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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
   
Indianapolis vs Jacksonville Sun, Nov 9; 1 PM on CBS at ALLTEL Stadium
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 220,2
RB Edgerrin James 80 0 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 20 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 60 0
WR Troy Walters 0 30,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 80,1 0
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 230,1
RB Fred Taylor 100,1 20 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 20 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 80,1 0
WR Cortez Hankton 0 20 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 60 0

Game Prediction: IND 23, JAX 14

Update: Dallas Clark returned to practice on Wednesday and is expected to play.

The biggest factor in this matchup is if it becomes a trap game for the Colts. It is easy to overlook a 1-7 opponent, but the Jags have not been beaten by the Colts by much in the past three meetings. The important factor is that they have been beaten every time though.

Look for a slow start by Indy and lower numbers from Manning and Harrison but a win just the same. Just like the last time, the Colts come off a big win (was TEN, now MIA) to face the Jags but just like last time they are good enough to avoid the trap game here.

Indianapolis Notes

The Colts rise to 7-1 and have a one game lead over the Titans in the AFC South.

Quarterbacks: Peyton Manning comes off a solid 23 of 37 for 266 yard effort against the Dolphins with one touchdown pass to Troy Walters. Manning has not thrown for less than 260 yards in a game since his 216 yard game against these same Jaguars in week three.

Running backs: Edgerrin James gained 89 yards on 26 carries against a tough Miami defense. He also scored one touchdown and only had Dominic Rhodes take away five carries from him. His second game back was a solid effort in a tough venue and now gets to play against the Jaguars for the first time this season.

Wide Receivers: Last week Marvin Harrison was held to only six catches for 60 yards by the Miami corners and while Reggie Wayne (2-20) also struggled, Troy Walters scored once on his three passes for 31 yards. The development of Walters has added a nice diversity to the Colts passing game. Brandon Stokely played last week but received a mild concussion and may not play this week. He has only three catches the entire season and is the Colts' version of Wile E. Coyote.

Tight Ends: With Dallas Clark out the past two weeks with a hamstring pull, Marcus Pollard continues to be a bigger factor, turning his two catches into 68 yards. Clark will try to practice this week but is still questionable to play.

Match against the defense: When these two teams played previously, Manning only hit four receivers in the game with completions and James had all the carries with 27 for 76 yards. That was the first game where Reggie Wayne went off and had 141 yards and two scores while Marvin Harrison only turned in four catches for 31 yards.

Manning has not thrown for over 216 yards against the Jaguars in their past three meetings. Marvin Harrison has never gained more than 34 yards in those past three meetings. The Jaguars may not be able to win games but they have been stopping Manning and Harrison if nothing else.

Hard to imagine that the Jaguars will overlook Wayne again after he torched them the last time. With the Colts coming off a big road win, look for them to settle back and play just well enough to win.

Jacksonville Notes

The Jaguars fall to 1-7 and are easily the best 1-7 team on the planet. Then again, they only compare to San Diego and Atlanta.

Quarterbacks: Byron Leftwich had 208 yards passing and one score last week but has now started five games with a total of six lost fumbles and nine interceptions. He has thrown a touchdown in four of the five games.

Running backs: Fred Taylor is still running and still healthy. The difference from past seasons is that he is not running particularly well. Taylor only gained 78 yards on 22 carries against the Ravens last week, and had 48 yards against the Titans. He only had 35 yards against the Dolphins. He is playing the creme of rushing defenses but is souring on his rushing rank.

Wide Receivers: Jimmy Smith continues to receive the bulk of the passes but only has around 60-70 yards a game the past three weeks. Troy Edwards has almost done as well and the duo should see more numbers this week if only in trash time.

Tight Ends: Kyle Brady fell off his normal three catches for 30 yards pace last week to only having one reception for 11 yards.

Match against the defense: This is a different team than the one that faced the Colts in week three. Brunell is gone and Leftwich is in. Jimmy Smith and Troy Edwards have replaced Matthew Hatchette and J.J. Stokes (which sounds incredible looking back).

Look for Leftwich to struggle more against an average but opportunistic defense and errors spell the difference more than yardage. Fred Taylor gained 126 yards the last time they met thanks primarily to a few long runs.

The Indy defense has improved since the week three meeting though, and should be able to keep the Jaguars to average numbers.

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
15
2
6
1
17
JAX Allows
18
15
19
11
26
31
IND AP
14
0
17
5
25
14
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
JAX Scores
12
8
17
23
22
22
IND Allows
11
23
13
22
13
3
JAX AP
-1
15
-4
-1
-9
-19
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.
IND
JAX
2003 Game Averages
JAX
IND
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
293
206
Pass yards
233
205
2.5
1.3
Pass TDs
1.2
1.3
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
1.5
0.8
1
6
Rush yards
7
6
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
91
88
Rush yards
97
121
0.8
0.8
Rush TDs
0.3
0.8
30
35
Receive yards
59
40
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
209
138
Receive yards
152
115
1.8
1.2
Receive TD's
0.5
1.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
54
33
Receive yards
22
50
0.3
0.2
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.3
1.8
Field Goals
1.5
1.3
3.5
2.7
Extra Points
1.8
2.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
1.3
Fumbles
1.0
0.8
0.5
1.7
Interceptions
1.0
0.5
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.2
2.3
Sacks
1.0
1.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Colts (7-1)
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
23-17 @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
Jaguars (1-7)
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
17-24 @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