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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
   
Indianapolis vs Miami Sun, Nov 2; 1 PM on CBS at Pro Player Stadium
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 280,2
RB Edgerrin James 50 30 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 30 0
TE Dallas Clark Q Q Q
WR Marvin Harrison 0 80,1 0
WR Troy Walters 0 40,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 60 0
  Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 0 0 230,2
RB Ricky Williams 120,1 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 100,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 30 0
WR James McKnight 0 40,1 0

Game Prediction: IND 20, MIA 24

Update: Dallas Clark is still questionable to play due to his hamstring strain and I have removed him from the projections.

No visitor has scored more than 21 points in Miami and disregarding the trap game that opened the season, no team has scored more than 17. Other then week one, the Colts have not scored less than 20 and have four games over 30 points.

Miami is at home and no doubt have reviewed the IND-TB game film with the same attention that Pam Anderson's video generated on the internet. The Colts have allowed at least 21 points to their last four opponents while the Fins basically have not allowed more than one touchdown to their last five opponents.

Indianapolis Notes

The Colts are 6-1 and leading the AFC South by a half game. They come off a good thumping of the Texans.

Quarterbacks: Peyton Manning 'yawn' threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans and has been nothing short of incredible since week four in Tampa Bay. He's heading to Florida again this week.

Running backs: Edgerrin James finally returned to play last week and gained 104 yards on 23 carries but has not been a part of the passing game in a long time. That will need to change this week. Dominic Rhodes only had two carries last week.

Wide Receivers: While Marvin Harrison gained his standard eight catches for 100 yards against the Texans, Reggie Wayne had his second big outing of the year with a 96 yard, two touchdown game. Wayne has five touchdowns on the year. Brandon Stokley finally showed up in time to not catch his two throws while Troy Walters remains a target almost as much as Wayne, even in the redzone.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark missed last week but is slated to return for this game. When Pollard had it all to himself against Houston, he had four catches for 32 yards and one touchdown.

Match against the defense: Edgerrin James will find tough running in Miami where no visiting running back has exceeded 89 yards or scored any touchdowns. Travis Henry (7 yards) and Kevin Faulk (38 yards) never even had one good run. The Fins also held Taylor to only 35 yards and Barber to but 71 yards.

The Fins have been beaten through the air and allowed Tom Brady (283), Collins (276) and Leftwich (256) to record good efforts. Manning will need to throw in order to win but the duo of CB Madison and Surtain have been very tough on wideouts, allowing only Troy Brown to record a big game that literally came on one play in overtime. That spells more use of James and the tight ends in the passing scheme.

Miami Notes

The Dolphins are 5-2 and are only a half game back in the AFC East. They come off a Monday night win in Arizona over San Diego.

Quarterbacks: Brian Griese filled in for Jay Fiedler on Monday night and looked almost flawless the first half. He threw for 192 yards in the game with three touchdowns and completed twelve passes to the wideouts - their highest of the season. Basically, Griese did everything that Fiedler has been doing but made completions down the field. I am assuming that Griese starts again and that Fiedler sits though HC Dave Wannstedt was very adamant that he did not want to discuss the roles this week. This is no time to get stubborn, Dave.

Running backs: Ricky Williams ran for 69 yards on 23 carries on Monday, adding 26 more on five catches. He has not turned in a 100 yard rushing effort since week three though he has scored twice. By the same token he is getting literally all the carries in many games and never sees more than three carries go to someone else.

Wide Receivers: As noted, Griese came out and started hitting the wideouts like they had been there all season. Chris Chambers had four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, James McKnight gained 43 yards on six receptions for a score and even - get this - Derrius Thompson had three catches for 65 yards. The fact that the Dolphins led handily in most of the game was the only limiting factor to the passing game. Griese just missed on some deep throws as well. Imagine - throwing bombs in Miami!

Tight Ends: With the wideouts actually working, Randy McMichael only had three catches for 24 yards but scored once and almost had a second one.

Match against the defense: The Dolphins have won the past four times these teams have met but this season will prove a tough challenge for them. Assuming Griese can play, the Colts have allowed yardage in the air when faced with a good passing team like Tampa Bay (318 yards). Keenan McCardell had two scores and 106 yards against them playing the same side as Chambers. Steve Smith had 103 yards and a score against them last week from the right side as well.

The Colts have also been hurt on the ground lately, allowing Domanick Davis (109 yards), Pittman (106), Taylor (126) and Davis/Foster (161) to ran well against them. This should spell a good game for Ricky Williams because no one wants to leave time on the clock for Indy to use.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
IND Scores
4
19
4
8
1
15
MIA Allows
20
16
26
11
24
7
IND AP
16
-3
22
3
23
-8
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
MIA Scores
16
1
23
5
6
12
IND Allows
6
21
10
17
5
1
MIA AP
-10
20
-13
12
-1
-11
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.
IND
MIA
2003 Game Averages
MIA
IND
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
268
249
Pass yards
187
197
2.1
0.6
Pass TDs
1.3
1.1
0.7
1.7
Interceptions
1
1.1
1
10
Rush yards
10
5
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
----- 
RB's
----- 
---
90
64
Rush yards
97
119
0.7
0.3
Rush TDs
0.6
0.6
27
44
Receive yards
41
34
0.3
0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
----- 
WR's
----- 
---
187
175
Receive yards
103
121
1.6
0.6
Receive TD's
0.9
1.0
---
----- 
TE's
----- 
---
54
30
Receive yards
43
42
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
----- 
PK's
----- 
---
2.6
1.6
Field Goals
1.1
1.3
3.1
1.1
Extra Points
2.4
2.0
---
----- 
DEF/ST
----- 
---
0.6
1.0
Fumbles
0.7
0.6
0.9
1.0
Interceptions
1.9
0.6
0.3
0.1
Touchdowns
0.1
0.0
1.9
1.3
Sacks
2.4
0.6
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Colts (6-1)
Score Opp.
9-6 @CLE
33-7 TEN
23-13 JAX
55-21 @NO
38-35 @TB
20-23 CAR
Week 7 BYE
30-21 HOU
Week 9 @MIA
Week 10 @JAX
Week 11 NYJ
Week 12 @BUF
Week 13 NE
Week 14 @TEN
Week 15 ATL
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 @HOU
Dolphins (5-2)
Score Opp.
20-21 HOU
21-10 @NYJ
17-7 BUF
Week 4 BYE
23-10 @NYG
24-10 @JAX
13-19 NE
26-10 @SD
Week 9 IND
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 BAL
Week 12 WAS
Week 13 @DAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 PHI
Week 16 @BUF
Week 17 NYJ

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points