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

Prediction: STL 10, ARI 31

Update: As always, Steven Jackson has not practiced an yet insists that he is playing this week so no changes here. Be aware that he will be in a late afternoon game in the even he was made inactive. HC Steve Spagnuolo is going to wait until game time to name a starting quarterback as if that has a big bearing on who will win the game. Neither Boller or Null is a viable fantasy choice this week.

The Rams now own the worst record in the NFL at 1-13 and head to Arizona where the Cardinals have already clinched the division and really do not have much to play for this week and next. But .. it is just the Rams anyway. The Cards need one good romp for the year.

The Cardinals won 21-13 in St. Louis back in week 11.

St. Louis Rams (1-13)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 0-28 +7.5 37
2 @WAS 7-9 +10 37
3 GB 17-36 +6.5 41
4 @SF 0-35 +10 37.5
5 MIN 10-38 +10 41
6 @JAC 20-23 +9.5 43
7 IND 6-42 +14 45
8 @DET 17-10 +3.5 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 NO 23-28 +14 51
11 ARI 13-21 +9.5 46.5
12 SEA 17-27 +3.5 42.5
13 @CHI 9-17 +9.5 41
14 @TEN 7-47 +13.5 40
15 HOU 13-16 +14 43.5
16 @ARI - +14 43.5
17 SF - - -
STL at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller     190,1
RB Steven Jackson 70 30  
TE Randy McMichael   10  
WR Donnie Avery   40,1  
WR Brandon Gibson   40  
WR Danny Amendola   50  
PK Josh Brown 1FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams should just change their logo to a black cloud since they are constantly followed by one. As if all the injuries and catastrophes were not enough, now the team is battling the Swine Flu. With the Browns win in Kansas City, now the Rams get to draft any player they want in April but as is so often the problem, this is hardly a team one player away from contending.

The Rams do not even get the benefit of ending the season against a team resting players.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller was ill last week and had a thigh problem which let Keith Null be the guy beaten up by the Texans. I will project for Boller to play and change it later if needed. As if you would want to start the Rams quarterback.

Back in week 11, Marc Bulger played in his final game when the Cardinals came to town and he threw for 215 yards and no scores.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson is so beaten up from constant poundings, a herniated disc in his back and even the flu that his own family members have encouraged him to lay out the rest of the season. He cranked out 123 total yards last week but has not scored since week 12. Jackson rushed for 116 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Cardinals and had two catches in that game.

Provided Jackson plays, expect moderate yardage for him and likely no touchdown. He has tended to play worse in road games mostly from a lack of carries. He is a risk to get shutdown each week but so far he has continued to play in pain.

Wide Receivers: After going through Laurent Robinson and Keenan Burton, the current set of starters have been together now for six weeks even if the quarterback spot keeps changing. Brandon Gibson has been a marginal player but had 61 yards on five catches in the last game against the Cardinals Danny Amendola had his first NFL touchdown last week and turned in 61 yards on four catches against the Cards. Donnie Avery is not struggling to escape the attention of the secondary that knows he is the only player of any note running a pattern. Avery had 65 yards on four catches in the meeting with the Cardinals but has been declining each game since.

I like one passing score here - at most - but it could go anywhere if it even happens.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value. Randy McMichael scored once this year but has rarely had more than 20 yards in any game.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 30 24 24 20 31 31
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 19 17 26 23 11 20

Arizona Cardinals (9-5)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SF 16-20 -6 46
2 @JAC 31-17 +3 43
3 IND 10-31 -2.5 48
4 BYE - - -
5 HOU 28-21 -5.5 48
6 @SEA 27-3 +3 47
7 @NYG 24-17 +9 46.5
8 CAR 21-34 10 43.5
9 @CHI 41-21 +3 44.5
10 SEA 31-20 -9 46.5
11 @STL 21-13 -9.5 46.5
12 @TEN 17-20 +3.5 44.5
13 MIN 30-17 -3.5 48
14 @SF 9-24 -3.5 48
15 @DET 31-24 -14 46.5
16 STL - -14 43.5
17 GB - - -
ARI vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Warner     240,2
RB Chris Wells 100,1 10  
RB Tim Hightower 40,1 30  
WR Anquan Boldin   70,1  
WR Larry Fitzgerald   90,1  
WR Steve Breaston   30  
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals win over the Lions ensured that they win the NFC West and there is realistically no chance they get a first round bye so there is really nothing to play for this week. But that should not stop the team from putting out the full effort. They had nothing to play for last year in the final game and crushed the Seahawks that game. The only troublesome part of this team is their road record and that doesn't matter this week. But it will in round two of the playoffs.

Quarterback: The good news is that Kurt Warner has been less productive in recent weeks but that was because the Cardinals have played four away games in the last five weeks. At home he has been much more effective and had multiple scores in all but one matchup. He has not passed for more than 300 yards since week ten.

Warner threw for 203 yards and two scores in St. Louis. That should be the least of what to expect this week.

Running Backs: Beanie Wells never looked so good as he did last week running 17 times for 110 yards and a score in Detroit. But even then, Tim Hightower came in to snake one short touchdown run and he also caught six passes for 64 yards in addition to his six carries. Wells has been running with great authority and showing power and moves.

Wells rushed for 74 yards and a score in St. Louis while Hightower turned in 110 rushing yards on 14 carries that week. Expect a healthy showing from the rushing game again this week.

Wide Receivers: No changes here for one of the most productive units in the league. Steve Breaston is still inexplicably absent from the game plan with four weeks of less than 40 yards and no scores. But Anquan Boldin is playing strong and had eight catches for 103 yards and a score in St. Louis. Larry Fitzgerald has been less productive as of late but continues to score and had 87 yards on eight catches with one score against the Rams in the previous meeting.

The rushing game could cut into the numbers here a bit but now it is almost nothing but Boldin and Fitzgerald for targets. They'll almost never be less than decent with a constant upside of being spectacular.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 12 7 1 32 18 15
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 24 27 18 19 21 32

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