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

Prediction: BUF 10, PHI 27

Update: Josh Reed has not practiced this week because of a sore back and may not play. I am removing him from the projections.

This should end up to be a good game between two teams that are missing the playoffs but that have been playing better and still care even though they are not headed to the playoffs. The Bills are only 3-4 on the road and the Eagles are 2-5 at home but McNabb has been playing much better than Edwards has.

Buffalo Bills (7-8)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-15 +3.5 37
2 @PIT 3-26 +10 37.5
3 @NE 7-38 +16.5 41
4 NYJ 17-14 +3 37.5
5 DAL 24-25 +10 42
6 BYE - - -
7 BAL 19-14 +3 35
8 @NYJ 13-3 +3 37
9 CIN 33-21 +1 43.5
10 @MIA 13-10 -3 41
11 NE 10-56 +15.5 46.5
12 @JAC 14-36 +7.5 36
13 @WAS 17-16 +5.5 37
14 MIA 38-17 -7.5 36.5
15 @CLE 0-8 +5.5 45
16 NYG 21-38 +3 34.5
17 @PHI   -7.5 36
BUF at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     170
RB Marshawn Lynch 70,1 10  
RB Fred Jackson 30 10  
TE Robert Royal   10  
WR Lee Evans   50  
WR Josh Reed 50
WR Roscoe Parrish   70  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bills were rolled by the Giants last week and held scoreless in Cleveland. By the time the season is over, the players will just be happy to be warm and out of the wind for once. Marshawn Lynch was a great draft pick and Trent Edwards has promise for the future and even if the Bills end on a three game losing streak, the team has made strides this year and has plenty to build on for 2008.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards has been the starter for the last four games and while he hasn't set the world on fire, he's been solid for a rookie and has played in a couple games with horrible weather. He should get used to that anyway as the Buffalo quarterback of the future. He still had two scores last week but threw three interceptions against the Giants. If the Bills could only find a decent complement to Lee Evans, Edwards job would be much easier.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has cracked the 1000 yard mark with 1010 rushing yards on the year on 258 carries for an average right at four yards per carry. He has scored seven times but never was used as a receiver more than a couple of times per game - if that much. His two catches for 42 yards last week was a season high. Fred Jackson has played well enough that the Bills now have a tandem backfield though Lynch gets the lion's share of the carries and all of the touchdown runs. Going into 2008, this backfield is already set.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans came into this year with great promised but started out with almost nothing in the first three weeks. He has played better with Edwards as the quarterback and has scored in two of the last three games (both at home). But his yardage totals and even catches are depressed because there is no other receiver on this team that the defense would care about. None. Not a tight end or even a running back. Evans is ending the year with 54 catches for 847 yards and all but one score caught by a wideout. This is an area that the Bills must address in the offseason.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value this year. Robert Royal rarely has more than one or two catches per game.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles have not allowed a visiting runner to gain more than 70 rushing yards this year though six runners managed one touchdown. Look for just that from Lynch this week and nothing more.

Edwards faces a good secondary and has little more than Evans to use. This will not be lost on the Eagles who will blitz the rookie without mercy knowing all they have to do is cover Evans. No fantasy value here this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 32 24 26 22 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 9 4 22 9 15 20


Philadelphia Eagles (7-8)
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 13-16 -3 43.5
2 WAS 12-20 +7 38.5
3 DET 56-21 -6.5 44.5
4 @NYG 3-16 -2.5 47
5 BYE - - -
6 @NYJ 16-9 -4.5 43.5
7 CHI 16-19 -4.5 40.5
8 @MIN 23-16 -1 37.5
9 DAL 17-38 +3 46
10 @WAS 33-25 +2.5 37.5
11 MIA 17-7 -10 40.5
12 @NE 28-31 +22.5 50.5
13 SEA 24-28 -3 43
14 NYG 13-16 -3 42.5
15 @DAL 10-6 +10.5 48
16 @NO 38-23 +3 46
17 BUF   -7.5 36
PHI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 40   230,1
RB Brian Westbrook 110,1 30  
RB Correll Buckhalter 30,1    
TE Brent Celek   10  
WR Reggie Brown   70,1  
WR Kevin Curtis   60  
WR Jason Avant   40  
PK David Akers 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles never looked better than they did last week against the soft secondary of the Saints. Donovan McNabb has already been given a vote of confidence by HC Andy Reid concerning next year but no doubt that McNabb will want to end up the lost season by turning in a decent game this week. Brian Westbrook has turned in yet another great year but even he wasn't enough to carry the team. A final home game and the Eagles will want to reach .500 on the season and end with a three game winning streak.

Quarterback: While Donovan McNabb hasn't passed nearly as well this season as he did in 2006, he has scored in most games that he started and for the last five games has rediscovered his old friend - the rushing game. McNabb has been taking off on a scramble more in the last month than any time in the last couple of seasons and helped move the offense. Over the last two games - both wins - he ran 15 times for 90 yards. McNabb will be up for this week as his last chance to quiet his many detractors.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook not only leads all NFL running backs with 714 receiving yards on 86 catches, but he also has 1291 rushing yards as well. He ranks near the top in every fantasy league and has has 271 rushes which gives his 357 touches with one game to go and one game missed. The nice part about this week is that there is no reason to save him since the Eagles missed the playoffs. Westbrook has taken the mantle from Tiki Barber as the smaller guy that scares fantasy drafters and always delivers far in excess of expectations.

Wide Receivers: The addition of Kevin Curtis was a plus for the offense and while he has 70 catches for 1048 yards this season, the reality is that he had three nice efforts over 100 yards each that accounted for nearly half his yardage. In most games he did not score and settled for around 50 yards. A playmaker in three games but just another average receiver in the rest of the games.

Reggie Brown was eclipsed by Curtis but still has 697 yards so far and his four touchdowns all came since mid-season. The promise of 2006 ended up stolen in part by Curtis and a passing game that rarely resembled 2006.

Tight Ends: What was historically a strength of the Eagles stumbled this year with L.J. Smith often injured and the position only scoring two touchdowns this year and never more than 50 yards in any game. This was an area that was a major disappointment for the team in 2007.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rushing defense has been the Achilles heel this year and most opposing runners top 100 rushing yards and scoring when the Bills are visiting. Look for a very nice final game here by Westbrook but a decreased in his receiving yardage since the run should work well.

McNabb faces a secondary that has only allowed three of the seven road opponents to have any passing scores but that reflects on how successful the run has been against them. I like McNabb to pass for at least one score in this game because he feels the pressure to play well in this final game. Reggie Brown is the most likely to catch it.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 12 3 14 29 20 31
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 21 26 23 15 19 3

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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