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

Prediction: JAC 24, DET 20

Update: The Lions still have not named the starting quarterback this week and is supposed to make the determination on Saturday. I will assume it is Culpepper but Drew Stanton could play. I will leave the projections as is but realize that Culpepper has only received a few days worth of practice and is not a lock to be the starting quarterback yet.

The Jaguars lost to the Bengals last week and now go to Detroit to face the only remaining winless team. If they lose to the Lions, their salaries from this season should be tax deductible as charity. The Jaguars are not as good this season to be sure, but to be the "it" team two weeks in a row? That should focus them.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND 23-21 +5.5 42
4 HOU 30-27 -7.5 42
5 PIT 21-26 -4 36
6 @DEN 24-17 +3.5 48
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE 17-23 -6.5 41
9 @CIN 19-21 -7.5 40
10 @DET - -6.5 44.5
11 TEN - - -
12 MIN - - -
13 @HOU - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     260,2
RB Fred Taylor 30 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 40,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Jerry Porter   20  
WR Matt Jones   100,1  
WR Reggie Williams   50,1  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The nightmare season continues with the biggest insult of all heaped on them when they lost to the Bengals last week. The schedule has been as easy as it gets since the bye week and yet both the Browns and Bengals beat them. The rushing game has appeared in only two games - both on the road for unknown reasons - and the offense cannot keep up with what the defense has allowed. For a team that had designs on the division title this year, the Jags are locked in a duel with Houston for the AFC South cellar.

Quarterback: After scoring at least once in four straight games, David Garrard not only could not score in Cincinnati, he threw his first interception in six weeks and completed 23 of 38 for 229 yards. Against the Bengals when the rushing attack only managed 45 yards on the day. And the only receiver with any consistent production is still Matt Jones who is waiting on word from his appeal and could be gone whenever the commissioner makes his ruling.

Running Backs: Injuries ravaged the offensive line to start the year and continue to have an effect for a team that has prided itself on the ability to run and yet lost nearly all of it this year. Fred Taylor hasn't gained more than 25 yards in the last five games and has never scored this year. Maurice Jones-Drew had big games in Denver and Indianapolis but has been almost completely ineffective otherwise. His only saving grace is running in short touchdowns. Jones Drew has not rushed for over 33 yards in any game other than the two decent showings.

Wide Receivers: Matt Jones has finally seen the light this year but is still waiting for word on his appeal. He'll play for at least this weekend and his two touchdowns are twice that of any other wideout this year. When he does leave, the Jags will use Jerry Porter who has played in a total of four games and caught three passes for 44 yards. The high-priced free agent has been a huge disappointment.

Reggie Williams remains involved but only has one score on the season after turning in ten touchdowns in 2007. Mike Walker had the only non-Jones decent game and yet cannot stay healthy and remains out since week five. This week should be a boon for this group but whatever their best may be, it will be less than what many teams do routinely.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has evolved the last month to become of the bigger cogs in this passing attack. He has two scores in the last four games and usually ends with 30 or more yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions have played in only three home games this year and in each their opponent passed for 320+ yards. The rushing defense is actually decent at home and only two runners have scored there so look for Jones-Drew to have no more than one score and only moderate yardage at best. The Jaguars are hardly a good road team anyway,

Garrard faces the worst defense against quarterbacks and has no excuses for not having at least a decent game if not a big one. Look for two scores here that favor Jones and Williams the most.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 15 18 25 19 16 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    DET 32 25 30 29 24 30

Detroit Lions (0-8)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ATL 21-34 -3 41
2 GB 25-48 +3 45
3 @SF 13-31 +4 46
4 BYE - - -
5 CHI 7-34 +3.5 44.5
6 @MIN 10-12 +13.5 47
7 @HOU 21-28 +9 48
8 WAS 17-25 +8 43.5
9 @CHI 23-27 +13 43
10 JAX - 6.5 44.5
11 @CAR - - -
12 TB - - -
13 TEN - - -
14 MIN - - -
15 @IND - - -
16 NO - - -
17 @GB - - -
DET vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper     180,1
RB Kevin Smith 40,1 20  
TE Michael Gaines   20  
WR Mike Furrey   20  
WR Calvin Johnson   60,1  
WR Shaun McDonald   50  
PK Jason Hanson 2 XP 2 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Lions almost had a win in Chicago and thanks to these Jaguars, now the Lions have the singular distinction as the worst team in the NFL - no argument needed. And yet the last four losses all came within one touchdown from being at least a tie if not a win. Now the team is spinning through quarterbacks while researching what the first pick in the 2009 NFL draft can get.

Quarterback: Dan Orlovsky sprained his thumb last week and will "miss the next few weeks if not longer" which is coachspeak for forget about him. Daunte Culpepper has signed and will likely be the starter this week unless the Lions go with Drew Stanton. What to expect from Culpepper? Probably not much since he does not know the playbook and the Lions are down to Calvin Johnson and almost no one to catch the ball. The Jaguars are plenty hungry for a win though and that will not help Culpepper.

I will update on Friday if Stanton appears the most likely starter. There is always a chance that both could play as well.

Running Backs: The Lions continue to mix in Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson with Smith taking 2:1 carries lately. But this rushing attack has never had a player with more than 17 carries in game and Smith has yet to top 62 rushing yards in a game. I will project for Smith and not Johnson but Rudi will get some playing time. Smith is the best bet for a scorer as well since he has four touchdowns and Rudi has only rushed in one.

Wide Receivers: It was no secret that the Lions were forcing the ball to Calvin Johnson even before Roy Williams left. But despite changing quarterbacks and perhaps the heaviest coverage in the league, Johnson has scored in each of the last four games and remained above 85 yards in all but one. It seems like a waste of obvious talent to be there.

Shaun McDonald is offering minor fantasy value now as the guy who is not Calvin. He scored for the first time this season in Chicago and has over 65 yards in each of the last two games.

Tight Ends: Michael Gaines had a freak high game of 64 yards last week but he has not scored this year and otherwise has remained under 30 yards in all other contests. He also coughed up the fumble last week that led to the loss.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars defense has been far less effective in 2008 and Smith should manage at least some moderate yardage here with a chance for a score. Of course with Culpepper under center it is all wild speculation but Smith should be a decent play this week. I like the Lions to make this a better game than it should be since the Jags host the Titans next week in a very big game. But all projections here are highly speculative.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 16 30 12 26 29 31
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 28 21 22 20 9 6

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~ 2008 ~
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