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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 10
November 5, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM TB at CAR Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Weeks
ARZ at PIT HOU at CIN TB at CAR BAL at STL Denver
ATL at NYG IND at JAX MIN at SD Mon 9 PM New England
CHI at DET MIA at TEN BUF at DAL PHI at GB New Orleans
CLE at KC SEA at WAS NYJ at OAK *updated San Francisco
   
Buffalo vs Dallas Sun, Nov 9; 4 PM on CBS at Texas Stadium
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 210,1
RB Travis Henry 60 30 0
TE M. Campbell 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 60,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 40 0
WR Bobby Shaw 0 30 0
  Dallas Rush Catch Pass
QB Quincy Carter 0 0 170
RB Richie Anderson 20 20 0
RB Troy Hambrick 80,2 0 0
TE Dan Campbell 0 30 0
WR Joey Galloway 0 30 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 40 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 50 0

Game Prediction: BUF 13, DAL 20

These two teams match up a little better than it may seem. The Bills are struggling against good defenses unless they can pound Henry enough to gain more room for Bledsoe to throw. That is less likely to happen here, at least successfully. Bledsoe will not be stopped, but he will be limited in what he can do and if the Dallas pass rush can get through, the Bills chances will greatly diminish.

These are two teams still trying to forge an identity, but the better defense at home should be just enough to take the win by Dallas.

Buffalo Notes

The Bills come off a bye week with a 4-4 record.

Quarterbacks: Drew Bledsoe comes off a restful week, but his last game in Kansas City was a disaster. He completed 23 of 54 for only 153 yards and three interceptions. Even against the Redskins he only managed 244 and one score and the week before he had 202 yards and no scores against the Giants.

The team lost a lot when Peerless Price opted to go to that passing Mecca of Atlanta and with Eric Moulds injured, they had little to rely on in the passing game. The good news is that Moulds will be back to full health this week but the bad news is that Bills travel to Dallas to face the #1 passing defense.

Running backs: Travis Henry has been running better as of late, gaining 167 yards and two scores against the pathetic Redskins and picking up 124 yards against the Chiefs. The two games prior to those rush happy defenses yielded only 138 combined yards on 43 carries - a 3.2 yard average.

Wide Receivers: As noted, Eric Moulds is finally feeling completely healthy though he did have six catches for 53 yards against the Chiefs even though he was still hurting. Josh Reed had eight catches in each of the last two games and broke the 100 yard mark against the Redskins but now the wideouts get to face the #1 defense against receivers.

Tight Ends: Mark Campbell continues to be good for three or four catches a game but has yet to score this season.

Match against the defense: This will be a definite tough test for the Bills. Travis Henry faces a defense that has not faced a top back this year but has been effective in shutting down the mediocre ones on the schedule. So far the most effective runner as a visitor in Dallas has been Buckhalter who had only 52 yards. Henry has been great against bad defenses but has struggled against good ones and in Dallas will more likely have a low output game.

Bledsoe goes against a secondary that has not allowed a quarterback to throw for over 151 yards in the past four games though the schedule has not exactly been full of great talent so far. The 151 yards was Brad Johnson's but in that shutout the Bucs were not throwing anyway.

The Cowboys high ranking is largely a product of facing some of the worst teams in the league, but they have been effective in rattling quarterbacks and Bledsoe has been under siege in the past few weeks. Eric Moulds should have a nice game if only from his volume of passes but beyond him the chances are that neither Shaw or Reed will have a good game. The Cowboys feature a great tandem at safety with Roy Williams and Darren Woodson and should at least be able to hold down any yards after the catch.

Dallas Notes

Dallas rises to 6-2 with their win over the Redskins and are one game ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East.

Quarterbacks: Quincy Carter started out well this season but has cooled considerably. He has not passed for over 200 yards in the past four games and had two interceptions in each of the past two weeks. Half of his starts have not produced a passing score.

Running backs: Troy Hambrick gained 100 yards on 21 carries last week against Washington and he scored twice but he also lost two fumbles. Adrian Murrell barely had time to iron out the wrinkles on his new uniform before gaining 20 yards on nine carries and adding 22 yards on two catches. Richie Anderson missed last week with a herniated disc and was replaced by Murrell but is expected back for this game.

Wide Receivers: The "Big 3" in Dallas is turning into the Terry Glenn show. Last week Glenn had six catches for 73 yards and one touchdown and added 47 yards on a reverse. Joey Galloway only had one catch for 14 yards which makes his three game total of three receptions for 40 yards. Antonio Bryant added 52 yards on five catches but as the #3 receiver he drifts in and out of the game plan. He had no catches the previous week.

Tight Ends: Just the standard two catches by Daniel Campbell for 29 yards.

Match against the defense: Troy Hambrick faces a defense that is at least average against the run. The Eagles gained 131 yards and two scores when hosting the Bills and Rudi Johnson had 69 yards and a score when Buffalo came to town. Hambrick should see moderate success running the ball.

Carter is likely to remain under that 200 yard mark facing a defense that has above average cornerbacks. Terry Glenn draws CB Antoine Winfield on most plays which should limit what he can do. The Cowboys will look to win the game with solid defense and rushing the ball which will lead to low numbers passing. The only team with great success against the Bills secondary has been the Chiefs who employ a much more varied passing scheme with Tony Gonzalez and Dante Hall as a #3.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
BUF Scores
25
26
22
29
31
24
DAL Allows
1
5
3
1
1
14
BUF AP
-24
-21
-19
-28
-30
-10
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
DAL Scores
22
9
18
31
26
9
BUF Allows
5
20
9
26
21
30
DAL AP
-17
11
-9
-5
-5
21
Offensive ranks lower = gains more points, Defensive ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advatage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
BUF
DAL
2003 Game Averages
DAL
BUF
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
203
144
Pass yards
186
179
0.5
0.8
Pass TDs
1.2
1.2
1.8
0.8
Interceptions
1.2
0.5
3
4
Rush yards
14
13
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
81
81
Rush yards
110
103
0.5
0.3
Rush TDs
0.8
1.2
28
36
Receive yards
44
17
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
151
90
Receive yards
121
125
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
1.0
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
24
18
Receive yards
20
37
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.0
0.8
Field Goals
1.2
1.8
1.3
1.3
Extra Points
2.2
2.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.8
Fumbles
0.7
1.0
0.5
1.0
Interceptions
0.8
1.8
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.3
1.7
Sacks
2.2
3.5
0.2
0.0
Safeties
0.3
0.0
Bills (4-4)
Score Opp.
31-0 NE
38-17 @JAX
7-17 @MIA
13-23 PHI
22-16 CIN
3-30 @NYJ
24-7 WAS
5-38 @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
Cowboys (6-2)
Score Opp.
13-27 ATL
35-32 @NYG
Week 3 BYE
17-6 @NYJ
24-7 ARZ
23-21 PHI
38-7 @DET
0-16 @TB
21-14 WAS
Week 10 BUF
Week 11 @NE
Week 12 CAR
Week 13 MIA
Week 14 @PHI
Week 15 @WAS
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @NO

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points