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

Prediction: KC 20, DET 24

Update: Eddie Kennison has been held out of practice this wek because of his ribs and may still play but I am removing him from the projections to be safe. Kennison has been nearly invisible since returning anyway. Larry Johnson did have some limited work on Wednesday but could not even finish practice. He was absent on Thursday and is not expected to play.

The Chiefs hit the road where they are only 2-4 this year and head to Detroit where the Lions are just 4-3. This is a game between two teams on a major slide since the Lions have lost their last six games and the Chiefs are up to seven consecutive losses. The only importance here is that one team gets to have a merry Christmas while the other may be spending the holidays searching the want ads.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-10)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @HOU 3-20 +3 38
2 @CHI 10-20 +12 34.5
3 MIN 13-10 -3 33.5
4 @SD 30-16 +13 38.5
5 JAC 7-17 +2 35
6 CIN 27-20 +3 42
7 @OAK 12-10 +3 37.5
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 22-33 -2.5 38.5
10 DEN 11-27 -3 37.5
11 @IND 10-13 +15 44
12 OAK 17-20 -5.5 34.5
13 SD 10-24 +3.5 43
14 @DEN 7-41 +6.5 37.5
15 TEN 17-26 +4 34
16 @DET   +4.5 42.5
17 @NYJ 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
KCC at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Brodie Croyle     230,1
RB Kolby Smith 60,1 20  
TE Tony Gonzalez   50  
WR Eddie Kennison 20
WR Samie Parker   50  
WR Dwayne Bowe   80,1  
PK John Carney 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: A bad situation in Kansas City was only made worse when HC Herman Edwards told fans to "get over it". He later recanted the statement as a misunderstanding but it all draws to the decline of the franchise since he arrived. Granted, Dick Vermeil left it stocked with aging veterans but other than Dwayne Bowe, there doesn't seem much on the horizon to suggest 2008 will be better. And with two remaining road games, it could be a long while before Kansas City fans witness another win.

Quarterback: Brodie Croyle comes off his best game to date when he passed for 217 yards and two scores against the visiting Titans. He also had two interceptions but was not sacked for the first time in his short career. Of course the Titans won by nine points, but for a quarterback who only had two scores over four starts and never more than 169 yards, it was a start. Croyle's other two scores came in road games.

Running Backs: This week should be interesting for Kolby Smith who has never ran for less than 83 yards in a home game but in two road efforts gained a combined 29 yards on 21 yards - not exactly Larry Johnson-like. His role as a receiver has been limited as well with never more than three catches for minimal yardage. The two road games were against IND and DEN but the game against the Broncos should have produced more than 12 yards on 13 carries. If he cannot produce on the road at all, he's not worth being even a back-up.

Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe has been consistent around 60 yards with Croyle as the starter though he has only scored once in the last four games. Sammie Parker hauled in one of the passing scores against the Titans but his 33 yards in that game was an eleven week high. Bowe is the only player here with any fantasy relevance and even that has been with marginal yardage and only one score so far.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez saw his numbers plummet once Croyle was made a starter but after the first three weeks, he had big games against the Chargers and Broncos. Last week - back to the bottom with only three catches for 17 yards. What was even worse was that Kris Wilson also had three catches and he scored a touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: This is the chance that the Chiefs can finally put together a decent offensive showing on the road. The Lions are bottom ranked in almost every category and their once decent rushing defense has really fallen off in the last four games with ten rushing touchdowns allowed in that short time period. The Chargers ripped them apart last week as did the Vikings in week 13. The Chefs are not nearly as good running - they are ranked #32 for a reason - but Smith should see at least moderate success this week on the ground with a shot at a score.

Croyle faces a secondary that always gives up at least one passing score and multiple touchdowns over half the time. Expect a passing score that should favor Bowe this week though Gonzo could score just as well. Parker plays on the side most victimized but Bowe gets a much higher volume of catches.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 27 32 30 4 30 25
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 32 26 24 11 31


Detroit Lions (6-8)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 36-21 +1 39
2 MIN 20-17 -3 42.5
3 @PHI 21-56 +6.5 44.5
4 CHI 37-27 +2.5 46
5 @WAS 3-34 +4 44.5
6 BYE - - -
7 TB 23-16 -1.5 43
8 @CHI 16-7 +5 44
9 DEN 44-7 -3 45.5
10 @ARI 21-31 +1 45
11 NYG 10-16 +2.5 49.5
12 GB 26-37 +3.5 48
13 @MIN 10-42 +3.5 44.5
14 DAL 27-28 +10.5 38
15 @SD 14-51 +10.5 45.5
16 KC   -4.5 42.5
17 @GB 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DET vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna     240,2
RB Kevin Jones 90,1 20  
TE Sean McHugh   10  
WR Mike Furrey   40  
WR Calvin Johnson   70,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   80,1  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Lions come off a humiliating loss in San Diego where they were trashed by the second string of the Chargers for the entire second half. But unlike the Chiefs, there has been at least some offense in Detroit and the season needs to wrap up with a win in the final home game. The Lions may have given up last week but played both Dallas and Green Bay tough in the last two home stands.

Quarterback: Jon Kitna finally got back on track last week and all it took was a hopeless blowout loss in San Diego that was nothing but trash yards and scores. He passed for 302 yards and two scores - his first big game in a month and he added a personal record five interceptions along the way. And 49 yards came on one Hail Mary pass to end the first half that ended on the one-yard line. This will be the last chance that Kitna likely has to show he is worthy of starting next season since the season ended will be in Green Bay in almost certainly bad weather.

Running Backs: While Kevin Jones has been wildly erratic this year, there is some reason behind it. Discounting his nice effort in Chicago, his road trips have all been horrible affairs with minimal yardage and carries. At home, he has turned in his four best games of the year rushed for over 90 yards against both Green Bay and Dallas with three scores in those two games. This too is likely Jones last chance to have a decent game to end the season. He has fallen apart in almost every road trip this year.

Wide Receivers: Since Roy Williams left after week 13, Calvin Johnson has caught five passes in each game with 153 total yards - but no scores. And half his yardage in San Diego came on the one Hail Mary pass. Mike Furrey has replaced Williams and while he turned in seven catches for 80 yards last week, he only had two receptions for 15 yards at home against Dallas. Shaun McDonald has outperformed both with eight catches for 98 yards against the Cowboys and then 48 yards on five receptions in San Diego with a touchdown. It is still hardly the offensive explosion that started the season but Kitna is adjusting to life without Roy Williams.

Brandon Middleton caught the other score but that was the first of his career.

Tight Ends: Though Sean McHugh had a season high 60 yards on just three catches against the visiting Cowboys, he had no passes last week and almost never has more than one catch per game.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rushing defense has really fallen in these waning weeks and each opponent in the last five games have seen their primary runner have a good effort if not a monster game. Jones should wake back up this week with a nice shot at a 100 yard game and a score.

Kitna faces what had been one of the better secondaries this year but recent weeks have seen Cutler throw for four scores and even Vince Young had two touchdowns. Expect the two scores here from Kitna that definitely favor Shaun McDonald from the slot and then an equal chance between Johnson and Furrey. I will give it to Johnson only because it is the final home game and the Lions will want to use their first round draft pick.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 13 26 2 31 11 7
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 6 23 12 10 28 29

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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