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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 2
September 10, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at JAX MIA at NYJ WAS at ATL SEA at ARZ *CHI at MIN
CLE at BAL *PIT at KC Sun 4 PM *DEN at SD Mon 9 PM
*DET at GB SF at STL CAR at TB NE at PHI DAL at NYG
*HOU at NO *TEN at IND *CIN at OAK Times EST *updated
   
Carolina vs Tampa Bay Sun, Sep 14; 4 PM on FOX at Raymond James Stadium
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 170
RB Stephen Davis 50 20 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 50 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 40 0
WR Steve Smith 0 40 0
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 250,2
RB Michael Pittman 40 20 0
RB Thomas Jones 40 10 0
RB Mike Alstott 20 20 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 10 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 70,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 50 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 50,1 0

Game Prediction: CAR 6, TB 20

The Panthers have led the NFL now in replacing starting quarterbacks, taking basically little more than one half to send Rodney Peete to the bench and elevating Jake Delhomme who responded with three second-half touchdowns to secure the comeback win for Carolina over the Jaguars.

Delhomme threw for 122 yards and hit three different receivers for the scores. The Carolina passing game is much improved with Jake, but the team will continue to be a run-first offense. Those scores were caught by Muhsin Muhammad (1-13), Steve Smith (4-44) and Ricky Proehl (2-20). It's always nice to have a touchdown from your fantasy receiver but without that, and it is unlikely to be a constant occurrence, the Carolina receivers will not be producing big fantasy numbers this season. It is notable that Muhammad almost had another score that was called incomplete in the endzone when the ball touched the ground.

Stephen Davis proved to be a great addition in the offseason, gaining 111 yards on only 22 carries for a five yard per carry average. Davis had all but two carries from the running backs though De'Shaun Foster did have three catches for 16 yards.

The Panthers defense allowed an uncharacteristic 272 yards passing as Mark Brunell dissected the secondary using questionable receivers. This game needs to get the defense on track again and will be tested in the air until they prove to have corrected cornerback mistakes.

The Buccaneers come off a dominating performance on Monday night, silencing the fans at the new Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Revenge game for the Eagles? Tampa Bay provided the course in anger management by shutting out the Eagles 17-0 and holding Donovan McNabb to only 148 yards passing. While they gave up a total of 121 yards on the ground, 47 of it came from James Thrash on an end around. The primary ball carrier Duce Staley was held to only 14 yards on seven carries. It appears the defense is still a slight cut above astounding.

Michael Pittman rushed eight times for 35 yards and Thomas Jones had ten rushes for 30 yards but Mike Alstott received the bulk of the carries with 12 carries for 23 yards. This is a backfield without a star nor even a primary back.

Brad Johnson was efficient during his 27 of 36 for 238 yards effort, hitting nine different receivers that included Warren Sapp (1-14). Keyshawn Johnson (6-83) brought his "A" game and was a constant threat over the middle while Joe Jurevicius (4-39) delivered on his potential to be a red zone threat by catching both Tampa Bay touchdowns.

It is obvious that the Buccaneers have not lost much on either the offense or defense since last season. The Panthers stumbled last week but under Delhomme scratched back for an impressive win. This week look for two good defenses to duke it out and score marginally better than the 12-9 Tampa Bay win last season. Delhomme will try to keep the Buccaneers from loading up against Stephen Davis, but Delhomme has not had enough time in the system to get rid of mental mistakes and establish good chemistry with the receivers. Those mistakes will doom the Panthers' chances.

CAR
TB
2003 Averages
TB
CAR
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
141
148
Pass yards
238
272
3
0
Pass TDs
2
2
2
1
Interceptions
1
0
1
55
Rush yards
0
-2
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
121
19
Rush yards
90
77
0
0
Rush TDs
0
1
36
58
Receive yards
52
61
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
77
68
Receive yards
163
150
3
0
Receive TD's
2
2
---
---
TE's
---
---
28
22
Receive yards
17
11
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1
0
Field Goals
1
1
3
0
Extra Points
2
2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1
0
Fumbles
1
0
0
1
Interceptions
1
2
0
0
Touchdowns
0
0
4
0
Sacks
3
4
1
0
Safeties
0
0

 

Panthers (1-0)
Score Opp.
24-23 JAX
Week 2 @TB
Week 3 BYE
Week 4 ATL
Week 5 NO
Week 6 @IND
Week 7 TEN
Week 8 @NO
Week 9 @HOU
Week 10 TB
Week 11 WAS
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 PHI
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 @ARZ
Week 16 DET
Week 17 @NYG
Buccaneers (0-0)
Score Opp.
Week 1 @PHI
Week 2 CAR
Week 3 @ATL
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 IND
Week 6 @WAS
Week 7 @SF
Week 8 DAL
Week 9 NO
Week 10 @CAR
Week 11 GB
Week 12 NYG
Week 13 @JAX
Week 14 @NO
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 ATL
Week 17 @TEN
(Statistics are game averages from current season )