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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: DAL 30, GB 24

Update: Ryan Grant was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but had a full day on Friday and his hamstring is not expected to keep him out this week. He may be limited in the game but I am not changing the projections for him. Grant can always pop a nice gainer and is worthy of the projection on potential alone but he will not be 100%.

The network guys got it right when they choose this as the late game on Sunday. Both teams enter the fray at 2-0 and oddly enough the Cowboys beat the visiting Packers 37-27 last year. It was the only game that Aaron Rodgers played since Brett Favre was injured early in that contest. If Rodgers can pull off a win here it would really cement him as "the new guy we can live with".

Dallas Cowboys (2-0)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 28-10 -5.5 49
2 PHI 41-37 -7 47
3 @GB - -3 51
4 WAS - - -
5 CIN - - -
6 @ARZ - - -
7 @STL - - -
8 TB - - -
9 @NYG - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 @WAS - - -
12 SF - - -
13 SEA - - -
14 @PIT - - -
15 NYG - - -
16 BAL - - -
17 @PHI - - -
DAL at GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     270,2
RB Felix Jones 30 30  
RB Marion Barber 80,1 20  
TE Jason Witten   60,1  
WR Terrell Owens   80,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   40  
WR Miles Austin   20  
PK Nick Folk 3 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Dallas won the Monday night game in thrilling fashion even though the Cowboys made it all the more interesting with sloppy play by Tony Romo and a wealth of penalties. The Eagles are a well known foe though that always gives the Cowboys problems so this week is a better measuring stick for what to expect from Dallas this year. No arguments that the offense can score points but the Eagles showed up what was expected to be one of the best defenses in the league. Losing run stopping safety Roy Williams for a few weeks with a broken arm is no help either.

Quarterback: Nothing wrong with Tony Romo who has topped 300 passing yards in both games this year and has thrown for four touchdowns already - three to Owens alone. Romo had problems on Monday night and still is not above the occasional flub as shown by the free touchdown he gave the Eagles when he fumbled the ball in the endzone, recovered it and then instead of throwing it away for a safety he just fumbled it again. He may date Jessica Simpson but isn't above turning fans into Homer Simpson - "DOH!"

Romo threw for 309 yards and four scores against the Packers last year.

Running Backs: While Marion Barber is not a yardage machine averaging only 17 carries for around 70 yards per week (4.1 YPC), he has already scored three rushing touchdowns and a fourth one via a reception. Last week in a closely contested game, Felix Jones only had three carries after turning in nine in the Cleveland game. Barber comes first and he always is the guy by the goal line. Jones has just been relief unless the game gets out of hand.

Barber rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries but did not score against the Packers in 2007.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens already has three touchdowns on the season and his 72-yard score on Monday night showed he still has the speed to get open and stay open. Owens had no action in the second half of the Eagle's game other than one long gainer that was called back on a penalty but he already had done his damage in the first half. Patrick Crayton settled for only two receptions for 23 yards last week but had 82 in the opener. He's just too inconsistent to use on a a fantasy team.

Miles Austin returned last week but only had a couple of catches. Sam Hurd may be back from his high ankle sprain this week but I would count him in until he practices and realistically he has no fantasy value anyway.

Owens only had seven catches for 156 yards and a score when the Packers visited last season. Patrick Crayton only had three reception for 42 yards but scored two touchdowns.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten suffered a slightly separated shoulder against the Eagles but still ended with 110 yards on seven catches and is expected to practice and play this week. Update as warranted.

Witten had six catches for 67 yards against the Packers last year but Anthony Fasano added a 26-yard touchdown as well.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers are 2-0 but those wins came against the Lions and Vikings and both teams are 0-2 for a reason. The Packers rushing defense is better than average though and Adrian Peterson logged 103 yards there with one score. Barber is good but he is no Peterson and he probably won't get more than 20 carries in the game. Look for a solid effort from Barber here and a good shot at a touchdown but he won't likely have a monster game.

Romo faces a secondary that is quite good on the corners but Calvin Johnson ripped them up last week and Owens is on a mission this year. Look for a nice passing effort by Romo because the Packers will be able to score against the Cowboys and force a shootout to happen. Both Owens and Witten should do well here but no other receivers are worth a start here.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 5 2 8 3 14 12
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 27 6 24 20 25 1

Green Bay Packers (2-0)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 24-19 -3 38.5
2 @DET 48-25 -3 45
3 DAL - +3 51
4 @TB - - -
5 ATL - - -
6 @SEA - - -
7 IND - - -
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN - - -
10 @MIN - - -
11 CHI - - -
12 @NO - - -
13 CAR - - -
14 HOU - - -
15 @JAX - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GBP vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     260,2
RB Ryan Grant 60,1    
TE Donald Lee   20  
WR Donald Driver   60,1  
WR Greg Jennings   100,1  
WR James Jones   40  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Nothing like rolling up 48 points against the Lions to make everything right in the NFC North. A Monday night game against the visiting Cowboys is just what the Packers need to usher in this new Rodgers era and so far it is hard to argue with the results. These next two games against non-divisional opponents sporting good defenses should prove to be a bigger challenge for Rodgers.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers joined a rather non-exclusive club when he passed for 328 yards and three scores against the Lions. So far that gives him four scores on the year and no interceptions. That's not very Favre-like but more than a little acceptable. Rodgers has only been sacked once this year we well.

Favre was having a horrible game in Dallas last year with only five completions of 14 passes for 56 yards and two interceptions. He was knocked out of the game and Aaron Rodgers had his only playing time of 2007 when he came in and completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown.

Running Backs: After gaining 92 yards on 12 runs in the season opener, Ryan Grant laid an egg with only 20 yards on 15 carries in Detroit in a game where his hamstring continued to bother him. By comparison, Brandon Jackson only had seven carries last week but gained 61 yards and scored once. Expect more sharing between the two until Grant gets healthy again.

Grant ran for 94 yards and two scores on only 14 carries in Dallas last year.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings is not missing Brett Favre much. After logging 91 yards on five catches in week one, Jennings had a career best 167 yards on six receptions in Detroit which included catches of 60 and 62 yards. Donald Driver comes off a solid seven catch game that gained 52 yards and a score but only had 38 yards against the Vikes. This offense still revolves around getting Jennings the ball.

Driver had seven receptions for 66 yards in Dallas last season while Jennings had five catches for 87 yards and one touchdown.

Tight Ends: Rodgers just hasn't used the tight ends much this year. Donald Lee only has five catches for 37 yards over two games and none of the tight ends have scored this year.

Lee turned in 30 yards on three catches in Dallas last year.

Match Against the Defense: Having Grant limited by a hamstring problem will hurt the Packers so expect only moderate yardage here by the combination of he and Jackson. I like one rushing score in this game that should favor Grant if he is healthy enough.

Rodgers is going to have to air it out this week and the Cowboys secondary only proved to be a minor hindrance for McNabb last week. Add in the Cowboys on the road and look for a couple of passing scores and healthy yardage. This should end up as a shootout. Whatever happens goes through Jennings first and then for Driver and Jones.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 20 5 26 8 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    DAL 16 19 7 26 24 17

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