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

Prediction: GB 24, JAC 17

Kind of hard to determine which team has disappointed the most this year. The Packers have lost their last three, may have a losing season and are 2-4 on the road while the Jaguars big step backwards has a four game losing streak, already a losing record that cannot be changed and are 1-5 at home. And these were two of the more anticipated teams coming into the season.

Green Bay Packers (5-8)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  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 21-24 -3 43
15 @JAX - -1.5 45
16 @CHI - - -
17 DET - - -
GB @ JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     230,2
RB Ryan Grant 70,1    
TE Donald Lee   20,1  
WR Donald Driver   50  
WR Greg Jennings   100,1  
WR Jordy Nelson   30  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The first non-Favre year has not been a success though it hardly all rides on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers defense has not risen to the occasion as expected and partially that comes from a much tougher schedule in 2008 than there was in 2007. Two road games could either be losses but at least week 17 will allow the Packers to play in a meaningful game and be a part of history if they can provide the Lions with their NFL record 16th loss of the season.

It wasn't a good year but hey - at least we are not the Lions.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers is finishing out the season with a stretch of excellent games starting in week 11. He has thrown for at least two scores and had over 225 passing yards each week, His six interceptions in that time has not been a help though and the Packers have lost their last two games by four points or less. But Rodgers has been very productive and his 22 touchdowns and 3192 passing yards is even better than that old guy playing for the Jets.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant comes off one of his best games of the year when he rushed for 104 yards and one score against the Texans. Grant has been been much more productive in the second half of the season though not above the occasional bad game. His four touchdowns have all been since week seven,

Brandon Jackson still gets work but only in games where Grant has already stumbled to a bad game. Jackson offers a nice complement in those cases but has minimal use of Grant is running well.

The Packers have lost RT Mark Tauscher to a torn ACL. That will not help the rushing game.

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings has already had a fine year with seven scores and four games over 100 yards. Last week was the first time in a month that he failed to score a touchdown but he still managed 74 yards on two catches. He's actually bee more effective on the road this year with three of those four 100 yard games happening away from Green Bay.

Donald Driver has remained a solid possession receiver with around 60 yards in most games and four scores on the year. He's been a serviceable WR3 but a lack of scoring has really dropped his stock.

Tight Ends: The connection between Rodgers and Donald Lee has been improving as the season progresses and the tight end has scored in three of the last four games. The problem this week is that Lee always disappears in every road game and all his scores and decent yardage games were limited to being in Green Bay.

Match Against the Defense: Grant showed up as healthy last week when he ran for 104 yards on 19 carries against the Texans but the Jaguars at home have been at least slightly better in only allowed four rushing scores and no 100 yard games. Look for a moderate effort here that has a good chance for one score.

Rodgers faces a secondary that has not faced many good passing attacks this year and yet still gives up multiple touchdowns in about half of their games. I like Rodgers to turn in those two scores that should split out between Jennings - of course - and the other could end up with Lee. He has done little in road games but the Jags are one of the worst at stopping tight ends this year. There will be no yardage attached so it is too risky for most fantasy league starts.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 4 27 4 18 9 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 19 19 16 27 18 14

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)
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 10-23 +6.5 40
15 GB - +1.5 45
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     180
RB Fred Taylor 60 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 70,2 40  
TE Marcedes Lewis   50  
WR Dennis Northcutt   20  
WR Mike Walker   30  
WR Reggie Williams   30  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars stumbled from week one, lost players along the way and never recovered. The lone bright spot in the passing game has been Matt Jones who is now suspended for the rest of the year because of his cocaine arrest. That leaves a rushing game that has some spark but little fire and a passing game that just went from bad to worse. After this week comes the Colts and the Ravens for an unusually cruel way to finish off a lost season.

Quarterback: David Garrard the game manager still plays where David Garrard the game winner needs to be. But outside of literally two or three games, Garrard has been chugging along with around 200 yards and one score in most games and has 11 touchdowns on the season against ten interceptions. He only threw three in all of last year. Despite having the same players plus Jerry Porter, the passing game never materialized this year and no player other than Matt "sniffy" Jones ever stepped up to make a difference.

Running Backs: The offensive line problems from the start were never compensated for and the rushing attack here has dropped from being elite to merely average. Fred Taylor has only scored once on the season and has apparently hung on this year purely to pad his career stats so he can feel good about his total body of work without ever having had one really great year.

Maurice Jones-Drew has been solid in almost every week thanks to either touchdowns or receptions for more yardage. His rushing numbers only had him with two games over 100 yards and mostly mediocrity because he had to split everything with Taylor. He has 142 carries for 607 yards and a 4.3 yard average. Taylor has 143 runs for 556 yards and a 3.9 yard average. Remember too that Jones-Drew gets all the short yardage runs as well.

Wide Receivers: In the "Making Matters Worse" department, we have the suspension of Matt Jones for the rest of the year and Jerry Porter likely out with a bad groin. That now leaves Reggie Williams who was a scoring machine in 2007 and just another unproductive player this year. And Dennis Northcutt who catches one or two passes per week and then runs to the mall where he fills in as one of Santa's elves this month. And Mike Walker who is considered very talented and promising and who cannot remain healthy for more than a few weeks.

Recall that Walker had six catches for 107 yards against the Steelers but then, of course, was injured. He only has to last for three weeks this time though he will face the best passing defenses in that time. He's worth watching for next year if you need a promising up-and-comer who will be injured once you use him.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis only has two scores on the season but he has been pretty consistent around 40 yards per week. The lack of receivers this week could spark a little more use.

Match Against the Defense: The Packers have been soft against the run and more so in a road game where they have allowed a total of six rushing scores. The yardage gets split but Jones-Drew should score at least once this week and potentially twice.

The passing game has struggled though and now without Jones takes a turn for the worse, The corners for the Packers are good and the Jags are fresh out of decent receivers. Expect a low yardage game without a passing score.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 18 13 25 24 27 22
Preventing Fantasy Points    GB 14 27 8 21 22 8

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~ 2008 ~
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