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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
   
Cleveland vs Kansas City Sun, Nov 9; 1 PM on CBS at Arrowhead Stadium
  Cleveland Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 230,1
RB James Jackson 70,1 10 0
RB Jamel White 20 20 0
TE Steve Heiden 0 20 0
WR Andre Davis 0 70,1 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 80 0
WR Quincy Morgan 0 40 0
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 200,1
RB Priest Holmes 110,2 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 40 0
WR Dante Hall 0 50 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 30 0

Game Prediction: CLE 20, KC 27

Both teams come off a bye week and while the Chiefs are clearly due for an off-week, the Browns do not appear to be the team to cause that. The Browns used their bye week to suspend their running back, change quarterbacks and demote a starting receiver.

Cleveland Notes

Cleveland comes off their bye week with a 3-5 record, a change at quarterback and their starting running back still at home drinking coffee and popping aspirin.

Quarterbacks: The Browns have already announced that Kelly Holcomb will return as the starter this week. He only has a 222 yard game as his best this season and has thrown an interception in every game he has played except for the San Diego loss.

Running backs: Well, William Green evidently has found a way to find comfort in the face of adversity this season. With an offensive line that is not good enough to get in their own way and a shaky passing game that does little to take pressure off him, Green was found driving while intoxicated. You can hardly blame him for the drinking though driving is obviously ill-advised. He also was found with a small amount of marijuana, assumedly for when the buzz from the alcohol wore off. If he had only been found with a handgun he could have won the trifecta. He is suspended by the Browns for one game. No word if the league will take further action but this is his first offense - honest officer - since joining the league.

James Jackson is expected to take the start and remind the world why he lost that job in the first place. He will get some help from Jamel White who looked good last year replacing Green but has had only minimal work in 2003.

Wide Receivers: The Browns have demoted Kevin Johnson and promoted Andre' Davis in his place. Davis only had two catches for 25 yards in the past two games, but they were evidently impressive enough to give him the nod over Johnson who has completely fallen from grace this season. Quincy Morgan and Dennis Northcutt will continue to figure into the plans in that entirely incalculable manner the Browns prefer.

Tight Ends: While Tim Couch liked to use his tight ends, Holcomb is less inclined. Couch had 11 completions to the position for 84 yards in his last two starts. Holcomb only had four completions for 34 yards in his last two starts.

Match against the defense: With Holcomb returning and Davis playing as a starter, the team may catch a spark here if only in trash time. The Chiefs have actually been fairly stout against the pass though and what good comes from any of the Browns receivers will be later in the game.

There is hope that James Jackson does something in his likely only start of the season. This is the same rushing defense that has been shredded by Portis (141), Green (139), Henry (124) and Lewis (115). Then again, James Jackson is hardly in the same class as those runners. He may not even be in the same school district. The Browns will want to run the ball as much as they can in order to keep the Chiefs offense off the field and minimize the chances that Holcomb has to work on his interception ratio.

Kansas City Notes

The Chiefs are a perfect 8-0 with a three and a half game lead on the Broncos in the AFC West. Their biggest challenge is to not peak too early.

Quarterbacks: Trent Green is still following his game plan from last year - inconsistency. He only threw for 128 yards and against the Broncos and then had 400 yards and three scores against the Packers. The next week he was down to only 206 yards against the Raiders with no scores. He is an average quarterback that ends up that way with big peaks and valleys in his performance.

Running backs: Priest Holmes only had 83 yards rushing in his last game but scored a mere three times. The previous week he had 173 total yards and a score. He has carried the ball much less this season, staying under 23 carries in all but two games and only peaking at 27 carries. He is much fresher now than he was last season at this point and the Chiefs are still 8-0.

Wide Receivers: Kansas City continues to have marginal use of their wideouts but are now including Dante Hall in the mix more. Hall had four catches for 107 yards and a score in the last game. Anything to get him the ball is a good idea. Remember Marc Boerigter? You can stop now.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez trails only Shockey for the lead in receiving yards for tight ends in the NFL (410 vs. 489) and is tied with Sharpe for the lead in touchdowns (4).

Match against the defense: The Cleveland defense has been as surprisingly good this season as the offense has been bad. This defense should present a tougher match for the Chiefs than first look may seem likely but at home against the Browns, the Chiefs will manage to mix and match Holmes with enough passing to win the game, especially considering the turnovers that the KC defense has been generating.

While the Browns have held many runners to almost no yardage, they have been torn up by the likes of Jamal Lewis and LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Browns are also less than average at stopping tight ends and Gonzalez is due for another big day.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CLE Scores
19
30
13
25
23
27
KC Allows
8
30
5
17
8
1
CLE AP
-11
0
-8
-8
-15
-26
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
KC Scores
8
4
20
1
12
1
CLE Allows
2
7
1
23
19
16
KC AP
-6
3
-19
22
7
15
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.
CLE
KC
2003 Game Averages
KC
CLE
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
197
216
Pass yards
238
179
1.3
0.8
Pass TDs
1.5
0.7
1.0
2.2
Interceptions
0.7
0.7
3
12
Rush yards
7
9
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
91
131
Rush yards
110
94
0.2
0.8
Rush TDs
1.3
0.3
25
58
Receive yards
48
38
0.2
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
153
125
Receive yards
124
99
1.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.8
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
20
33
Receive yards
67
42
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.7
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.3
Field Goals
1.0
2.2
1.7
1.7
Extra Points
4.0
1.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.2
Fumbles
1.3
0.5
0.7
0.5
Interceptions
2.2
1.0
0.2
0.0
Touchdowns
0.7
0.2
1.3
1.0
Sacks
2.3
2.5
0.0
0.2
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Browns(3-5)
Score Opp.
6-9 IND
13-33 @BAL
13-12 @SF
14-21 CIN
33-13 @PIT
13-7 OAK
20-26 SD
3-9 @NE
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 @KC
Week 11 ARZ
Week 12 PIT
Week 13 @SEA
Week 14 STL
Week 15 @DEN
Week 16 BAL
Week 17 @CIN
Chiefs (7-0)
Score Opp.
27-14 SD
41-20 PIT
42-14 @HOU
17-10 @BAL
24-23 DEN
40-34 @GB
38-5 @OAK
Week 8 BUF
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 CLE
Week 11 @CIN
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 DET
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 CHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points