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

Prediction: ARI 20, NYJ 21

Update: Laveranues Coles is listed as questionable again this week and he was limited in each day's practice but is expected to play. Brett Favre was also limited this week but will start this week. The most unfortunate part is that Coles and Favre need to get as much practice time together as possible. No need to change projections.

The Jets come off a short week after losing on Monday night and so far the addition of Brett Favre has resulted in just one win over the rebuilding Dolphins. The Cardinals dropped their game against the Skins but still remain atop the NFC West tied with the 49ers. The question this week is if staying on the East Coast helps the Cardinals focus better and if the Monday night game affects the Jets preparing for this Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals (2-1)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SF 23-13 -2.5 41.5
2 MIA 31-10 -7 38.5
3 @WAS 17-24 +3 42
4 @NYJ - +3 45
5 BUF - - -
6 DAL - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 @CAR - - -
9 @STL - - -
10 SF - - -
11 @SEA - - -
12 NYG - - -
13 @PHI - - -
14 STL - - -
15 MIN - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 SEA - - -
ARI at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     200,2
RB Edgerrin James 50 10  
RB Tim Hightower 20 20  
TE Ben Patrick   10  
WR Anquan Boldin   80,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   70,1  
WR Steve Breaston   10  
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals finally lose a game but were competitive in Washington and now have to face their third road trip in the first four weeks. The plan this year is to remain on the East Coast instead of jetting back to Arizona and then flying back to the East Coast. It was very nearly a win in Washington and that will be gnawing at the team as they stew on the East Coast. A stretch of two home games to follow are no treat against the Bills and Cowboys and the Cards do not have much margin for error if they intend on making the playoffs this year.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner threw a very costly interception last week but it was his first on the season and he already has six touchdowns and a 300 yard effort in the lone home game. On the road twice this season, Warner has thrown for just under 200 yards in each and scored at least once.

Warner has been vocal about his disappointment in losing last week and staying focused on the East Coast will be interesting to see if it works. The Cardinals realize how close they came to a 3-0 start.

Running Backs: Oddly enough, Edgerrin James has been more productive in road games this year with 193 rushing yards on 44 carries and a 4.4 YPC away from home. He still gives up short yardage and goal line duty to Tim Hightower who comes off his first scoreless NFL game. The only notable change here is that last week in Washington, Warner finally used James (2-15) Hightower (3-38) as receivers after never throwing more than one pass to them in the first two weeks.

Wide Receivers: After three weeks, the dynamic duo have both posted good fantasy points each week. Anquan Boldin only had three catches for 25 yards but scored once in Washington. His other road trip was when he caught eight passes for 82 yards all in the second half in San Francisco. Larry Fitzgerald has scored in both road games this year and topped 100 yards the last two weeks. There is still almost no pretense that this team is anything more than Boldin and Fitzgerald. Steve Breaston has manned the slot and only has one catch in the last two weeks.

Tight Ends: Ben Patrick took over for the injured Leonard Pope last week but only had one catch. No fantasy value here at all.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets rushing defense has been very good this year and only giving up a couple of touchdowns to Tomlinson last week ranks them lower. So far he was the best runner against them and that was only 67 yards on 26 carries. Expect the same marginal rushing numbers from James this week but a chance he and Hightower both could have some yardage as receivers. The Jets weakness comes in the secondary and they have allowed five passing scores this year. Unfortunately, three of those went to tight ends and the Cardinals almost never use theirs. I still like Warner and the boys to play this game tough and throw for at least two scores.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 7 19 1 26 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYJ 23 21 4 31 26 27

New York Jets (1-2)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIA 20-14 -3 36
2 NE 10-19 -1.5 39
3 @SD 29-48 +9 44
4 ARZ - -3 45
5 BYE - - -
6 CIN - - -
7 @OAK - - -
8 KC - - -
9 @BUF - - -
10 STL - - -
11 @NE - - -
12 @TEN - - -
13 DEN - - -
14 @SF - - -
15 BUF - - -
16 @SEA - - -
17 MIA - - -
NYJ vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     220,2
RB Thomas Jones 80,1 10  
TE Dustin Keller   30  
WR Laveranues Coles   70,1  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   80  
WR Chansi Stuckey   20,1  
PK Jay Feely 3 XP    

Pregame Notes: So far the addition of Brett Favre hasn't made the Jets any more competitive and while there were additions made to the offensive line which have made a difference, the rushing game has yet to really ignite. Back at home this week should give the Jets a chance to reach their bye next week at an even 2-2 record and the schedule over the next month looks much easier.

Quarterback: After three games, Brett Favre finally had a big effort on Monday night when he passed for 271 yards and three scores but much of that came late in the game during trash time of a game the Chargers already had well in hand. Favre's penchant for tossing interceptions once again showed up with two last week and though he was sacked three times, he was hit many more times and had a noticeable limp to finish the game. What was the best part of Monday's game was that Favre finally connected well with all the wideouts.

Running Backs: While Thomas Jones is running better than he did in 2007, it isn't all that much better. He only has one score that came in week one against the Dolphins and just one game over 100 yards - again against Miami. Last week he only had ten carries in the blowout loss to the Chargers and only gained 37 yards. He also lost a key fumble at the start of the game. This week should see him with better rushing numbers and then after the bye week there will be several nice match-ups that should benefit him.

Wide Receivers: After going AWOL in week two, Jerricho Cotchery showed up again this week as the primary receiver when Favre threw a team high 12 passes at him and he caught 10 for 76 yards in San Diego. Laveranues Coles had his best showing with Favre as well with six receptions for 75 yards and a score and of course, slot receiver Chansi Stuckey scored for the third game in a row and had six grabs for 42 yards. Most of that happened during trash time in San Diego though. Favre is still getting accustomed to his receivers and learning the offense, so seeing him connect with all three wideouts is encouraging.

Tight Ends: The rookie Dustin Keller recorded his first NFL touchdown when Favre connected with him for four catches for 41 yards against the Chargers. A little more hidden in the stats was that Favre threw eight passes to Keller - only Cotchery had more throws.

Match Against the Defense: The Cardinals defense is underrated and have not allowed a 100 yard rusher yet this year though three different runners have scored against them. Look for Jones to have a decent showing here but still remain under the 100 yard mark. He should have one rushing score unless the defense scores one.

Favre will be hard pressed to have a big game here against a secondary that has not allowed more than 193 yards in any game and only two passing scores. Look for a game right in that neighborhood with the home venue benefiting the Jets. This will be the biggest test for the Cardinals secondary so far this year and I like both Stuckey and Coles to score again this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 9 30 6 11 31 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    ARI 8 14 5 27 9 3
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