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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU* CIN at CAR* SD at SEA*
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC* IND at DEN*
DET at MIN* TEN at NYG WAS at STL* NYJ at MIA
*updated CLE at BAL* PIT at TB* OAK at ARI* GB at CHI

Prediction: IND 27, DEN 20

Update: Joseph Addai was held out of practice to rest his knee and then was limited on Thursday. I am not lowering his projections yet pending on him having problems on Friday. This will be more about passing than rushing in Denver and Donald Brown will have some role as well. Pierre Garcon was held out of practice on Thursday because of his hamstring and is not a safe play this week.

Update #2 - Knowshon Moreno injured his hamstring during Friday practice and will miss this game and likely next week as well. Laurence Maroney will take his place along with Correll Buckhalter. Joseph Addai returned to a full day of practice on Friday but is listed as questionable on the injury report. He is still expected to play but may give way to Donald Brown more.

This should be an interesting game pitting 1-1 teams that have only won at home so far. The Colts have remained productive on offense and managed to shut down the immense holes in the defensive line that Arian Foster ran through in week one. The Broncos come off their first win of the year thanks to the visiting Seahawks but have lost potentially both cornerbacks just when Peyton Manning is showing up. That's the one place the Broncos could ill-afford to be weak at for this game.

The Colts beat the Broncos 28-16 last season.

Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU L 24-34 10 CIN --
2 NYG W 38-14 11 @NE --
3 @DEN -- 12 SD --
4 @JAC -- 13 DAL --
5 KC -- 14 @TEN --
6 @WAS -- 15 JAC --
7 Bye - 16 @OAK --
8 HOU -- 17 TEN --
9 @PHI -- - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
INDIANAPOLIS at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning - - 300,3
RB Joseph Addai 60 20 -
TE Dallas Clark - 60,1 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 100,1 -
WR Austin Collie - 60,1 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 30 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Colts enjoyed a solid win over the Giants and even relied on a rushing attack that produced 36 runs. More importantly, the defense was not ravaged by a running back and played a solid game without Bob Sanders in the lineup. The Colts have a challenging early season schedule with four road games in the first six weeks but there's no good reason why they won't reach their bye at 5-1.

QUARTERBACK: So far Peyton Manning has been limited to throwing only three touchdowns per game and is averaging just 344 yards per contest. Chances are he'll get better in the future when the schedule lightens up. Like this week when he visits Denver where RCB Andre' Goodman is out with a thigh injury and LCB Champ Bailey has an injury to his ankle or heel depending on who you ask. Regardless, Bailey is no lock to play this week and probably won't be healthy even if he does. That makes what was the strength of the defense now a liability.

Manning passed for 220 yards and four touchdowns against the Broncos last year. And the Broncos opened the season allowing three scores to David Garrard. Expect a nice Manning effort here.

RUNNING BACKS: After not getting any touches in week one, the Colts allowed Donald Brown to take 16 carries for 69 yards against the Giants though most came late game. Brown did come skipping in and scored early in the game after Joseph Addai led the team down the field to the goal line. Addai ended with 20 rushes for 92 yards and had 21 yards on two receptions as well.

Addai gained 67 yards on 16 carries and added 49 yards on five receptions against the Broncos last year. So far the Broncos have not allowed a running back to score against them and since Manning should enjoy lesser coverage on the wideouts, expect just moderate yardage from Addai this week and far less use of Brown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Anthony Gonzalez will be sidelined 4-6 weeks with his high right ankle sprain while his attempt to get his career going again takes yet another backwards turn. This year has seen Reggie Wayne produce bookend games of seven catches each with one score and right at 98 yards in each. Austin Collie has also scored in both games though his 11 catch, 163 yard monster in Houston calmed down to only 25 yards on four catches last week. Pierre Garcon remains the odd man out with only four catches for 54 yards over the last two weeks. The biggest change in dynamics here remains the increased use of Collie in the slot and that mostly is from not using Garcon.

