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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Bye Week
Sunday Late

Prediction: DET 10, MIN 34

Late Update: While Favre returned to a full practice, Berrian remains limited and is listed as questionable to play. He will likely suit up but I am lowering his projections since there more risk in using him this week despite the nice matchup. Calvin Johnson had a full practice all week long and should be better than last week.

Early Update: Bernard Berrian and Brett Favre were both limited in practices but not expected to miss the game or be limited. Calvin Johnson has practiced fully both days while Matthew Stafford was limited but all are expected to play as they all did last week.

The 1-7 Lions head off to face the Vikings knowing that they have not won a road game since the invention of the foam finger. The Vikings are coming off their bye week and are favored by a ridiculous 16.5 points.

The Vikings won 27-13 in Detroit during week two this season.

Detroit Lions (1-7)
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NO 24-45 +13.5 49
2 MIN 13-27 +10 47
3 WAS 19-14 +6.5 38
4 @CHI 24-48 +10.5 38.5
5 PIT 20-28 +10.5 44
6 @GB 0-26 +13.5 47.5
7 BYE - - -
8 STL 10-17 -3.5 43.5
9 @SEA 20-32 +10 43.5
10 @MIN - +16.5 47.5
11 CLE - - -
12 GB - - -
13 @CIN - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 ARI - - -
16 @SF - - -
17 CHI - - -
DET at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford     180,1
RB Kevin Smith 50 10  
TE Brandon Pettigrew   40  
WR Calvin Johnson   50,1  
WR Bryant Johnson   40  
WR Derrick Williams   20  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Lions are not getting any better since Kevin Smith has been banged up and Calvin Johnson was not only injured but was seen arguing with his rookie quarterback on the sidelines. On the road the Lions have never come within 12 points of their opponent and the offense is looking more suspect as the season progresses. The Lions have played better at home but their worst loss there was against these Vikings.

Quarterback: Matt Stafford comes off his first two touchdown game when he passed for 203 yards in Seattle and actually had some positive results using someone other than Calvin Johnson. Of course this did not set well with Johnson, but it is a much needed development of the offense, particularly involving the tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Stafford has scored in every game this year though twice it was by a run, but now has his first two score effort.

Stafford only passed for 152 yards and one score against the visiting Vikings this year. Expect him to turn in more yardage this time since it was only his second game in the earlier meeting.

Running Backs: Even though Maurice Morris had a decent showing against the Rams when he gained 63 yards on 14 carries, he returned to mere support with Kevin Smith back in the lineup. Smith had 13 runs for 67 yards in Seattle while Morris was only give four carries. But Smith has only scored in two games this year and not since week four. Oddly enough, both were road games.

Smith gained 83 yards on 24 runs with two catches for ten more yards versus the Vikings this season. He won't get enough carries to amount to much this week and his per carry average is bound to decrease in Minny as well. Expect moderate yardage at best and a bad game as more likely.

Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson returned to the playing field after missing three games with a knee injury but only managed to catch two of the nine passes thrown to him and gained only 27 yards. Bryant Johnson scored for only the second time this year when he had two catches for 35 yards which was his standard - sans the touchdown. Dennis Northcutt has been replaced by the rookie Derrick Williams in the slot but had no catches and the #3 role of these wideouts has almost no production anyway.

Johnson had five catches for 51 yards and one touchdown when the Vikes visited in week two. No other wideout had more than 15 yards in the game.

The Vikings have allowed seven passing scores this year so one to a wideout here would not be unusual but any yardage over 60 or 70 yards is very rare. Johnson makes a low level start this week but no other wideouts have fantasy merit.

Tight Ends: Brandon Pettigrew comes off his career best game with seven catches for 70 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Also encouraging is that Pettigrew caught four passes for 40 yards against the Vikes this year in the first game that he played. Too early to expect a touchdown two weeks in a row but Pettigrew is starting to be incorporated into the passing attack that can use all the weapons it can find.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 25 18 27 14 23 23
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 25 3 13 32 19 17

Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 34-20 +3.5 40
2 @DET 27-13 -10 47
3 SF 27-24 -7 40.5
4 GB 30-20 -3.5 46
5 @STL 38-10 -10 39
6 BAL 33-31 -3 44.5
7 @PIT 17-27 +6 46.5
8 @GB 38-26 +3.5 46.5
9 BYE - - -
10 DET - -16.5 47
11 SEA - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 @ARI - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 @CAR - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     280,2
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 20  
TE Vishante Shiancoe   40,1  
WR Bernard Berrian   40  
WR Sidney Rice   70,1  
WR Percy Harvin   70  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Vikings come off their bye with a healthy 7-1 record and their only loss was in Pittsburgh to the reigning NFL champs. Hardly an embarrassment. The bye comes at a nice time to get everyone rested and ready for the second half of the season that starts out with three straight home games which will have the Vikings favored every time. This week should be the easiest game left on the schedule.

I like a defensive score in this game.

Quarterback: Brett Favre has thrown for at least one score in all but one game - the Pittsburgh tilt had no touchdown but did have a season high 334 passing yards. He's only thrown three interceptions against 16 touchdowns and been cranking out the 250+ yard games since week three.

Favre threw for 155 yards and two scores in Detroit.

Favre has never been one to shy away from easy scores and on the road the Lions have been very accommodating with 11 scores allowed in just four games. Expect healthy yardage here and at least two passing scores as a baseline with more depending on what Adrian Peterson doesn't get for himself.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson has nine rushing touchdowns and two efforts over 100 rushing yards. His yardage has waned from previous years though and since his big week one, he has averaged about one score per week and around 85 yards. Solid to be sure but not quite the stuff of legends since some was expecting him to challenge 2000 yards this year. On the plus side, Peterson won't be worn out come January.

Peterson rushed for 92 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries with four receptions for 24 yards in Detroit.

The Lions have allowed big games on the road and it's time for Peterson to show up big in this tasty matchup. Expect one of his better efforts of the year.

Wide Receivers: All three starting wideouts have turned in nice games which is a problem - while one wideout almost always has a very good game, it changes from week to week who that is. Sidney Rice has been the best bet with a couple of big yardage games recently but he has not scored since week four and only had 40 yards on four catches in Green Bay most recently. Bernard Berrian scored in that game and has a touchdown every other week three times but has yet to turn in much yardage. Percy Harvin scored last week as well and had a career best 84 yards on five receptions but had done little since week two.

Harvin had a touchdown on five receptions for 41 yards in Detroit this season. Rice was limited to 29 yards on three catches and Berrian turned in 46 yards on six receptions.

Rice should be the best wideout this week though any could have a score. The Lions are coming to town so all are a good risk for at least decent production.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe has scored six times in the last seven games and had one catch for one yard and one touchdown in Detroit back in week two. His yardage varies but he remains a primary touchdown target with a team leading six receiving scores. Look for #7 this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 13 5 11 15 6 3
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 29 29 30 31 26

The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
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Bye Week
Sunday Late
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