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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
   
Tampa Bay vs Washington Sun, Oct 12; 1 PM on FOX at FedEx Field
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 210,2
RB Michael Pittman 90,1 20 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 50,1 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson Q Q Q
WR Reggie Barlow 0 20 0
WR Karl Williams 0 20 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 70,1 0
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Patrick Ramsey 0 0 220,1
RB Trung Canidate 30 30 0
RB Ladell Betts 30 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 80,1 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 60 0
WR Darnerian McCants 0 20 0


Game Prediction: TB 24, WAS 10

Update: Keyshawn Johnson is still bothered by his quadricep bruise and is very questionable to play in Washington. I am assuming that he is out. This will likely be more a gametime decision and as of last week apparently that means Johnson either does not play or will lead the league. I am assuming he does not just to be safe though he has played with similar injuries before.

Left cornerback Brian Kelly tore his pectoral muscle on Monday night and will not play and may end up needing surgery which would lose him for the season. Kelly will probably be replaced by free safety Dwight Smith who will shift over to being the left cornerback and Jermaine Phillips would play at free safety. The Bucs may also go with Tim Wansley as the new cornerback. Kelly would have lined up across from Lavernues Coles and this could help his numbers in the game. I am increasing Coles numbers slightly up. There is even a chance that Ronde Barber could move over to the left side and let someone else cover Rod Gardner.

Karl Williams has a hamstring strain but has practiced and should play. Aaron Stecker has a right knee sprain but is likely to see some action. If he cannot play, then Thomas Jones would get a few carries.

With the banged up receiving corps short, I am lowering the passing numbers for Tampa Bay.

Patrick Ramsey and Ladell Betts both have shoulder injuries but have practiced and will play.

Tampa Bay Notes

Sure, it's all fun and games until you give up 21 points in the final four minutes...

Quarterbacks: Brad Johnson comes off his best game of the year against the Colts where he threw 26 of 39 for 318 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception. That makes his second three hundred yard effort in only four games and he is averaging two touchdowns per game. For at least 50 minutes last week, he was the better passer in the game.

Running backs: Logging his first 100 yard effort of the year, Michael Pittman showed why he is the primary back in Tampa Bay on Monday while Aaron Stecker (9-22) showed why he isn't. Mike Alstott played with a neck injury but only had three carries for one yard in the game. While Thomas Jones (2-2) is still around it is clearly Pittman's job. Alstott has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

Wide Receivers: Keyshawn Johnson comes off an embarrassing Monday night tilt where he only gained 62 yards on four catches after telling the world that he always dominates his fellow receivers from the class of 1996 when they play (pssst - not always). Johnson suffered a thigh contusion in the game and may be not available this week due to the swelling. I am considering him out for now. Keenan McCardell had a monster game on Monday, a shame given the ending, since he totaled four catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns with a third scored on a fumble recovery which may be credited as a defensive score depending on whom you ask and when. If Keyshawn cannot play it makes a big hole in the receiving crew that already miss Joe Jurevicius. Expect that Karl Williams and Reggie Barlow will fill in.

Tight Ends: Ken Dilger came up big on Monday as well, catching six balls for 63 yards and receiving as many throws as any other receiver. If Keyshawn is out, Dilger will be needed again to contribute big.

Match against the defense: When the Skins have faced a quarterback the caliber of Brad Johnson, they have given up a lot of yards. Kerry Collins (276, 3 TDs) and Tom Brady (289, 2 TDs) both had good outings and both those teams were successful by spreading the ball around and not focusing on one receiver (which it appears may be hard anyway for the Bucs outside of McCardell).

Another interesting matchup is tight ends. The Redskins have already allowed Crumpler (4-64, 1 TD), Shockey (5-65), Daniel Graham (3-54) and L.J. Smith (4-39) to have good games. Basically, every tight end that faces the Redskins has done well and the Bucs may need to use Dilger anyway.

Other than Tiki Barber (28-126), the Redskins have handled the opponent running backs well though they have hardly been faced with any great ones. Michael Pittman should find moderate success against the Skins.

Washington Notes

Quarterbacks: Patrick Ramsey still leads the NFC with 1,307 passing yards and gained 271 yards last week against the Eagles. He threw one score but had two tipped passes intercepted which killed drives though overall he looked better than the 147 yard effort the previous week against the Patriots. Ramsey continues to get pounded in games as well.

