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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
   
NY Giants vs Tampa Bay Mon, Nov 24; 9 PM on ABC at Raymond James Stadium
  New York Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 230,2
RB Tiki Barber 80 30,1 0
RB Dorsey Levens 10 0 0
TE Marcellus Rivers 0 10 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 80 0
WR Ike Hilliard Q Q Q
WR David Tyree 0 70,1 0
  Tampa Bay Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 240,2
RB Michael Pittman 40 20 0
RB Thomas Jones 40 10 0
TE Ken Dilger 0 30 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 80,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 60,1 0

Game Prediction: NYG 20, TB 17

This is a true coin toss game pitting two franchises that are reeling and stand at 4-6 after being early favorites for the playoffs. Both teams have been hit with injuries and now the Bucs have taken to benching previous star players while watching a running back no one wanted run like the wind.

This game should feature a lot of passing and possibly good running by both teams. This will be a gut check game because the loser falls to 4-7 and can throw in the towel for the season at a shocking early date.

While home teams have been doing well this season, Tampa Bay is only 1-4 at home and the Giants are 3-2 on the road. The Giants have an excellent chance to win here and should by a slim margin with a better offense and more weapons. The only certain thing in this game is endless blathering about Ronde and Tiki Barber playing in the same game.

NY Giants Notes

The Giants fall to 4-6 with their loss to the Eagles and are on the road again.

Quarterbacks:: After two monster games that seemed to rid Kerry Collins of his non-scoring demons, Collins has now turned in back to back games that he was ineffective. Last week he had 268 yards and one touchdown that came in the fourth quarter when the Giants already trailed 21-0. The previous week against lowly Atlanta, he had no scores.

Collins has always turned in his biggest yardage games on the road this season but the recent trend indicates that he may not include touchdowns with it.

Running Backs: Though the Giants have lost the last two games, Tiki Barber had over 100 yards rushing in both and scored the lone New York touchdown last week. Barber never fumbled last week which is a positive sign.

Dorsey Levens is now back to only a handful of carries a game and failed to score for the first time in three weeks.

Receivers: Against the Eagles, the corner play took away Amani Toomer (6-57) and Ike Hilliard (2-18) was limited and did not start. In his place, Tim Carter (4-48) had the start and proceeded to get his second concussion in two weeks. Carter is doubtful to play this Monday.

The rookie David Tyree (5-106) took over for the fallen Carter and looked good in trash time, including a 48 yard catch.

Marcellus Rivers did nothing in place of Jeremy Shockey who is recuperating quickly but will not play this week.

Match against the Defense: The Giants have a good chance at posting passing yardage against a team that has allowed multiple touchdowns three times in the past six games and that saw Garcia (253), Delhomme (277) and Manning (386) turn in big games.

The most common target in the endzone has been the wideouts which bodes well for Hilliard/Tyree but Toomer draws CB Ronde Barber who will give up the pass at times but will also scare Collins who does not want to throw an interception.

Barber faces a defense that has coughed up nice games lately to Green Bay and New Orleans and he should turn in at least an average game.

Much of the play spins on which Buccaneer team shows up and based on the movement on the team lately, that is a team in disarray. It will be a big Monday night game between two struggling franchises.

Tampa Bay Notes

The Buccaneers fall to a lowly 4-6 on the season and have lost their last three games. This is all so shocking.

Quarterbacks::The shock here is that Brad Johnson comes off his worst showing this season last week against the Packers when he only managed to throw for 149 yards and one score with three interceptions. Facing a normally weak Packer secondary, Johnson was harassed all night and sacked three times. The visiting Giants bring an equally bad secondary and will give him a chance to redeem himself.

Running Backs: The shock here is that Thomas Jones had rushed for only 91 yards all season and then turns in 134 yards on only nine carries thanks to two 50+ yard runs. Against one of the tougher run defenses. Jones has not been deemed the starter but will certainly see increased playing time.

Michael Pittman only gained 18 yards on eight carries against the Packers and has gone a month since his nice game against the Cowboys. Back to RBBC for now.

Receivers: The shock here is that Keyshawn Johnson is now a Buc only to the IRS. In spite of his salary, Gruden has decided to sit Keyshawn the rest of the season and not even on the bench - Keyshawn can plant his complaining bottom on his own couch because he will not be allowed to be with the team. And you thought it would get boring at the middle of the season.

The problem here is that it leaves Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurevicius as the starting wideouts and McCardell is questionable to play again this week. I am assuming that he does play as he did the past week and scored a touchdown as well.

Match against the Defense: Let's see - Keyshawn is long gone and Thomas Jones is running wild. Sure - this will be easy to predict.

The Giants just gave up 314 yards to McNabb and typically yields multiple touchdowns to teams that want to pass as the Buccaneers will try. The Giants secondary has been beaten up and injured and on the road in Tampa Bay is not likely to make them feel better. The question is how successful Johnson can be with an ever-dwindling set of receivers.

The Giants also can give up the run, but the Bucs are playing mix and match now so more than likely, no one runner will have a big day. Unless Jones has another big gainer left in him. The only safe play here is really within the passing game and for Johnson and McCardell though Jurevicius could hardly ask for a better secondary to begin his career as a starting receiver.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NYG Scores
9
14
12
5
26
27
TB Allows
8
18
19
3
7
22
NYG AP
-1
4
7
-2
-19
-5
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
TB Scores
6
15
9
6
28
5
NYG Allows
11
27
14
2
4
24
TB AP
5
12
5
-4
-24
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.
NYG
TB
2003 Game Averages
TB
NYG
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
274
204
Pass yards
244
199
1.1
1.1
Pass TDs
2.0
1.4
1.4
1.6
Interceptions
1.3
0.8
3
7
Rush yards
6
11
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
-0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
107
97
Rush yards
102
104
0.5
0.8
Rush TDs
0.3
1.0
48
32
Receive yards
59
48
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
WR's
---
---
156
149
Receive yards
153
130
0.9
1.0
Receive TD's
1.1
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
69
23
Receive yards
32
21
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.5
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.3
Field Goals
0.9
0.9
1.8
2.1
Extra Points
2.8
2.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.9
Fumbles
0.6
0.8
0.8
1.3
Interceptions
1.6
1.4
0.0
0.3
Touchdowns
0.4
0.3
2.3
1.8
Sacks
2.1
1.9
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Giants (4-6)
Score Opp.
23-13 STL
32-35 DAL
24-21 @WAS
Week 4 BYE
10-23 MIA
6-17 @NE
10-14 PHI
29-27 @MIN
31-28 @NYJ
7-27 ATL
10-28 @PHI
Week 12 @TB
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 WAS
Week 15 @NO
Week 16 @DAL
Week 17 CAR
Buccaneers (4-6)
Score Opp.
17-0 @PHI
9-12 CAR
31-10 @ATL
Week 4 BYE
35-38 IND
35-13 @WAS
7-24 @SF
16-0 DAL
14-17 NO
24-27 @CAR
13-20 GB
Week 12 NYG
Week 13 @JAX
Week 14 @NO
Week 15 HOU
Week 16 ATL
Week 17 @TEN

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points