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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
   
Kansas City vs Cincinnati Sun, Nov 16; 1 PM on CBS at Paul Brown Stadium
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 250,2
RB Priest Holmes 100,1 30 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 50 0
WR Dante Hall 0 30 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 70,1 0
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 210,1
RB Rudi Johnson 80,1 10 0
TE Stewart/Schobel 0 40 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 70,1 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 10 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 70 0

Game Prediction: KC 27, CIN 20

There should be some good points in this game. The Bengals have scored at least 27 points in each of their last three home games and the Chiefs lead the league in that category anyway. There is a growing sense of purpose in Cincinnati (outside of Dillon) and they are gaining confidence. They must be - Chad Johnson has already guaranteed a win.

But the Chiefs are playing better than any other team right now and while they are due a loss in a season filled with weekly upset minefields, they are hard to bet against.

Kansas City Notes

The Chiefs rise to an incredible 9-0 on the season and are already four games in the lead for the AFC West. Their biggest foe now is lethargy.

Quarterbacks: Trent Green was almost flawless last week, completing 29 of 42 passes for 368 yards and three scores against the Browns. He has only two interceptions in the past six games.

Running backs: Priest Holmes gained 92 yards on 19 carries last week and scored three times. He added 66 yards on seven receptions and has over 100 total yards in every game played this season. He already has 14 touchdowns though none via the pass.

Larry Johnson was elevated to the #2 spot last week and had two token carries in the game.

Wide Receivers: Last week's explosion benefited the wideouts more than any other position. Johnnie Morton had 49 yards and a touchdown, Eddie Kennison had 115 yards and a score and even Marc Boerigter had two catches for 45 yards. Green will throw almost a standard amount to Holmes and Gonzalez, but anything over 180 yards in a game goes towards the wideouts.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez had seven catches for 70 yards and a score last week and he has scored in five of the past six games.

Match against the defense: With the offense hitting on all cylinders, it becomes more of a "pick your death" than exploiting weaknesses of the defense.

The Bengals pass defense has been bad, they have allowed multiple touchdowns to passers in each of the past four games and watched Boller and Hasselbeck shred them for 300+ yards. Green should have a nice game here with a diverse set of receivers against a secondary that is most often beaten by a wideout. CB Jeff Burris had a concussion last week and is questionable to play on Sunday.

Consider too that Itula Mili had two scores against them and then compare him to Gonzalez.

The Bengals have allowed over 100 yards rushing in the past four games though they have faced some of the best runners in the business. Guess what - here comes the best.

Cincinnati Notes

The Bengals rise to 4-5 with their win over the Texans and are only one game out of the lead in the AFC North. Oh, the times they are a changing.

Quarterbacks: Jon Kitna comes off an efficient 182 yard, one touchdown game against Houston and has been throwing much less now that Rudi Johnson is playing as opposed to Corey Dillon pulling apparent part-time duty this season.

Running backs: Rudi Johnson comes off a monster 182 yard game with two scores last week when he tied the second-best game of all-time with 43 carries. Corey Dillon may be back this week depending on whom you ask and when but for a perpetually young franchise with a perpetually new head coach, it is nice not to perpetually struggle every game. I am assuming that Johnson starts the game and that HC Marvin Lewis does not make starting decisions under the influence of illegal substances.

Dillon is already considered questionable this week so do not hold your breath on him playing.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson comes off a career best nine catches for 89 yards last week and even with the rushing of Rudi, he provides constant possession catches. Peter Warrick only had 39 yards last week because someone had to block during Rudi's 43 carries. While Chad Johnson maintains his good numbers in every game, Warrick is a little more sensitive to the success of the running game.

Tight Ends: The interesting factor is that the tight ends are always a big part of the passing game, but when the running game goes well, they have to naturally block. Reggie Kelly is already considered out this week with his foot injury and Matt Schobel and Tony Stewart will have to get back to receiving if the Bengals want to stay in the game.

Match against the defense: The Chiefs have been ran on by almost every running back they have faced and there is no doubt that the Bengals want to keep KC off the field. Look for a heavy rushing game by Rudi Johnson at least until the game gets out of hand. Johnson should have at least moderate success and almost all runners score one time against the Chiefs.

Kitna has a chance to post some decent numbers though that has not been done since Favre in week six. As usual with the Chiefs, you have to hope for trash time yards and scores but Peter Warrick has as good a chance to do well as Chad Johnson does. The split ends have fared better than the flankers in most games.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
KC Scores
6
3
14
1
9
1
CIN Allows
26
22
23
31
12
2
KC AP
20
19
9
30
3
1
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CIN Scores
21
32
13
10
26
21
KC Allows
7
28
2
19
8
1
CIN AP
-14
-4
-11
9
-18
-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.
KC
CIN
2003 Game Averages
CIN
KC
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
257
242
Pass yards
190
207
1.7
1.9
Pass TDs
1.4
0.9
0.6
1.0
Interceptions
0.6
2.0
6
6
Rush yards
7
11
0.1
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
108
107
Rush yards
57
122
1.4
0.6
Rush TDs
0.4
0.9
53
32
Receive yards
16
55
0.0
0.4
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
137
163
Receive yards
130
120
1.0
1.0
Receive TD's
1.1
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
67
47
Receive yards
44
32
0.7
0.4
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.1
1.3
Field Goals
1.1
1.4
4.1
2.4
Extra Points
2.0
1.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.3
0.1
Fumbles
0.7
0.4
2.0
0.7
Interceptions
0.9
0.4
0.6
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.4
1.7
Sacks
2.0
1.3
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Chiefs (9-0)
Score Opp.
27-14 SD
41-20 PIT
42-14 @HOU
17-10 @BAL
24-23 DEN
40-34 @GB
17-10 @OAK
38-5 BUF
Week 9 BYE
41-20 CLE
Week 11 @CIN
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 DET
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 CHI
Bengals (3-6)
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
34-27 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