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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: GB 31, DET 13

The Packers won 26-0 when the Lions visited back in week six and now playing in Detroit it appears the Lions will be without Matt Stafford and potentially Calvin Johnson. That leaves Kevin Smith standing in the middle of the field asking "why is everyone looking at me?"

Cause you're all they got, Kevin. Good luck with that.

Green Bay Packers (6-4)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL 36-17 -6.5 41
4 @MIN 23-30 +3.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 DET 26-0 -13.5 47.5
7 @CLE 31-3 -9.5 41.5
8 MIN 26-38 -3.5 46.5
9 @TB 28-38 -10 43.5
10 DAL 17-7 +3 48
11 SF 30-24 -6 42
12 @DET - -11 48
13 BAL - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     310,3
RB Ryan Grant 90,1 10  
TE Jermichael Finley   60,1  
WR Greg Jennings   90,1  
WR Donald Driver   80,1  
WR James Jones   40  
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: Two nice home wins and suddenly the Packers are 6-4 and in the hunt for a wild card bid. This week will be a kind road game and the Packers are only 2-2 away from Green Bay but several games remaining will be very tough. If the Packers reach the playoffs,they will have earned it because they had to drive through the AFC North and NFC East to get there.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers continues his magical tour where few people realize just how productive he has been despite having no big time wideout or flashy win-loss record. Rodgers has scored in every game this year which includes 19 passing touchdowns and three rushing scores and three games over 300 yards.

Rodgers threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns when the Lions visited in week six.

Detroit Lions, thou are more lovely than a summer rain. Thou ares lovely from allowing six quarterbacks to throw for over 300 yards. Thou hast allowed 23 passing scores as freely as leaves in the wind. Thou hast made Jason Campbell and Brady Quinn look like studs even if for only three hours of their lives. We thank you for the 300+ yards and at least two scores you are about to bestow. Make that three scores - national television and all.

Verily we thank ye.

Running Backs: In case you entered the office pool, Ahman Green only made it three games before getting injured (groin) and expected to be out. Brandon Jackson takes his place which has no bearing anywhere outside of the Jackson's Family Thanksgiving Celebration and Horseshoes Contest at his mom's house.

Ryan Grant has scored every other week for a while now and just had 129 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. Grant rushed for 90 yards on 24 carries versus the Lions this year but that was just prior to his scoring started. No reason not to expect a very healthy day and a score from Grant since the Lions will be without their top two players.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver has been quiet these last two weeks after an impressive season through week nine but Greg Jennings finally came back to life with 126 yards and a score versus the 49ers. It was only his second touchdown since the season opener and his best yardage effort of note since week three. James Jones had been very hot but has also cooled with the last two games against the Cowboys and 49ers.

Driver caught seven passes for 107 yards and Jennings turned on six receptions for 64 yards when the Lions visited this year. James Jones had a touchdown on his two catches for 55 yards in that game.

The Lions are no better this time around and likely will be worse with their offense less able to control the ball so that the Packers get plenty of chances to do things on offense and likely have nice field position as well. No reason not to start Driver or Jennings in this game and even Jones could be a decent play with lower expectations and yet upside.

Tight Ends: The Packers wasted no time in getting Jermichael Finley back in the swing of things when he returned from a three week absence. He was targeted ten times for a team high and had seven receptions for 54 yards. He was lined up in the slot on most passing plays and has the possibility of becoming a Packers version of Vernon Davis.

Finley had five catches for 54 yards against the Lions this season. I like him to catch one score and have healthy yardage here against one of the weakest secondaries in the league.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 18 7 6 7 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 31 29 29 28 31 25

Detroit Lions (2-8)
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 10-27 +17 47.5
11 CLE 38-37 -3.5 37.5
12 GB - +11 48
13 @CIN - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 ARI - - -
16 @SF - - -
17 CHI - - -
DET vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper     160,1
RB Kevin Smith 50 50  
TE Brandon Pettigrew   40,1  
WR Bryant Johnson   30  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40  
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Matt Stafford may be out this week but he has already found his way into the hearts of Lions fans everywhere, at least those who were not living in the blackout area in Detroit and could not witness him disregarding his separated shoulder and returning to the game for the winning touchdown pass. The game was a shootout and a reward to the Lions fans who as always have too little to cheer about. Granted this week looks like a bad loss but no matter - around every Detroit Thanksgiving table they'll still be talking about last week.

Quarterback: The shoulder separation will prevent Matt Stafford from playing this week but potentially that will be all the time he will miss. Daunte Culpepper will take the start with his spotty past record and apparently may be without Calvin Johnson which is akin to sending a soldier to war without a gun. Stafford was also out in week six when the Lions went to Green Bay. Both Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton combined for just 105 passing yards. That is an even worse sign for this week.

It is Thanksgiving and Culpepper should find his way to somehow score one touchdown but he is an obvious weak play in fantasy terms.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith comes off one of his best games of the year thanks to 104 yards and a score on four receptions that included a 64-yard catch. Smith has never had more than 67 rushing yards since week three but becomes a factor as a receiver in home games. That is likely his only saving grace this year since he has not rushed in a score since week four and the Packers have only allowed two rushing touchdowns all year.

Smith gained 61 yards on 15 carries in Green Bay this year.

Expect moderate yardage here with a chance of a long catch.

Wide Receivers: The Packers will be without CB Al Harris who is done for the season with a torn ACL but the Lions may be without Calvin Johnson who is considered doubtful and did not practice on Tuesday, He will likely be a game time decision so if you need him at least he is in the first game of the day. On the downside - Daunte Culpepper at the helm instead of Stafford. I will not project for him and he was also injured in the in the earlier meeting with the Packers when no other wide receiver had more than 40 yards.

I like one passing score in this game if only really late when everyone is asleep from eating turkey. That could end up with either Bryant Johnson or Dennis Northcutt though neither spawn much confidence. I'll tag it on the tight end though that is only marginally more likely. No decent plays here without Megatron.

Tight Ends: Brandon Pettigrew caught the game winning score against the Browns and that makes two scores in the last three games. He's still not nearly consistent enough to warrant a fantasy start but is making positive progress. The score I am crediting could end up with Will Heller just as easily.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 17 24 9 25 25
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 18 2 12 20 2 21

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