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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Bye Week

Prediction: CAR 6, ARI 27

Late Update: Both Boldin and Breaston will play as expected even though Boldin is listed as questionable. The ankle injury is the same one he had last week when he turned in 75 yards in New York. Muhsin Muhammad has been ruled out this week and Dwayne Jarrett will take his place. I have adjusted the projections.

Early Update: Muhsin Muhammad has missed both days of practice because of his knee and may not play. If he doesn’t return for a full day on Friday, I will remove him from the projections. Both Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston have been limited in practice but that’s no different than last week. Expect both to play and Boldin should be a bit healthier than last week.

The Panthers are on a road to implosion if the quarterback spot doesn't improve and losing to the visiting Bills erased any good vibes from beating the Skins and Bucs in the two previous games. The Cardinals come off an impressive upset win in New York over the Giants and have played much more like the NFC Champion for the last three weeks.

The Cardinals lost 23-27 in Carolina during week eight of last season but later won 33-13 there during the Divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

Carolina Panthers (2-4)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PHI 10-38 +2.5 43.5
2 @ATL 20-28 +6 43
3 @DAL 7-21 +9 46
4 BYE - -3.5 37.5
5 WAS 20-17 -5 38
6 @TB 28-21 -3 39
7 BUF 9-20 -7 37
8 @ARI - +9 42
9 @NO - - -
10 ATL - - -
11 MIA - - -
12 @NYJ - - -
13 TB - - -
14 @NE - - -
15 MIN - - -
16 @NYG - - -
17 NO - - -
CAR at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme     200
RB Jonathan Stewart 30 10  
RB DeAngelo Williams 60 20  
TE Jeff King   30  
WR Steve Smith   70  
WR Dwayne Jarrett   40  
WR Muhsin Muhammad 30  
PK John Kasay 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The play of Jake Delhomme cannot continue much longer. The entirety of the Panthers season is riding on him either making a turn around or finding someone else to start. The upcoming schedule is going to be murderous with perhaps one game favored when the Buccaneers show up in Carolina. Otherwise, this team is going to look much worse before the season is over. The remaining road trips are to ARI, NO, NYJ, NE and NYG. There's a guarantee of a losing season.

Quarterback: Jake Delhomme threw for 325 yards last week but had no touchdowns and tossed three more interceptions. That gives him 13 on the season with two lost fumbles as well. That's a pace for throwing 35 interceptions in one year while he only has four touchdowns to show for his efforts. After the game, HC John Fox would not commit to Delhomme as the starting quarterback and a change may be in the making since Matt Moore simply could not be a downgrade from what is happening. I will assume Delhomme plays and update if needed.

Delhomme passed for 248 yards and two scores in the first meeting with the Cards last season but only had 205 yards and one touchdown during the playoffs.

The Cardinals secondary had been one of the worst in the league but recently has been much improved with efforts in Seattle and New York. Delhomme is struggling so much that he cannot be relied on. Expect moderate yardage and no score just to be safe.

Running Backs: While the passing game struggles, at least DeAngelo Williams has enjoyed his recent weeks with soft defenses like the Buccaneers and Bills unable to contain him. He comes off a 139 total yard effort against the Bulls with one score and had 172 yards and two touchdowns the previous week in Tampa Bay. But Williams was far less productive against quality defenses and on the road to Arizona won't be nearly as beneficial.

Jonathan Stewart capitalized on the Buccaneers but only had 25 yards on seven carries against the Bills. Unless the opposing defense is really weak, Stewart is not a fantasy play this year.

Williams rushed for 108 yards and one score in the regular season meeting with the Cardinals while Stewart only managed 10 yards on eight carries. In the playoff meeting, Williams was held to 12 runs for 63 yards and Stewart scored once while only running three times for 12 yards.

The Cardinals are one of the top rushing defenses and have only allowed three rushing touchdowns this season. No runner has gained more than 76 yards against them so downgrade any expectations for Williams this week and leave Stewart on the bench.

Wide Receivers: Steve Smith caught six passes for 99 yards against the Bills which is almost the same as what he did in the three previous games combined. Smith only had two games of any note, not a single touchdown this year and three times ended with less than 40 yards in a game. No wideout for the Panthers have scored or done better than 51 yards this year. Delhomme struggles have gutted all fantasy value from this unit.

