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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
   
Jacksonville vs Baltimore Sun, Nov 2; 1 PM on CBS at Ravens Stadium
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 230,1
RB Fred Taylor 70 10 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 10 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 90,1 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 80 0
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 0 0 140,1
RB Jamal Lewis 130,2 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 50,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 20 0
WR Frank Sanders 0 40 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 10 0

Game Prediction: JAX 10, BAL 25

It is not that the Jaguars are a bad team, it's that they.. No wait. They sort of are a bad team. Byron Leftwich is obviously talented but can also be prone to making errors - he has six interceptions in the last two games against Miami and Tennessee. Short field, Jamal Lewis - bada-bing.

Jacksonville Notes

The Jaguars are 1-6 and come off a whooping by the Titans.

Quarterbacks: Byron Leftwich only completed 15 of 28 passes for 158 yards and one score against three interceptions before he was yanked from the Titans game. David Garrard finished up the tilt. The Jaguars were unable to mount anything against the Titans but Leftwich had been hot when facing soft defenses of Houston and San Diego. Now he gets to go to Baltimore.

Leftwich sprained his ankle last week but continued to play and should be fine this Sunday to play.

Running backs: Fred Taylor only had nine rushes last week for 48 yards which was actually better than the 35 yards he had the week before against Miami. Taylor has been good this season against soft defenses. Now he gets to go to Baltimore.

Wide Receivers: If there was a bright spot, it was that Jimmy Smith (3-60, 1 TD) and Troy Edwards (4-63) are still the primary targets against a tough defense. The best play of the game was Smith's 49 yard touchdown catch in the second quarter when it was still a close game. Edwards has developed into a reliable target for Leftwich and receives more passes than any player other than Smith and Taylor.

Tight Ends: Kyle Brady and George Wrighster combined for seven catches and 54 yards last week with Wrighster catching a touchdown. Wrighster has two touchdowns on the season in the only two games where he had a catch.

Match against the defense: Fred Taylor should turn in another sub-par day this week against one of the toughest rushing defenses in the league. Byron Leftwich has a chance for some yardage and a score but it will almost certainly come later in trash time since the Ravens have allowed five of the seven opponent quarterbacks to throw at least one touchdown.

Baltimore Notes

The Ravens are 4-3 and leading the AFC North. They come off a solid win over the Broncos.

Quarterbacks: Kyle Boller had a mild sprained shoulder last week but managed a effective 137 yard, one touchdown game with no interceptions. While his 302 yard game against the Bengals was fun, it was hardly the norm and unless the Ravens fall behind by a touchdown or more, there is little reason for Boller to air it out.

Running backs: Facing the normally stout Denver defense, Jamal Lewis gained 134 yards the old fashioned way - he carried the ball 32 times. He scored one touchdown and his three catches for 28 yards helped the chains to keep moving. Jamal is going to like the visiting Jaguars even more.

Wide Receivers: Travis Taylor came off his monster 138 yard, two touchdown game over the Bengals and had only one catch for five yards last week. It was fun while it lasted. If you put all the wideouts together, you pretty much equal Todd Heap in most games.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap led all receivers with 54 yards and three catches, with a touchdown challenge lost. Heap suffered a sore neck in the game but continued to play and should be fine this week.

Match against the defense: Last week Eddie George gained 88 yards and had two touchdowns. The week before, Ricky Williams ran for 75 yards and scored. Those games were both homestands and this week the defense gets to see what a 30 carry runner looks like.

Kyle Boller could make a little noise here if he wants. CB Jason Craft may miss another game due to a knee injury and as evidenced by the 1-6 record, teams are choosing how they want to beat the Jaguars. Todd Heap should have a decent game as well.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
JAX Scores
7
12
13
24
23
28
BAL Allows
13
2
17
29
14
10
JAX AP
6
-10
4
5
-9
-18
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
BAL Scores
32
3
31
4
6
9
JAX Allows
24
16
30
3
21
23
BAL AP
-8
13
-1
-1
15
14
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.
JAX
BAL
2003 Game Averages
BAL
JAX
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
239
210
Pass yards
140
219
1.3
1.4
Pass TDs
0.7
1.7
1.1
1.4
Interceptions
2.6
1.0
8
9
Rush yards
5
5
0.3
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
86
80
Rush yards
162
85
0.4
0.4
Rush TDs
1.0
1.0
58
32
Receive yards
24
34
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
156
141
Receive yards
57
158
0.9
0.9
Receive TD's
0.4
1.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
38
Receive yards
60
28
0.1
0.6
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.6
Field Goals
2.1
1.4
1.9
2.0
Extra Points
2.1
3.1
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.9
Fumbles
0.3
1.0
1.0
1.0
Interceptions
1.4
1.3
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.4
0.1
1.4
2.3
Sacks
2.6
2.4
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Ravens (4-3)
Score Opp.
15-34 @PIT
33-13 CLE
24-10 @SD
10-17 KC
Week 5 BYE
26-18 @ARZ
26-34 @CIN
26-6 DEN
Week 9 JAX
Week 10 @STL
Week 11 @MIA
Week 12 SEA
Week 13 SF
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT
Jaguars (1-6)
Score Opp.
23-24 @CAR
17-38 BUF
13-23 @IND
20-24 @HOU
27-21 SD
10-24 MIA
Week 7 BYE
17-30 TEN
Week 9 @BAL
Week 10 IND
Week 11 @TEN
Week 12 @NYJ
Week 13 TB
Week 14 HOU
Week 15 @NE
Week 16 NO
Week 17 @ATL

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points