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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
   
NY Jets vs Philadelphia Sun, Oct 26; 4 PM on CBS at Osaka Dome
  New York Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 200,1
RB Curtis Martin 40 10 0
RB Lamont Jordan 20 10 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10,1 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 50 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 30 0
WR Santana Moss 0 70 0
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 10 0 130
RB Duce Staley 10 0 0
RB Correll Buckhalter 30,1 10 0
RB Brian Westbrook 70,1 20 0
TE Chad Lewis 0 10 0
WR James Thrash 10 30 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 20 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 20 0


Game Prediction: NYJ 13, PHI 17

Update: Todd Pinkston has a knee contusion that he aggravated last week against the Giants. He is still expected to play but I have slightly lowered his numbers as if anyone out there is still starting Todd Pinkston. Wayne Chrebet is again questionable to play with his back injury and I am removing him from the projections since there is a risk he does not play or does very limited.

This should be a very low scoring game. The Eagles cannot throw and the Jets cannot run. The difference is that the Eagles can run at least average or better and the Jets on the road in Philly will get their final reminder on why Chad Pennington is so important.

NY Jets Notes

The Jets are slowly climbing back out of their annual hole and are 2-4 after squeaking past the Texans last week.

Quarterbacks: Vinny Testaverde will start this week but Chad Pennington will be entering the game at some point for the first time this season. HC Herman Edwards has admitted that Pennington will be entering the game sometime between the opening kickoff and final gun, but was intentionally elusive about any further details.

Running Backs: The Jets produced an actual rushing game last week and Curtis Martin ran 18 times for 88 yards. Lamont Jordan gained 40 yards on seven carries and now that they face one of the toughest rushing defenses this week they can get over the happy, warm feelings.

Wide Receivers: Since Wayne Chrebet was out last week with a back problem, Curtis Conway stepped in and delivered a mere one catch for three yards. Santana Moss had the bulk of the passing game with 111 yards on six catches including an 18-yard touchdown. The passing game will be needed more this week against the Eagles since rushing will be harder and the Eagle secondary is still coming back to health.

Tight Ends: After his exciting two touchdown performance in week six, Anthony Becht returned to the two catches for 30 yards player we all knew.

Match against the defense: The Eagles tough run defense versus the mediocre attack of the Jets means that Martin and Jordan are due to return to their more pedestrian numbers this week.

The wildcard is how much Pennington plays since he brings an entirely different set of strengths to the offense than Vinny does (like passing and not throwing interceptions). The specter of Pennington returning could be just a ploy to make the Eagles prepare for more than one quarterback but since Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent have returned, the Eagles are back to being stingy against the pass. They held Collins to only 174 yards last week and Carter to only 146 the game before that.

Chances are best that Pennington will not play a significant amount yet and there is little reason to chance getting him hurt again if he is not fully healthy yet. Expect that Testaverde takes most of the snaps and the Jets continue to have problems on the road.

Philadelphia Notes

The Eagles rise to 3-3 on the season thanks to the improbable comeback victory over the Giants last week when Brian Westbrook returned a punt for a touchdown.

Quarterbacks: Donovan McNabb is redefining what being merely "bad" is all about. Last week he only managed to throw for 64 yards in the entire game. He completed 9 of 23 passes. Almost all the catches were in the first half. This against a NYG secondary no less. HC Andy Reid still is committed to McNabb in that "you have pictures of me and the secretary" sort of way. Last season the Eagles lost McNabb and never missed a beat. This year they have him back and are going down the drain. McNabb is not even running anymore, last week he had a total of (-1) yards on three runs. Exactly how does a thumb affect the ability to run? Oh yes - when the defense already has ten men on the line.

Reid did slightly budge to say that if McNabb's thumb bothered him more, he might revert to Koy Detmer.

Running Backs: The Giants were predictably tough against the run last week, but Brian Westbrook still gained 67 yards on 15 carries and scored in his fourth consecutive game. Westbrook's 15 carries were well above those of Duce Staley (1-5) or Correll Buckhalter (3-19) and currently he is the only aspect of the Eagles offense that is a positive.

Wide Receivers: The Eagles should be asking the receivers to help sell hot dogs and beer in the stands because they are little more than a drain on the organization right now. In the entire game in New York last week, the wideouts - all of them - combined for a grand total of one catch for six yards. Thanks Mr. Pinkston, you saved the team from an even further embarrassment. Having wideouts on the Eagles is like installing a disco ball at a monastery.

Tight Ends: Actually that one catch by L.J. Smith for 25 yards proved to be over one third of all passing yardage.

Match against the defense: Let's think. The Jets have been very good against passing and yet bad against the run. Even Domanick Davis looked top notch last week against the Jets. The Eagles apparently have zero discernible passing game anymore and yet are rushing pretty well with Westbrook mixing in with Staley and Buckhalter.

Call me crazy but I bet Philly tries to establish the run. If they are smart - do it on every down.

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
27
27
20
18
9
16
PHI Allows
29
4
21
21
20
27
NYJ AP 2 -23 1 3 11 11
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
PHI Scores
31
8
32
24
30
20
NYJ Allows
7
26
2
10
7
4
PHI AP -24 18 -30 -14 -23 -16
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 PHI 2003 Game Averages PHI NYJ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
212
230
Pass yards
146
182
1.0
1.3
Pass TDs
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.7
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
2
12
Rush yards
30
13
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
-0.2
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
76
73
Rush yards
84
137
0.3
0.2
Rush TDs
1.2
0.7
49
54
Receive yards
40
42
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
141
153
Receive yards
79
112
0.7
0.8
Receive TD's
0.0
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
23
22
Receive yards
28
28
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.2
1.7
Field Goals
1.0
1.5
1.3
2.2
Extra Points
1.8
1.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
1.2
Fumbles
0.7
0.5
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
0.5
0.2
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.2
3.5
3.5
Sacks
1.7
1.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Eagles (3-3)
Score Opp.
0-17 TB
10-31 NE
Week 3 BYE
23-13 @BUF
27-25 WAS
21-23 @DAL
14-10 @NYG
Week 8 NYJ
Week 9 @ATL
Week 10 @GB
Week 11 NYG
Week 12 NO
Week 13 @CAR
Week 14 DAL
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 SF
Week 17 @WAS
Jets (2-4)
Score Opp.
13-16 @WAS
10-21 MIA
16-23 @NE
6-17 DAL
Week 5 BYE
30-3 BUF
19-14 @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