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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: MIN 21, NYJ 31

Update: Isn't this a first. An all-time great wideout changing teams in week five. Randy Moss is with the Vikings and already practicing and while he obviously has not digested the entire playbook yet, there is not doubt that the Vikings will use plays designed for him. As anemic as the passing numbers have been, there is no reason not to throw to Moss even if it was just "go long and look up". Moss playing is a big plus for the Vikings even with such minimal practice time. But Darrelle Revis is back as well and now knows exactly who he will be covering. Revis is not 100% healthy but he is still going to be a problem, especially with Moss so limited in play knowledge. Moss had ten targets and two catches for 38 yards and a score when he faced the Jets in week two.

I would not expect Moss to have a big game here but he should manage at least decent numbers considering Revis is not completely healthy. Don't shy away from using him just because of this matchup. I also like how Moss can prevent the defense from focusing as much on Harvin who hasn't been #1 good but can make a great complementary player which is how he excelled last year. Vishanthe Shiancoe has been limited in practice with his hamstring but is still expected to play barring a setback.

Update #2 - Shiancoe has still been limited in practice. He's not a safe play if you have other options because he'll likely be limited and is playing on Monday.

This Monday night game pits the Jets and their three game winning streak against the Vikings who are 1-2 thanks only to hosting the Lions. But the Vikings are coming off a bye week and head to New York where no opponent has scored more than 14 points.

Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO L 9-14 10 @CHI --
2 MIA L 10-14 11 GB --
3 DET W 24-10 12 @WAS --
4 Bye - 13 BUF --
5 @NYJ -- 14 NYG --
6 DAL -- 15 CHI --
7 @GB -- 16 @PHI --
8 @NE -- 17 @DET --
9 ARI -- - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre - - 250,2
RB Adrian Peterson 80,1 30 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 40 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 20 -
WR Randy Moss - 50,1 -
WR Greg Camarillo - 30 -
WR Percy Harvin - 50,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 3 XP - -

Pregame Notes: The Vikings defense remains solid and Adrian Peterson has been as impressive as ever. The question coming out from bye week is if the passing game is going to show up for the first time this season or are the Vikings going to cringe on every third down and five yards to go. With two weeks to work on getting back timing and chemistry, the Vikes should be as good as they are going to get. But a brutal schedule looms and they may not be favored for the next four games.

QUARTERBACK: Brett Favre (the old guy, not the sharp passer of last year) has struggled getting into any rhythm this year and has only thrown for two scores against six interceptions. Is it possible that his career is going to end not with a bang but with the crowds chanting "Tar-Var! Tar-Var!"? (Okay, went too far and I apologize). But Brett is not on the same page with these wideouts and obviously misses Sidney Rice. If he doesn't at least show some progress this week, it could get ugly.

Sadly Darrelle Revis is supposed to be back this week so there goes Percy Harvin. The Jets have allowed six passing scores but that was with a banged up secondary that is getting healthy. If Favre can break 200 yards and a score, he should be happy.

RUNNING BACKS: In the last two games the Vikes finally gave Adrian Peterson a heavy load and he responded in true stud fashion with games of 28-145 and one score, and also 23-160 and two touchdowns. He added five catches in each game and finally was the rightful central focus of the offense. On a team suddenly devoid of any difference makers (positive difference that is), why not just run Peterson ragged? He's in the prime of his career and the Vikings need him more than ever.

The Jets, unfortunately, rank #1 against running backs over the first four games and have allowed just one rushing score and and no more than 54 rush yards to any runner. Peterson is the best runner they will have faced by far, but on the road it makes expecting a big game here unrealistic. The Vikes will lean on him and use him as a receiver to ensure he has a decent game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sidney Rice continues to slowly mend from his preseason hip injury and still has weeks to go in rehab. In the most recent game, Percy Harvin batted both hip problems and migraines to post his first touchdown of the season when he had six catches for 62 yards against the Lions. No other wideout has had more than 30 yards in any game or scored. This is a lackluster group doing Favre no favors.

