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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: DEN 13, TEN 27

Players to Watch: Eric Decker, Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer

The Broncos have lost their opening games to the slimmest of margins and both were probably the easiest games they are due to get until the final week of the season when they host the Chiefs. The Titans were clipped in Jacksonville but come off a big upset win over the Ravens and remain at home. Not at all good for the Broncos.

The Broncos won 26-20 in Tennessee last year.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC -
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN - 12 @SD -
4 @GB - 13 @MIN -
5 SD - 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA - 16 @BUF -
8 DET - 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 240,1
RB Willis McGahee 30 20 -
RB Knowshon Moreno 20 10 -
WR Eric Decker - 80 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 90,1 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Installing the new offense of HC John Fox with an emphasis on rushing has not gone nearly as well as desired and already the boo-birds are calling for Tim Tebow if only for a change of pace to how they lose. For the want of a field goal, the Broncos are 0-2 and now hitting the tougher part of their schedule.

QUARTERBACK: The plan was to use Kyle Orton less but he still posted 304 yards in the opener and then settled down to 195 yards and two scores against the Bengals but then again - both were losses. Orton also had to make do without Brandon Lloyd last week and even Eddie Royal left the game. Orton is playing about as well as last year, the offense is just not calling for the wide open passing like it did under Josh McDaniels.

Orton passed for 341 yards and two scores in Tennessee last year. The Titans have only allowed one passing score so far and neither opponent has passed for more than 200 yards. Orton should break that but scoring will again be a challenge even if Lloyd returns.

RUNNING BACKS: The Broncos may get Knowshon Moreno back this week from his hamstring strain but he won't likely be 100% in any case and makes for a bad start. Moreno never practiced last week so he'll have to show a lot of progress to get a role this week. Willis McGahee managed to gain 101 yards and a score but it required 28 carries to get there against the Bengals. McGahee should take the lead role again this week if not be the only runner depending on Moreno.

The Broncos combined for just 8 yards on 17 carries in Tennessee last year. No, that is not a typo. Just 8 yards. The Titans just held Ray Rice to 43 yards so temper any expectations this week for McGahee.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Lloyd was a game time scratch last week so he should make it back from his groin injury to play this week. Lloyd opened the year with 89 yards on six catches against the Raiders. The star of last week was Eric Decker from the slot who accounted for five receptions for 113 yards and two scores as the preferred target with Lloyd out. Eddie Royal also left the game with a groin injury so Decker ended up as the #1 receiver with no real competition for the ball. Royal is probably going to miss this week as well so it will be Lloyd and Decker as the starters. Decker probably will return to a lesser role with Lloyd returning but the Titans will likely scheme for Lloyd and may force Orton to go to Decker anyway. Both players are decent to good starts this week since the rushing effort is not going to get it done.

Lloyd (11-115) and Royal (8-113, TD) had a big game when they played in Tennessee last season.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value and Julius Thomas just suffered a high ankle sprain.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 20 14 16 30 21 21
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 1 21 1 8 22 4


Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR -
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL -
3 DEN - 12 TB -
4 @CLE - 13 @BUF -
5 @PIT - 14 NO -
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU - 16 JAC -
8 IND - 17 @HOU -
9 CIN -      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 250,2
RB Chris Johnson 110,1 20 -
TE Jared Cook - 10 -
WR Nate Washington - 80,1 -
WR Kenny Britt - 110,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: What to think about a team that could not beat the Jaguars but that waxes the Ravens? And that is without any real rushing game that has been the hallmark of the offense? Matt Hasselbeck has been a very good add to the offense and so far has been better with Kenny Britt than Kerry Collins or Vince Young were. This should be the softest matchup of the year for the Titans who cannot take anyone lightly.

QUARTERBACK: While opponents focus on stopping Chris Johnson - as always - Matt Hasselbeck is taking advantage of the defenses. He has thrown for no less than 263 yards each week and scored three times so far. And the bulk of all that has gone to the starting wideouts, not a running back or tight end as in years past. Hasselbeck still only ranks as a fantasy backup but he's making that harder to merely accept with nice yardage and scores every week.

Vince Young passed for 173 yards and one score on the Broncos last year. The Broncos just allowed the rookie Andy Dalton to pass for 332 yards and two scores and Champ Bailey is out with a hamstring strain. The limitation this week is that the rushing game should catch fire and take up more plays.

RUNNING BACKS: No hiding the disappointment over Chris Johnson only gained 77 yards on 33 carries in his first two games. The Ravens planned to drop him specifically and that worked pretty well while the Titans beat them with the pass. HC Mike Munchak was also impressed that Javon Ringer was a better runner when he entered the game because the defense did not care anymore and he gained 21 yards on five runs and scored once. Johnson only managed 53 yards on 24 carries. Munchak says he wants to use Ringer more but that won't impact Johnson much if he finally gets it into gear this week.

Johnson only gained 53 yards on 19 runs against the Broncos last year in week four. Denver allowed Darren McFadden 150 yards in the opener but held Benson to 59 yards on 16 runs last Sunday. This is a road game though and the Titans want to get Johnson back on track. Expect a good showing, finally, from Johnson. If they do use Ringer more than five or six times and/or Johnson struggles, it is a bad sign for Johnson owners.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wideouts have been more productive than they have for years though it has only been two games. Kenny Britt has scored three times this year and turned in games of 136 and 135 yards. He is the primary target for Hasselbeck and getting better. Nate Washington is making the #2 spot fantasy relevant for the first time with at least six catches for 67 yards per game though he has not yet scored. In reception point leagues he already makes for a decent WR3. The absence of Champ Bailey would mean good times for this squad though he may still play depending on his hamstring. The Bengals had both their starting wideouts gain over 100 yards last week.

TIGHT ENDS: Still no real fantasy value. Jared Cook only has three catches on the season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 14 27 5 29 14 17
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 13 16 20 1 29 22

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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