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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
* updated

Prediction: HOU 20, GB 27

Matt Schaub had full practices all this week and will return as the starter. I have adjusted the projections.

Ryan Grant is probable to play and had full practices all week despite his thumb injury. HC Mike McCarthy said he expected Grant to have a full workload so he remains a good start this week.

The Texans have won two straight somewhat convincingly but are only 5-7 and just 1-5 on the road. The Packers have lost two straight and at 5-7 have already lost their chance to reach the playoffs and could have a losing season the first time out without Brett Favre. The Packers are only 3-3 at home but should be just good enough to take down the Texans.

Houston Texans (5-7)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 17-38 +6.5 43
2 BYE - - -
3 @TEN 12-31 +5 38.5
4 @JAX 27-30 +7.5 42
5 IND 27-31 +3 47.5
6 MIA 29-28 -3 45
7 DET 28-21 -9 48
8 CIN 35-6 -10 44-
9 @MIN 21-28 +4.5 47
10 BAL 13-41 -1.5 41.5
11 @IND 27-33 +9 50
12 @CLE 16-6 +3 50
13 JAX 30-17 -3 48
14 @GB - - -
15 TEN - - -
16 @OAK - - -
17 CHI - - -
HOU @ GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     250,1
QB Sage Rosenfels 240,1
RB Steve Slaton 80,1 40  
TE Owen Daniels   50,1  
WR Andre Johnson   70  
WR David Anderson   20  
WR Kevin Walter   50  
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Solid win over the reeling Jaguars gave the Texans their first ever Monday night win but with a tough remaining schedule, it's looking to be yet another losing season. But the running game has settled on Steve Slaton and the passing game clicks with either Rosenfels or Schaub. There is a positive feeling in Houston who has not given up despite their record and their players should remain reliable for the rest of the way for fantasy owners.

Quarterback: Sage Rosenfels has only thrown for six touchdowns in six starts but at least he knows enough to make those go to Andre Johnson. This week will be his fourth road game this year and he's actually had more passing yardage in games on the road when the rushing game doesn't fare as well. He has thrown for over 200 yards in all but one game and has yet to make it through a game without throwing at least one interception. He has ten on the year and lost a few fumbles as well. That is one reason why Schaub remains the starter.

There is a chance that Schaub returns as he did practice with the scout team last week. Until he practices and is named starter, I will assume Rosenfels gets another start and update if needed.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton comes off his first home game over 100 rushing yards when he lit up the Jaguars for 130 yards and two scores. Slaton had his career high of 156 yards and a score in Indianapolis in week 11 but he's also had his worst efforts come away from Houston. The nicety with Slaton though is that he has only been a big factor as a receiver in two games and both were on the road (8-83, 1 TD in JAX and 8-56 in MIN). He broke off a 46 yarder on Monday night as well in his only home success as a receiver. Slaton is taking the full load now that Ahman Green is gone and has shown nice durability for a smaller rookie back.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson picked up his fourth touchdown of the year when the Jaguars showed up on Monday night. He has already broken a 1000 yard season mark with 1071 on league leading 81 receptions. Kevin Walter only had two catches for 38 yards on Monday but in road games with Rosenfels he has been more active with over 70 yards in both of the most recent games and with three touchdowns in those games. Johnson will also be the primary target but in matchups where the Texans must pass and the defense limits Johnson, both quarterbacks have not hesitated to rely on Walter.

Tight Ends: Rosenfels connected with Owen Daniels for a season high 11 passes for 133 yards back in week nine in Minnesota but has been under-using him in every game since. Daniels has not turned in more than 28 passing yards over the last four games which includes two road trips.

Match Against the Defense: Steve Slaton should end up with a good showing here going against a defense that has already allowed ten rushing scores by visiting teams and half of those had 100+ yard rushers. This is the weakness of the defense and one that the Texans will look to exploit. Expect a score and solid if not big yardage.

Rosenfels faces a secondary that has been outstanding at home and only allowed four passing scores here and rarely more than 200 passing yards. This should be a down game for Rosenfels with no more than one passing score. Daniels should come back into play this week against the #24 secondary that will be much more devoted to limiting Johnson and Walter.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 5 20 5 14 20 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 8 28 5 24 18 8


Green Bay Packers (5-7)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 24-19 -3 38.5
2 @DET 48-25 -3 45
3 DAL 16-27 +3 51
4 @TB 21-30 +1.5 43
5 ATL 24-27 -3 41
6 @SEA 27-17 +2.5 46.5
7 IND 34-14 +1 47
8 BYE - - -
9 @TEN 16-19 +5.5 42.5
10 @MIN 27-28 +2.5 45.5
11 CHI 37-3 -3.5 43
12 @NO 29-51 +1 51.5
13 CAR 31-35 -3 43
14 HOU - - -
15 @JAX - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GB vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     230,2
RB Ryan Grant 90,1 20  
RB Brandon Jackson 50    
TE Donald Lee   40,1  
WR Donald Driver   40  
WR Greg Jennings   90,1  
WR Jordy Nelson   20  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Packers are really feeling the pinch of having lost four games by four points or less and now have no realistic shot at post season play. The loss last week was just another tantalizingly close game but the Packers are not playing like a team with nothing left to win. Three wins of the final four games would mean a .500 season which at this point has to sound pretty appealing. The Packers have played far better at home than on the road this year so at least this week should be a very winnable situation.

Quarterback: The Packers have lost their last two games but it is hard to fault Aaron Rodgers too much. He passed for 248 yards and two scores against the Saints and then had 298 yards and three scores against the visiting Panthers last Sunday. Rodgers already has passed for 20 scores this year with four touchdowns added via the rush. He's been a steal in fantasy drafts but the specter of cold games is approaching where he once again will be put through the comparison test.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant suffered a sprained thumb last week which kept him out of the second half of the Panthers game. He says that he will play this week but will be wearing a thumb splint that could impact his ability to hold on to the ball. More importantly, Brandon Jackson looked great rushing for 80 yards on 22 carries when he replaced Grant so at best there will be a mixture of the two runners. HC Mike McCarthy said he would have no qualms going with Jackson if needed so I will project for Jackson as the starter and add in Grant as a part timer for Sunday for now.

Grant simply has not played as well this season and Jackson was already considered 1B to him. Unless Grant can clearly show he won't be impacted by the splint, Jackson will be getting most if not all the carries.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings in on a three game scoring streak and the higher passing numbers as of late have directly impacted him with eight catches in both most recent games with at least 90 yards in each. Other than a three game droop around midseason when Rodgers was not completely healthy, Jennings has been either catching scores or racking up 100 yards games if not both.

Donald Driver scored last week but it was only his fourth of the year and he's never scored again for at least three games. Driver is just a possession receiver for around 50 yards in most games.

Tight Ends: Donald Lee has been getting marginally more involved lately with a score in two of the last three games but his yardage remains low even when he has up to six catches in a game. One very telling statistic that applies to this week - Lee has scored in four different games and those were also the last four home games. Never on the road and now always at home.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans bring in a defense that has been much softer on the road and the runner for the Packers should manage at least one rushing score with what could be very nice yardage. If Grant and Jackson both have significant roles it will water down what should be a solid game.

Rodgers faces a secondary that can be beaten as evidenced by the six times opponents have posted two or more passing scores against them. Look for at least one passing touchdown that has to head to Jennings and for Lee to figure in just as his trend suggest should happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 28 4 21 7 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 26 25 12 25 17 26

The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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