No wideout had more than 41 receiving yards against the Broncos last season and Collie had the one score. But this week without two starting cornerbacks all bets are off on what the Broncos will allow. Both opponents had already scored once with a wideout this year and the reality is that Garcon would draw Bailey if they play normal positions anyway. Look for both Collie and Wayne to post nice efforts here.

TIGHT ENDS: Although Dallas Clark had 11 catches in week one and then just five in week two, he ended with around 80 yards both games and scored in each. Now Clark faces a secondary that gave two scores to Marcedes Lewis in the season opener. Expect at a decent showing here if not a big game.

Dallas Clark only managed five catches for 43 yards against the Broncos in 2009 but three of those catches happened to be touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 1 18 1 2 10 4
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 26 5 19 27 6 10


Denver Broncos (1-1)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC L 17-24 10 KC --
2 SEA W 31-14 11 @SD --
3 IND -- 12 STL --
4 @TEN -- 13 @KC --
5 @BAL -- 14 @ARI --
6 NYJ -- 15 @OAK --
7 OAK -- 16 HOU --
8 @SF -- 17 SD --
9 Bye - - - -
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 240,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 50 20 -
RB Laurence Maroney 50 10 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 30 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 70,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 60,1 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 20 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos come off a refreshing win over the visiting Seahawks but once again are faced with grim news regarding the apparent suicide of Kenny McKinley who had been placed on injured reserve. This follows previous deaths of Darrent Williams and Damien Nash. While McKinley wasn't an active player he still will have an impact on the team. The Broncos are also about to embark on a four game stretch that should be brutal playing IND, @TEN, @BAL and NYJ.

QUARTERBACK: So far Kyle Orton has been up to the challenge as the starter and should keep Tim Tebow on the bench if he can continue his level of play. Orton passed for right at 300 yards in each of his two games this year and has three touchdowns against only one interception. Last week he unveiled the rookie Demaryius Thomas with great success so the passing attack is looking better with each week.

Orton passed for 277 yards and two scores against the Colts last season. But the Colts have yet to give up more than 161 yards to an opposing quarterback and this will be a bigger challenge for Orton than the Jaguars or Seahawks. Expect healthy yardage since this would turn into a shootout and a couple of scores are most likely if they are not rushed in by a running back.

RUNNING BACKS: Knowshon Moreno has scored in both games this year but he has yet to gain over 60 yards and Correll Buckhalter is taking a healthy chunk of the running back business anyway. Now we get to mix in Laurence Maroney at some point which makes this backfield even less stable and predictable AND productive for an individual player. I will continue to project for Moreno only but this will be changing and relying on any of the three runners is very risky.

Moreno gained 63 yards on 23 carries in Indy last year. Arian Foster started the year by shredding the Colts but last week Ahmad Bradshaw was held to 89 yards on 17 carries while Brandon Jacobs was beaning fans with his helmet. The yardage is going to be divided up and makes these runners too risky.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Big changes here. Brandon Lloyd was the most productive receiver in week one but he suffered three drops and has gone from starting split end to watching the rookie Demaryius Thomas play. After spending most of the summer injured and not playing in the season opener, Thomas turned in eight catches for 97 yards and a score against the Seahawks to lead the team in his first game ever. Jabar Gaffney has remained marginal at best but Eddie Royal appears to be making a return to his rookie form again. Royal has scored once so far and has 13 catches for 163 yards from the slot in the first two weeks. So far, Orton is making it work with these receivers and the picture is getting brighter now with Thomas showing up.

Brandon Marshall had 21 catches for 200 yards and two scores in Indianapolis last year. There were only eight other catches for 77 yards in the entire game that were not for Marshall. The Colts have allowed three scores to wideouts but only one had more than 38 yards against them. Expect lower yardage but scores for Royal and Thomas.

TIGHT ENDS :No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 9 12 3 28 16 24
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 6 30 22 1 13 7

WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU CIN at CAR SD at SEA
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC IND at DEN
DET at MIN TEN at NYG WAS at STL NYJ at MIA
  CLE at BAL PIT at TB OAK at ARI GB at CHI
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