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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DEN, JAC
Monday
DET, BAL
SEA, TEN
*updated

Prediction: SF 23, HOU 20

The 49ers come off their bye week and their most recent game was the beat-down that the Falcons laid on them in San Francisco. That left the 49ers tied with the Cardinals in the NFC West. The Texans come off a huge win over the Bengals in Cincinnati and are 3-3 and still dreaming about a winning season.

San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA 23-10 -1.5 39
3 @MIN 24-27 +7 40.5
4 STL 35-0 -10 37.5
5 ATL 10-45 -2.5 41
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU - +3.5 44.5
8 @IND - - -
9 TEN - - -
10 CHI - - -
11 @GB - - -
12 JAC - - -
13 @SEA - - -
14 ARI - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 DET - - -
17 @STL - - -
SF at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     190,1
RB Frank Gore 70,1 30  
TE Vernon Davis   70,1  
WR Michael Crabtree   30  
WR Isaac Bruce   40  
WR Arnaz Battle   20  
PK Joe Nedney 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Nothing like winning a game by 35 points and then losing a game by 35 points. Bit of a swing and a surprising inconsistency by a team that had looked like they had truly turned the corner at least defensively. With two weeks to stew, HC MIke Singletary will have the team ready for this road trip. The 49ers already won in Arizona and almost won in Minnesota.

Quarterback: The 49ers are one of the worst passing teams but the addition of Michael Crabtree will help if only eventually. Shaun Hill has not thrown for more than 209 yards in any game this year but has five touchdowns against only two interceptions. He had two scores in both Minnesota and at home against the Rams but then was blanked by the Falcons.

The Texans are only average against the pass because most teams have great success rushing the ball. The Texans have allowed as many as 302 passing yards and two scores but Hill cannot be relied on for anything more than a very average game.

Running Backs: Frank Gore has resumed practicing and is not expected to be restricted this week. Glenn Coffee will return to being just a rarely used handcuff for Gore who had scored twice in each of the two games prior to his injury and cruised for 207 yards when the Seahawks came to town in week two.

There is no reason not to expect Gore to immediately return to form and the Texans have allowed at least one rushing score to every opponent besides the Raiders. They have allowed a total of ten scores to running backs so far this year and were being ripped up in each of the first three games. They have improved in their recent games but look for a decent yardage game and at least one score from Gore this week. If the Texans suffer a letdown after their big win in Cincy, Gore could have a very nice game.

Wide Receivers: Initially the 49ers suggested that Michael Crabtree would debut as a slot receiver which would impact Arnaz Battle but most recently the move apparently is to split end - where he would end up sooner than later anyway - and that means Josh Morgan has to step aside even though he is the only 49er wideout with a touchdown catch so far. The wideouts here are among the least used in the league and there is plenty of openings for Crabtree to step in and step up because none of the others here have done much. Hill is not going to throw much and doesn't usually look at wideouts first but the addition of Crabtree should influence his passing now.

The Texans have been generally good against wideouts and only OchoCinco has topped 100 yards against them. Only four receivers have scored against the Texans so expect a ho-hum game here as it always is. But at least we get to watch Crabtree so we can see how special he is. Maybe that will make sense of the most ill-advised holdout since Cedric Benson. Probably not though.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis had three touchdowns to lead the 49ers in receiving scores and his 262 yards is also a team high. Even in the bad loss of week five, Davis turned in five catches for 51 yards and had three scores in the two previous games. The Texans have allowed much to tight ends but have faced very few who used the position. Dustin Keller had 94 yards in the season opener but no others have been successful. If you have Davis, he's still worth a start because he is the safety net for Hill.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 25 15 31 9 12 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 13 27 25 3 12 10


Houston Texans (3-3)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 7-24 -4.5 44
2 @TEN 34-31 +7 40.5
3 JAC 24-31 -4 46.5
4 OAK 29-6 -9.5 41
5 @ARI 21-28 +5.5 48
6 @CIN 28-17 +5.5 46
7 SF - -3.5 44.5
8 @BUF - - -
9 @IND - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 IND - - -
13 @JAC - - -
14 SEA - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 @MIA - - -
17 NE - - -
HOU vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     280,2
RB Steve Slaton 40 60  
TE Owen Daniels   50  
WR Andre' Johnson   70,1  
WR Kevin Walter   40  
WR Jacoby Jones   20,1  
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Texans continue their inexplicable trend of never losing or winning two in a row. That required an unlikely win in Cincinnati and losing to the visiting Jaguars but so far - every week it is different than the week before. No doubt that the Texans are happy to be home this week and are due for another two game road trip before their week 10 bye rolls around. It all came together last week in Cincy but this week will be a big challenge against a 49ers team that is rested and has been preparing for two weeks.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub has been red hot since week one and comes off his season best game with 392 yards and four scores in Cincinnati. He had 371 yards in Arizona with two scores the previous week. His 14 touchdowns go against only five interceptions and he's getting better pass protection than ever before.

The 49ers have faced several top passers already and Kurt Warner, Brett Favre and Matt Ryan all had 288+ passing yards and twice they have allowed two passing scores. The run is likely to be a problem this week which means that Schaub will have to air it out. Look for at least a decent showing here that could end up over 300 yards.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton had his best game of the year when he gained 145 total yards and a score against the Bengals. But 102 yards came from six receptions while his 19 carries only resulted in 43 yards. Slaton has been so ineffective as a runner that Chris Brown has been getting 8 or 9 runs each week. Brown's 45 yards on nine carries last Sunday was the most impressive of any Texans runner this year. Brown is not worth projecting since he has few carries and no role as a receiver.

The 49ers had been outstanding against the run until Michael Turner burned them for three scores and 97 yards in week five. Otherwise, it was very slim pickings and Slaton is not going to run on the 49ers. His main value as always will be as a receiver and should have some success with that since Tim Hightower had 121 yards and Chester Taylor turned in 70 yards as receivers.

Wide Receivers: The Texans have been throwing for healthy yardage in recent games but it almost all ends up with Andre Johnson. He has three games over 100 yards this year including the last two and has four scores on the season. He's been good for eight receptions in games when the Texans threw more than usual. Kevin Walter has really lost his value - after scoring in his first game back during week three, he has only had more than 41 yards in any game and has not scored. Jacoby Jones is making a play for increased playing time with three touchdown catches though his yardage has almost always remained below 30 yards in a game.

The 49ers have been very good against wideouts so far other than Roddy White exploding in the most recent game. Otherwise, the 49ers had allowed only three passing scores to wideouts on the season and never more than 74 yards including playing against ARI, SEA and MIN. Johnson is a must start every week and could have a score here but the 49ers will be prepared coming into this game. The other wideouts are not an attractive start. I am crediting Jones with a score but it could go anywhere.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels had tied with Andre Johnson with four receiving touchdowns. Daniels has been a force in every road game this year but has been much less used at home. The 49ers have not allowed any scores to a tight end this year and held Tony Gonzalez to only 55 yards. Daniels will get you some yardage this week as always but is a bad risk for a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 5 18 8 3 23 19
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 19 24 21 2 18 15

The Huddle
WEEK 7
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DEN, JAC
Monday
DET, BAL
SEA, TEN
 
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