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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
   
Miami vs Jacksonville Sun, Oct 12; 1 PM on CBS at ALLTEL Stadium
  Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Fiedler 10 0 240,2
RB Ricky Williams 70,1 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 80,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 30 0
WR James McKnight 0 60,1 0
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 270,2
RB Fred Taylor 80 40 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 10 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 100,1 0
WR Matthew Hatchette 0 40,1 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 70 0

Game Prediction: MIA 23, JAX 17

Miami Notes

Quarterbacks: Miami comes off a tough win and Jay Fiedler started out badly in the NY Giants matchup, completing only 7 of 17 passes in the first half and ending 14 of 26 for 167 yards and no scores. That makes three games since the opener that Fiedler has failed to pass for over 200 yards and was the first time he had no touchdowns in a game.

Running backs: Coming off his monster 153 yard rushing effort and then bye week, Ricky Williams was absolutely stuffed in the Giants game. He ran 22 times for only 39 yards but had one score. It was hardly characteristic for him and yet still a concern.

Wide Receivers: Oddly enough, the receivers were a deciding factor in the game except it was not receiving the ball. James McKnight turned an end-around into a 68 yard rushing score. That was more yardage on one run than all wideouts combined caught in the game. The only wideout with fantasy value is Chris Chambers and even he only managed three catches for 19 yards last week.

Tight Ends: Thankfully, Randy McMichael stepped up last week and led all receivers with 57 yards on two catches. In the past three games, McMichael has either gained 50 yards or scored a touchdown.

Match against the defense: This could be a problem.

The Jaguars are very tough against the run and have held LaDainian Tomlinson (13-34), Stacey Mack (16-39), Travis Henry (21-26) and were only hurt on the road to Carolina where Stephen Davis gained 111 yards on 22 carries and that was back in week one. This is a tough group to run and and will hold Ricky Williams down this week.

The Jaguars are open to getting beaten in the air, though that is the reverse of the Dolphin's strengths. In all four games this season, opposing quarterbacks have had at least two touchdowns and even Drew Brees comes off a 296 yard, 3 TD game against the Panthers. Carolina has never failed to allow at least 97 yards to a opponent receiver in every game and though they held Marvin Harrison to only 31 yards, they gave a career game to Reggie Wayne.

The Dolphins will have to revert to the throw to win this game and Miami has never been a good road team. Look for Fiedler to have more success and Chambers to crawl out of his hole again.

Jacksonville Notes

Quarterbacks: With Mark Brunell still out, Byron Leftwich took his second start and looked like he had been playing for years as he threw 19 of 28 for 336 yards, two scores and no interceptions. Forget that it was against the Chargers - the rookie showed tremendous accuracy and though HC Jack Del Rio is still not saying it, there seems to be no reason to switch back to Brunell.

Running backs: Though Fred Taylor only gained 87 yards on 27 carries against San Diego last week, he scored on both a run and a 60-yard pass and ended with 77 total yards receiving. The Jaguars also used Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala for six runs and he gained 30 yards. The Jaguars are committing to running Taylor more each game and so far he has remained durable.

Wide Receivers: The much anticipated return of Jimmy Smith was warmly greeted when Smith turned in an eight catch, 137 yard effort last week. Troy Edwards has quickly worked himself up into the rotation and has a touchdown in each of the two games with Leftwich at the helm. Matthew Hatchette has taken a back seat, catching only one pass for 45 yards last week while J.J. Stokes was inactive. Stokes has likely seen his last chance as a starting NFL receiver go by and can now sit and chat with Brunell on the bench about the good old days.

Tight Ends: Kyle Brady and George Wrighster. Nothing to see here, keep moving.

Match against the defense: Other than the beating that Drew Bledsoe took in week three, this is a defense that can be beaten by the pass. Testaverde (373 yards), Kerry Collins (276) and even David Carr (266) have all done well. The main saving grace for Miami has been gaining five interceptions in the past two games and while Leftwich has been impressive, you can be sure Patrick Surtain will be baiting him. Look for the Jaguars to gain good yardage through the air but for the Miami defense to force turnovers.

The Dolphin rush defense has not allowed a 100 yard rusher this year and just held Tiki Barber to only 71 yards on 20 carries. Fred will need the ball at least 25 times or more if he is to challenge the century mark. If the Dolphins have any trouble passing, which is not probable, Taylor could get the mark through sheer volume. Junior Seau will likely miss this week due to a strained hamstring which will help Taylor some but not enough.

Game Prediction: The Jaguars finally managed a win and the Dolphins are not typically road warriors, but given the softness of both teams secondaries for yardage, this should turn into an aerial war between Leftwich and Fiedler. While you can argue which has the better receiver, it all comes down to mistakes and the Jaguars are more likely to be making them.

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
MIA Scores
18
9
25
14
29
23
JAX Allows
30
11
32
2
14
14
MIA AP 12 2 7 -12
-15
-7
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
JAX Scores
11
8
15
30
16
25
MIA Allows
6
4
22
11
11
16
JAX AP -5 -4 7 -19
-5
-9
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points

MIA JAX 2003 Game Averages JAX MIA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
185
240
Pass yards
235
253
1.3
2.2
Pass TDs
1.4
0.5
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
0.6
1.8
16
6
Rush yards
6
3
0.3
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
----
----
RB's
----
----
108
75
Rush yards
98
66
0.8
0.8
Rush TDs
0.6
0.3
45
28
Receive yards
58
29
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.4
0.0
----
----
WR's
----
----
102
187
Receive yards
160
188
0.8
2.2
Receive TD's
1.0
0.5
----
----
TE's
----
----
38
25
Receive yards
17
37
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
0
----
PK's
0
----
1.0
1.2
Field Goals
1.6
1.8
2.5
3.2
Extra Points
2.0
1.0
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.3
1.0
Fumbles
0.8
1.0
1.8
0.6
Interceptions
1.0
1.0
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.3
1.5
2.4
Sacks
1.8
1.5
0.0
0.2
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Dolphins (3-1)
Score Opp.
20-21 HOU
21-10 @NYJ
17-7 BUF
Week 4 BYE
23-10 @NYG
Week 6 @JAX
Week 7 NE
Week 8 @SD
Week 9 IND
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 BAL
Week 12 WAS
Week 13 @DAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 PHI
Week 16 @BUF
Week 17 NYJ
Jaguars (1-4)
Score Opp.
23-24 @CAR
17-38 BUF
13-23 @IND
20-24 @HOU
27-21 SD
Week 6 MIA
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 TEN
Week 9 @BAL
Week 10 IND
Week 11 @TEN
Week 12 @NYJ
Week 13 TB
Week 14 HOU
Week 15 @NE
Week 16 NO
Week 17 @ATL

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points