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

Prediction: GBP 23 , STL 16

The Packers made amends for the Dallas loss in a big way with their smack down of the Raiders last week and now they hit the road where they are 5-1 on the season. The Rams are only 1-5 at home but are showing more life for the recent month at least until they lost Bulger.

In week 5 of 2006, The Rams won 23-20 in Green Bay.

Green Bay Packers (11-2)
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 27-37 +6.5 52
14 OAK 38-7 -10.5 42
15 @STL   -9.5 44
16 @CHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 DET 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
GBP at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     290,2
RB Ryan Grant 80 10  
TE Donald Lee   40  
WR Donald Driver   60  
WR Greg Jennings   100,2  
WR James Jones   50  
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers still need to keep winning and hope that the Cowboys lose two of their next three games and the Packers win out in order to take the #1 seed away from them. Just one more win assures no worse than the #2 seed and the next two weeks will be challenges but ones that the Packers should win. The Rams can be pesky and a trip to Chicago could be a problem though they are having quarterback woes and the Bears' defense has folded up their tents now. It was the Bears who handed the Packers their only home loss this year. But the Packers have been an offensive powerhouse this year and particularly against weaker teams like the Rams.

Quarterback: Brett Favre has already passed for 3678 yards this year and ranks #2 in passing yardage in the NFL. He managed to play last week with no ill-effects from his bruised elbow or left shoulder separation during the Dallas game and ended with 266 yards and two scores against the visiting Raiders. That now leaves him only 183 yards away from taking away Dan Marino's final league record of 61, 361 passing yards. That's just under THIRTY FIVE MILES worth of passing yards. With two road games before the finale' against the Rams, unfortunately Favre will be setting the all-time record away from Green Bay. But hey - he is bringing a playoff game to the hometown fans this year.

Favre only passed for 220 yards and one score against the Rams last year.

Running Backs: It is not unusual for a no-name running back to pop up mid-season and then look great for the rest of the year. It happens every year (think Betts in 2006) and then those tailbacks go back to their obscurity with some nice memories. That may not be the case for Ryan Grant who has been so impressive that he has to be considered the 2008 starter already. He has scored in four of his six starts and turned in a 100+ rushing game times - oddly every other week so far. The only curiosity here is why it took the Packers so long to start using him?

Noah Herron was the starter in week five last year and rushed for 106 yards and one score against the visiting Rams in 2006.

Wide Receivers: Just more of the same. Greg Jennings has scored in nine of eleven games this year and has 11 scores on the year along with two efforts over 100 yards. He has failed to score only once in the last seven games and averages around 75 yards every week. He has three more games to gain 188 yards and have his first 100 yard season. Donald Driver has been relegated to being a glorified tight end by now with around 50 yards in most games and no scores since week three. This offense works by spreading the ball around but that always includes Jennings.

Driver only had three catches for 24 yards but Greg Jennings had five receptions for 105 yards and one score versus the Rams last season.

Tight Ends: Donald Lee comes one off his best fantasy game of the year with four catches for 71 yards and one score against the Raiders. He has five touchdowns on the season and averages around 45 yards per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams rushing defense is better than most realize and have only allowed two visiting running backs to score this year in St. Louis. None have topped 100 rushing yards and this plays right into the odd "every other week" trend that Grant has followed. He is a lock for decent yardage but likely won't score or have a big yardage effort here.

Favre faces a secondary that ranks average but that is a function of the Rams losing so many games early on and opponents never having to throw much. They have allowed three scores on three difference occasions this year and multiple passing scores six times. Favre is not going to slow down here though he likely won't have a huge game. This should be a closer match than may seem likely but not one that Favre will stumble on.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 20 4 9 1 6
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 15 21 22 11 28 24


St. Louis Rams (3-10)
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 10-19 +7 47
15 GB   +9.5 44
16 PIT 20-Dec THU 8:15 PM
17 @ARI 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
STL vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Marc Bulger     260,1
RB Steven Jackson 70 50  
TE Randy McMichael   40,1  
WR Torry Holt   60  
WR Isaac Bruce   50  
WR Drew Bennett   30  
PK Jeff Wilkins 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams fell in Cincinnati in the rain but had nothing to feel bad about with their third-string starter under center and the weather in Cincy was not exactly "dome-like". The Rams are much improved from their early crash and burn and most injured players are back now including Marc Bulger who is slated to start this week barring a setback. The next two weeks likely won't be a ton-o-fun with the final home games being against the Packers and Steelers but the Rams can leaves this season just thankful everyone can return in 2008.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger is expected to start this week as long as he doesn't have any problems. There are no more tests to take so it will be entirely up to Bulger to say whether or not he feels he can play. The shift to Brock Berlin last week was predictably unproductive though he had weather issues on the road in his first ever start. Bulger had been passing for nice yardage prior to getting his concussion though he only has six scores in his eight full games played.

Bulger passed for 220 yards and two scores in Green Bay last season.

Running Backs: A big reason why the Rams are playing better is that Steven Jackson has been back in form after returning in week eight. He has scored four times in those six games and his last four games all ended with over 90 rushing yards and an increased role for him in the passing game. He doesn't go much above four catches per week but it helps his fantasy value each week.

Jackson rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries in Green Bay last year and added three catches for 20 yards.

Wide Receivers: Even third-stringer Brock Berlin knew well enough to keep throwing to Torry Holt who had eight catches for 90 yards in Cincinnati. Holt has battled a nagging knee condition but has rarely had a bad fantasy game this year. He only has three 100+ yard efforts but all came in the second half of the year when the rushing game came back to life. Both Isaac Bruce and Drew Bennett were blanked last week but Bruce has been consistently turning in around 50 yards in most games and scored three times since midseason. Bennett never has managed more than about 40 yards in a game except for his one 63 yard effort against Cleveland.

Holt only had 40 yards on three catches in Green Bay last year but scored once.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael's numbers have dipped since midseason since there are better options but he still has three scores on the season and usually ends with about 20 yards in most games.

Match Against the Defense: The Packer's rushing defense has been solid this year and no runner has topped 100 rushing yards against them and only three runners have been able to run in a score. There is a nice chance here for Jackson to rack up some catches though since most weeks have seen the opposing runner with 30 or so receiving yards.

Bulger goes against a defense that has allowed at least one passing score in all but one game and yet the problem is that the Packers corners are top notch against the wideouts and most teams have to resort to backs and tight ends for success. That should limit Holt this week though he gets so a large percentage of all passes he will still end with fantasy relevant numbers. I like McMichael to show up with a score this week against the #30 defense against tight ends.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 25 26 15 24 24 21
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 19 11 4 30 11 2

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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