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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
   
Baltimore vs Miami Sun, Nov 16; 1 PM on CBS at Pro Player Stadium
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Anthony Wright 20 0 160
QB Chris Redman 0 0 130
RB Jamal Lewis 90,1 20 0
TE Todd Heap 0 50 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 50 0
WR Frank Sanders Q Q Q
WR Marcus Robinson 0 20 0
  Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 10 0 150,1
RB Ricky Williams 60 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 40,1 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 40 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 20 0
WR James McKnight 0 30 0


Game Prediction: BAL 10, MIA 13

Update: The Ravens opted to use Anthony Wright as the starter over Redman, preferring his running, passing, play calling and all other non-Redman qualities. How that works out is hard to project since Wright's last start was with the Cowboys in 2001.

This is another coin flip game regardless of the six points favoring the Fins. Miami is reeling right now and not playing cohesively - something you do not want happening when facing the Ravens. Miami is only 1-3 at home and starting to look desperate.

But you cannot discount that the Ravens are saddled with a likely ineffective passing game and will rely on running Lewis as expected. The entire game comes down to being able to stop Lewis because without him, the Ravens defense cannot score enough points to keep up with the Dolphins.

This should be a very low scoring, defensive matchup that could be decided on a long play or defensive score which favors the Dolphins. If the Fins lose another one at home, Wannstedt can pretty much call this job a wrap.

Baltimore Notes

The Ravens fall to 5-4 after their loss to the Rams and are only one game ahead of Cincinnati in the AFC North.

Quarterbacks: Last week was made the Ravens dream of games where Kyle Boller would only throw for 95 yards and just one interception. While Boller was injured last week, by the time the smoke cleared he and Chris Redman combined for an astounding three interceptions and two fumbles while passing for only 170 yards and one score. Now that Boller is out of the picture, Redman is back in. This is not a good thing.

Running backs: Jamal Lewis still gained 111 yards and one touchdown last week after missing the mark the previous Sunday. He has gone over 100 yards rushing in seven of nine games this season.

Wide Receivers: Travis Taylor had 65 yards last week though the one 40 yard catch made that difference. Hopefully he treasures last week's numbers since last year he never had more than 57 yards in any game where Redman was the quarterback. He also never has scored with Redman as the passer.

Frank Sanders will be out for a few weeks with a sprained ankle, so Marcus Robinson will move up to the #2 spot to help block for Lewis.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap had six catches for 49 yards last week, oddly all coming either at the very start or end of the game. With Redman last season, Heap had six games. He scored four times - two games with two touchdowns each. Otherwise he had four games of only 20, 20, 53 and 38 yards receiving with no scores. It will be feast or famine with Redman.

Match against the defense: To no surprise, the Ravens will be thinking "RUN!". The Dolphins likely have taped a picture of Jamal Lewis on every locker. LB Zack Thomas should be back this week after missing the Tennessee game with a groin strain and he will be needed to slow Lewis. CB Patrick Surtain should be back as well after missing last week with a sprained ankle.

The Dolphins have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this season though Edgerrin James (89 yards, 1 TD) came close. Then again, Manning and Harrison were a bigger concern than Redman and... and... well anyone else. Lewis goes to Miami where they are beside themselves wanting a good win. Other than James, Travis Henry only gained seven yards in Miami. This will be a defense loaded up extra for Lewis and should be able to handle him, especially with Thomas back.

Last season these two teams met in Miami as well and Lewis only managed 47 yards in that game.

Redman will throw but at this point it is expected he will be handing off a lot and trying to occasionally throw it at Heap.

Miami Notes

The Dolphins fall to 5-4 and are on a two game losing streak. They trail the Patriots by two games in the AFC East. Dave Wannstedt is entering into "save my job" mode now which will be interesting.

Quarterbacks: The Dolphins will not decide on the starting quarterback until after practice on Wednesday. Brian Griese was horrible in Tennessee, throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles. Jay Fiedler may not turn in big games, but he is the safer alternative that Miami wants to use if he can go after missing the last three games with a sprained knee.

I am assuming Griese gets one more chance pending any news later this week.

Running backs: After starting the season as expected, Ricky Williams has gone into the tank. He has not gained over 100 yards rushing in six games and has only 73 yards rushing in the last two games combined. The blocking is definitely part of the problem and comes from the same group that has given up nine sacks in the past two weeks. The games have gotten away from Miami lately such that Williams only has 13 carries in each of the past two games. Facing the Ravens is not typically how you improve a running problem.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers comes off his worst game in a month and gets to face the only defense that shut down Tory Holt. Derrius Thompson has yet to show why he owns a jersey, let alone a starting spot. James McKnight is supposed to be getting more play with the apparent inability of Thompson to get open or make a catch, but even he had only one catch last week.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael had three catches last week but it was his worst game in a month. McMichael had actually benefited from having Griese this season until last week.

Match against the defense: The Ravens rush defense has been great this season, allowing only Tomlinson to eclipse the 100 yard mark in week 3 and holding almost all runners to a sub-4.0 yard average. Faulk only had 48 yards on 20 carries last week and that was with a much vaunted passing game to worry about.

Ricky Williams had 102 yards and two scores against the Ravens last season but considering how the two teams are playing now, that is too much to hope to see.

Griese will need to pass and the Ravens no doubt saw the success of blitzes by the Titans last week. This has the markings of a low scoring, defensive match up.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
BAL Scores
31
8
32
2
4
6
MIA Allows
13
5
14
9
6
27
BAL AP
-18
-3
-18
7
2
21
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
MIA Scores
28
27
26
9
23
4
BAL Allows
6
12
6
21
17
24
MIA AP
-22
-15
-20
12
-6
-20
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.
BAL
MIA
2003 Game Averages
MIA
BAL
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
154
227
Pass yards
186
197
0.9
0.7
Pass TDs
1.0
1.0
2.9
1.7
Interceptions
1.1
1.6
3
10
Rush yards
4
8
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
136
71
Rush yards
80
84
0.9
0.6
Rush TDs
0.6
0.6
28
42
Receive yards
33
37
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
61
146
Receive yards
100
124
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
0.9
0.4
---
---
TE's
---
---
65
39
Receive yards
53
36
0.6
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.4
1.3
Field Goals
1.3
1.7
2.1
1.7
Extra Points
2.0
2.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
1.3
Fumbles
0.9
1.1
1.6
1.0
Interceptions
1.9
1.3
0.3
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.1
2.9
2.1
Sacks
2.9
2.1
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Ravens (5-4)
Score Opp.
15-34 @PIT
33-13 CLE
24-10 @SD
10-17 KC
Week 5 BYE
26-18 @ARZ
26-34 @CIN
26-6 DEN
24-17 JAX
22-33 @STL
Week 11 @MIA
Week 12 SEA
Week 13 SF
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT
Dolphins (5-4)
Score Opp.
20-21 HOU
21-10 @NYJ
17-7 BUF
Week 4 BYE
23-10 @NYG
24-10 @JAX
13-19 NE
26-10 @SD
17-23 IND
7-31 @TEN
Week 11 BAL
Week 12 WAS
Week 13 @DAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 PHI
Week 16 @BUF
Week 17 NYJ

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points