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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 5
2011
*ARI at MIN *NO at CAR *SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC *NYJ at NE *SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU *TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
*UPDATED KC at IND PHI at BUF *TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

Prediction: TEN 20, PIT 17

Players to Watch: Jared Cook, Isaac Redman

Update: Mewelde Moore is already called out for this week with a bad ankle and while Rashard Mendenhall only practiced on Friday, he is questionable to play. He could only do limited work on Friday because of his hamstring after missing all other practices and is going to be a game time decision. If he cannot play, Isaac Redman is the starter and would no doubt still have a role if Mendenhall can play. This is the first line of games so you should know his status before any games commence. Ben Roethlisberger was held out on Wednesday but has practiced fully since then and will be playing.

The Titans are on a three game winning streak and have a bye next week. At 3-1 they are tied with the Texans for the AFC South lead. The Steelers just lost to those Texans to drop to only 2-2 on the season and are in a three way-tie for the AFC North cellar. The Steelers were already wracked with injuries and may be without Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger is also nursing a foot injury that could limit him. While the Steelers need this game, they may not have enough hands on deck to get it done.

The Steelers won 19-11 in Tennessee last year.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR -
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL -
3 DEN 17-14 12 TB -
4 @CLE 31-13 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 at PIT Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 220,2
RB Chris Johnson 60 20 -
TE Jared Cook - 40,1 -
WR Lavelle Hawkins - 30 -
WR Nate Washington - 60 -
WR Damian Williams - 20,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: After dropping the opener in Jacksonville, the Titans have managed to win despite an absence of a rushing game. Now that has finally shown up just last week in Cleveland. The loss of Kenny Britt is still felt but the Titans are doing better than most health-wise and head to their bye just next week. The Titans offense is looking more balanced than it has in a long time all thanks to Matt Hasselbeck.

QUARTERBACK: The move from Seattle has been good for Matt Hasselbeck who has passed for eight touchdowns and averaged 288 yards per game. That might be hard to sustain with the loss of Britt and if Chris Johnson gets into gear it will also depress passing stats. But so far Hasselbeck has been on a very nice roll with multiple touchdowns in all but one game and twice topping 300 pass yards.

Kerry Collins passed for 149 yards and one score in Pittsburgh last year.

The injuries to the Steelers skew what to expect. Statistically they have been great thanks to facing SEA and IND but Joe Flacco opened with three scores and 224 yards on them. This is only the second game in Pittsburgh which should help the Steelers. The question too is how well the Steelers can stop the run after being shredded by Arian Foster last weekend. Expect a moderate game here against a team at home and desperate.

RUNNING BACKS: HC Mike Munchak thinks that the Titans are finally getting back on track with the rushing game. Chris Johnson gained 101 yards on 23 runs in Cleveland to more than double his season totals and added two catches for 11 yards but he still has not scored a touchdown this year. Johnson was a huge disappointment for three weeks and while he now faces the normally fierce rush defense of the Steelers, there are questions. Like how the Steelers just allowed 179 rush yards to the Texans. How Joseph Addai had his best game of the year against them with 86 yards and a score on 17 runs? The injuries already this year have reduced the Steelers to being an average defense but at least they are at home. Both Foster and Addai were on the road.

Johnson only gained 34 yards on 16 runs in Pittsburgh in 2010.

Expect a better game from Johnson and a chance that he could break a long one for the first time this year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Life without Kenny Britt so far has just looked the same in terms of catches and yards. Nate Washington remains the best bet and has never ended with fewer than 62 yards in a game though he only has one score. Damian Williams still has just one catch per week though that was for a score in Cleveland. Lavelle Hawkins still has two catches per game. The success of Johnson rushing helped keep numbers low though. Still it appears that there is no replacement for Britt any time soon.

The Steelers have been great against wideouts and rank #1 currently. Only allowed them one score back in the season opener and almost all wideouts end with less than 40 yards on this defense. Washington is a marginal play and none of the others are remotely worthy of fantasy consideration.

TIGHT ENDS: Craig Stevens injured his ribs against the Browns but recorded his first touchdown of the season on his one catch per game. Jared Cook always gets two passes and last week took one for an 80 yard touchdown. He ended with 93 yards in the game. Cook only had six targets thought that was as many as anyone. Cook becomes more interesting as a fast, receiving tight end who could compensate for the lost production of Britt.

The Steelers have allowed two scores to the position and decent games to most of their opposing starting tight ends,

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 8 30 10 12 22 11
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 2 22 1 20 4 30


Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 7-35 10 @CIN -
2 SEA 24-0 11 Bye -
3 @IND 23-20 12 @KC -
4 @HOU 10-17 13 CIN -
5 TEN - 14 CLE -
6 JAC - 15 @SF -
7 @ARI - 16 STL -
8 NE - 17 @CLE -
9 BAL -      
Steelers Report | Statistics | Roster
PITTSBURGH vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger - - 260,1
RB Isaac Redman 60,1 - -
TE Heath Miller - 20 -
WR Antonio Brown - 70 -
WR Hines Ward - 20 -
WR Emmanuel Sanders - 30 -
WR Mike Wallace - 60,1 -
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Steelers already were decimated by injury to the offensive line and now have Mendenhall likely out and Roethlisberger hobbled. The defense may have lost a couple more linemen and OLB James Harrison just had a fracture to his right eye socket and will be out for a while. The Steelers cannot even get players back before more leave injured and that is hamstringing the entire team.

QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger is not having a good year so far with only three passing touchdowns and of course 14 sacks already. He has always had the tendency to hold the ball too long but now with an offensive line that cannot stop the rush, Big Ben is getting hit even more. That resulted in a sprained foot last week but early reports are that he will be able to play this week. The receivers are all healthy, but there has been almost no run support and inadequate pass blocking.

The Titans have been great against the pass but has not faced a big time passer yet. And that will still be true next week. The situation is ripe for just another one touchdown game with higher pass yards thanks to a running game that is limited.

RUNNING BACKS: Rashard Mendenhall injured his hamstring at Houston and is not expected to be able to practice much. He'll likely end up as a game time decision or out so I will project for Isaac Redman instead and update if warranted. Redman rushed for 40 yards on only six carries in Houston and back in the only other home game, he gained 49 yards on ten carries and scored once on the visiting Seahawks.

The Titans have been tough to run against and no runner has topped 100 rush yards on them. But I like Redman to score once in this home game and turn in decent yardage. Like Mendenhall, Redman has no role as a receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The problem with the receivers is not yards or catches, it is that they have only posted three touchdowns this year and never more than one per game. Regardless that Roethlisberger has thrown for up to 364 yards, this group doesn't score. Mike Wallace was on a three game string of 100+ yard efforts but fell to just 77 yards on four catches in Houston. He remains a must play every week because he usually catches that single touchdown pass by Roethlisberger. Antonio Brown has been at or above 67 yards for the last three games though he has never scored. There are yards and catches here, just not many touchdowns.

The Titans have not allowed any receiver more than 55 yards and just once has a wideout scored on them. But the away games have only been JAC and CLE so that skews the stats. Wallace has to be started every week regardless and Brown is being consistent in his yardage. That should continue this week though slightly depressed.

TIGHT ENDS: Heath Miller remains a very marginal tight end whose only home game so far posted just one catch. No touchdowns on the year and far too unproductive for fantasy consideration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 25 23 6 27 26 30
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 5 15 2 13 6 3

WEEK 5
2011
ARI at MIN NO at CAR SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC NYJ at NE SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
  KC at IND PHI at BUF TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

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