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

Prediction: BAL 20, MIA 17

Wow! This is the game you make your kids watch if they have been bad. Like robbing a convenience store bad. The Ravens has lost their last seven games and are only 1-5 on the road this year. The Dolphins... well... man. This is like their big last chance and yet they have lost the last two games by a combined score of 30-78. This could be the one since high scoring is unlikely to break out by either team but by now, most people just want to see what 0-16 really looks like.

Baltimore Ravens (4-9)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 20-27 +3 40.5
2 NYJ 20-13 -9.5 33
3 ARI 26-23 -7 35.5
4 @CLE 13-27 -4 40
5 @SF 9-7 -3.5 34.5
6 STL 22-3 -9 36.5
7 @BUF 14-19 -3 35
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 7-38 +4 48
10 CIN 7-21 -4.5 44.5
11 CLE 30-33 +2.5 43.5
12 @SD 14-32 +9.5 38.5
13 NE 24-27 +20.5 51.5
14 IND 20-44 +9.5 44
15 @MIA   -4 37
16 @SEA 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 PIT 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BAL at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller     180,1
RB Willis McGahee 100,1 20  
TE Quinn Sypniewski   20,1  
WR Mark Clayton   50  
WR Devard Darling   40  
WR Derrick Mason   60  
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: With games in Seattle and against the Steelers looming after this week, the Ravens last chance at a win is here against a team that has never won this year. The offense has been better over the last month (though never good enough) but the defense continues to be wracked by injuries and could be without major stars this week of Samari Rolle, Haloti Ngata and Chris McAllister. More than anything, this game is not just a chance at a win, it is the mandate not to be "the one" that allowed Miami to win a game. It's not like the Ravens have anything else to play for.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller has thrown at least one score in each of his four starts though the yardage rarely tops 200 and this will only be his third start on the road this year. He's playing for a job in 2008 and was looking marginally improved until last week when he had three interceptions against the Colts and lost a fumble. This game will be Boller's last chance to shine this year thanks to a tough final schedule.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee followed up his season best effort against the Patriots with his worst game of the year against the Colts. He only gained 45 yards on 17 carries and failed to score for the first time in eight games. Still, he is the most consistent weapon that the Ravens have and by far the highest scoring. McGahee re-injured a toe that has been bothering him for a while but was able to finish the Colts game and is not expected to miss this week. He may take practice a little lightly early this week just to rest it.

Wide Receivers: The marginal passing numbers for the Ravens means no wideout here is worthy of a fantasy start outside of Derrick Mason but even he only has three scores on the year and just one over the last six games. Mark Clayton had seven catches for 90 yards against the Colts but it was entirely gained during trash time and he was almost without a catch when the game was still in any question. He still has never scored this year. Devard Darling did have a touchdown last week but on his only catch in the game. Boller has not exactly set this group on fire and if anything, he has decreased Mason since McNair was looking almost exclusively for his old TItans-buddy earlier this year.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap remains out with a hamstring injury. He has missed seven of the past nine games with the injury but once again, HC Brian Billick says there is a chance that Heap could play this week. Once again, you would be crazy to start Heap.

Match Against the Defense: While the Ravens defense may be banged up, the offense is pretty healthy other than McNair gone and OT Jonathan Ogden tweaking his hamstring last week. This should be a nice game for McGahee to get back onto the scoring track again and turn in one of his better games. Since this should be mostly about defense and rushing, look for at least a healthy effort here with one score and good yardage with a shot at a really big game.

Boller would be wise not to press the pass more than needed though the Fins secondary is nothing special despite lower stats because most teams just run against them. Look for one passing score here but likely nothing more. After his outing last Sunday, Boller needs to focus on not making mistakes more than scoring touchdowns.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 27 19 23 22 19 22
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 28 28 20 9 30 20


Miami Dolphins (0-13)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @WAS 13-16 +3 35
2 DAL 20-37 +3.5 40.5
3 @NYJ 28-31 +3 35.5
4 OAK 17-35 -3.5 40
5 @HOU 19-22 +5.5 43
6 @CLE 31-41 +4 45
7 NE 28-49 +17 51
8 NYG 10-13 +9.5 48
9 BYE - - -
10 BUF 10-13 +3 41
11 @PHI 7-17 +10 40.5
12 @PIT 0-3 +16 35.5
13 NYJ 13-40 -1 38.5
14 @BUF 17-38 +7.5 36.5
15 BAL   +4 37
16 @NE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 CIN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
MIA vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Cleo Lemon 30,1   150,1
RB Lorenzo Booker 10 40  
RB Samkon Gado 50 10  
TE David Martin   10  
WR Derek Hagan   50  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   40,1  
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Well, this is probably the last chance for a win. With the Patriots and Bengals left to face, an injury depleted Ravens team is about as good as it gets. But the Fins have never looked as bad as they have the last two weeks when they gave up 78 points to the Jets and Bills and the points scored by the Dolphins were meaningless points at the end of a very bad beat. The Fins are feeling the heat more now since the 0-16 season is coming into sharp focus now but even a banged up Ravens defense won't be making it easy. Or maybe even possible.

Quarterback: HC Cam "I'm so crafty I scare myself" Cameron will not name a starting quarterback until later in the week. But he yanked the rookie John Beck after only two pass attempted last Sunday and Cleo Lemon looked good in comparison so I am projecting for Lemon to start this week. No way will the Dolphins play this game with Beck at the helm because this isn't about preparing for the future, it is about trying to win a game so that there will be any future at all. Lemon adds a new dimension since he has only three passing scores in five starts but scored four rushing touchdowns. This offense really needs all the dimensions it can get.

Running Backs: Jesse Chatman was a gametime scratch last week despite telling the media that he would play and he may be back for this one. In his place, Samkon Gado actually ran well with 12 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns - one more than Chatman had all year. If Chatman is healthy, the Fins will likely use a committee with both backs but until Chatman practices fully, I will only project for Gado.

Lorenzo Booker has been a nice surprise this last two weeks with six catches in each game and 97 combined yards. He is becoming a speedy third down back and serves mostly to decrease what little the other running backs can do. With six catches per game, he's actually a filler option in a point per reception league.

Wide Receivers: The ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft comes off his best game of the year with only four catches for 67 yards thanks to one 57-yard reception. Ted Ginn still only has one score on the season. Marty Booker was a scratch last week with a sore knee and allowed Derek Hagen to explore trash time catches with his personal best of eight catches for 93 yards in Buffalo. That was more than he totaled in the five previous games and he too only has one touchdown on the season. I will drop Booker from the projections until he is cleared to play.

Tight Ends: David Martin has been no better than 35 yards per game all year and only scored in one game. He has no fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Ravens are banged up on defense but the last four quarterbacks they have faced were Manning, Brady, Anderson and Palmer. It's not like Cleo Lemon is getting to play his own defense. The Ravens still have never allowed a 100 yard rusher this year and most opposing runners end with less than 50 rushing yards. Look for a minimal effort here from the running game. I like the Fins to really give this game 100% - whatever that really is - and for them to score twice. Lemon should have one passing score here that favors a wideout like Ginn and the other should be one rushing score that will be either Gado or Lemon running it in.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 15 29 18 29 30
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 20 3 27 8 31 26

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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