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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN* CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR* PHI at DET* SEA at DEN* JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL* STL at OAK* NYG at IND*
*Updated MIA at MIN* KC at CLE* NE at NYJ NO at SF*

Prediction: NE 16, NYJ 10

This is an interesting game. Maybe not a high scorer, but interesting all the same. The Patriots are currently the highest scoring offense but now travel to New York where the Jets are on a short week after their loss to the Ravens that featured almost zero offense.

The Pats lost 9-16 in New York during week two of last year. They later won at home 31-14.

New England Patriots (1-0)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT --
2 @NYJ -- 11 IND --
3 BUF -- 12 @DET --
4 @MIA -- 13 NYJ --
5 Bye - 14 @CHI --
6 BAL -- 15 GB --
7 @SD -- 16 @BUF --
8 MIN -- 17 MIA --
9 @CLE -- - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 250,1
RB Fred Taylor 40 10 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 40 -
WR Randy Moss - 30 -
WR Wes Welker - 100,1 -
WR Julian Edelman - 30 -
PK Stephen Gostkowski 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Over half of the NFL teams came out flat last week but not the Patriots who rolled up a nice score on the Bengals and now get to visit the suddenly punchless Jets. These next three weeks are the first meetings with the rest of the division and two are on the road. If the Pats can reach their week five bye at 4-0, they are going to be very hard to deny the division to this year.

QUARTERBACK: Although flush with cash and fresh off a car crash, Tom Brady was back in top form against the Bengals when he passed for 258 yards and three touchdowns. The game was a romp and out of hand with surprising quickness thanks in part to the defense. Fortunately, the Patriots love to roll up the score regardless and never play down to anyone's level.

Brady passed for only 216 yards and no score in New York last year. Look for slightly better this week against a Jets team that is struggling on offense and that allowed Joe Flacco to pass for 248 yards.

RUNNING BACKS: The Patriots went with Fred Taylor as the primary back and he only had to share nine carries for the others compared to his 14 - that's high in this offense that normally doesn't feature anyone with over 50% of the workload. The Pats also just traded off Laurence Maroney to the Broncos so there's one less set of hands to give the ball. Taylor also had most of his action earlier in the game so he's as reliable as any Patriots back is going to get.

At least until he is injured.

The Jets just lost their nose tackle Kris Jenkins for the year and that should soften up the middle a bit. Jenkins is a big loss but more in pass rushing than run stopping. The Jets stuffed Ray Rice all night regardless so expect nothing more than a moderate showing by Taylor who will be on the road in New York against a team motivated to play better.

No Patriot back gained more than 46 yards against the Jets in New York,

WIDE RECEIVERS: Wes Welker is back like he never left. Which he didn't because somehow he healed so fast that he has remained the primary receiver despite having a torn ACL last January. Welker led the team with eight receptions for 64 yards and two scores against the Bengals while Randy Moss only had five catches for 59 yards while promising the media again and again that he really is done talking about his contract situation and how the Patriots are apparently going to literally place Moss in a trash can at the end of the season and then go toss him in a dumpster.

Moss only had 24 yards against the Jets in the first meeting and then only 34 at home. Wes Welker did not play in the first meeting but Edelman gained 98 yards on eight catches in that game. Later Welker turned in 15 catches for 192 yards in the home game.

The assumption is that Moss once again is placed on Revis Island and will be quiet (as quiet as he gets anyway). It would make more sense to match Darrelle Revis on Welker but he moves around constantly and Moss is always easy to find coming out of the huddle anyway. Barring a decision to put Revis on someone besides Moss, Welker is a strong start here against a defense featuring a rookie corner that would be matched on him. Anquan Boldin gained 110 yards last Monday. Welker and Moss are both must starts but chances are high one is going to have a bad game and more likely Moss.

TIGHT ENDS: The Patriots are using both rookie tight ends and Aaron Hernandez is the better receiver. He only had one catch but it went for 45 yards last week. Rob Gronkowski is primarily a blocker but he also had one catch - for a score. I will project for the receiver of the two but Brady prefers Gronkowski in the endzone.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 5 14 7 7 9 1
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 11 13 12 21 9 10


New York Jets (0-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Spread Over/Under
1 BAL L 9-10 10 @CLE --
2 NE -- 11 HOU --
3 @MIA -- 12 CIN --
4 @BUF -- 13 @NE --
5 MIN -- 14 MIA --
6 @DEN -- 15 @PIT --
7 Bye - 16 @CHI --
8 GB -- 17 BUF --
9 @DET -- - - -
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW YORK JETS vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 140,1
RB Shonn Greene 50 10 -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 60 20 -
TE Dustin Keller - 20 -
WR Jerricho Cotchery - 40,1 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 30 -
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: That was a disaster. The Jets season opener featured them playing solid defense - a bit less dominating but more effective with turnovers and special teams. But the offense sputtered and coughed and in no way resembled the unit that roared in the playoffs up to the AFC Championship game. It was like everything that was supposed to work didn't, and only the retread Ladainian Tomlinson had any success because no one in the world actually started him on a fantasy team last week. It was only one game and the Jets were hardly the only team to come out flat in week one. But the vaunted defense isn't going to matter if the offense remains, literally, ranked 32nd in the league.

QUARTERBACK: Mark Sanchez never looked worse than he did on Monday night. He did have no turnovers but he also managed to complete only 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards. That's all. The passing game was nearly dormant. Going on the theme that it was just one game, Sanchez will bounce back but there was almost nothing in his performance that suggested that he actually knew in advance that he was playing in a game that night.

Sanchez passed for around 150 yards and one score in both meetings with the Patriots last season.

The Patriots secondary is not nearly as good as the Ravens but then again - which Sanchez is showing up? I'll credit Sanchez with a score and some yardage on the faith that he will quickly snap back but he is not a safe fantasy start.

RUNNING BACKS: Much to the dismay of Shonn Greene owners, he opened the season as the starter and maybe lost the job already. Greene only gained 18 yards on five runs and dropped a critical third down pass. He was completely ineffective. LaDainian Tomlinson stepped in and tore off a couple of positive plays. He ended with 62 yards on 11 carries as the only offensive component that had any success on Monday. Now HC Rex Ryan is wisely saying that both runners are "centerpieces" and that they will split the workload in two, thereby ensuring that Greene owners are going to get shafted and the Tomlinson owners won't quite see enough to merit ever starting him. It is the worst of both worlds.

Leon Washington and Thomas Jones split 28 carries and combined for 112 rushing yards on the visiting Pats. Jones later gained 103 yards in New England. That seems optimistic with this team but it could happen.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is nothing to say here. The passing was so bad that Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery combined for only three catches and 27 yards. Cotchery was the only wide receiver with any significant yardage in either games against the Pats last year. He had 87 yards on four catches at home and later 84 yards on three receptions with one score in New England.

I am going to credit Cotchery with a score and he is most likely but the pickings are slim and he is not a safe start. No on in this unit is so far.

TIGHT ENDS: Dustin Keller had the only score by the Jets in the home game against the Pats last year but only gained 22 yards on three catches. He only managed 13 yards on two catches last week so keep Keller on your bench if not the waiver wire.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 32 23 30 29 3 12
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 18 30 24 14 1

WEEK 2
2010
BAL at CIN CHI at DAL PIT at TEN HOU at WAS
TB at CAR PHI at DET SEA at DEN JAC at SD
BUF at GB ARI at ATL STL at OAK NYG at IND
  MIA at MIN KC at CLE NE at NYJ NO at SF
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