Even Harvin is nothing special this year so it is not a lock that Revis covers him. Harvin only had 44 yards over the first two weeks as it is. No reason to expect anything good to happen here other than one short touchdown that could go to any player. I'm crediting Shiancoe assuming he returns to health.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe is the leading receiver for the Vikings which is more a reflection on the sad state of wide receivers. Shiancoe only has 11 catches for 169 yards and one score over three games. He was held to only one catch for seven yards against the Lions but did suffer a hamstring strain in the game. He is expected to play but I will update as warranted.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 30 5 28 12 29 26
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 23 1 24 15 6 1
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -7 -4 -4 3 -23 -25


New York Jets (3-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BAL L 9-10 10 @CLE --
2 NE W 28-14 11 HOU --
3 @MIA W 31-23 12 CIN --
4 @BUF W 38-14 13 @NE --
5 MIN -- 14 MIA --
6 @DEN -- 15 @PIT --
7 Bye - 16 @CHI --
8 GB -- 17 BUF --
9 @DET -- - - -
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 230,2
RB Shonn Greene 40 - -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 80,1 20 -
TE Dustin Keller - 30,1 -
WR Jerricho Cotchery - 20 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 70 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 60,1 -
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets are on a roll now with three straight wins that had 28 or more points. The Jets are 3-0 in the division and the offense not only has come to life with LaDainian Tomlinson, but now Santonio Holmes is off suspension and gets to make his debut at home in a Monday night game. The Jets are catching the struggling Vikings right when the offense may be taking another step up. Ignoring the week one loss by a single point, these Jets are plenty dangerous and getting even more so.

I like a defensive score here.

QUARTERBACK: These last three wins have seen Mark Sanchez pass for at least two touchdowns in every game and three scores twice. He has yet to top 256 yards but hasn't needed a bigger game. What is even more impressive is that Sanchez has not thrown any interceptions or lost any fumbles. None. He's been efficient and productive and now gets to add Santonio Holmes to the mix.

The Vikings have allowed all opponents exactly one passing score and held the yardage to only moderate stats. But this game is on the road and the Jets are on prime time so I expect a two touchdown effort with only moderate yardage. The Vikes defense really is a decent unit that is getting no favors from their own offense.

RUNNING BACKS: It is official. Everyone who wrote off LaDainian Tomlinson can now admit they were wrong. Tomlinson has scored three times in the last two games and comes off a 133 yard effort in Buffalo. He's running with renewed vigor and his cuts are sharp again. That's left Shonn Greene on the outside looking in and hoping for a blowout win so he could go grab some garbage time runs. Tomlinson is on a pace for 1364 rushing yards and he was only used 11 times in each of the first two weeks. Tomlinson is averaging 6.1 yards per carry.

The Vikings have only allowed one rushing score but that did come in the only other road game. And while they rank well against the position, that mostly stems from the early schedule. Look for Tomlinson to have a score and no less than a decent showing this week. LT2 likes the cameras and lights of Monday night football.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jerricho Cotchery has been held to less than 30 yards in every game and has no fantasy value this season but Braylon Edwards has scored in each of the last three games and had over 85 yards in the last two weeks. Now this unit is expanded to bring in Santonio Holmes who should end up taking away snaps from Cotchery. Holmes was impressive in the preseason and was a stud in Pittsburgh but now belongs to the Beast in the East.

Now there is yet another receiver to track. It is all speculation until Holmes plays and we can see what he might do but I like the Monday night aspect to the game and Holmes will want to start with a bang. Edwards remains a decent play but I like Holmes this week if only on a hunch. He may not have a lot of catches, but they will be looking for a deep strike.

TIGHT ENDS: The interesting part of adding Holmes to the mixture is seeing if it will impact Dustin Keller who has emerged as one of the elite tight ends in the league. Keller has five touchdowns over the last three games and been the primary receiver for the Jets. Going against the Vikes who have been softer in the middle, I like Keller to catch yet another score this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 21 10 23 4 7 16
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 3 9 9 17 1 27
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYJ -18 -1 -14 13 -6 11

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
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