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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
* updated

Prediction: JAC 17, CHI 23

Update: Matt Jones has appealed his three game suspension and is awaiting the decision at any time. But since it has not happened yet, he will play this weekend. This could be his final game for the year though.

The Jaguars are actually 3-3 on the road where they play better but this team has already turned the page on the calendar. The Bears remain just one game behind the Vikings in the NFC North a and are 3-2 at home. Bears have to win this and the Jags only have to show up.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)
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 38-14 -6.5 44.5
11 TEN 14-24 +3 39.5
12 MIN 12-30 -2.5 40
13 @HOU 17-30 +3 48
14 @CHI - +6.5 40
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     250,1
RB Fred Taylor 40    
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 30,1 10  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Jerry Porter   40  
WR Matt Jones   110,1  
WR Reggie Williams   40  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Hard to argue that the Jaguars are not just mailing in the effort now with a streak of five losses broken up only thanks to the Detroit Lions. The Monday night showing in Houston was particularly listless and HC Jack Del Rio has the look of a short timer whether he likes it or not. The Jaguars offense has sputtered for the entire season and more than anything the passing game actually took a major step backwards after coughing up a ransom to get Jerry "bust" Porter. Newsflash - Jags end up at 4-12 because the final four games will all be tough and the Jags have given up.

Quarterback: After spending the entire season as a game manager with rarely more than 200 passing yards and one score, David Garrard has thrown for over 280 yards in each of the last two games and scored, of course, just the once. By now the only reason he has been throwing for more yardage is because it is just trash time in games the Jaguars lost by ten or more points. And he had at least one interception in each game. His stats say he is getting fantasy relevance but you can never rely on trash time.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor finally scored a touchdown this year when he had a meaningless four-yard score with only 2:14 left to play. Taylor is winding down his career and his 67 yards in Houston was actually his third best game of the year. With any luck the Jags will continue to get dominated and later in the game the defense won't care if Taylor wants to run.

The touchdown by Taylor took away the lone good characteristic of Maurice Jones-Drew this year since his yardage has been mediocre this year but his 11 touchdowns have salvaged his fantasy value. Jones-Drew does play a role as a receiver as well but it typically ends up under 30 yards in most games. The season may be over but Jones-Drew continues to run had.

Wide Receivers: The attempt at upgrading these wide receivers meant throwing away money to bring in Jerry Porter who has ten catches on the season and Troy Williamson who has four receptions. Matt Jones has developed into the only wideout here with any fantasy value because he has two games over 100 yards and two touchdowns with an average of around 40 to 50 yards in most games. That's obviously lackluster for a fantasy team but it is as good as the Jaguars got this year. There is no consistency beyond Jones as a receiver.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis turns in around 30 to 40 yards in most weeks as one of the better receivers on this team but he has only two touchdowns on the year and none since week six.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears defense has been average this year and only slightly better in home games where the rushing allowed is lower but the passing game blossoms for opponents. Look for likely one rushing score here by Jones-Drew but moderate yardage at best that will be split with Taylor anyway.

Garrard should have a chance to get out of his funk against a defense that has allowed two passing scores in all but one game in Chicago and never less than 260 passing yards. This should be one of the few decent passing weeks for the Jags and if it isn't, they have absolutely mailed in these final weeks.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 18 11 26 23 25 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    CHI 18 14 28 22 22 14

Chicago Bears (6-6)
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 14-21 +3 38.5
11 @GB 3-37 +3.5 43
12 @STL 27-3 -9 43
13 @MIN 14-34 +3 42
14 JAX - -6.5 40
15 NO - - -
16 GB - - -
17 @HOU - - -
CHI vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     170
RB Matt Forte 100,1 40  
TE Greg Olsen   20  
WR Rashied Davis   20  
WR Brandon Lloyd   30  
WR Devin Hester   50  
PK Robbie Gould 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Losing to the Packers two weeks ago was bad enough but then dropping the game in Minnesota spells disaster for the Vikings who are only one game behind the Vikes for the NFC North lead and now has lost the chance to own the first tie breaker. Worse yet was that the Bears were not even remotely competitive in those games and lost both by 20 or more points. The final schedule looks better with three home stands and then a trip to Houston and no teams on the remaining schedule have a winning record. There is still a chance that the Bears can pull this out but a win this week will be mandatory for a chance at January play.

Quarterback: After a better start to the season, Kyle Orton has settled down into being what he has always been - a decent game manager who usually doesn't make many mistakes but also rarely has more than 200 passing yards or one touchdown. Sort of the definition of a fantasy bust. Since week nine he has not passed for more than 153 yards in a game.

Running Backs: Matt Forte may not end up as the rookie of the year but he merits being in the voting. He just broke the magic mark with a total of 1012 rushing yards on the season and 48 catches and four receiving touchdowns are also tops in the league among all running backs. What he lacks in top end speed he makes up for in volume with 20 carries and 4 or 5 catches in most games. He has turned in at least 100 total yards and/or a touchdown in each of the last eight games.

Wide Receivers: Pitiful numbers here mirror the overall passing stats. Devin Hester opened the game last week with a 65-yard touchdown and then Orton only threw for 88 more yards in the game. It is rare for a wideout to have more than 50 or so yards in a game but if it does happen at all, it is almost always Hester and it came on one long catch. No reliable fantasy value here.

Tight Ends: Neither tight end has amounted to much in recent weeks and while Greg Olsen has the two touchdowns, he has not caught a score since week seven and there has not been a tight end with more than 45 yards in a game.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars are not only below average on defense, they are getting worse. The last three road opponents had at least 96 rushing yards from the primary runner and usually scored once. I like Forte to have a very healthy game here and a good chance it goes big if he is still used as a receiver. Orton likely won't throw for more than one score if even that much. I like the chance of a defensive score more and then plenty of rushing attempts.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 13 28 13 21 7
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 20 19 20 23 8 10

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