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

Prediction: SF 13, ARI 30

Update: Arnaz Battle is out this week because of his foot and Jason Hill will replace him as the #3. I will replace him in the projections and decrease Bryant Johnson who is falling on the depth chart. Larry Fitzgerald was limited this week with a bad thumb but was removed from the injury report on Friday.

The Cardinals are perched at the top of the NFC West with a 5-3 record while the rest of the division - 49ers included - are only 2-6. The 49ers already lost the season opener to the Cardinals 13-23 and are just 1-2 in road games while the Cards are 3-0 at home. This is the Monday night game and should help spark the Cardinals to an even better showing.

San Francisco 49ers (2-6)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ARZ 13-23 +2.5 41.5
2 @SEA 33-30 +8 38.5
3 DET 31-13 -4 46
4 @NO 17-31 +6 48.5
5 NE 21-30 +3 41.5
6 PHI 26-40 +5 43
7 @NYG 17-29 +10.5 45
8 SEA 13-34 -4.5 42.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @ARZ - +9.5 46.5
11 STL - - -
12 @DAL - - -
13 @BUF - - -
14 NYJ - - -
15 @MIA - - -
16 @STL - - -
17 WAS - - -
SF @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     240,1
RB Frank Gore 60 50  
TE Vernon Davis   20  
WR Isaac Bruce   70,1  
WR Bryant Johnson 20
WR Jason Hill   30  
WR Josh Morgan   50  
WR Arnaz Battle 50
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Interim HC Mike Singletary certainly knows how to make an entrance. After dropping his drawers to make a point in the halftime pep talk, he went on a refreshing "old school" tirade after the loss to the Seahawks. Unfortunately for him, the 49ers have already played the easier part of their schedule and other than week 11 against the Rams, the 49ers will likely be underdogs the rest of the year.

Quarterback: In with the new. Shaun Hill has been named as the starting quarterback over J.T. O'Sullivan who currently leads the league in interceptions and overall turnovers. Hill steps into the complicated Martz-system but with some knowledge already and a directive from on top to not lose the ball. Problem is that the offensive scheme is tailor made for turnovers and sacks. A tough schedule will hardly reverse that trend.

O'Sullivan passed for 195 yards against the Cards in the season opener.

Running Backs: A new quarterback is unlikely to be any help for Frank Gore who only has two 100 rushing yard games and who hasn't scored since week seven. But Gore rushed for 96 yards on 14 carries and scored once against the Cardinals in the season opener. He added four catches for 55 yards. He has not been as effective in road games though.

Wide Receivers: There has been no consistency in this group outside of Isaac Bruce who has remained around 50 yards in most games and has four of the seven scores caught by a wideout. Josh Morgan had a career best game of 86 yards and a score in New York against the Giants but then was blanked against the Seahawks. Arnaz Battle flirts with around 40 yards in many weeks but rarely more. Bryant Johnson hangs on to the #2 spot but only because Josh Morgan hasn't taken that final step up yet. It is a pass heavy attack that really favors none of these wideouts.

No wideout had more than 48 yards in the first meeting with the Cardinals

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis continues to bang around mediocrity with only one game over 30 yards in the last seven weeks and still no touchdowns on the season. Davis was the one who was kicked off the field and to the showers by Singletary after dropping a pass in week eight.

Davis started the year with three catches for 51 yards when the Cardinals visited in week one.

Match Against the Defense: These teams have already played and the Cardinals took that win in San Francisco despite not knowing what to expect from the new offense. Gore is usually a safe bet for a moderate showing but on the road with a new quarterback he will do well enough to post average numbers. Expect close to 100 total yards and likely no score.

Hill goes against a secondary that is the weak link of the opponent but these Cardinals always play much better at home and have only allowed four passing scores at home and three went to Romo. Hill? He should end up with one or two scores and moderate yardage thanks to trash time but anything more than that will be a sign that the 49ers really were beaten badly and had a lot of trash time. The Cardinals are ranked last against wideouts but Hill is untested and being thrown into action.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 13 24 17 21 9 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    ARI 30 9 32 15 7 15

Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
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 35-56 +3 45
5 BUF 41-17 -1 45
6 DAL 30-26 +5 50
7 BYE - - -
8 @CAR 23-27 +4.5 43.5
9 @STL 34-13 -3 49
10 SF - -9.5 46.5
11 @SEA - - -
12 NYG - - -
13 @PHI - - -
14 STL - - -
15 MIN - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 SEA - - -
ARI vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     300,2
RB Tim Hightower 100,1 20  
WR Anquan Boldin   90,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   110,1  
WR Steve Breaston   50  
PK Neil Rackers 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals are in all new territory with a three game lead over the division at the halfway point and an offense that has never looked better. And a defense that has never looked better as well. The Cardinals still have a problem winning on the road but at home they are among the elite teams. And this week they are at home against a struggling team no less. The switch to Tim Hightower as starting tailback has already paid dividends as well.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner is having a career year and that says something for a quarterback who manned the "greatest show on turf." Warner is second only to Drew Brees in passing yards and has already thrown four 300+ yard games this year and has 16 touchdowns already. He has turned in exactly two scores in each of the last six games and has never failed to double up while at home.

Warner passed for 197 yards and one touchdown in San Francisco this year. That was not only his worst game of the season, it was notably lower. He's been on fire every week since.

Running Backs: After Edgerrin James only gained 17 yards on seven carries in week eight, the Cardinals opted to start Tim Hightower in St. Louis and the results were stellar. He rushed 22 times for 109 yards and one score which already is better than any game by James this season. He has scored at least once in all but two games this year and has seven rushing scores. Hightower has already been named as the starter this week as well.

James ran for 100 yards on 26 carries against the 49ers this year.

Wide Receivers: This unit is a thing of beauty and if they allow Anquan Boldin to leave next year it would be a travesty. Boldin merely has scored in each of his last five games and has eight touchdowns on the season already. He's not only a gifted receiver, he's also had three rushes over the last two games.

Larry Fitzgerald has been less prolific at scoring with only five touchdowns but he has averaged 93 yards per game and already has four efforts over the century mark. Even Steve Breaston has stepped up this year to supply a strong slot presence and the ability to step in and replace either starter.

Fitzgerald had a score on three catches for 31 yards versus the 49ers this season. Boldin turned in a team high 82 yards on eight receptions.

Tight Ends: Leonard Pope has been wearing a walking cast and there is still hope that he can play in this Monday night game but he's not worth projecting or starting.

Match Against the Defense: James had his best game of the season against the 49ers and now Hightower will be at home. Look for a very nice game here with at least 100 rushing yards and a score.

Kurt Warner faces an average secondary (at best) with every reason to want a big game this week. Look for something close to the 300 yard mark and at least two scores. This is a national game and both Warner and Boldin want to look good for next year.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 2 12 1 32 17 8
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 14 28 19 1 31 32

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