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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
   
Washington vs Buffalo Sun, Oct 19; 1 PM on FOX at Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Patrick Ramsey 0 0 230,1
RB Trung Canidate 40 0 0
RB Ladell Betts 70,1 20 0
TE Byron Chamberlain 0 20 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 70 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 80,1 0
WR Darnerian McCants 0 30 0
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 200,1
RB Travis Henry 70,2 30 0
TE M. Campbell 0 20,1 0
WR Clarence Coleman 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds Q Q Q
WR Josh Reed 0 60,1 0
WR Bobby Shaw 0 50 0


Game Prediction: WAS 20, BUF 21

Update: Trung Canidate is doubtful to play this week so I am removing him from the projections. Eric Moulds has been upgraded from Doubtful to Questionable this week due to his groin injury. He is still not at a point that he is running full speed and could be a gametime decision. I am not projecting for him but he may play depending on how he feels Sunday. If Shaw fills in for Moulds, he will be pitted against Champ Bailey which would probably not help his numbers and if Moulds plays, he will draw Bailey which could reduce his numbers more than his groin potentially.

Washington Notes

Quarterbacks: There is a concern that Patrick Ramsey is not going to last this season considering the beating he is taking every week. While he ended with a respectable 211 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay, he threw an interception, fumbled twice and was sacked six times. While Spurrier could get away with using up a quarterback in college, that mentality does not translate into the NFL where seasoning and experience can count more than a big arm and the courage to stay in the pocket.

Running backs: The results last week against the Bucs were predictable - Trung Canidate had 27 yards on eight carries and Ladell Betts covered 37 yards with 13 runs, adding only 15 more on two receptions. Canidate suffered a mild high ankle sprain in the game and was wearing a boot on Monday but pending later information, I am assuming that he can play and be limited.

After starting out the first two games of the season with promising results, the Redskins running game has gotten progressively worse.

Wide Receivers: In spite of the loss, Lavernues Coles set the NFL record with five or more catches in 19 consecutive games and he ended with six grabs for 60 yards. After a couple of lackluster outings, Rod Gardner came back to like with nine catches for 88 yards while Darnerian McCants (4-52) again had the touchdown pass.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal broke his right hip and now will be out for the next six weeks and possibly even longer. The newly signed Byron Chamberlain takes over a position that is little used in the offense but he still managed to catch three passes last week for 23 yards. Chamberlain is a far better receiving tight end than the Redskins have had since dumping Stephen Alexander long ago.

Match against the defense: This should present an interesting matchup. The Bills have been soft against the run but the Redskins have not been running well. There is even a chance that Canidate is not healthy enough to play. Both teams are 3-3 and fairly evenly matched weaknesses to strengths

The Redskins will have moderate success running even if only Betts can play, and they will have only moderate success against a team that can defend the pass. Playing on the road should result in the same thing it has all year for the Redskins - a close game with nothing spectacular but nothing terrible either. Buffalo just gave up 110 yards to Curtis Martin and Lamont Jordan but Betts and Canidate have not proven to be any better.

Bills Notes

Quarterbacks: Now we know that Drew Bledsoe without Eric Moulds is not pretty. Bledsoe threw for 202 yards in a blowout loss with no scores, one interception and a fumble. Moulds had been the target for at least one of every three passes thrown by Bledsoe this season and without him, he was limited to largely shorter throws and was hurried in the pocket last week as well. Playing without Moulds changes the entire scope of the passing game and neither Shaw nor Reed were able to step up enough to matter.

Running backs: The rushing game was abandoned last week when the Bills fell behind but Travis Henry only gained 53 yards on 16 carries. He did add seven catches for 35 yards which is his best this season. Henry had never had more than three catches in any previous game and had not been a factor in the passing until Moulds was gone.

Wide Receivers: Without Moulds, Bobby Shaw led the receivers with six catches for 58 yards and while Josh Reed needed to take a greater role, he only managed three catches for 42 yards. The rookie Clarence Coleman had three receptions for 19 yards as well.

Pending later information, I am assuming that Moulds is unable to play again this week.

Tight Ends: Mark Campbell offered only three catches for 19 yards as an occasional outlet.

Match against the defense: As mentioned previously, these two teams actually match up fairly evenly. The Redskins can give up the run, but the Bills do not run very well. The Redskins are below average against the pass but without Moulds, the Bills are too.

The Bills enter the game with no apparent strength on offense right now to pit against a defense that has been picked apart lately. If Moulds can play, then it definitely favors the Bills since even Tom Brady had a big game against the Redskins. It is safe to assume that Buffalo will be trying to establish the run but as shown last week it does not take too long for them to determine that it is not working and shift into passing mode. The Redskins can be beaten through the air without a doubt, but without Moulds it becomes a question if Buffalo can produce enough firepower to take that advantage.

Game Prediction: The game favors the Bills hoping to give Henry the short yardage scores that he needs to matter and with a homefield advantage, it should prove just enough since Washington has not played well on the road this season. This could go either way with a special teams play or a turnover and it is almost certain to be a close match, but in the end the Bills have to take a stand here or already have any post season hopes reduced.

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
WAS Scores
9
15
5
32
5
29
BUF Allows
6
17
3
21
19
15
WAS AP -3 2 -2 -11 14 -14
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
BUF Scores
23
23
18
21
28
16
WAS Allows
21
24
12
32
13
24
BUF AP -2 1 -6 11 -15 8
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.
WAS BUF 2003 Game Averages BUF WAS
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
253
175
Pass yards
225
215
1.2
0.8
Pass TDs
0.8
2.0
0.8
1.2
Interceptions
1.0
1.2
10
12
Rush yards
2
3
0.2
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
----
----
RB's
----
----
96
108
Rush yards
55
96
0.7
0.7
Rush TDs
1.0
0.7
43
28
Receive yards
32
40
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.2
0.3
----
----
WR's
----
----
197
113
Receive yards
168
121
1.2
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
1.0
----
----
TE's
----
----
13
34
Receive yards
26
55
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.2
0.7
----
----
PK's
----
----
2.3
1.8
Field Goals
1.0
1.2
2.0
1.7
Extra Points
2.3
3.0
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.2
0.7
Fumbles
0.3
0.7
1.2
1.0
Interceptions
1.2
1.0
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.3
0.3
1.5
3.2
Sacks
1.8
3.8
0.2
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Redskins (3-3)
Score Opp.
16-13 NYJ
33-31 @ATL
21-24 NYG
20-17 NE
25-27 @PHI
13-35 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
Bills (3-3)
Score Opp.
31-0 NE
38-17 @JAX
7-17 @MIA
13-23 PHI
22-16 CIN
3-30 @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

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points