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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
   
Washington vs Carolina Sun, Nov 16; 1 PM on FOX at Ericsson Stadium
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Patrick Ramsey 0 0 240, 2
RB Trung Canidate 10 0 0
RB Rock Cartwright 50 20 0
TE Zeron Flemister 0 0 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 90,1 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 70,1 0
WR Darnerian McCants 0 30 0
  Carolina Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme 10 0 180,1
RB Stephen Davis 130,2 0 0
TE Kris Mangum 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 40 0
WR Ricky Proehl 0 30 0
WR Steve Smith 0 80,1 0

Game Prediction: WAS 14, CAR 27

The Panthers passing game has been very good when needed, but it will likely not be needed this week since Stephen Davis faces his ex-employer and would love to stick it to Spurrier. While the Redskins passing attack was better last Sunday, it is hard to imagine that Davis vs. Cartwright could end in favor of the road Redskins.

Washington Notes

The Redskins rise to 4-5 with their win over the Seahawks. Spurrier has handed over the play calling to the offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and is no longer playing it safe with game decisions.

Quarterbacks: Last week the Redskins looked pretty good considering that they had no apparent running back and were facing a team with a good record. Patrick Ramsey had two interceptions, but he also had 232 yards passing with two touchdowns. It was easily his best game in a month. He was never sacked. Not once. Imagine.

Running backs: There's a new sheriff in town for the backfield and his name is Rock Cartwright which actually sounds like a sheriff but I digress. Last week Trung Canidate only gained 34 yards on 15 carries against the Seahawks but Cartwright had 81 yards on only 13 runs. The Redskins have already named Cartwright as the starter this week but he will still share time with Canidate.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles turned in his best game since week two of the season when he gained 125 yards and one touchdown last week. Even Rod Gardner had 88 yards on nine catches, also his best in the past two months. The nice thing here is that when the running game worked last week, it allowed the Redskins to throw more to Gardner and Coles and rely less on Taylor Jacobs, Darnerian McCants or any other non-starting receiver. The better protection afforded Ramsey worked well for returning the passing game to a more traditional use of wideouts.

Tight Ends: Not a part of the scheme.

Match against the defense: The Carolina secondary has only one game where they held an opponent to no passing scores but have been playing well in the past month until Brad Johnson came along last week and had 275 yards through the air. Most of that came in the fourth quarter though when Tampa Bay mounted a formidable, and yet unsuccessful, comeback.

Patrick Ramsey will see pressure again and that could drive his numbers back down to more moderate production. The good news is that other flankers have done well against the Panthers like Marvin Harrison (119), Joe Horn (74, 2 TDs) and Keenan McCardell (118, 1 TD). Laveranues Coles should have a decent game since it is the weaker side of the Panther secondary.

The Panthers have been good against the run though topflight rushers have fared pretty well. Cartwright is not exactly in the same class as McAllister though and other than the Saints, most runners top out around 70 yards rushing.

Carolina Notes

The Panthers rise to 7-2 and have a three game lead over the Saints in the NFC West.

Quarterbacks: Though he threw two bad interceptions - one returned for a touchdown - Jake Delhomme ended with a very nice 20 of 32 for 277 yards and two touchdowns last week. That was balanced by the fact that Stephen Davis missed the game and the Bucs were looking to stop the pass. When the run does not work, Delhomme has the ability to keep the Panthers in the game.

Running backs: Since Stephen Davis missed last week with a sprained ankle, Deshaun Foster took the start and only gained 56 yards on 22 carries against a tough Tampa Bay defense. This week I am assuming that Davis returns from his mystery sprain. Since he gets to face his old team, you know Davis is extra motivated.

Wide Receivers: Steve Smith may have the always-running mouth, but he has certainly backed himself up with great play. By now all secondaries know to watch him and yet he still had nine catches for 72 yards and one touchdown last week. He has gained either 100 yards or a score in the past five games since the Panthers started throwing to him. Muhsin Muhammad (4-46) has become little more than a glorified tight end with roughly the same speed.

Kevin Dyson may be activated this week as well but pending that information I am assuming him as still out.

Tight Ends: Surprisingly, the Panthers have not been using the position much thanks to the success of Steve Smith.

Match against the defense: This will be likely a lesser game for Smith finally as he is pitted against Champ Bailey. The matchup would favor Muhammad more but he has not been up to the task lately anyway, so the Panthers may be moving Smith around to gain more favorable coverages. The Redskins have been giving up at least one passing score in every game and multiple ones in half their matchups when they faced better than average quarterbacks.

Stephen Davis should have a big game here as long as the ankle holds up. The last three runners (Alexander, Hambrick, Henry) have combined for 363 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
WAS Scores
14
26
5
32
14
17
CAR Allows
18
4
20
14
14
14
WAS AP
4
-22
-15
-18
0
-3
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CAR Scores
24
5
15
27
6
13
WAS Allows
25
27
21
32
10
19
CAR AP
1
22
6
5
4
6
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.
WAS
CAR
2003 Game Averages
CAR
WAS
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
215
206
Pass yards
208
239
1.4
1.3
Pass TDs
1.0
1.9
0.9
0.7
Interceptions
0.6
1.3
6
12
Rush yards
3
7
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
81
102
Rush yards
147
122
0.3
0.3
Rush TDs
0.7
0.9
43
25
Receive yards
34
42
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
165
140
Receive yards
144
148
1.3
1.1
Receive TD's
0.9
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
7
40
Receive yards
29
48
0.0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.0
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.7
1.6
Field Goals
2.1
1.0
1.9
2.0
Extra Points
2.0
3.0
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
1.0
Fumbles
0.4
0.3
1.3
0.6
Interceptions
0.9
1.0
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.3
1.4
1.4
Sacks
2.3
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Redskins (4-5)
Score Opp.
16-13 NYJ
33-31 @ATL
21-24 NYG
20-17 NE
25-27 @PHI
13-35 TB
7-24 @BUF
Week 8 BYE
14-21 @DAL
27-20 SEA
Week 11 @CAR
Week 12 @MIA
Week 13 NO
Week 14 @NYG
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @CHI
Week 17 PHI
Panthers (7-2)
Score Opp.
24-23 JAX
12-9 @TB
Week 3 BYE
23-3 ATL
19-13 NO
23-20 @IND
17-37 TEN
23-20 @NO
14-10 @HOU
27-24 TB
Week 11 WAS
Week 12 @DAL
Week 13 PHI
Week 14 @ATL
Week 15 @ARZ
Week 16 DET
Week 17 @NYG

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points