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

Prediction: ATL 10, ARI 31

This later afternoon game pits the Cardinals who are 4-2 at home and recently bumped from playoff contention and the Falcons who are 1-6 on the road and looking very much like they should be the 1-13 team instead of the Dolphins. The Cards take this one seriously which is never a good thing for the Falcons who are reeling from, well, just everything this year.

The Falcons won 32-10 when they hosted the Cardinals in week four of last year.

Atlanta Falcons (3-11)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIN 3-24 +3 36
2 @JAC 7-13 +11 34.5
3 CAR 20-27 +4 37.5
4 HOU 26-16 +2.5 39.5
5 @TEN 13-20 +8 41
6 NYG 10-31 +4.5 43
7 @NO 16-22 +9 43
8 BYE - - -
9 SF 20-16 -3 37
10 @CAR 20-13 +4.5 36.5
11 TB 7-31 +3 35
12 IND 13-31 +12 45
13 @STL 16-28 +4.5 42
14 NO 14-34 +4.5 42.5
15 @TB 3-37 +10 39
16 @ARI   +10.5 43
17 SEA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
ATL at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Chris Redman     180,1
RB Warrick Dunn 40 10  
RB Jerious Norwood 60 20  
TE Alge Crumpler   20  
WR Joe Horn   10  
WR Michael Jenkins   50  
WR Roddy White   60,1  
PK Morten Andersen 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: How painful was last week? First the Falcons were beaten soundly on Monday night football and then spent that game listening to the announcers discuss Michael Vick who was just sentenced. Then Bobby Petrino leaves a Dear John letter behind. Then the Falcons get absolutely thumped by the Buccaneers in a game where they only had 133 total offensive yards. They even let the Bucs return a kick for a touchdown for the first time in their 21 year history. There's nothing left to play for, not even pride by this point.

Quarterback: Whatever good will created by Chris Redman after throwing for two scores in his two previous games was washed away in Tampa Bay when Redman completed only 4 of 15 passes for 34 yards and two interceptions. Yes, that was an entire game. No, there was no other quarterback involved. The departure of Petrino threw the team into further disarray which was apparent across the board. Whether Redman recovers or not is up to debate.

Running Backs: The Falcons finally gave Jerious Norwood nine carries and he gained 73 yards against the Bucs while Warrick Dunn stuck with his norm and rushed for 32 yards on eight carries. There is a chance that Norwood continues to get more playing time but then again, he has never had more than nine carries in any game this year, despite consistently out producing Dunn. Hopefully this is resolved next year but for this week, no reason to expect anything more than a split of carries.

Dunn rushed for 55 yards on 19 carries while Norwood ran for 106 yards on just six runs against the Cardinals last year.

Wide Receivers: Last week only had four completions so obviously no wideout stood out. This week is important since Roddy White needs one more yard to break 1000 and could be the lone positive from this 2007 for the Falcons. It is unsafe and unwise to expect anything from this group after last week, not even from White who has been the only wideout worthy of any attention by the secondary this year.

Tight Ends: The only thing that Alge Crumpler did last week was to not catch a pass and receive his NFL fine for showing support for Michael Vick back during the Monday night game in week 14. He's been a huge disappointment this year but had a decent game three weeks ago with Redman when the Falcons still cared.

Match Against the Defense: It is very hard to forecast what this team will play like this week since it is all about the off-field factors as it was last week. The Cardinals at home always present a better defense and the Falcons are falling apart. Bet to avoid any fantasy players here though Norwood could surprise here. The Cardinals have been giving up 2+ passing scores for the last six weeks so there is a chance that Redman manages to score once here. That should favor Jenkins or White but again - this week is not about past stats and tendencies. It is about a team responding to a very bad ending to the season.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 29 30 19 28 29 30
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 28 20 31 1 22 23


Arizona Cardinals (6-8)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 17-20 +3.5 45
2 SEA 23-20 +2.5 42.5
3 @BAL 23-26 +8 35.5
4 PIT 21-14 +6 42.5
5 @STL 34-31 -3 40.5
6 CAR 10-25 -6 38.5
7 @WAS 19-21 +7 37
8 BYE - - -
9 @TB 10-17 +3.5 37
10 DET 31-21 -1 45
11 @CIN 35-27 +3 48.5
12 SF 31-37 -10 38
13 CLE 27-21 -1 51.5
14 @SEA 21-42 +7 44.5
15 @NO 24-31 +3.5 49
16 ATL   -10.5 43
17 STL 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
ARI vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     270,3
RB Edgerrin James 80,1 10  
TE Ben Patrick   20  
WR Anquan Boldin   60,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   90,2  
WR Bryant Johnson   60  
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals have dropped their last two games but at least the offense has scored 21 or more points for the last six games. Problem is that the defense has never allowed less either. But at home against a reeling Falcons team should be a nice way to wrap up a season that ends with the Rams visiting. After two weeks of bad weather games in the NFL, anyone with Cardinals on their fantasy roster should be happy.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner has been on a very nice roll for the last six weeks with at least two passing scores each game and solid yardage. He's still just holding the spot for Matt Leinart to return next year but has definitely made a case for him to remain one of the best second-string quarterbacks a team could have and one that can still win games. His arm has improved enough that Tim Rattay never comes in near the goal line since week 12.

Leinart and Warner combined for 177 passing yards in Atlanta last year and never scored.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James has slowed down as the season progressed and has only two 100 rushing yard games all year anyway. He was scoring about every other game but even that has disappeared since week 11 and rarely has more than one catch in a week as well. But he is typically solid at around 70 rushing yards in most home games and offers enough support that Warner has success passing.

James rushed for only 41 yards on 20 carries in Atlanta last year.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin played with his bad toe last week and still had six catches for 83 yards in New Orleans. That was his best showing since week three and a nice sign that he can end the season strongly. Larry Fitzgerald has been only moderately good at yardage lately but has scored at least one in each of the last five games and typically has at least 70 yards. The dynamic duo is back just in time for fantasy playoffs.

Boldin only gained 42 yards on four receptions while Fitzgerald turned in 66 yards on three catches in Atlanta last season.

Tight Ends: With Leonard Pope gone for the rest of the season, Ben Patrick was the starter against the Saints and while he only had two catches for 17 yards, he scored his second NFL touchdown. Not enough fantasy value to merit consideration but an option for Warner all the same.

Match Against the Defense: Jeff Garcia broke the streak because he rarely needed to pass last week, but previous to that the Falcons had been giving up three passing scores in each of the prior three games. Twice it went over 300 yards and that should play well into the Cardinals style of play. There is good chance that James could finally find the endzone again since almost all opponents score at least once via the rush but the Cards cannot deny their tendency to pass. Look for a very nice game here from Warner who will want to end the season well for his first year head coach.CB DeAngelo Hall should draw Boldin but they may move him around. Hall is auditioning for the NFL now.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 9 29 5 17 24 15
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 13 28 9 25 20 30

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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