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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 14
December 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CHI at GB IND at TEN TB at NO KC at DEN CAR at ATL
CIN at BAL OAK at PIT WAS at NYG MIA at NE Mon 9 PM
DAL at PHI SD at DET Sun 4 PM NYJ at BUF STL at CLE
HOU at JAX SEA at MIN ARZ at SF *updated Times EST
   
Cincinnati vs Baltimore Sun, Dec 7; 1 PM on CBS at Ravens Stadium
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 250,3
RB Corey Dillon 50 10 0
TE Stewart/Schobel 0 30,1 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 50 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 50,1 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 100,1 0
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Anthony Wright 0 0 220,2
RB Jamal Lewis 120,1 0 0
TE Todd Heap 0 60,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 40 0
WR Frank Sanders 0 30 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 70,1 0

Game Prediction: CIN 21, BAL 24

In week seven, the Bengals beat the Ravens 34-26. This time around it is for all the marble, probably, in the AFC North and the most important game for either team so far this season. The Ravens are now getting good passing numbers from Anthony Wright and the defense will be stoked to gain revenge for their previous loss to the Bengals.

This should be a great game to watch with the Ravens trying to run the ball to keep Kitna and company from killing them with the pass. But if it has to be an air war, the Ravens can play that game as well. Imagine - The Bengals and Ravens in a must see game.

Cincinnati Notes

The Bengals rise to 7-5 and remain tied with these Ravens for the AFC North lead. They have won their last four games.

Quarterbacks:: Jon Kitna comes off a big 271 yard, three touchdown performance last week against the Steelers and he has been on fire the past three weeks. He has nine scores in the past three games and has never gone below 233 yards passing. He now has six games this season with multiple passing scores and only once failed to score.

In their last meeting against Baltimore, Kitna had 274 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Running Backs: Last week saw the fantasy nightmare of splitting carries between Corey Dillon (10-48) and Rudi Johnson (10-29) but expect that Dillon gets more as his groin strain disappears. Dillon ran for only 39 yards on 18 carries in their last meeting, though he scored once.

Receivers: Chad Johnson had one of his best games of the season when he last played against Baltimore, gaining 130 yards on only five catches while Peter Warrick also scored once during his four receptions for 43 yards. Johnson had 117 yards and one score last week and has never gone below 74 yards since week five of the season while scoring six times in that time span.

The interesting change to receivers is that Kelly Washington has been able to step up the last two weeks and score in each game. He is still mainly just a long ball threat but when the safety is worried about Chad Johnson, Washington has been successful on at least one long pass the last two weeks. Peter Warrick turned in only 54 yards on five catches and continues to provide overall good, though inconsistent, production.

Match against the Defense: The last time these teams played it turned into an air war that was won by the Bengals. Expect nothing less this week though with lesser numbers. The Ravens were scorched by Hasselbeck two weeks ago by a similar passing scheme to Cincinnati's though they stuffed the lethargic attack of the 49ers last week. This week is likely for all the marbles and the Ravens will be on their "A" game and at home to be certain.

The Ravens at home should be able to stuff the rushing duo from Cincinnati which only forces the Bengals to the pass. Both Johnson and Warrick scored last time they played the Ravens but the Baltimore secondary has been outstanding in the past six weeks outside of the one freak fireworks show by Seattle.

The odd thing is that the Ravens great defense has been figured out by the Bengals in the past several games. Even last season in Baltimore the Bengals scored 23 points.

Baltimore Notes

The Ravens rise to 7-5 and remain tied with these Bengals for the AFC North.

Quarterbacks:: Anthony Wright turned in another nice performance last week when he had two touchdowns and 177 yards against the 49ers. His last two starts produced six scores which are only one less than the Ravens had in the previous ten weeks.

When these teams last played, it was the mythical breakout game for Kyle Boller who had 302 yards and two scores against the Bengals. This bodes well for Wright.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis only had 78 yards rushing against the 49ers last week but still scored once. He has tailed off in the later parts of the season compared to his monster start to the season but still manages a score and/or 100 yards in every home game this season except once against the Jaguars. He ran for 101 yards on 19 carries in week seven against the Bengals.

Receivers: Marcus Robinson turned in another touchdown last week and had 71 yards on only two catches. Travis Taylor only managed three catches for 21 yards last week and really has not done much since his one big game against Cincinnati in week seven. Todd Heap had four catches for 38 yards last week but was the most common target. In their previous game, though it was with Boller, Todd Heap had seven catches for 129 yards and Travis Taylor had his best game of the season with 138 yards and two scores on only four catches.

Match against the Defense: This should be a great chance for Jamal Lewis to get back over 100 yards since he has done just that the last three times he faced the Bengals. In Baltimore last season, he had two scores and 130 yards and with the Bengals passing attack now fear-inspiring, the Ravens will try to control the tempo of the game with lots of running. The less clock time the Bengals get, the better off the Ravens will be.

If it turns into a shoot-out, and we all want that to happen, Wright can turn in a nice fantasy stat game. The Bengals secondary has allowed multiple passing scores in six of the past seven games. Todd Heap should have a nice game as well. He burned the Bengals in week seven and in the six games since then the Bengals have allowed six touchdowns to be thrown to the opposing tight end.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CIN Scores
10
31
6
11
20
23
BAL Allows
29
11
30
4
2
5
CIN AP
19
-20
24
-7
-18
-18
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
BAL Scores
8
10
9
18
25
25
CIN Allows
27
20
29
30
14
1
BAL AP
19
10
20
12
-11
-24
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.
CIN
BAL
2003 Game Averages
BAL
CIN
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
208
200
Pass yards
169
255
1.9
1.2
Pass TDs
1.2
1.8
0.4
1.6
Interceptions
2.3
0.8
8
9
Rush yards
9
6
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
85
92
Rush yards
127
100
0.3
0.4
Rush TDs
0.8
0.6
19
39
Receive yards
30
37
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
154
127
Receive yards
80
177
1.5
0.8
Receive TD's
0.7
1
---
---
TE's
---
---
35
34
Receive yards
59
42
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.5
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
1.9
Field Goals
2.5
1.5
2.4
1.9
Extra Points
2.5
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
1.2
Fumbles
0.7
0.2
0.7
1.2
Interceptions
1.6
0.5
0.1
0.1
Touchdowns
0.4
0
2.3
2.5
Sacks
2.6
1.7
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Bengals (6-6)
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
24-19 KC
34-27 @SD
24-20 @PIT
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 SF
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CLE
Ravens (7-5)
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
6-9 @MIA
44-41 SEA
44-6 SF
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points