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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
JAX at IND NYJ at NE *NYG at WAS *GB at ARZ *OAK at DEN
*KC at HOU PIT at CIN STL at SEA Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*MIN at DET *TB at ATL *BAL at SD BUF at MIA CAR, CHI
*NO at TEN Times EST CLE at SF *updated DAL, PHI
   
Cleveland vs San Francisco Sun, Sep 21; 4 PM on CBS at San Francisco Stadium
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 190,2
RB William Green 70 0 0
RB Jamel White 20 30 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 10 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 50,1 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 40,1 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 50 0
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 20,1 0 220,1
RB Garrison Hearst 90,1 20 0
RB Kevan Barlow 80 10 0
TE Jed Weaver 0 10 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 100,1 0
WR Tai Streets 0 50 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 20 0

Game Prediction: CLE 14, SF 23

How low can you go?

The Cleveland Browns are now playing a gridiron version of Limbo, one-upping (or is it downing?) their previous performance by allowing Jamal Lewis an astounding 295 yards rushing last week. You'd think that after the first 200 yards the defense would just start tripping him or jumping offsides since they could only lose five or ten yards a clip that way. 295 yards rushing in one game is like division AA High School football, ran by some all-American tailback that will later end up in the NFL, jail or complaining about that one shot to his knee that ruined his chances at glory (sometimes all three in fact).

This just in - HC Butch Davis spent years as a defensive coordinator before becoming a head coach. If he gets canned, how would you like last week's game on your resume' when looking for work?

William Green comes off a 54 yard rushing effort with one fumble but in fairness, he has only carried the ball 38 times this season for 140 yards which at 3.7 YPC is not really that bad consider that the offense has not generated any passing game to keep the defenders away from the run.

Kelly Holcomb looked all-world at the end of last season and was the better QB than Tim Couch this summer. So far this season he is averaging about 160 yards per game with a total of only one touchdown and four interceptions. Last season he started the first two games as well but averaged 270 yards a game with five touchdowns thrown.

Quincy Morgan led the league last year in yards per catch but in 2003 he has a total of only three catches for 32 yards. Dennis Northcutt leads the receivers with 119 yards in two games. This offense doesn't look like the wheels are wobbling, it looks like they are still back in the garage.

The 49ers come off a bitter loss to the Rams thanks to Cedric Wilson when he caught a pass on the Rams 30 yard line and instead of going down and calling time-out, he ran until regulation was over. While Wilson makes a nice scapegoat, the reality is that Jeff Chandler would have been no lock for a 47 yard field goal. San Francisco just cut Chandler and picked up Owen Pochman as proof.

Jeff Garcia threw for 222 yards and two scores though he received a mild concussion earlier in the game. He was cleared to return along with Terrell Owens who also got whacked and left the game for a few plays. Owens ended with a touchdown but only 42 yards receiving - one of his lowest games ever. He only managed the score at the end of the game when the Rams left him one on one with the shorter Aeneus Williams down by the goal line. After the game, Owens said he was not complaining but merely publicly noticing that they lost and that he did not get many passes in the game.

Garrison Hearst (11-89) and Kevan Barlow (11-45, 1 TD) combined for a strong running game particularly in the fourth quarter and are, undoubtedly, delighted at the prospect of facing the Browns.

The 49ers hope to get CB Rashad Holman back this week though LT Derrick Deese may miss the game with an ankle sprain.

The only three things preventing this game from being a big upset are that it includes the Browns, on the road, and playing San Francisco.

Look for a strong rushing effort from the tandem of Hearst and Barlow who are developing into a nice outside/inside running game. Garcia and Owens will not have a huge day because they will not need to in order to win, but they will have enough time to connect for some good fantasy results.

Holcomb should have a better game here, at least statistically, since the 49er corners are not big and the Browns can put several good receivers out into the secondary. At least that is the theory though it has not been practiced much this year. With the passing game stalled and still trying to find a rhythm, William Green will not break 100 yards in this game. The Browns are not 295 yards rushing bad, but they will have to deal with the mental trauma of what has happened and back on the road they will still be saddled with the haunting memories of chasing Lewis.

CLE
SF
2003 Averages
SF
CLE
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
165
166
Pass yards
226
145
0.5
1.5
Pass TDs
2
0
2
1.5
Interceptions
1
1.5
3
11
Rush yards
25
2
0
0
Rush TDs
0.5
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
77
61
Rush yards
131
203
0
0.5
Rush TDs
1
1
27
32
Receive yards
51
26
0
0
Receive TD's
0.5
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
121
128
Receive yards
158
86
0.5
1
Receive TD's
2
0
---
---
TE's
---
---
17
6
Receive yards
18
33
0
0.5
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2
1
Field Goals
3
3.5
0.5
2
Extra Points
4
1
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1
0.5
Fumbles
3
0.5
1.5
1
Interceptions
1.5
2
0
0.5
Touchdowns
0.5
0.5
2.5
0
Sacks
5
1.5
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Browns(0-2)
Score Opp.
6-9 IND
13-33 @BAL
Week 3 @SF
Week 4 CIN
Week 5 @PIT
Week 6 OAK
Week 7 SD
Week 8 @NE
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 @KC
Week 11 ARZ
Week 12 PIT
Week 13 @SEA
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @DEN
Week 16 BAL
Week 17 @CIN
49ers (1-1)
Score Opp.
49-7 CHI
24-27 @STL
Week 3 CLE
Week 4 @MIN
Week 5 DET
Week 6 @SEA
Week 7 TB
Week 8 @ARZ
Week 9 STL
Week 10 BYE
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 @GB
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 ARZ
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @PHI
Week 17 SEA
(Statistics are game averages from current season )