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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 7
October 15, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM TEN at CAR Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM Bye Week:
*BAL at CIN *NE at MIA *WAS at BUF KC at OAK Arizona
DAL at DET *NO at ATL *CHI at SEA   Indianapolis
*DEN at MIN *PHI at NYG NYJ at HOU Times EST Jacksonville
GB at STL *SD at CLE *TB at SF *updated Pittsburgh
   
NY Jets vs Houston Sun, Oct 19; 4 PM on CBS at Reliant Stadium
  New York Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 220,2
RB Curtis Martin 60 10 0
RB Lamont Jordan 20 0 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Wayne Chrebet d 50 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 70,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 90,1 0
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 10 0 200,1
RB Stacey Mack 30 10 0
RB Domanick Davis 70,1 20 0
TE Billy Miller 0 20 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40 0

Game Prediction: NYJ 14, HOU 17

NY Jets Notes

Update: Since Domanick Davis practiced with the first team the most this week, it is expected that his role will be expanding at the expense of Stacey Mack. The Jets will be without CB Donnie Abrahams and FS Jon McGraw so I have bumped the passing numbers slightly. Ray Mickens will replace Abrahams.

Wayne Chrebet is not expected to play this week with a back injury.

Quarterbacks: Doing more with less, Vinny Testaverde only threw for 130 yards last week but completed 11 of 17 passes for three touchdowns and no interception during the romp over the Bills. The main difference? The Jets ran the ball well enough that Testaverde was not needed to revert to the pass as the only means to stay in the game.

Running backs: Curtis Martin ran 20 times for 77 yards and Lamont Jordan gained 33 yards on 10 carries. Nothing dramatic, but the gains were consistent and kept the Bills from focusing only on the pass.

Wide Receivers: With only 130 yards passing and 11 completions, the wideouts were not a factor last week and only Santana Moss had a touchdown from the group. Curtis Conway led the receivers with only 41 yards on two catches.

Wayne Chrebet did not play in the second half last week due to a concussion but until further word is available, I am assuming that he will play.

Tight Ends: Just when you have dumped Anthony Becht on the waiver wire, he had three catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns. The previous week he only managed one catch for two yards.

Match against the defense: Comparing the offense is a challenge since the big win over the Bills was hardly characteristic of the play by the Jets this season. Then again, it is entirely like them to start slow and then get better.

The Texans are weak against the pass, evidenced by McNair's 421 yard effort last week, but the Jets do not employ a deep scheme like the Titans either. Vinny Testaverde will find success with Santana Moss who has the speed to cause problems and should manage at least a respectable afternoon.

The Texans are likewise weak against the run but have faced a running list of the best backs in the league - Ricky Williams, Deuce McAllister, Priest Holmes and Fred Taylor. Last week they held Eddie George to only 60 yards and Curtis Martin is much closer to George than any of the other backs that Houston has faced.

Houston Notes

Quarterbacks: David Carr threw for a career high 371 yards and two scores last week against the Titans thanks to trailing almost immediately in the game. The Texans only had 16 rushing attempts compared to 42 passes by Carr. What was further uncharacteristic is that Carr did not use his two normal targets - Gaffney and Johnson - but instead hit nine different receivers including three running backs, two tight ends and his #3 and #4 wideouts.

Running backs: Domanick Davis had a nice statistical game, rushing for 59 yards on seven carries and adding seven catches for 70 yards while Stacey Mack only rushed four times for 13 yards at the start of the game. Davis received the heavy load since he was part of the "we're way behind, let's throw" package and Mack is not. Davis also enjoyed more running room since the Titans were dropped back in coverage during most of the game.

Wide Receivers: The Titans took Andre Johnson (2-49) and Jabar Gaffney (no catches) out of the passing equation and forced Carr to find other alternatives. Derrick Armstrong made his first NFL catch a good one with a 13 yard touchdown and Corey Bradford logged a big 127 yard, one touchdown effort. It was not a normal day at the office for the Texans.

Tight Ends: Needing to get rid of the ball, both Jabari Holloway (2-40) and Billy Miller (6-47) had big games compared to their normal role.

Match against the defense: The question here is which Jets show up this week? The league patsies that could not stop a girl scout troop from skipping through the heart of the defense or the gang of thugs that kept dropping Travis Henry at the line of scrimmage?

The Jets allowed around 19 points a game the first four weeks and last week held Buffalo to just one field goal.

This will most likely be a tough match for both teams since they match up well in strengths and weaknesses. The Texans are not great against the run but the Jets are still giggling that Curtis Martin could gain 77 yards on the ground in one game. Houston has been obviously weak against the pass but the Jets have been one of the worst passing teams.

The player most likely to benefit is Santana Moss since Houston now stands as the weakest defense against wideouts and yet are one of the strongest against tight ends which is more a function of not facing an offense that employs a tight end much.

Game Prediction: Only the Texans could face a visiting team that ranks so low in every category and yet still not be favored. This game could go either way very easily. The Jets may be starting to rise from the ashes for the third straight season and yet the Texans could be .500 with a win here. I'm counting on the Jets to repeat their pattern - lose their pre-bye games by a terrible margin, come off their bye with a shocking win and then lose their next game by a close margin before starting to string together some wins.

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
NYJ Scores
28
28
20
18
13
14
HOU Allows
30
28
32
5
15
29
NYJ AP 2 0 12 -13 2 15
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
HOU Scores
5
24
6
25
19
24
NYJ Allows
8
25
2
13
17
5
HOU AP 3 1 -4 -12 2 -19
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
NYJ HOU 2003 Game Averages HOU NYJ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
218
266
Pass yards
260
185
1.0
2.0
Pass TDs
1.2
0.6
0.4
1.4
Interceptions
1.2
0.8
1
5
Rush yards
9
12
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.4
0.4
----
----
RB's
----
----
66
102
Rush yards
91
135
0.2
1.0
Rush TDs
0.2
0.4
51
55
Receive yards
44
37
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
----
----
WR's
----
----
146
195
Receive yards
186
117
0.6
1.6
Receive TD's
1.2
0.4
----
----
TE's
----
----
21
16
Receive yards
30
31
0.4
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
----
----
PK's
----
----
2.2
0.8
Field Goals
1.6
1.8
1.2
4.2
Extra Points
1.8
1.4
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
1.0
0.8
Fumbles
0.8
0.6
0.8
1.8
Interceptions
1.4
0.2
0.0
0.8
Touchdowns
0.0
0.2
3.8
1.6
Sacks
1.2
1.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Texans (2-3)
Score Opp.
21-20 @MIA
10-31 @NO
14-42 KC
24-20 JAX
Week 5 BYE
17-38 @TEN
Week 7 NYJ
Week 8 @IND
Week 9 CAR
Week 10 @CIN
Week 11 @BUF
Week 12 NE
Week 13 ATL
Week 14 @JAX
Week 15 @TB
Week 16 TEN
Week 17 IND
Jets (1-4)
Score Opp.
13-16 @WAS
10-21 MIA
16-23 @NE
6-17 DAL
Week 5 BYE
30-3 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