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

Prediction: PHI 24, ATL 17

Friday Update: Matt Ryan is listed out and while Michael Turner and Michael Jenkins are considered questionable, neither has practiced this week and are not expected to play. Roddy White is also questionable but has been through limited practices all week and is expected to play.

DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook both have not practiced and will not play.

Thursday Update: The Falcons have not called Michael Turner out yet but he has not practiced and is highly unlikely to go injure his ankle even worse. Matt Ryan remains out and Michael Jenkins has not practiced because of a sore ankle. I am removing him from the projections. DeSean Jackson remains out of practices because of his concussion.

The Eagles are on a two game winning streak and at 7-4 are just one game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East and have a 3-2 road mark. The Falcons are 6-5 and still in the hunt for a wild card bid but are likely to be missing their quarterback and running back and have a kicker who has inexplicably fallen apart this year. Not a good sign for the Falcons who were 5-0 at home. That should end on Sunday since all home games had been dominated by Michael Turner.

The Eagles won 27-14 when they hosted the Falcons last year.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-4))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CAR 38-10 -2.5 43.5
2 NO 22-48 -3 46.5
3 KC 34-14 -9.5 42.5
4 BYE -    
5 TB 33-14 -16 42
6 @OAK 9-13 -14 40.5
7 @WAS 27-17 -7 37.5
8 NYG 40-17 -1 43
9 DAL 16-20 -3 47.5
10 @SD 23-31 +1 47
11 @CHI 24-20 -3.5 46.5
12 WAS 27-24 -9.5 40.5
13 @ATL - -1.5 46.5
14 @NYG - - -
15 SF - - -
16 DEN - - -
17 @DAL - - -
PHI at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     270,2
RB LeSean McCoy 60 40  
TE Brent Celek   50  
WR Reggie Brown   40  
WR Jason Avant   50,1  
WR Jeremy Maclin   70,1  
PK David Akers 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Eagles have been specializing in the close win lately but are keeping pace with the Cowboys who they meet in the season finale for what could be the title to the NFC East. At 7-4, they remain no less than strong contenders for a wild card though are having their own injury issues with Brian Westbrook out indefinitely and now DeSean Jackson suffering from a concussion. The Eagles defense is the difference maker anyway and LeSean McCoy has filled in nicely for Westbrook.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb has remained solid every week with at least one score in all but one game and multiple touchdowns in half his efforts. He rarely runs anymore but has 15 touchdowns against only six interceptions. The drama this week surrounds the return of Michael Vick to Atlanta where assorted cheers and boos no doubt are waiting. But Vick has not thrown or rushed in any score and has been of minimal impact this year. The Eagles may allow him more playing time this week particularly if the Eagles get a decent lead.

McNabb threw for 253 yards and scored a rushing touchdown against the Falcons last year.

The Falcons have already allowed five passers to top 300 yards and most end with multiple scores against them. Given the reduced threat from the Falcons offense, McNabb should have plenty of time racking up a couple of passing scores and healthy passing yardage even if Jackson does not play.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook continues to see doctors about his concussion and he had a mild headache after a practice last week to set him back. Until he is cleared, this remains LeSean McCoy's job and he's been reasonably productive since taking over. He only had three scores on the year and the Eagles have taken to using Leonard Weaver and even the rookie Eldra Buckley for goal line work which hurts McCoy's potential.

McCoy has 99 yards as a season high two weeks ago in Chicago but the more he runs, the less he acts as a receiver.

Westbrook ran for 167 yards on 22 carries and scored twice against the Falcons in 2008.

The Falcons have been good against the run and in Atlanta only two visitors have rushed in a score. No runner has topped 79 rushing yards there though there could be time for running this week with the Falcons offense decimated by injury. McCoy should post a moderate game here but there is a chance for a good game if he gets enough carries. I like one rushing score but more likely Weaver or Buckley will score it. McCoy is being phased out of the goal line work.

Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson left the Redskins game with a concussion and his status this week has not been determined. He will be evaluated during the week and a his role - if any - won't be know until later in the week if not even game time. He has not been ruled out but teams are being more careful with concussions this season and Jackson had his bell rung pretty good last week. If he does not play, Reggie Brown will likely take his place.

No wideout had more than 45 yards versus the Falcons last year.

