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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

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

Prediction: TEN 24, IND 13

Update: Both Matt Hasselbeck and Nate Washington were able to return to full practices on Friday and are expected to play. I am inserting Hasselbeck into the projections.

The recent loss to the Saints means the 7-6 Titans have lost their chance for the division and are in a dog fight for the final wild card ticket. The Colts remain as perfect as ever though with recent games of 19 and 24 offensive points the offense is starting to respond if only in the fourth quarter when the opponents no longer care. This is a replay of week eight when the Titans won 27-10 in Nashville.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR 30-3
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL 17-23
3 DEN 17-14 12 TB 23-17
4 @CLE 31-13 13 @BUF 23-17
5 @PIT 17-38 14 NO 17-22
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU 7-41 16 JAC -
8 IND 27-10 17 @HOU -
9 CIN 17-24      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Locker 40 - 240,2
QB Mat tHasselbeck - - 250,2
RB Chris Johnson 80,1 20 -
WR Lavelle Hawkins - 40 -
WR Nate Washington - 60,1 -
WR Damian Williams - 80,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Titans cruise through the division for the final three games and still have plenty to play for with the chance for a wild card bid. The Colts seem a bit more competitive lately but nothing that the Titans should not be able to handle. After all, the Colts are the same team as always only manned with lesser players.

QUARTERBACK: Though Matt Hasselbeck has a mild calf injury and may still play, the speculation is that this is a good spot to give the rookie Jake Locker his first start. Last week when Hasselbeck left the Saints matchup, Locker played nearly a full game and passed for 282 yards and one score and rushed in a touchdown on his six carries for 36 yards. He had no turnovers and was sacked just twice - not a bad showing for facing one of the best teams in the league.

The Colts have always allowed at least one score per opposing quarterback and Hasselbeck passed for 224 and one touchdown in the first meeting. But I like Locker to manage two scores here in his debut because most teams rush for multiple scores on the Colts but the Titans rarely score even once via the run

RUNNING BACKS: Chris Johnson remains highly inconsistent. Just when it seemed he was back on track and looking good again, the Saints showed up. And Johnson only gained 23 yards on 11 runs though he added five catches for 43 yards. That's the new problem. He either runs for 120+ yards or lays a total egg and gets fewer than 40 yards. Johnson has scored in only three games this year though all were on the road. In week eight, he gained only 34 yards on 14 runs against the Colts.

The Colts are better against the run than they seem. The problem is that they have allowed 15 touchdowns to running backs and that skews the stats but only four runners have actually broken 100 yards on the Colts. You have to play Johnson for his potential and feel good knowing you are about to get either 40 yards or 140 yards. At Indy, Johnson is worth the risk.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Nate Washington was downgraded last week to questionable with a bad ankle and was clearly hobbled in the game that he was eventually carried off and yet he had a season best 130 yards on six catches and one score versus the Saints. Washington scored twice against the Colts in week eight though he only accounted for 34 yards on four catches and ran in a score from three yards out. Damian Williams went for 60 yards on four receptions in the last Colts meeting.

Unless Chris Johnson takes over - a small chance perhaps - this is where the Titans have to win the game and both Williams and Washington are decent plays with a shot at a touchdown. Washington is expected to be limited in practice but early reports have him suiting up and playing again this week.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value. Jared Cook has no catches for the last two games.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 18 26 13 20 16 20
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 24 30 26 22 26 24

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 7-34 10 JAC 3-17
2 CLE 19-27 11 Bye -
3 PIT 20-23 12 CAR 19-27
4 @TB 17-24 13 @NE 24-31
5 KC 24-28 14 @BAL 10-24
6 @CIN 17-27 15 TEN -
7 @NO 7-62 16 HOU -
8 @TEN 10-27 17 @JAC -
9 ATL 7-31      
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
QB Dan Orlovsky - - 240,1
RB Joseph Addai 40 - -
RB Donald Brown 50 10 -
TE Jacob Tamme - 50 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 70,1 -
WR Austin Collie - 40 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 60 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts have looked more competitive in recent weeks since changing to Dan Orlovsky but the reality was that the Patriots mysteriously gave up 21 points in the four quarter and still easily won while the Panthers allowed 19 points. But the incoming Titans are unlikely to be so kind given that they have a shot at a wildcard and zero rom for error. Plus the Titans already have played the Manning-less Colts.

QUARTERBACK: Dan Orlovsky had a big showing against the Pats when he passed for 353 yards and two scores like pretty much everyone else has but then was limited to only 136 yards and one score in Baltimore. In week eight, Curtis Painter passed for 250 yards but no touchdowns against the Titans.

It is still less clear what to expect here but given that the Titans know the Colts very well and need a win to hope for the playoffs, the safest assumption is that Orlovsky does not get the trash time kindness this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Joseph Addai has been back for three weeks and yet his hamstring continues to be an issue and he has not gained more than 39 yards in any game while allowing Donald Brown to be the primary back. In the first meeting with the Titans, Brown rushed for only 33 yards on ten carries but scored once in Tennessee. Even at home there is no reason to expect a score in this game and the yardage is going to be divided up anyway.

No reasonable fantasy start in this group and that will extend to the end of the year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The only good news here is that all three wideouts had decent stats in the last meeting with the Titans. Reggie Wayne gained 61 yards on five catches, Pierre Garcon had seven receptions for 66 yards and Austin Collie ended with five catches for 44 yards. Considering the rest of this year - that was pretty good. This is the next to last home game and a good spot for Wayne to get only his third touchdown on the season.

The yardage should remain moderate here because the Titans are not going to quit in the fourth quarter.

TIGHT ENDS: Dallas Clark turned in 77 yards on six catches in the last meeting and Tamme has been slightly better in home games than when away. Plus he had the lone passing score last week so Orlovsky will use him if only sparingly. Too chancy to expect a score here, but Tamme should have some yardage.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 29 31 21 23 30 31
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 14 21 8 28 13 2

JAC at ATL (thu) CIN at STL MIA at BUF SEA at CHI
DAL at TB (sat) CLE at ARI NE at DEN TEN at IND
  CAR at HOU GB at KC NYJ at PHI PIT at SF (mon)

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