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

Prediction: NYG 23, DEN 20

The Giants keep pace in the NFC East with their win over Atlanta and end their four game losing streak. The Broncos have now lost their fourth straight game after opening 6-0 and appear to not only have already peaked, they seem to be gaining speed in the descent.

New York Giants (6-4)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 23-17 -6.5 37
2 @DAL 33-31 +3 43.5
3 @TB 24-0 -7 44
4 @KC 27-16 -9 42.5
5 OAK 44-7 -16.5 40.5
6 @NO 24-48 +3 47
7 ARI 17-24 -9 46.5
8 @PHI 17-40 +1 43
9 SD 20-21 -4 47.5
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL 34-31 -7 46
12 @DEN - -6.5 42
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     200,1
RB Brandon Jacobs 90,1 10  
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 30    
TE Kevin Boss   20  
WR Steve Smith   50  
WR Hakeem Nicks   60,1  
WR Mario Manningham   50  
PK Lawrence Tynes 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants turned around the losing streak but are hardly out of the woods yet with a trip through the NFC East one more time and a season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota. The Giants are only 3-2 on the road and a win here sends out a signal that they are getting back on track. A loss makes the playoffs become a far bigger challenge to reach.

Quarterback: Eli Manning comes off his best game of the year when he passed for 384 yards and three scores against the Falcons. He has scored in each game this year and has 18 scores against nine interceptions so far. Earlier in the season Manning was equally as good on the road but in the most recent away games has only been throwing for one touchdown in each with moderate yardage at best.

The Broncos secondary has been great this year but suffered letdowns against the Steelers and Patriots who were both visiting. Manning's recent upswing in stats has been limited to home games and in Denver no one has passed for more than 255 yards. The recent woes stopping the run have led teams to throw even less against them so expect only an average showing from Manning.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs suffered a leg injury last week that made him miss some of the game but he is already pronounced good to go and practiced on Monday and Tuesday. He had a touchdown last week and rank 12 times for 39 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw only mustered 34 yards on 12 runs with no scores or catches and Danny Ware was expected to get more playing time but was limited to only two runs for 15 yards.

Bradshaw is a concern this week since he has injured his other ankle and is now wearing a boot on it. He has already been missing most practices each week because of a cracked bone in his foot and a sprained right ankle. I am forecasting for Bradshaw but it is not clear that he will play this week since it is a short week.

This week in Denver, the Giants face a defense that has been much softer against the run in recent weeks and the Chargers just rushed in two scores last week along with 203 total rushing yards allowed. In week ten, Ladell Betts had 114 rushing yards against them. The split of work will not allow any runner here to have a big game but Jacobs and Bradshaw should both have a decent to good week.

Wide Receivers: The big passing yards of last week allowed all three wideouts to have good efforts though Mario Manningham was the clear leader with 126 yards on six catches including setting up the game winning field goal. He had been bouncing around 50 yards per game. Steve Smith has been more consistent though he has only one touchdown in the last six weeks. Hakeem Nicks has also been solid as a slot receiver and never has less than around 40 yards in a game. Nicks was banged up in the game but is expected to play without limitation this week.

This week is tougher with the Broncos secondary being better than most and Champ Bailey should match on Steve Smith and hold him to lesser numbers this week. The one passing score should end up with either Manningham or Nicks and the slot has been a small problem in recent games so I'll credit Nicks.

Tight Ends: Kevin Boss has scored in each of the last three games after doing almost nothing in the first seven games. He had a season best five receptions for 76 yards and scored twice against the Falcons but the Broncos have one of the best defenses against tight ends in the league - expect Boss to block more this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 9 22 3 19 1 16
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 2 19 8 2 21 17

Denver Broncos (6-4)
Homefield: Invesco Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 12-7 +5 42.5
2 CLE 27-6 -3 38
3 @OAK 23-3 -1.5 35.5
4 DAL 17-10 +3 43
5 NE 20-17 +3.5 41.5
6 @SD 34-23 +3.5 44
7 BYE - - -
8 @BAL 7-30 +4.5 42.5
9 PIT 10-28 +3 49
10 @WAS 17-27 -3.5 36
11 SD 3-32 +6.5 41.5
12 NYG - +6.5 42
13 @KC - - -
14 @IND - - -
15 OAK - - -
16 @PHI - - -
17 KC - - -
DEN vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     220,1
RB Knowshon Moreno 70,1    
RB Correll Buckhalter 40 30  
TE Tony Scheffler   20,1  
WR Brandon Marshall   70  
WR Eddie Royal   50  
WR Brandon Stokley   40  
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Quite the tale of two parts to the season. The Broncos raced to 6-0 with a defense that was crushing all opponents. Then, mysteriously, they returned from the bye week like they had caught the Cleveland flu. Now the offense is the one with the low scores and the defense has yet to hold an opponent to less than 27 points for the last four games. And that includes the Washington Redskins who had never scored more than 17 points all year. Now playing in a short week will make a turn around even more difficult.

Quarterback: Chris Simms did throw three consecutive incompletions and had been sacked twice when he was replaced near the start of the second quarter but the score was just 10-0 and trotting out Kyle Orton seemed maybe less of a desperation move than it did a planned thing. It had no effect anyway since Orton only competed 15 of 29 passes for 171 yards and one interception. That was the third time in the last four games where Orton failed to score or have more than 221 passing yards. After starting out on a hot streak, Orton's recent woes typify the problems with the offense.

The Giants have been weaker against the pass in recent weeks but have faced McNabb, Brees, Rivers and Ryan - none of which the current Orton resembles. But Orton should manage to get a score in this game and have moderate yardage. He could have two scores potentially has have five quarterbacks so far but Orton is not 100% healthy and now on a short week. Do not expect more than a very moderate showing.

Running Backs: Knowshon Moreno comes off two decent games when he ran for 97 yards on 18 carries in Washington and then had 80 yards on ten carries versus the Chargers but once again, he fumbled away a chance for a touchdown and these Broncos are no longer good enough to compensate for wasted opportunities. Correll Buckhalter took the bulk of the work after Moreno's fumble despite his success otherwise.

This week the Giants bring in a defense that has been good against yardage but has allowed 12 rushing scores this year. Only one player has rushed for more than 100 yards against the Giants and none since week two. Expect a decent showing here by Moreno who should have a nice chance to finally score if he can just hold on to the ball.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall only had three catches for 26 yards last week and was mostly busy hassling Moreno about his fumble. But either Marshall is going to have a good game or no wideout will because no other wideouts have scored since week six and Eddie Royal has no touchdowns on the year. Marshall has scored six times but in only one of the last five games. He has tended to show up best against the most stout of secondaries though - 112 yards against the Steelers and 134 yards and two scores in Washington.

The Giants were bombed by the Saints and even the Eagles had some success but otherwise this has been a stellar secondary. With the struggles of the Denver offense already and the fact that only Marshall really matters, it makes it hard to project big numbers for him but he has shown up best against the best of opponents.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler has done little this year and has almost no production in the last four games while the Broncos continue to lose. But Scheffler faces one of the worst secondaries at stopping tight ends. He has as good of a chance for a score as he will from now until the end of the season. The score ends up here or with Marshall.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 23 25 15 21 20 10
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 15 12 5 30 3 5

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