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

Prediction: TEN 24, CHI 16

Update: Brandon Lloyd Is considered probable this week and went through full practices but hasn't played since week four because of his knee and his role this week is unclear. I am not adding him into the projections but expect to see him play at least briefly. Lloyd would further improve this group that already has surprised this season. If you have a completely free roster spot, Lloyd has mild interest ongoing since he was a starter and already had the season best game for the Bears when he has 124 yards and a score against the Buccaneers in week three.

The Titans continue to walk that tightrope with the only undefeated record in the NFL and they already have a four game lead over the Colts. The Bears barely managed to hold off the Lions last week but remain alone atop the NFC North at 5-3. This would certainly be a good game to lose assuming the Titans have to lose one soon. The game next week in Jacksonville is far more important than this game. Then again, the same thing is true for the Bears who play in Green Bay next week.

Tennessee Titans (8-0)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAX 17-10 +3 37
2 @CIN 24-7 +1 37.5
3 HOU 31-12 -5 38.5
4 MIN 30-17 -3 36
5 @BAL 17-10 -3 35
6 BYE - - -
7 @KC 34-10 -8 35.5
8 IND 31-21 -4 42
9 GB 19-16 -5.5 42.5
10 @CHI - -3 38.5
11 @JAX - - -
12 NYJ - - -
13 @DET - - -
14 CLE - - -
15 @HOU - - -
16 PIT - - -
17 @IND - - -
TEN @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     150
RB Chris Johnson 80,1 30  
RB Lendale White 40,1    
TE Bo Scaife   30  
WR Justin Gage   20  
WR Justin McCareins   30  
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The wins may happen all sorts of ways, but they have always happened so far. But the schedule is pretty kind for the rest of the season until the final two weeks when it likely won't matter anyway. Who would have thought when you drafted Chris Johnson or Lendale White you would have to wonder if they would be held out during a fantasy playoff? The defense has been outstanding and the offense good enough. And no team in the NFL has the mojo like the Titans do.

Quarterback: It may be a record of sorts, but the only undefeated team in the NFL has only thrown four touchdowns this year and has never had 200 or more passing yards in a game. Never. The Titans have only one passing score in the last five games. The only attractive fantasy quality to Kerry Collins is that he rarely has a turnover and cannot hurt you. But then again - he'll likely be no help either. Ever.

Running Backs: The league's best rushing attack chugs along with Chris Johnson making his play for Rookie of the Year. He has scored in each of the last three games and has remained above 75 rushing yards in each. As an added bonus, the Titans are using him more as a receiver with ten catches over the last two games. He had been stuck at just two receptions per week.

LenDale White had a rare game without a score but he still leads the league with ten rushing touchdowns. He's been a safe bet for one score every week though and already has three games with more than one touchdown. The Titans passing game only has four touchdowns but the rushing attack has turned in 15 scores. Plus one of those receiving touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: Nothing notable here all year really but Justin Gage has returned for two weeks and done almost nothing. Brandon Jones has been productive because he has four catches in each of the last two games. Justin McCareins chugs along lucky to have 30 yards in a game. This aspect of the offense is little used and even less important. It might matter more if the Titans ever stopped winning games with just defense and rushing.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife makes a decent back-up fantasy tight end since he usually has around four catches for 40 yards in most weeks but he has only one touchdown on the year and even shares with Alge Crumpler. Nothing here with such minimal passing each week.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears rushing defense has been decent this year and only allows 3.7 yards per rush overall but the Titans come in with their #1 rushing attack and Adrian Peterson rushed for 121 yards and two scores in Chicago this year. Six different runners have scored a total of eight touchdowns against them so the dynamic Titan duo should follow suit with likely a score for each runner. What helps this game too is that Rex Grossman starts and that should increase the mistakes/turnovers which in turn let the Titans live and die win with just defense and a great rushing attack.

There will be the standard minimal passing but nothing with fantasy value. I like the chance for a defensive score here.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 32 1 32 13 4 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    CHI 17 14 29 13 22 14

Chicago Bears (5-3)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 29-13 +9.5 44
2 @CAR 17-20 +3 37
3 TB 24-27 -3 35.5
4 PHI 24-20 +3 45
5 @DET 34-7 -3.5 44.5
6 @ATL 20-22 -2.5 43.5
7 MIN 48-41 -3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 DET 27-23 -13 43
10 TEN - +3 38.5
11 @GB - - -
12 @STL - - -
13 @MIN - - -
14 JAX - - -
15 NO - - -
16 GB - - -
17 @HOU - - -
CHI vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman     180
RB Matt Forte 60,1 50  
TE Greg Olsen   30  
WR Marty Booker   20  
WR Rashied Davis   40  
WR Devin Hester   30  
PK Robbie Gould 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bears almost gave the Lions their first win of the season but Rex Grossman saved the day after Kyle Orton injured his knee. Thanks to the Packers loss last week, the Bears are now alone at 5-3 in the NFC North with their Detroit freebies already behind them and both meetings left with the Packers and a road trip to Minnesota to decide the division. The defense has been solid in most games though not as dominating as past years but the offense has stepped up nicely this year. How well that will continue will depend now on Grossman for the next month or so.

Quarterback: The Bears have lost Kyle Orton for three weeks or so with a sprained knee but he doesn't need any surgery and will be back. Rex Grossman has already started 24 games for the Bears going back to 2005 and he had 3193 yards and 23 touchdowns as the starter in 2006. But his problem has always been turnovers and mistakes. Grossman can be a very productive passer but his career best year of 23 scores was balanced with 20 interceptions and five lost fumbles. He'll make the Bears games more interesting to watch though perhaps less so for Chicago fans. Drawing the Titans for his first start of the year is pretty brutal.

Running Backs: Matt Forte comes off his career best game with 22 carries for 126 yards against the visiting Lions. He failed to score for the first time in four weeks but his yardage finally took a turn upward in both totals and yards per carry. This was only his second game over 100 yards but Forte has always been a central part of the offense even when facing a tough defense. With Grossman under center, the Bears will want to run as much as they can and that will benefit Forte.

Wide Receivers: The receivers have been highly inconsistent this year even though somehow they combined for decent numbers in most games. But a good game would almost always be followed by a one catch affair and the fantasy value here has been spotty at best. The move to Grossman may actually spark a little more here but these are all new players from when he was the starter in 2007.

Tight Ends: In recent weeks, Daniel Graham has actually been slightly more productive with a three week total of 12 catches for 145 yards versus 11 receptions for 125 yards for Greg Olsen but so far both touchdowns thrown to a tight end this year went to Olsen. They have marginal fantasy value at best. I only project for Olsen but Graham will turn in a catch or two each week as well.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans on the road have a good defense but mostly from limiting opponent carries by ball control offense. Forte should have at least a decent game here with a good chance for one touchdown as have four previous runners with the Titans. He won't have a huge game and his receiving totals should increase this week as they always do against tougher defenses.

Grossman is a wildcard coming in off the bench but the Titans have only allowed four passing scores this year and Grossman is not exactly Peyton Manning (2) or even Aaron Rodgers (1). Look for no passing scores and only moderate yardage at best.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 11 17 22 9 7 3
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 5 10 2 22 1 1

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