The Falcons have only allowed two scores by wideouts in Atlanta but have hosted only MIA, CAR, CHI, WAS and TB - hardly the elite passing teams. Both Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant would be the most likely to have a touchdown but all three wideouts should post at least decent yardage.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek just signed a six-year, $33 million contract extension. The deal includes $11 million in guaranteed money and confirms Celek as one of the major players in this offense. Celek currently has some torn ligaments in his thumb but is not expected to miss any time because of it and will have surgery in the offseason to correct it.. He's been a lock for about four catches per week and has five scores with most coming in home games. The Falcons are weak against tight ends this year and should let Celek have decent yardage.

Celek gained 29 yards on two receptions versus the Falcons last season.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 7 21 9 15 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 29 20 22 29 18 11

Atlanta Falcons (6-5)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 19-7 -4 43.5
2 CAR 28-20 -6 43
3 @NE 10-26 +4 44.5
4 BYE -    
5 @SF 45-10 +2.5 41
6 CHI 21-14 -3 45.5
7 @DAL 21-37 +5 47.5
8 @NO 27-35 +10 54
9 WAS 31-17 -10 41
10 @CAR 19-28 -1 43.5
11 @NYG 31-34 +7 46
12 TB 20-17 -12 46
13 PHI - +1.5 46.5
14 NO - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 BUF - - -
17 @TB - - -
ATL vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Chris Redman     240,1
RB Jason Snelling 40,1 10  
RB Jerious Norwood 20 30  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Michael Jenkins 40
WR Roddy White   50  
WR Marty Booker   20  
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Tough times for the Falcons who were 4-1 to start the year and now have lost Matt Ryan for the near future (at least) and likely Michael Turner as well. That's a serious 1-2 punch that would be almost impossible to recover from and the next three games - PHI, NO and @NYJ - are not going to make winning any more likely. Even Jason Elam has been oddly inaccurate this year and the Falcons just released him and signed Matt Bryant.

Quarterback: Matt Ryan has already been ruled out this week with ligament damage to his big toe and he's considered out "indefinitely". There is a concern that may extend to the end of the season which would likely doom all hopes of a playoff run. Chris Redman took over last week and turned in a respectable 243 yards and two scores against the visiting Buccaneers in a game that should have never been that close. Redman is not ideal starter material, but he is a veteran who can at least keep the Falcons competitive. With Turner out indefinitely as well, chances are high that the Falcons are going to be passing heavily over the final five weeks going against several very stout defenses.

Ryan passed for 277 yards and two scores in Philadelphia last year.

The Eagles have allowed a touchdown to every quarterback since the season opener though only once more than two and often just a single score. Expecting the Falcons to need to throw, Redman should end up with moderate yardage and likely one touchdown with a chance of a second one.

Running Backs: The Falcons are not talking about Michael Turner's ankle but he re-aggravated the same high ankle sprain from two weeks previous. His inclusion last week was a surprise since most believed he would miss one or two more games at a minimum. Apparently that would have been a better plan because now Turner is out indefinitely. Even when he was playing he was ineffective with just 33 yards on 12 rushes.

Jerious Norwood returned last week and had 22 yards on six runs and two catches for 28 yards and one touchdown. He briefly flashed his speed but overall had the same problems running that Turner encountered.

Turner rushed for 58 yards on 17 carries in Philly last year.

Expect Jason Snelling to step back in and replace Turner along with help from Norwood. But this reduced rushing attack faces an above average defense which will be a problem for Snelling to maintain decent stats when the Eagles have never allowed more than 96 yards to any runner.

Wide Receivers: Roddy White broke his three week scoring drought when he had five catches for 57 yards against the Buccaneers and he's been rock solid at turning in 50+ yards in every game. Michael Jenkins has been the hotter hand for the last two weeks with at least 76 yards in each game and six or seven catches. White's seven touchdowns lead the team and only Eric Weems has just scores (2).

White gained 113 yards on eight catches and scored twice in Philadelphia last season.

This will more likely be a down game for White against the Eagles secondary that has never allowed a 100 yard receiver and only seven wideouts have scored on them this year. White should be solid in yardage but the score is less likely and the receptions more likely lower with Redman under center.

Tight Ends: The switch to Chris Redman did not have an impact on Tony Gonzalez who had a season high nine catches for 83 yards and now he faces the #32 defense against stopping tight end fantasy points. Expect a touchdown and very healthy yards.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 13 9 20 4 21 20
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 14 12 5 32 17 9

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