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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: DET 10, CIN 27

Thursday Update: Laveranues Coles has been limited in practices this week because of his chest but is still expected to start against the Lions. Cedric Benson is back to full practices as expected.

The Lions arrive in Cincinnati with the much coveted 0-5 road record and the Bengals are 8-3 with a two game lead over the Ravens and Steelers (make it three since they own the tie breaker too). The Bengals could get caught looking past this to the trip to Baltimore but then again - just the Lions who have never lost by less than 12 points in a road game.

Detroit Lions (2-9)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  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 12-34 +11 48
13 @CIN - +13 42
14 @BAL - - -
15 ARI - - -
16 @SF - - -
17 CHI - - -
DET at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford     210,1
RB Kevin Smith 60 10  
TE Casey Fitzsimmons   10  
WR Calvin Johnson   80  
WR Bryant Johnson   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40,1  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Lions had a Thanksgiving surprise when both Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson were able to play despite their respective injuries but they got creamed by the Packers anyway and sort of ruined the good tidings from the victory over the Browns. Both players are likely to play this week and along with Kevin Smith make up the only three weapons on the team.

The remaining schedule is brutal for a good team which means the Lions are going to go out with a whimper - unless the Bears game goes well in the final week.

Quarterback: Matt Stafford continues to score in every game at least once and has been above 200 yards in all but two matchups. His interception ratio is getting worse though and his 12 passing touchdowns are balanced by 18 interceptions - six in just the last two games.

Stafford might continue his one touchdown streak but do not expect more and his yardage should remain on the low side this week.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith had a big game against the Browns as a receiver but as a runner - he's been mediocre at best. He only has three rushing touchdowns and none since week three. He has not gained more than 67 rushing yards in that time as well. Smith has not only been marginal on the road, he also has fewer receptions away from Detroit.

The Bengals have only allowed two runners to score and Smith is not likely to make that three. No runner has topped 100 yards in Cincy so expect just a standard "why did I start him?" sort of game from Smith.

Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson continues to play despite being banged up and scored in both of the last two games. That was with 161 yards versus the Browns and then only 10 yards on two catches against the Packers. Johnson has only scored three times this year and never on the road. His yardage has varied greatly from week to week but he had his second highest game on the road in Chicago.

The Bengals should be able to handle Megatron since only three wideouts have scored in Cincinnati and each was a slot receiver. Bryant Johnson is not likely to score or even have more than 25 yards in the game. Dennis Northcutt has only one touchdown this year but has been more effective in road matchups. If Northcutt doesn't catch the score, it will likely end up with Will Heller. The Bengals can take care of the two primary wideouts here.

Tight Ends: No tight end has much yardage for the Lions but Will Heller has stepped up for two scored in the last three games. It is too unreliable and unproductive for fantasy significance but tight ends have scored five times this season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 17 24 8 26 26
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 16 4 6 19 3 8


Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 7-12 -5 42.5
2 @GB 31-24 +9 42
3 PIT 23-20 +4.5 37
4 @CLE 23-20 -5.5 38
5 @BAL 17-14 +8.5 42
6 HOU 17-28 -5.5 46
7 CHI 45.10 -1 42.5
8 BYE - - -
9 BAL 17-7 +3 43.5
10 @PIT 18-12 +6.5 41
11 @OAK 17-20 -9 36
12 CLE 16-7 -12 39.5
13 DET - -13 42
14 @MIN - - -
15 @SD - - -
16 KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
CIN vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     300,2
RB Cedric Benson 120,1 20  
WR Chad Ochocinco   110,1  
WR Laveranues Coles   70,1  
WR Andre Caldwell   60  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bengals got back on a winning track against the Browns last week but it was a less than dominating win over a very weak opponent. This week is another "don't let your guard down" game before hitting the tough part of the remaining schedule when back-to-back road trips send them to Minnesota and San Diego where both teams are fighting for their own playoff position.

Quarterback: After an impressive seven week scoring streak, Carson Palmer has only posted one passing touchdown in the last three games. He did rush in two scores in Oakland to add to the absurd result of that game but his passing numbers have seriously waned in recent weeks. They do coincide with the injury to Cedric Benson though. And he is due back this week.

You want something to get a quarterback back on the scoring track? Well then welcome those visiting Lions as an early Christmas gift because they sport the worst defense against quarterbacks... and they are on the road. The Lions have already allowed 26 passing touchdowns and seven games over 300 yards. The last three times they left Detroit their opponent has not thrown for less than 329 yards.

Expect very good yardage and a couple of scores that could go bigger.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson missed two games with a sore hip but he could have played last week but was held out one more week to help him get 100% ready for the final five games of the season. Benson was on a four game scoring streak when he was injured and had three games over 100 rushing yards in the last four that he played.

While he was out, Bernard Scott ran well but had a turf toe injury last week. That allowed Larry Johnson to take 22 carries and gain 107 yards against the Browns. Scott and Johnson were complementary types of runners. Benson has the complete package though and should resume his heavy workload. Johnson should remain the #2 at least while Scott is healing his toe.

The Lions are also bad against the run and offer Benson with a nice opportunity for a bounce back game. Expect the good yardage and one score that Benson had been producing prior to the hip injury.

Wide Receivers: The lackluster passing totals of the last three weeks has drained the fantasy value from this group and set Chad OchoCinco off complaining again. He has not scored since week seven and seen his worst four games of the year all in a row for the last month. The cool down has been felt by all receivers but once again - the Lions to the rescue.

Expect a solid showing here of the receivers that should pacify OchoCinco with a score and another one that should end up with Coles. Whatever happens here is probably as good as it gets.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 15 18 12 29 22 11
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 32 28 31 30 31 28

The Huddle
WEEK 13
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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Early Injury Report
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