Running backs: After a decent showing in week one, the only thing working about the Redskins running game is when Trung Canidate gets a long run or Ladell Betts scores a short touchdown. Otherwise, it seems to be getting worse. Canidate had eight rushes for only 17 yards last week and Betts gained 11 on his five runs. Unless the passing game gets the ball close enough for a short Betts plunge, the running game is a liability. Both Betts and Canidate were more used in the passing scheme last week as both had three catches.

Wide Receivers: The hot start for Lavernues Coles now has gone two weeks with only around 60 yards receiving and Rod Gardner has only five catches for 44 yards in the past two games combined. Slot receiver Darnerian McCants now leads the team with three receiving scores and while he had four catches for 79 yards last week, he had no catches the previous game. The passing game has moved away from using wideouts as much and relies more on the running backs.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal is nothing special and Zeron Flemister was just cut from the team. The Redskins have signed Byron Chamberlain to a two year deal but he is too new to the team to consider for this week.

Match against the defense: The Buccaneers were an impregnable wall on defense until two days ago. They still are, mostly anyway.

The Redskins are not Manning and Harrison and have not been having as much success with the wideouts lately anyway. Tampa Bay had stuffed McNabb, Doug Johnson and Jake Delhomme before Manning came along. The problem for Ramsey is that he will not have as good of protection as Manning did and the Bucs will be looking to force Ramsey to revert to making mistakes.

Other than Stephen Davis, who was a Redskins but left nothing similar behind, Tampa Bay is very tough to run on and the Redskins are not running well anyway. Look for another low rushing game but probably more use of short passes to the backs.

Game Prediction: The only question in this game is what mindset the Buccaneers bring to Washington. They could be tired and drained from their Monday night fiasco and yet they could use it as a wakeup call to never let up in any game. Gruden will try to turn the painful loss into motivation and Washington could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If Keyshawn is out for the game it could lessen the offense some, but Brad Johnson still has personnel to catch the ball and the Redskins can be victimized by Michael Pittman if they worry about the pass. I like the Buccaneers to rise up and make amends for one of the greatest chokes in history and leave the Redskins wondering what just happened. If Tampa Bay falters again, they may be digging a bigger hole than they can get out of this early.

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
TB Scores
6
6
6
16
30
14
WAS Allows
13
24
7
29
15
19
TB AP 7 18 1 13
-15
5
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
WAS Scores
7
12
3
32
4
24
TB Allows
3
13
4
10
8
1
WAS AP -4 1 1 -22
4
-23
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points
AP (Advantage Points) = Shows comparison of position compared to rank of opponent allowing.
TB WAS 2003 Game Averages WAS TB
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
272
205
Pass yards
261
189
2.0
1.6
Pass TDs
1.2
0.5
1
1.4
Interceptions
0.8
2.0
1
3
Rush yards
12
15
0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.2
0
----- 
----
RB's
----
----- 
105
93
Rush yards
101
71.3
0.5
0.8
Rush TDs
0.8
1
70
33
Receive yards
47
33
0.3
0.4
Receive TD's
0.0
0
----- 
----
WR's
----
----- 
164
114
Receive yards
204
123
1.5
1.0
Receive TD's
1.2
0.5
----- 
----
TE's
----
----- 
37
58
Receive yards
11
34
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0
----- 
----
PK's
0
----- 
0.8
1.4
Field Goals
2.4
1.5
3.0
2.6
Extra Points
2.2
1.5
----- 
----
DEF/ST
----
----- 
0.8
0.6
Fumbles
0.2
0.3
2.0
0.8
Interceptions
1.4
0.8
0
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0
1.8
3.4
Sacks
1.8
0.5
0
0.0
Safeties
0.2
0
Buccaneers (2-2)
Score Opp.
17-0 @PHI
9-12 CAR
31-10 @ATL
Week 4 BYE
35-38 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
Redskins (3-2)
Score Opp.
16-13 NYJ
33-31 @ATL
21-24 NYG
20-17 NE
25-27 @PHI
Week 6 TB
Week 7 @BUF
Week 8 BYE
Week 9 @DAL
Week 10 SEA
Week 11 @CAR
Week 12 @MIA
Week 13 NO
Week 14 @NYG
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @CHI
Week 17 PHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points