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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
   
Buffalo vs NY Jets Sun, Oct 12; 4 PM on CBS at Giants Stadium
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 190,1
RB Travis Henry 80,1 20 0
TE M. Campbell 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds D D D
WR Josh Reed 0 60 0
WR Bobby Shaw 0 70,1 0
  New York Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 220,1
RB Curtis Martin 70 20 0
RB Lamont Jordan 10 0 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 40 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 20 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 30 0
WR Santana Moss 0 80,1 0


Game Prediction: BUF 17, NYJ 16

Update: The Jets intend on using Jonathan Carter in this game to help stretch the field and hopefully reduce the 8 and 9 man fronts against Martin. That does not necessarily mean Carter catches many passes but he bears watching as a youngster looking for more time.

Eric Moulds is considered doubtful for the game with his groin strain. He not only has not practiced, he is still not walking normally. I am considering him out and shifting passing numbers. I am also lowering Henry's numbers slightly because the Bills will go with man-to-man coverage on Shaw and Reed and use their safety to stop the run since that has been the biggest problem this season.

Buffalo Notes

Quarterbacks: While Drew Bledsoe ended last week with a fairly respectable 211 yards and one touchdown, the reality was that he only had 45 yards passing after the first half and had only completed 5 of 17 passes. After feasting on the beat up Eagles the previous week for 296 yards, Bledsoe took time to get in gear against a stingy Bengal's defense. Fortunately this week he faces the Jets.

Running backs: Travis Henry was able to play in spite of his chest injury and responded very well, gaining 85 yards and a score though it required 25 carries. Henry also scored on a reception as well. Henry only had 25 yards at the halftime and the Bills committed to running the second half. Poor line play led to several plays for negative yards but once the Bengals started respecting the run, Bledsoe was able to get in gear passing.

Wide Receivers: By the time the Bills got clicking, they figured out that Eric Moulds was the only receiver that was going to matter and threw the ball to him 15 times for nine receptions and 99 yards. Josh Reed (1-20) had a couple of glaring drops and even Bobby Shaw (3-26) was of little help. The Bills become one-dimensional with only Moulds catching the balls and a good secondary can quickly dull the Bills passing attack by taking Moulds from the equation such as Miami did when it limited him to only two catches for 30 yards. The run game must work for the passing game to work.

Eric Moulds has a strained groin and will be evaluated in practice on Wednesday. I am assuming for now that he plays.

Tight Ends: Mark Campbell only had one catch for 20 yards, but it was a critical one in overtime. The tight end is of little use in Buffalo though Campbell is gaining favor.

Match against the defense: The Jets have been shredded by the running game which bodes well for Travis Henry and knowing that he must do well before the offense plays well will ensure that the Bills will establish the run first and foremost this week - and have excellent chances at success.

No quarterback has had a big statistical day against the Jets because so far none has needed it to win. No team has had less than 33 carries in a game facing the Jets. Receivers facing the Jets have not done well because of this and only Joey Galloway and Lavernues Coles have barely crested the 100 yard mark against the Jets secondary.

New York Jets Notes

Quarterbacks: You know things are bad when the biggest quarterback news for a team is that an injured starter may be back in a month. During the bye week the Jets let Vinny Testaverde take some time off and Brooks Bollinger took snaps with the first team in his absence. There is speculation that while Vinny will continue to start while Pennington is out, that Bollinger will become the #2 when Chad returns.

Running backs: Though a case could be made that Curtis Martin has clearly lost a step, he shares his woes with a line that has yet to block well. Martin ran for 64 yards against the Cowboys but needed 21 runs to get there. He did add on 51 yards on five catches but 26 touches in a game should have been better than 115 yards considering the receiving yards. Lamont Jordan? No need to bother. In limited appearances he has been no better and often even worse.

Wide Receivers: While the Jets brought in Curtis Conway as a replacement for Lavernues Coles, his most recent game (2-24) was enough that the coaching staff has demoted him and promoted Santana Moss into a starting role. His speed is a definite need in an offense that looks slow and plays slow. Plus Vinny needs to throw the ball away so the farther down the field the receiver is, the less the incompletion or interception hurts.

Tight Ends: Anthony Becht still has not had more than three catches or 30 yards in a game.

Match against the defense: The Bills are fairly tough against the pass though they have not yet faced a high-powered passing offense (and still will not). Only Jon Kitna has thrown for over 200 yards against them though they were torn up by the running of Ricky Williams (153 yards), slashed by Brian Westbrook (11-96) and held Fred Taylor to 71 yards only because the game got out of hand.

Doesn't really matter. Jets cannot run well and have proven it. They cannot pass very well. The Bills can be beaten but it takes an above average - or at least average - team to do it and that is not here.

Game Prediction: The Jets are rested. They are due. They are at home. The game score should remain relatively low scoring since the Bills will be running the ball and controlling the clock. I like the Jets to put up a fight here but to sadly fall just short. The Jets will win a game this year but that may be with Pennington. This is their best shot for a while to record a win but their rush defense is unlikely to stop Henry even if most other teams can.

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
BUF Scores
20
19
17
20
28
9
NYJ Allows
14
27
2
18
21
11
BUF AP -6 8 -15 -2
-7
2
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
NYJ Scores
30
28
20
31
18
22
BUF Allows
4
20
3
6
9
7
NYJ AP -26 -8 -17 -25
-9
-15
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points

BUF NYJ 2003 Game Averages NYJ BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
230
180
Pass yards
240
184
1.0
0.8
Pass TDs
0.5
0.4
0.8
0.5
Interceptions
0.5
1.4
2
15
Rush yards
2
14
0.2
0.5
Rush TDs
0.0
0.2
----
----
RB's
----
----
56
156
Rush yards
52
105
1.2
0.5
Rush TDs
0.3
0.8
31
37
Receive yards
60
30
0.2
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
----
----
WR's
----
----
172
109
Receive yards
165
121
0.6
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.4
----
----
TE's
----
----
27
34
Receive yards
16
32
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
0
----
PK's
0
----
1.0
2.0
Field Goals
2.0
1.6
2.8
1.8
Extra Points
0.8
1.4
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.4
0.8
Fumbles
0.8
0.4
1.4
0.3
Interceptions
0.5
0.8
0.4
0.3
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
1.8
1.8
Sacks
3.0
2.4
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Bills (3-2)
Score Opp.
31-0 NE
38-17 @JAX
7-17 @MIA
13-23 PHI
22-16 CIN
Week 6 @NYJ
Week 7 WAS
Week 8 @KC
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 @DAL
Week 11 HOU
Week 12 IND
Week 13 @NYG
Week 14 NYJ
Week 15 @TEN
Week 16 MIA
Week 17 @NE
Jets (0-4)
Score Opp.
13-16 @WAS
10-21 MIA
16-23 @NE
6-17 DAL
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 BUF
Week 7 @HOU
Week 8 @PHI
Week 9 NYG
Week 10 @OAK
Week 11 @IND
Week 12 JAX
Week 13 TEN
Week 14 @BUF
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @MIA

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points