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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 22, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *DET at CHI Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at NO NYG at MIN HOU at IND BUF at KC Atlanta
*CLE at NE SEA at CIN *NYJ at PHI Mon 9 PM Green Bay
DAL at TB *STL at PIT *SF at ARZ *MIA at SD Oakland
*DEN at BAL TEN at JAX   *updated Washington
   
Buffalo vs Kansas City Sun, Oct 26; 8:30 PM on ESPN at Arrowhead Stadium
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 230,1
RB Travis Henry 80,1 30 0
TE M. Campbell 0 30 0
WR Eric Moulds Q Q Q
WR Josh Reed 0 80,1 0
WR Bobby Shaw 0 60 0
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 190,1
RB Priest Holmes 100,1 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 20 0
WR Marc Boerigter 0 10 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40 0


Game Prediction: BUF 17, KC 20

The only question here is how tired the Chiefs are after a Monday night on the road against an opponent that drained them a bit. The Chiefs are due for a letdown soon and have won their last four games by a touchdown or less. Then again, the Bills last two road trips to Miami and the NY Jets ended up with them getting hammered.

Both teams will be heading into their bye week but with the Chiefs at home and with a better matchup, look for them to do the unthinkable and stay perfect through the first half of their season.

Buffalo Notes

The Bills rise to 4-3 after their scalping of the Redskins last week.

Quarterbacks: Facing the Skins, Drew Bledsoe was efficient in completing 19 of 26 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown in a game that Eric Moulds missed with a groin injury. He connected well with Josh Reed and had only one interception.

Running Backs: Travis Henry must have read the papers about Willis McGahee because he kicked it up several notches against Washington, gaining 167 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns. Gaining 5.4 yards a carry about twice his normal average.

Wide Receivers: With Eric Moulds missing his second game, Josh Reed turned in a big eight catch, 109 yard effort with one touchdown while Bobby Shaw was limited to only three catches for 23 yards thanks to drawing Champ Bailey in coverage. It was a breakout effort by Reed but almost expected since Shaw was largely taken out of the equation. By the same token, Reed was able to get past his old problem with dropping passes and only had one that should have been caught but wasn't.

Since Moulds is still suffering from his groin injury, I am projecting the game considering that he is out but will update as needed.

Tight Ends: Mark Campbell continues to cruise as the three catch guy,

Match against the defense: The Bills may catch a small break in that the Chiefs are coming off a short week and close win over the Raiders. Kansas City is primed for an eventual fall since they are undefeated.

The Chiefs have yielded big games to Clinton Portis, Ahman Green and Jamal Lewis, so Travis Henry should find at least moderate success though playing at Arrowhead will be tough.

Drew Bledsoe faces a secondary that appears to be stout, but in reality has faced Drew Brees, David Carr and Kyle Boller to help keep the numbers lower. All but Boller and the Oakland crew have thrown touchdowns against the Chiefs. Rod Smith, Andre Johnson and Hines Ward all had 100 yard efforts against them so getting Moulds back would be a benefit. Facing one of the highest scoring offenses means that the Bills may end up slanting towards the passing game in order to keep up with Kansas City.

Kansas City Notes

Improbable? Perhaps, but a reality that the Chiefs are 7-0 and own the best record in the NFL after taking down the Raiders last Monday.

Quarterbacks: Trent Green left his 400 yard, 3 touchdown explosion over the Packers to only gain 206 yards passing with no scores against the Raiders. He did rush in one score himself but is back at home where he has been posting his most mediocre yardage games this year.

Running Backs: Priest Holmes finally returned to a 100 yard rushing effort when he gained 123 yards on 27 carries against Oakland. It was his first 100 yard game in five games and he added 50 yards receiving on only four catches.

Wide Receivers: Going back to the basics, Trent Green used Holmes and Gonzalez to win the game and only had three completions to the wideouts. Eddie Kennison led the group with one catch for 43 yards. Johnnie Morton only had 19 yards on two receptions. The big game against Green Bay by Morton and Kennison was not the norm.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez had three catches for 87 yards last week and snared the passes like he was a wideout. When a tight end averages almost 30 yards a catch, that ain't no normal tight end.

Match against the defense: The biggest question here is if the Chiefs are tired from the short week and ready yet for the almost certain letdown game. They match up well against the Bills since the only really good running back that has played the Bills so far this season was Ricky Williams and he gained 153 yards.

The Bills have a great CB in Antoine Winfield but when he shuts down Johnnie Morton - so what? Where the Bills defense becomes average is against top runners and tight ends and that is exactly what the Chiefs have to offer. Shut down Eddie Kennison too - here, take Boerigter while you are at it. That doesn't matter. What matters is how well Holmes gets on track and if he concerns the linebackers enough to let Gonzalez get a little room.

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
21
17
17
21
27
17
KC Allows
16
24
7
26
6
5
BUF AP -5 7 10 5 -21 -12
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
KC Scores
17
2
24
2
10
1
BUF Allows
2
10
4
15
10
11
KC AP -15 8 -20 13 0 10
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.

BUF KC 2003 Game Averages KC BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
228
239 Pass yards 223
167
0.9
1.1 Pass TDs 1.3
0.9
1.0
1.9 Interceptions 0.3
1.0
2
12 Rush yards 6
12
0.1
0 Rush TDs 0.1
0.1
---
-----  RB's ----- 
---
72
106 Rush yards 118
101
1.1
0.7 Rush TDs 1.4
0.6
33
57 Receive yards 55
25
0.1
0.1 Receive TD's 0
0.0
---
-----  WR's ----- 
---
168
143 Receive yards 116
113
0.6
0.6 Receive TD's 0.7
0.6
---
-----  TE's ----- 
---
27
35 Receive yards 52
29
0.1
0.4 Receive TD's 0.6
0.3
---
-----  PK's ----- 
---
1.0
1.3 Field Goals 1.3
1.6
2.4
2.0 Extra Points 3.9
1.6
---
-----  DEF/ST ----- 
---
0.4
0.3 Fumbles 1.0
0.7
1.0
0.9 Interceptions 1.9
1.0
0.3
0.1 Touchdowns 0.9
0.0
1.9
1.4 Sacks 2.6
2.9
0.0
0 Safeties 0
0.0
Bills (4-3)
Score Opp.
31-0 NE
38-17 @JAX
7-17 @MIA
13-23 PHI
22-16 CIN
3-30 @NYJ
24-7 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
Chiefs (7-0)
Score Opp.
27-14 SD
41-20 PIT
42-14 @HOU
17-10 @BAL
24-23 DEN
40-34 @GB
17-10 @OAK
Week 8 BUF
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 CLE
Week 11 @CIN
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 DET
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 CHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points