Smith caught five passes for 117 yards and two scores in the first meeting with the Cards last year. He later only had two receptions for 43 yards but scored one touchdown. No other wideout had more than 41 yards in either game.

The Cardinals have only allowed six passing scores to wideouts and four of those happened in the Colts game. Smith could have a decent showing here but it's hard to rely on and almost certainly will continue to have no score attached.

Tight Ends: Dante Rosario sprained his knee last week and I will count him out for now. Rosario has not had more than 35 yards since week three and has not scored since then. I'll assume Jeff King gets the start and he has two touchdowns over the last three weeks. The tight ends have accounted for every receiving touchdown this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 30 6 28 10 30 25
Preventing Fantasy Points    ARI 19 4 28 23 6 12

Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SF 16-20 -6 46
2 @JAC 31-17 +3 43
3 IND 10-31 -2.5 48
4 BYE - - -
5 HOU 28-21 -5.5 48
6 @SEA 27-3 +3 47
7 @NYG 24-17 +9 46.5
8 CAR - -9 42
9 @CHI - - -
10 SEA - - -
11 @STL - - -
12 @TEN - - -
13 MIN - - -
14 @SF - - -
15 @DET - - -
16 STL - - -
17 GB - - -
ARI vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     260,2
RB Chris Wells 60,1    
RB Tim Hightower 30 30,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   80,1  
WR Anquan Boldin   60  
WR Steve Breaston   50  
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Two road wins in Seattle and New York say that the Cardinals are back to form and the two early season losses have no impact. The Cardinals have a one game lead over the 49ers for the NFC West thanks to their recent losses but will need to win in week 14 to eliminate the tie breaker since the 49ers won the season opener in Arizona. But the schedule overall is very soft and the Cardinals are likely to be favored in all games except possibly the Vikings visiting.

Quarterback: Kurt Warner passed for at least one score in every game this year but comes off a season low effort of 231 yards and one touchdown in New York in the winning effort over the Giants. Back at home this week, he has yet to throw for less than 280 yards playing in Arizona.

Warner passed for 381 yards and two touchdown in Carolina last year. He later produced 220 yards and two scores in the playoff meeting with the Panthers.

The Panthers have been very good against the pass but mostly because they are weak against the run. Warner should be a weekly starter anyway and will walk away with a couple of scores and very good yardage thanks to playing at home.

Running Backs: Just when there was no reason to start Beanie Wells, the rookie scored his first NFL touchdown and had 77 total yards in New York against the Giants. He had 14 carries to 12 for Tim Hightower who will continue to start but the shift appears to be finally starting. Wells only had 29 yards on 12 runs the previous week in Seattle. Hightower also scored last week which gave his his fourth touchdown over the last five games.

No runner had more than 57 yards in either meeting with the Panthers last year though Edgerrin James scored once during the playoff matchup.

The Panthers have been weaker against running backs who have scored eight times against them this year. Thanks to split backfields only Michael Turner has gained over 100 yards as a runner but the Cardinals have been dinged by running backs as receivers as well. One rushing score should happen and that could go to either but the newer direction towards Wells is worth relying on more.

Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin was replaced by Steve Breaston in the majority of two-receiver sets Sunday night but still had three catches for 75 yards against the Giants. Breaston was held to just one catch for 23 yards while Larry Fitzgerald settled for six receptions for 83 yards. Both Boldin and Breaston only have one touchdown on the season while Fitzgerald has scored five times and had the only 100 yard game by a wideout this year. Boldin is still bothered by his high ankle sprain but playing through the injury.

Fitzgerald had games of 115 and 166 yards versus the Panthers last year. He scored in the playoff meeting. Boldin turned in 63 yards on nine catches and scored twice in the regular season matchup but did not play in the second meeting.

The Panthers have only allowed two scores to go to wideouts and have been very solid against the position with no player gaining more than 75 receiving yards against them. Expect moderate games from Boldin and Fitzgerald and a touchdown for Fitzgerald.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.


Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 14 12 1 32 15 10
Preventing Fantasy Points    CAR 10 20 2 13 13 32

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