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

Prediction: DEN 17, PHI 23

Denver lost their last two games and now at 8-6 have no room for error. They are 4-3 on the road. The Eagles have won their last five games and are 5-2 at home. The Eagles have clinched a playoff spot but not the NFC East. This is a really big game since it could potentially knock the Broncos from the playoffs or could end up denying the Eagles the division title. Big game for title aspirations.

Denver Broncos (8-6)
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 26-6 +6.5 42
13 @KC 44-13 -6 39
14 @IND 16-28 +6.5 43.5
15 OAK 19-20 -13.5 37
16 @PHI - +7 41.5
17 KC - - -
DEN at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     190,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 70    
RB Correll Buckhalter 30 40  
TE Tony Scheffler   30,1  
WR Brandon Marshall   70,1  
WR Brandon Stokley   30  
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Broncos were stunned by the loss to the visiting Raiders and coming on the heels of an expected loss to the Colts has the team in a hurry-up mode now. The final game - a home stand versus the Chiefs should be an automatic win so this week determines what happens. Problematic too is that the Broncos have never scored more than 17 points in any road game against a non-division opponent.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton has not been passing for much yardage and only has three games over 200 yards on the road but he has scored twice in each of the last three games and only has two interceptions on the road against ten scores. He has not made a huge difference yet, but he has not been part of the problem either.

In Philly, every opponent has passe for at least one passing touchdown if not two or even three. The two scores fits right into what the Broncos have been allowing as well. Expect moderate yardage but a decent shot at two scores.

Running Backs: Correll Buckhalter missed last week because of an ankle sprain but may return this week. I will include him in the projections as a limited player and update as warranted. His absence did nothing for Knowshon Moreno's numbers though since he only gained 42 yards on 19 runs versus the Raiders. Being unable to run on the visiting Raiders is a troublesome development.

This week in Philly, the Broncos face an above average defense that has only give up four rushing touchdowns to visiting rushers and only Frank Gore was able to clip 100 rushing yards in Denver. Most runners settle for less than 50 rushing yards when they play in Philly. The split with Buckhalter will only serve to make the Denver backs in quicker decline. Look for moderate numbers at best and no scores.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Royal left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter with a neck injury and was replaced by Brandon Stokley. Barring injury reports and practice information, I will assume that Royal remains out. He has been a non-factor this season anyway.

Brandon Marshall has caught scores in three straight games now and has ten touchdowns on the season along with 93 catches for 1081 yards. He has been contained only a handful of times this year but has been a constant force in every game. Marshall has all but three of the scores thrown by the Broncos to the wideouts.

The only question is if the Eagles can cover Brandon Marshall. The secondary has been exceptional at keeping wideouts under control and just two of them have every topped 100 yards against them. Marshall has to be considered as a default touchdowns each week. He has a chance for that score but unlikely much yardage will be attached.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler has been only marginally effective this season and not scored since week six but he catches a break with the #31 defense against tight ends coming in. This should be about as good as Scheffler gets anymore.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 22 21 13 23 9 4
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 13 12 7 31 13 6

Philadelphia Eagles (10-4))
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 34-7 -4 43.5
14 @NYG 45-38 -1 42.5
15 SF 27-13 -7 41
16 DEN - -7 41.5
17 @DAL - - -
PHI vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     240,1
RB LeSean McCoy 50 30  
RB Leonard Weaver 30,1    
TE Brent Celek   60,1  
WR DeSean Jackson   40  
WR Jason Avant   30  
WR Reggie Brown   40  
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles winning streak has kept them atop the NFC East with a season finale against the Cowboys which could either be for all the marbles or just a week to rest players - that depends on what happens this week for both teams. The Philly offense has been playing in high form for the last month even without Brian Westbrook and Jeremy Maclin. Getting all the players back when the post season is starting will give the Eagles a push while other teams rest and try to recuperate.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb now stretches into nine straight games with at least one score and he's been solid in yardage as well with around 250 or more in almost every game. McNabb faces his toughest defense of the year when the Broncos come to town sporting the #3 defense against quarterbacks and there is no doubt that Champ Bailey won't be tagging along with DeSean Jackson this week.

The Broncos were pasted by Peyton Manning two weeks ago but have been rock solid in every other game and limited all but three teams to one or no passing scores. Expect a moderate showing by McNabb and one score.

Running Backs: Once again, Brian Westbrook alert! Brian Westbrook alert! HC Andy Reid confirmed that Westbrook is expected to have a limited role this week after missing the last five weeks because of a concussion. I am not going to project for him since his role is likely to be minimal.

That leaves Leonard Weaver as the power back who gets right around 40 yards in most games but tends to score at home and LeSean McCoy who has inconsistent week to week had acts as a receiver to ensure at least marginal fantasy value each week and he has scored four times this year including just last week.

The Denver rushing defense has been much more forgiving in recent weeks with five scores allowed to the position in the last month and a couple of 100 yard efforts. There will be a breakdown here so expect one rushing score and good but not big yardage.

Wide Receivers: Jeremy Maclin has missed two games with a foot injury and is expected to return to practice this week. That is no guarantee that he will play but it is a move in the right direction at the least. Maclin had been consistently producing 60+ yards per week and Reggie Brown has been a weak replacement. DeSean Jackson has been on fire for the past month with a touchdown in every game and three efforts over 100 yards. He'll draw Champ Bailey to be sure and that should slow him down considerably.

Look for no scores and only moderate yardage from Jackson this week, The rest of the receivers here do not matter.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek has already established himself as a integral part of the passing game and that comes into play most in weeks such as this when the wideouts are injured or drawing a top cover man and McNabb needs another outlet. Celek has already scored seven times this year and should have a very solid game this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 4 20 11 11 2 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 3 15 4 4 18 11

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