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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
   
Houston vs Cincinnati Sun, Nov 9; 1 PM on CBS at Paul Brown Stadium
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 240,2
RB Domanick Davis 90 20,1 0
TE Billy Miller 0 30 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 90,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 70 0
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 250,2
RB Rudi Johnson 80,1 10 0
RB Corey Dillon 60 0 0
TE Schobel/Stewart 0 40 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 80,1 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 100,1 0

Game Prediction: HOU 14, CIN 27

Update: Corey Dillon's situation is just a mess now. He has stated on Thursday that he does not want to play until he is 100% and he is not 100% yet. He started last week only to leave the game early. This seems far less of a strategic ploy and more along the lines of yet more of the soap opera Dillon has provided the past few weeks. I am removing him from the projections and expecting that Johnson takes most and maybe all the carries. Dillon has expressed a desire to be traded and at current rate, he is apparently trying to tick off the fans enough that they will all chip in for the plane ticket out of town.

On the road, the Texans have never given up less than 20 points while the Bengals have a total of 61 points in their last two homestands. The Texans are coming off a big win for the franchise while the Bengals slink back home with the "I Lost in Arizona" bumperstickers that are becoming surprisingly popular.

Look for the Bengals to make up for last week and the Texans to lose their fourth on the road.

Houston Notes

The Texans rise to 3-5 with their win over the Panthers last week.

Quarterbacks: With David Carr nursing a sore ankle last week, Tony Banks took his first start as a Texan and recorded a win by throwing for a very efficient 13 of 19 for 154 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Chances are Banks will now return to the bench since Carr is expected to get back into the lineup. Banks will get to add to his resume' that he is the only quarterback for the Texans with a perfect winning record.

Running backs: Domanick Davis only gained 74 yards on 12 carries last week before leaving the game with a bruised chest and ribs. He considered returning to the game but decided not to risk it. In his place, Stacey Mack ran 15 times for 26 yards and reminded the staff why he lost his starting job. He did score one short touchdown. Mack also banged up his knee in the game.

Davis is expected to return to the field this week and will practice on Wednesday.

Wide Receivers: Though the passing was meager, Andre Johnson still managed 64 yards on four catches. The wideouts have not mattered much for Houston since Domanick Davis took off a few weeks ago.

Tight Ends: Billy Miller had four catches for 37 yards but his one handed 20-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter not only was impressive, it provided the winning margin in the game last week.

Match against the defense: This week the Texans travel to Cincinnati where Domanick Davis should enjoy a big game though much of his production may be in the passing scheme if the Bengals can gain a lead.

David Carr should try to play - this will be one of his best matchups of the season against a team that allowed the last two visiting quarterbacks - Kyle Boller and Matt Hasselbeck - to both exceed 300 yards passing and score at least twice through the air. Look for a nice game from Andre Johnson and Jabar Gaffney after doing little for the past month. CB Jeff Burris had his second concussion of the season last week and CB Artrell Hawkins complained of soreness after the Cardinals game.

Cincinnati Notes

The Bengals fall to 3-5 on the season which in the AFC North still keeps them in title contention.

Quarterbacks: Jon Kitna had an unusually bad day in the sand trap that is Arizona last week. He was only 21 of 38 for 218 yards and a score but threw two interceptions. Kitna returns home where his last two games had five touchdowns and no interceptions against the Ravens and Seahawks - both better defenses than the Texans will bring.

Running backs: This position is becoming a weekly guessing game. Last week Corey Dillon played but after only seven carries for five yards, he puled himself out of the game due to his never-ending groin strain. Rudi Johnson had a respectable 34 yards on only eight carries and scored once though the Bengals opted for throwing interceptions instead of rushing in the second half.

This week I am assuming that Dillon plays, gets hurt, and Johnson comes in and finishes. It is the safest bet.

Wide Receivers: Peter Warrick (7-55, 1 TD) and Chad Johnson (4-75) turned in about their average day last week and should have more fun against the defense ranked 32nd against wide receivers.

Tight Ends: With everything going wrong last week and the running game abandoned, the tight ends chipped in for seven catches and 63 yards split out between Tony Stewart and Matt Schobel. Reggie Kelly still has his foot in a cast though it is expected to be removed early this week.

Match against the defense: The Texans have been equally bad at stopping the run and the pass, but since the Bengals have an unsettled situation at tailback, the safest bet here is that Jon Kitna makes amends for last weeks and looks to pick apart the Texans secondary. Realize that the three wins by Houston have been against teams that had problems passing at that time - MIA, JAX and CAR. Against good passing teams like the Colts and Titans they had no answer for what happened to them.

This is a great week to start both Warrick and Johnson.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
HOU Scores
15
6
16
13
32
31
CIN Allows
29
21
24
31
10
2
HOU AP
14
15
8
18
-22
-29
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CIN Scores
11
32
5
7
21
16
HOU Allows
25
26
32
7
22
28
CIN AP
14
-6
17
0
1
12
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.
HOU
CIN
2003 Game Averages
CIN
HOU
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
216
258
Pass yards
222
260
1.2
1.8
Pass TDs
1.7
1.7
0.8
1.0
Interceptions
0.7
1.0
11
4
Rush yards
8
6
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
108
108
Rush yards
66
124
1.0
0.5
Rush TDs
0.5
1.0
47
36
Receive yards
19
40
0.0
0.5
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
132
171
Receive yards
151
191
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
1.3
1.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
37
51
Receive yards
51
29
0.3
0.5
Receive TD's
0.3
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
0.3
1.2
Field Goals
1.3
1.5
2.3
2.3
Extra Points
2.3
3.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.2
Fumbles
0.8
0.8
1.0
0.7
Interceptions
1.0
1.3
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.5
0.7
2.0
Sacks
2.3
1.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Texans (3-4)
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
14-10 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
Bengals (3-5)
Score Opp.
10-30 DEN
20-23 @OAK
10-17 PIT
21-14 @CLE
16-22 @BUF
Week 6 BYE
34-26 BAL
27-24 SEA
14-17 @ARZ
Week 10 HOU
Week 11 KC
Week 12 @SD
Week 13 @PIT
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 SF
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CLE

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points