a good shot at a score.

Palmer faces off against a secondary that has allowed multiple passing scores to any good offense that it has faced. They have only once given up a 300 yard game (Romo) but then again they have also lost many weeks just because of rushing scores allowed and the general malaise and errors of their own offense. Expect very solid yardage this week with a strong chance that Chad Johnson scores since the split ends have been the sore spot in the pass coverage. I also like Houshmandzadeh to end up with a score though Henry is a contender as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 8 21 2 32 7 11
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 19 18 24 16 23 27

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Other Features

Fantasy Statistics
Training Room
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Tunnel Vision
a d v e r t i s e m e n t