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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 12, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARZ at CLE JAX at TEN WAS at CAR NYJ at IND DAL at NE
ATL at NO KC at CIN Sun 4 PM GB at TB Mon 9 PM
BAL at MIA NYG at PHI DET at SEA MIN at OAK PIT at SF
HOU at BUF STL at CHI SD at DEN Updated Times EST
   
Atlanta vs New Orleans Sun, Nov 16; 1 PM on FOX at Superdome
  Atlanta Rush Catch Pass
QB Kurt Kittner 0 0 130
RB Warrick Dunn 50 20 0
RB T.J. Duckett 40,1 0 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 20 0
WR Quentin McCord 0 20 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 30 0
  New Orleans Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 10 0 260,2
RB Deuce McAllister 120,2 30 0
TE Ernie Conwell 0 20 0
WR Joe Horn 0 80,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 70,1 0
WR Jerome Pathon 0 40 0

Game Prediction: ATL 10, NO 31

Only three weeks ago the Saints beat the Falcons 45-17 in Atlanta. The difference this week is that the Saints are at home and rested from their bye week while the Falcons are on the second road trip after a huge emotional win.

Someone has to put the birds back in their place and the Saints will be happy to do the job.

Atlanta Notes

The Falcons fly up to 2-7 on the season with their astounding dismantling of the Giants. On any given Sunday, any team can win and that one last week is going to leave a mark on the Giants.

Quarterbacks: It is a sure sign of divine intervention when Kurt Kittner throws for only 9 of 23 passes for 65 yards and one score and the Falcons still win 27-7 with the worst defense in the league. Kittner gets the start again - why not? He is a winning quarterback and Vick still has a couple of weeks left before playing.

Running backs: Someone forgot to tell Warrick Dunn that he is not the starting running back anymore. Dunn gained a mere 178 yards and one touchdown last week. On second thought, no one needs to tell him he is not the starter because he got it back after last week. T.J. Duckett ran for only 33 yards on seven runs but scored twice against the Giants. It was a week of magic for a downtrodden franchise. It was a week they will not soon forget. Nor will the Giants.

Wide Receivers: Peerless Price only had 37 yards on three catches, but that accounted for over half the passing production but also half what he did against the Eagles the previous week. This crew is still largely inconsequential unless the Vikings are coming to town.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler has catches every game and they never add up to more than 40 yards a week.

Match against the defense: These teams played only three weeks ago and in that game the Saints absolutely throttled the Falcons 45-17 in Atlanta. Kurt Kittner only had 119 yards in that game (which is pretty good compared to last week) but did connect with Brian Finneran for a score.

The Saints will be ready for Dunn since Warrick not only had a huge game in New York, he opened the game in week seven with a 69 yard touchdown run. He only had five other runs for 13 yards in that game while Duckett was held to 42 yards on the ground.

The Falcons are due for a landing on earth again and the Saints coming off a bye week and will pull them down.

New Orleans Notes

The Saints are 4-5 and coming off their bye week after having beaten the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay in week nine.

Quarterbacks: Aaron Brooks has completed almost 60% of his passes this season and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 13:6. Brooks last threw for 352 yards when he played against these Falcons.

Running backs: Deuce McAllister has rushed for over 100 yards in the past six games for a franchise record and had 116 yards and two scores against these Falcons when they played in week seven. McAllister is on track for the best rushing season since George Rogers last played for the Saints.

Wide Receivers: The bye week was good to rest Donte Stallworth who missed two games with a strained left quadriceps muscle. He is expected to be back this week and Joe Horn's sore knee is still not 100% but he will be ready to play as well. Back when the Saints played in Atlanta, Stallworth had a 69 yard touchdown catch and Horn had 133 yards and a score.

Tight Ends: Ernie Conwell is still the starter, but Eddie "Boo" Williams has been getting a couple of passes a game.

Match against the defense: This was a blowout only three weeks ago and the Falcons are coming off a huge, emotional win in New York to stay on the road again and play the team that demolished them already.

The switch in the secondary has been working for the Falcons but as a team that no one feared, they have been more overlooked than overachieving.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
ATL Scores
32
9
29
23
30
25
NO Allows
20
24
17
15
22
10
ATL AP
-12
23
-12
-8
-8
-15
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NO Scores
16
20
10
11
13
11
ATL Allows
28
32
30
28
29
30
NO AP
12
12
20
17
16
19
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
ATL
NO
2003 Game Averages
NO
ATL
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
161
207
Pass yards
205
260
0.6
1.7
Pass TDs
1.6
1.6
1.6
0.4
Interceptions
0.7
0.9
3
9
Rush yards
13
5
0.0
0
Rush TDs
0
0.1
---
----- 
RB's
----- 
---
114
124
Rush yards
103
141
1.0
0.7
Rush TDs
0.6
1.4
29
21
Receive yards
25
41
0.1
0.4
Receive TD's
0
0.1
---
----- 
WR's
----- 
---
95
143
Receive yards
138
165
0.4
1.0
Receive TD's
1.3
1.1
---
----- 
TE's
----- 
---
37
43
Receive yards
42
54
0.0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
----- 
PK's
----- 
---
1.1
1.6
Field Goals
1.6
1.7
1.6
2.7
Extra Points
2.3
3.3
---
----- 
DEF/ST
----- 
---
0.7
0.4
Fumbles
1.1
0.7
0.9
0.7
Interceptions
1.4
1.6
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.4
0.1
1.6
1.6
Sacks
1.4
2.4
0.0
0
Safeties
0.1
0.4
Falcons (2-7)
Score Opp.
27-13 @DAL
31-33 WAS
10-31 TB
3-23 @CAR
26-39 MIN
0-36 @STL
17-45 NO
Week 8 BYE
16-23 PHI
27-7 @NYG
Week 11 @NO
Week 12 TEN
Week 13 @HOU
Week 14 CAR
Week 15 @IND
Week 16 @TB
Week 17 JAX
Saints (4-5)
Score Opp.
10-27 @SEA
31-10 HOU
12-27 @TEN
21-55 IND
13-19 @CAR
20-13 CHI
45-17 @ATL
20-23 CAR
17-14 @TB
Week 10 BYE
Week 11 ATL
Week 12 @PHI
Week 13 @WAS
Week 14 TB
Week 15 NYG
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 DAL

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points