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

Prediction: CHI 24, DET 20

The Bears come off their huge win over the Vikings in overtime on Monday night and that should carry over to this week. The Lions would love to end the year on a high note but the firepower is just not there. The Bears already won 48-24 when they hosted this game in week four.

Chicago Bears (6-9)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 15-21 +4 46
2 PIT 17-14 +3 37.5
3 @SEA 25-19 -2 37
4 DET 48-24 -10.5 38.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @ATL 14-21 +3 45.5
7 @CIN 10-45 +1 42.5
8 CLE 30-6 +11.5 39.5
9 ARI 21-41 -3 44.5
10 @SF 6-10 +3.5 43
11 PHI 20-24 +3.5 46.5
12 @MIN 10-36 +10 47
13 STL 17-9 -9.5 41
14 GB 14-21 +4 41
15 @BAL 7-31 +10.5 39.5
16 MIN 36-30 +7 41
17 @DET - OFF -
CHI at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     200,2
RB Matt Forte 90,1 20  
TE Greg Olsen   30,1  
WR Devin Hester   60,1  
WR Earl Bennett   40  
WR Devin Aromashodu   50  
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bears have lost their last five road trips but the Lions should offer up a win to end the season. The Vikings game showed that the Bears have made some advances this year and Jay Cutler is still better than anything the Bears used in recent seasons. But the season ends with no indication of any rushing game with Matt Forte, offensive line problems and problems in the secondary that has doomed them in most games. Beating the Lions here at the end makes it all seem so much better.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler is ending the year on a high note after a big showing against the Vikings and now facing the Lions. Cutler passed for 141 yards and two scores against the visiting Lions thanks to the rushing game taking a couple of the scores that week. Cutler could be a great thing for the Bears but not until he gets higher quality receivers. He has been wildly inconsistent this season but has received almost no support from the rushing attack and is playing with sub-par wideouts - or at least too inexperienced ones.

This week should see him pass for at least decent yardage and a couple of scores that could end up bigger.

Running Backs: Matt Forte winds down a season that showed no progress from his rookie campaign if not a decline. He has rushed for 828 yards on 242 carries for a 3.4 yard average and that has been pretty consistent all year long. His role as a receiver has helped prop up his fantasy value but only scoring four times this year has meant that he's just been a major disappointment and a wasted early draft pick. On the plus side, Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson have flourished once they left the Bears so Forte has that in his back pocket.

Forte ran for a season high 121 yards and a score on just 12 carries against the Lions. But playing on the road means Forte will likely not meet that mark. Still, this should be one of Forte's better games of the year since the bar is not all that high.

Wide Receivers: Johnny Knox injured his ankle last week when his legs were trapped beneath him as he was bent backwards. I will assume he is out this final game. Devin Hester missed last week with his calf injury but he made it as far as pregame warmups before being scratched so I assume he can play this week. In his place, Devin Aromashodu had a monster game with seven catches for 150 yards and a score which was roughly three times better what any other receiver from either team did on Monday night. Assumedly, Aromashodu will at least replace Knox for this game.

No wideout had more than 31 yards in the previous meeting with the Lions. Cutler will want to end the year on a higher note and the Lions should allow him to do that. Expect one score for a wideout and that should favor Hester if he plays.

Tight Ends: After being a main target earlier this season, Greg Olsen had all but disappeared for three straight weeks before scoring against the Vikings last week. Olsen only had one catch for one yard in the pervious meeting with the Lions but it was for a touchdown.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 32 15 8 22 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 32 31 29 28 32 31

Detroit Lions (2-13)
Homefield: Ford Field
  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 13-23 -13.5 42
14 @BAL 3-48 +14 40.5
15 ARI 24-31 +14 46.5
16 @SF 6-20 +14 41
17 CHI - OFF -
DET vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper     260,1
RB Maurice Morris 60,1 40  
WR Calvin Johnson   110,1  
WR Bryant Johnson   40  
WR Dennis Northcutt   50  
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Lions put yet another bad season to bed but there was minor progress made this year with both Matt Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew as worthy additions. Of course both have ended the year on injured reserve along with Kevin Smith. This means the entire offense now is literally nothing more than throwing to Calvin Johnson so kinda like last year really.

Quarterback: The Lions are not committing to a quarterback for the week yet since Drew Stanton threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the loss to the 49ers. That likely leaves Daunte Culpepper as the starter but in the final analysis, it really doesn't matter. Matt Stafford is having his knee cleaned out but is expected to be available for all offseason activities.

Stafford passed for 296 yards and a score in Chicago this year. The Bears secondary has been bad almost all season and their last four road games resulted in 14 passing touchdowns by opponents. Figure on Culpepper getting a score here with some decent yardage. The Bears are soft on the pass.

Running Backs: Kevin Smith was a solid contributor on the offense and through 13 games had 747 rushing yards and four scores and added 41 receptions for 415 yards and another score. But he injured his knee and joined the crowded injured reserve. Now Maurice Morris closes out the year.

Smith rushed for only 30 yards on 19 carries against the Bears but scored twice. The Bears rush defense has never been better than average so Morris should wind down with a decent showing this week with yardage from receptions helping maintain fantasy value. Morris has a decent shot at a touchdown as well.

Wide Receivers: While Calvin Johnson fell short of last season, he still is ending with a great shot at 1000 yards provided that he can gain at least 102 yards this week against a team that allowed him eight receptions for 133 yards in Chicago. The Lions brought in Bryant Johnson this year to help but with only 375 yards and two scores, Johnson never saw any complement that concerned defenses. Dennis Northcutt filled in as needed but this passing game is nothing more than Calvin Johnson.

At home in the season finale against a bad secondary, expect that the Lions do all they can to get Johnson that 102 yards. It is the only goal they have a chance to meet this year.

Tight Ends: Brandon Pettigrew showed promise this year but he blew out his ACL so badly that he'll likely enter the 2010 season on the PUP list. On a dynasty team, he's a hard one to hold onto any more. None of the six other tight ends with a catch mattered.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 23 20 26 14 30 26
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 24 18 25 25 18 17

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