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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 12
November 19, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at DAL NE at HOU SF at GB CHI at DEN WAS at MIA
DET at MIN NO at PHI Sun 4 PM OAK at KC Mon 9 PM
IND at BUF PIT at CLE CIN at SD TEN at ATL NYG at TB
JAX at NYJ SEA at BAL STL at ARZ *updated Times EST
   
Jacksonville vs NY Jets Sun, Nov 23; 1 PM on CBS at Giants Stadium
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 180,1
RB Fred Taylor 80,1 10 0
RB C. Fuamatu-Ma'afala 20 0 0
RB L. Toefield 20 10 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 20 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 50 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 20 0
WR Troy Edwards 0 60,1 0
  New York Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 260,2
RB Curtis Martin 70,1 30 0
RB Lamont Jordan 30,1 0 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Jon Carter 0 30 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 60,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 100,1 0

Game Prediction: JAX 20, NYJ 28

Update: Newly signed Kevin Johnson will be making his first appearance this week but the Jaguars will not commit to how much use he will receive beyond referring to a few packages that have been tailored towards him (also read - he only knows a few plays so far). I am not projecting for him but expect to see him in at least a limited role.

Fred Taylor banged up his knees last Sunday but an MRI showed that there was no damage and he is listed as probable and is expected to play.

The Jets have taken a whole new look with Pennington back - big time offense and still bad defense. But this week facing the struggling rookie and with Taylor possibly out, they can out score their opponent unlike last week against the Colts. The Jaguars are 0-5 on the road with few signs of improving.

Jacksonville Notes

The Jaguars fall to 2-8 with their loss to the Titans.

Quarterbacks:: Byron Leftwich is redefining growing pains. Last week he only completed 15 of 31 passes and ended with 151 yards and two interceptions. He now has lost the ball 17 times in only eleven games with six fumbles and 11 interceptions. He comes off his second game without a touchdown pass.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor injured his leg last week and ended with only 65 yards on 14 carries in a game where he was running well. He was replaced by Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (9-40) and LaBrandon Toefield (6-20) as the Jaguars racked up 125 rushing yards.

An MRI this week revealed that there was no damage to Taylor's knees but he will likely be held out at least a practice or two. I am considering him out but he may still play. Updates as warranted.

Receivers: Leftwich's growing pains are coming at the expense of Jimmy Smith lately. Last week Smith only managed one catch for five yards and Troy Edwards (6-67) was the one not being double-teamed. The Jaguars picked up Kevin Johnson last week but pending more information there, I am not including him in the projections though he would likely play at least some.

The biggest problem here is when opponents have good enough coverage to take Jimmy Smith from the equation. When that happens, there is little else for Leftwich to rely on.

Match against the Defense: Fred Taylor would tear this defense up, but he may not play. In his place, the safest bet is that the same rotation between Toefield and Fuamatu-Ma'afala will be used with good results. The Jets biggest weakness is against the run.

Last week New York allowed Peyton Manning to throw for 401 yards but Leftwich is not exactly that caliber quite yet. All but two opponent quarterbacks have thrown for less than 200 yards and only once has the secondary allowed more than one touchdown. Leftwich should have moderate success, but nothing nearly as impressive as Manning.

Leftwich also has to play against CB Donnie Abraham who will likely start at left corner and allow CB Ray Mickens to return to his role as the nickel back. That should help the secondary and keep Leftwich still in the learning mode.

NY Jets Notes

Quarterbacks:: Chad Pennington only completed 11 passes against the Colts, but he only threw 14 and he still ended with 219 yards and three touchdowns. In three games back, he already has nine passing touchdowns. Pennington lost nothing while recuperating and has been as efficient as he left last season. Last week he only completed 11 passes but still hit seven different receivers.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin looked absolutely rejuvenated last week when he ran for 105 yards on only 13 carries, average 8.1 yards each time. This gives him three 100 yard efforts in the past four weeks though he still has yet to score a touchdown this season.

LaMont Jordan gained 25 yards on two carries last week and will be wearing a soft cast on his hand because of a broken finger but it is not expected to cause him to miss any time. Martin running so well is a much bigger cause of Jordan seeing reduced carries.

Receivers: Pennington loves to throw to wideouts and even when he only had 11 completions, he threw touchdowns to Curtis Conway (2-38), Santana Moss (3-67) and even Jon Carter (1-65). Santana Moss has scored in all three games with Pennington and has five touchdowns in the last three weeks.

Kevin Lockett was signed last week and may be ready by this weekend. He is expected to play the slot role vacated by Wayne Chrebet who was placed on injured reserve due to his concussion. I am not including him until a move is made.

Match against the Defense: The Jets defense may have been bad, but there is no question that their offense has been great since Pennington returned. This week he will face the Jaguars that have given up multiple passing scores in half of their games and that has been shredded by the likes of Manning, Bledsoe and even Brees.

Look for more of the same from Pennington and a very good chance that Moss can stretch his consecutive score streak yet another week.

The Jaguars rushing defense has been fairly sound this season and only gives up scores to teams that have had success with the pass. Martin and Jordan have a good chance to score here but this should not be a monster rushing game unless New York can grab a very early lead and try to run out the clock.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
JAX Scores
16
8
19
20
22
24
NYJ Allows
10
30
8
15
10
12
JAX AP
-6
22
-11
-5
-12
-12
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NYJ Scores
10
20
5
21
9
25
JAX Allows
21
8
18
23
27
28
NYJ AP
11
-12
13
2
18
3
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.
JAX
NYJ
2003 Game Averages
NYJ
JAX
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
216
170
Pass yards
229
219
1.0
0.6
Pass TDs
1.9
1.4
1.5
0.5
Interceptions
0.5
1.1
6
4
Rush yards
2
7
0.3
0.1
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
109
119
Rush yards
108
81
0.5
0.9
Rush TDs
0.4
0.6
47
38
Receive yards
47
36
0.4
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
139
97
Receive yards
160
140
0.5
0.5
Receive TD's
1.5
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
30
34
Receive yards
22
43
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.1
Field Goals
1.8
1.9
1.9
1.9
Extra Points
2.4
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.8
Fumbles
0.6
1.1
1.1
0.4
Interceptions
0.5
1.6
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.0
0.1
1.0
1.8
Sacks
2.9
1.9
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Jaguars (2-8)
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
28-23 IND
3-10 @TEN
Week 12 @NYJ
Week 13 TB
Week 14 HOU
Week 15 @NE
Week 16 NO
Week 17 @ATL
Jets (3-7)
Score Opp.
13-16 @WAS
10-21 MIA
16-23 @NE
6-17 DAL
Week 5 BYE
30-3 BUF
19-14 @HOU
17-24 @PHI
28-31 NYG
27-24 @OAK
31-38 @IND
Week 12 JAX
Week 13 TEN
Week 14 @BUF
Week 15 PIT
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @MIA

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points