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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 9
September 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at HOU NYG at NYJ CIN at ARZ GB at MIN Buffalo
IND at MIA OAK at DET PIT at SEA Mon 9 PM Cleveland
JAX at BAL SD at CHI PHI at ATL NE at DEN Kansas City
NO at TB WAS at DAL STL at SF *updated Tennessee
   
Carolina vs Houston Sun, Nov 2; 1 PM on FOX at Reliant Stadium
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 0 0 210,2
RB Stephen Davis 110,1 10 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 20 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 50,1 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 10 0
WR Steve Smith 0 100,1 0
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Banks 10 0 180,1
RB Domanick Davis 80 30 0
TE Billy Miller 0 20 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 30 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 50 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40,1 0

Game Prediction: CAR 23, HOU 13

Panthers Notes

Carolina rises to 6-1 with their win over the Saints

Quarterbacks: Jake Delhomme dropped considerably from his big 362 yard game against the Titans and only managed 148 against the Saints. However, he is almost perfect handing off to Stephen Davis so he nails the most important part of the job description. Just as important, Delhomme had no interceptions last week.

Running backs: Stephen Davis returned to workhorse status last week, running the ball 31 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. De'Shaun Foster only had three carries but still managed 25 yards as well. While Davis has had lesser games against tough defenses this season, he has been an absolute gem against anything less. Enter the Texans, stage right.

Wide Receivers: Steve Smith is a mouthy, diminutive receiver with an apparent Napoleon complex but at the rate he is going, he may go beat up England in the offseason. Smith has become the entirety of the passing game, logging three consecutive 100 yard efforts and two touchdowns since his outburst. The impressive rookie Walter Young played last week but never could snare any of the the six passes thrown to him. Muhsin Muhammad should return this week but that would likely only add to Smith, not detract.

Tight Ends: Kris Mangum, one catch, move along. The only time the tight end position matters is when the Panthers are way behind and throwing every down. Not likely this week.

Match against the defense: Looks like another week for Davis to rev the engine and start mowing. The Texans have managed to hold most runners to just under 100 yards but almost every game has a rushing score. Priest Holmes had two.

Delhomme can have moderate success throwing but most probable he will not need to air it out too much. Just hand off to Davis a few times and then throw to Smith. Then hand off to Davis a few...

Texans Notes

The Texans fall to 2-5 and are on a three game losing streak.

Quarterbacks: David Carr suffered from an ankle sprain last week and is doubtful to play this Sunday. Carr was a solid 8 of 9 in the game before leaving but Tony Banks went 12 of 17 for 88 yards and one interception. Banks will be working out with the first team this week and preparing to start if Carr cannot play which I am assuming will be the case.

Running backs: The Texans are losing games, but they are happier about it with a new running game thanks to Domanick "where have you been" Davis. Last week in Indy, Davis ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns and added seven catches for 27 yards. The previous week he had 129 yards on 27 carries. Stacey Mack only had one carry last week and may not see that much this Sunday.

Wide Receivers: With the Texans spending so much time running the past two weeks, both Jabar Gaffney and Andre Johnson have been used sparingly. Last week both only had four catches and combined for only 87 yards receiving. Now with Tony Banks as quarterback, that may not be seeing much increase. Of the 17 pass attempts by Banks last week, only three each went to Johnson or Gaffney in a game that they then trailed. He threw six times to Domanick Davis and twice to Bradford.

Tight Ends: Billy Miller had a score last week but it was from David Carr. Tony Banks threw two of the four receptions by Miller against the Colts.

Match against the defense: The problem for the Texans is that they have concentrated on their running game which has not been successful enough by itself to win games. With Carr out, they will likely want to continue running but now face a defense that is top ranked against the run and downright stubborn to backs not named Deuce.

With Carr out, the Panthers will undoubtedly be committing more attention against the run but Davis should offset that with his role in the passing game.

Banks has never started for the Texans before, but he is certain to be a step down from David Carr. That will affect the passing numbers against a defense that has been soft only against wideouts. Gaffney and Johnson may be well in the game, but it would stem more from trash time than helping to win a game.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CAR Scores
30
4
23
30
4
17
HOU Allows
29
25
31
8
23
27
CAR AP
-1
21
8
-23
19
10
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
HOU Scores
11
9
12
21
26
30
CAR Allows
22
7
27
10
15
11
HOU AP
11
-2
15
-11
-11
-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.
CAR
HOU
2003 Game Averages
HOU
CAR
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
174
254
Pass yards
232
232
1.0
2.0
Pass TDs
1.0
1.3
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
2
5
Rush yards
10
8
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.3
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
156
108
Rush yards
103
97
0.7
0.9
Rush TDs
0.7
0.3
37
45
Receive yards
45
36
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
113
188
Receive yards
157
149
0.9
1.6
Receive TD's
0.9
1.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
24
21
Receive yards
29
39
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.4
1.3
Field Goals
1.1
1.7
1.9
3.7
Extra Points
2.0
1.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.7
Fumbles
0.7
1.0
0.7
1.4
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
0.1
0.6
Touchdowns
0.0
0.1
2.4
1.7
Sacks
1.1
1.9
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Panthers (6-1)
Score Opp.
24-23 JAX
12-9 @TB
Week 3 BYE
23-3 ATL
19-13 NO
23-20 @IND
17-37 TEN
23-20 @NO
Week 9 @HOU
Week 10 TB
Week 11 WAS
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 PHI
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 @ARZ
Week 16 DET
Week 17 @NYG
Texans (2-4)
Score Opp.
21-20 @MIA
10-31 @NO
14-42 KC
24-20 JAX
Week 5 BYE
17-38 @TEN
14-19 NYJ
21-30 @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

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points