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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 6
October 8, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *TB at WAS Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*CAR at IND MIA at JAX *BUF at NYJ SF at SEA Cincinnati
CHI at NO *NYG at NE *PIT at DEN Mon 9 PM Detroit
HOU at TEN OAK at CLE Sun 4 PM *ATL at STL Minnesota
KC at GB PHI at DAL *BAL at ARZ *updated San Diego
   
Baltimore vs Arizona Sun, Oct 12; 4 PM on CBS at Sun Devil Stadium
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 10 0 160,1
RB Jamal Lewis 100,1 0 0
TE Todd Heap 0 60,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 50 0
WR Frank Sanders 0 20 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 10 0
  Arizona Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Blake 20 0 170,1
RB Marcel Shipp 50 20 0
TE Freddie Jones 0 30,1 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 30 0
WR Nathan Poole 0 20 0
WR Anquan Boldin 0 50 0

Game Prediction: BAL 21, ARZ 7

Baltimore Notes

Update: Jason McAddley has a serious hamstring injury and will not play. Nathan Poole will see increased time.

Quarterbacks: There is little chance that Kyle Boller will be confused with Johnny Unitas. He has topped out this season at around 150 yards passing and has killed the wideout position as we know it. But the Ravens have a good defense and rushing game and the weakness is less glaring.

Running backs: What a difference a year makes. Jamal Lewis has scored in every game this season, along with setting the all-time single game rushing mark and eclipsing the century mark in the past three consecutive games. He is spelled by Chester Taylor for no more than five carries a game. Even against the Chiefs defense, Lewis still turned in 115 yards on 26 carries with one touchdown.

Wide Receivers: Ouch. Travis Taylor's 33 yards in week one was the best of any wideout for Baltimore.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap virtually is the Ravens passing game. In every game this season, no other receiver has had as many throws as Heap. When the Ravens played San Diego, he had eight throws and five catches for 50 yards while no other receiver had more than two. Against the Chiefs, both he and Travis Taylor had four catches but Heap had 48 yards to Taylor's 30 yards.

Match against the defense: We know that the Ravens, outside of Heap, are not going to throw.

The Cardinals actually have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this season and held Ahman Green (21-53), Lamar Gordon (21-81), Shaun Alexander (13-51) and Troy Hambrick (14-53) to lower than average days. This will be interesting since all teams have just gone to the pass to defeat the Cardinals and the Ravens have yet to actually find a passing game.

This should spell a great game for Heap, but could make Travis Taylor worthwhile for a week at least. Lewis should reach his 100 yards but it will take a lot of carries to get there.

Arizona Notes

Quarterbacks: While Jeff Blake seemed hot when he was throwing against the Lions and heatstroke Packers, the last two weeks he has only managed 209 combined yards and suffered a bruised heel while running for his life St. Louis. With a lackluster receiving group and a line that is not protecting him, it will not get better against a defense like the Ravens.

Running backs: Emmitt Smith (bow head in reverence) is now out for anywhere from three weeks to the rest of his life if he can read the writing on the wall. He fractured his scapula and will be replaced by Marcel Shipp.

Wide Receivers: Sure, Anquan Boldin has been a great pickup by the Cardinals but sadly he alone is not enough to win games. Boldin has seen his numbers drop almost every week and against the Cowboys he only managed three catches for 33 yards. Bryant Johnson seemed to be coming on but now is out for two weeks with a shoulder injury. Larry Foster took the injury settlement money and ran while Bryan Gilmore becomes a starter again and will have more chances to drop passes like last week.

Tight Ends: After a big week one, Freddie Jones has languished back around the thirty yards a game mark except when he had no catches against the Rams.

Match against the defense: This could get ugly.

The Ravens are already a top ten defense against quarterbacks and running backs and now go face the "Big Red Line" in Arizona that so far have been too slow to even get in each other's way, let alone a defense. We can scratch Shipp for having a big game in his first start back.

The Cardinals now are down to Boldin and Gilmore, with Jason McAddley standing to the side like a guy that brought his date to the prom and got dumped but hung around just in case. Nathan Poole may get some action as well. Arizona is again rocked in the lockerroom with the loss of Smith and Johnson and the same video tape from last year looks like it is looping.

Game Prediction: I like the chance for a defensive score here and even for Boller to have his season's best effort that still will not crack 180 yards. The Ravens are coming off a close home loss to the Chiefs and the Cardinals head home to wonder what happened again.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) by position for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
BAL Scores
32
2
32
9
21
11
ARZ Allows
29
22
28
14
23
30
BAL AP -3 20 -4 5
2
19
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
ARZ Scores
14
32
18
17
32
32
BAL Allows
9
10
18
20
12
21
ARZ AP -5 -22 0 3
-20
-9
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advantage Points
BAL
ARZ
2003 Game Averages
ARZ
BAL
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
117
233
Pass yards
219
209
0.5
2.0
Pass TDs
1.0
1.3
1.5
0.6
Interceptions
1.6
1.3
8
1
Rush yards
12
4
0.0
0.4
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
----
----
RB's
----
----
178
93
Rush yards
58
90
1.3
0.4
Rush TDs
0.0
0.5
20
57
Receive yards
12
30
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
----
----
WR's
----
----
48
147
Receive yards
171
157
0.3
1.6
Receive TD's
0.6
0.8
----
----
TE's
----
----
50
29
Receive yards
36
22
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.5
0
----
PK's
0
----
1.5
1.6
Field Goals
1.0
1.5
2.0
3.6
Extra Points
1.4
2.0
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.5
1.2
Fumbles
0.2
1.0
1.3
1.8
Interceptions
0.6
1.5
0.3
0.6
Touchdowns
0.2
0.0
2.5
1.6
Sacks
0.6
2.5
0.0
0.4
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Ravens (2-2)
Score Opp.
15-34 @PIT
33-13 CLE
24-10 @SD
10-17 KC
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 @ARZ
Week 7 @CIN
Week 8 DEN
Week 9 JAX
Week 10 @STL
Week 11 @MIA
Week 12 SEA
Week 13 SF
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT
Cardinals (1-4)
Score Opp.
24-42 @DET
0-38 SEA
20-13 GB
13-37 @STL
7-24 @DAL
Week 6 BAL
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 SF
Week 9 CIN
Week 10 @PIT
Week 11 @CLE
Week 12 STL
Week 13 @CHI
Week 14 @SF
Week 15 CAR
Week 16 @SEA
Week 17 MIN

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points