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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
   
Washington vs NY Giants Sun, Dec 7; 1 PM on FOX at Giants Stadium
  Washington Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Hasselbeck 10 0 240,1
RB Trung Canidate 70 0 0
RB Ladell Betts 40,1 30 0
TE Z. Flemister 0 10 0
WR Lavernues Coles 0 90,1 0
WR Rod Gardner 0 70 0
WR Patrick Johnson 0 20 0
  New York Giants Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 10 0 220,1
RB Tiki Barber 90 20 0
RB Dorsey Levens 10 0 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60 0
WR Ike Hilliard 0 70,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 40 0

Game Prediction: WAS 17, NYG 13

Update: Jeremy Shockey is still receiving treatment to his knee and is questionable so I am not projecting for him. His replacement would be Tony McGee but as a new player to the team, do not expect much from him. In fact, never expect too much from him.

Since Ramsey reinjured his foot, Hasselbeck appears to be a near lock to start. I am sorely tempted to change the score to a Giants win, but the continued injury woes of the offensive line make it very hard to do. Both of these teams enter into very likely the final game that they can win this season but while the Redskins will have the same coach and players next season, the same is not likely for the Giants. It is a big home game in a sense, but New York appears to have lost the element of "team" now. Fassel had to reprimand some players this week for being too lackadaisical in practice which is hard to believe since they are on a four game losing streak and just got bawled out by the owner.

So this is a coin flip game, but the better defense is with Washington and the worse O-line is the Giants. It makes for an interesting game to watch in terms of emotion and passion from the players, though not one that has any meaning in the standings.

These teams already played in Washington where the Giants won 24-21 in week three. But ten weeks later, these are different teams, at least for the Giants who have been decimated on the offensive line by injuries. This is yet another matchup between two teams that are battling the will to give up.

The Giants hardly have an advantage at home - they are only 1-5 there this season. The Redskins have only gone 1-5 on the road. This is a coin flip game because either team might step up or just fold up. Since the owner Wellington Mara personally spoke to the team last week, maybe the Giants get it back together to give something to the fans since the only other home game is week 17 against the Panthers.

This will be an ugly game and a difficult to call one but the Giants are not just a good team coming off a bad week, they are a bad team coming off a terrible week and have only scored 13 points at most in the past four games. The Redskins have a knack for playing just below the level of the opponent, but have scored at least 17 points in each of the last four games.

It is an upset for Washington to win there, but if they do, the Giants can just roll up the carpets on this season if they haven't already.

Washington Notes

Quarterbacks:: Tim Hasselbeck took only one game to go from "aha!" to "oh well". Last week against the Saints he had 231 yards passing but never scored. He had one lost fumble and one interception. The Redskins are already paying Ramsey good money for that sort of production.

Patrick Ramsey plans on practicing on Wednesday to see if his foot will allow him to play this week. I will assume that Hasselbeck gets at least one more start for now.

Running Backs: Trung Canidate gained 115 yards against the Saints on only 16 carries which was the first time any Redskins back had managed that this season. Ladell Betts only had two runs for eight yards though he did have 46 yards on four receptions. When the Redskins last played against the Giants, Canidate and Betts combined for only 85 yards on 17 carries and never scored. Betts did have 57 yards receiving on three catches in that game.

Receivers: Laveranues Coles had 88 yards last week and Rod Gardner only had 32 yards on three catches before leaving the game with a bruised arm. He is expected to play this week.

Other than Coles and Gardner, Hasselbeck throws to Betts the most.

When these two teams played in week three, Coles turned in seven catches for 105 yards against the Giants in week three while Gardner (3-25) and McCants (4-67) both scored touchdowns.

Match against the Defense: The Giants defense has been horrible against the pass since week eight and four of the six opponents had more than one passing score. All six scored at least once and all but Atlanta threw for over 240 yards. The Giants offer a "feel good about yourself" weekly session for opposing quarterbacks, so expect that either Ramsey or Hasselbeck has a good game regardless of which actually starts.

With CB Will Allen now on injured reserve, Coles should have an easier time than he already had.

The Giants have been allowing opponents to score on the ground as well, since they have yielded seven rushing touchdowns in only the past four games. If the Redskins can keep the score close or get a lead, Betts and Canidate could turn in a nice game here.

NY Giants Notes

Quarterbacks::Kerry Collins only has two touchdowns in his last four games and only one of them went over 233 yards passing. He was sacked six times last week by the Bills and the ever-changing offensive line cannot keep up with the defenses.

Collins ended with 276 passing yards and three touchdowns the last time he played the Redskins.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber only gained 20 yards on 12 carries thanks to the non-blocking and only one catch for four yards. It was easily his worst game of the season last week. Barber gained 126 yards on 28 carries against the Redskins in week three and should see much better numbers this week if the blockers can at least get in the way of the defense this time.

Receivers: Since Collins had scant time to throw, the receivers were limited mainly to Amani Toomer's 70 yard touchdown and little else. Ike Hilliard only gained 42 yards on five catches and Tim Carter turned in 46 yards on four receptions.

Jeremy Shockey missed the game last week and I am counting him out still unless other word is given. Making a bad situation worse was Marcellus Rivers who strained knee ligaments and will likely miss this week. If Shockey can't play on Sunday, the tight ends would be Darnell Dinkins and the rookie Visanthe Shiancoe.

Ike Hilliard scored twice and gained 58 yards on seven catches against the Redskins last time and Amani Toomer turned in four catches for 81 yards and one score. Shockey had five catches for 65 yards. The receivers have not done that well for about six weeks.

Match against the Defense: Much of the success by New York will be predicated on their ability to keep Collins from getting battered again. Washington has been giving up big rushing yards every week and seven rushing scores in the last six weeks. If the blocking is there, Barber should notch a good game here again.

Collins had a big game in their last meeting but now without Shockey and getting blitzed constantly, the going is likely to be rougher this go around. Expect at least 200 yards but more than that may be wishful thinking. The Giants will want to run the ball with Barber to avoid a replay of the Bills disaster last week and the Redskins are playing better even if they still lose 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
WAS Scores
18
24
8
32
13
17
NYG Allows
12
24
21
3
2
28
WAS AP
-6
0
13
-29
-11
11
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NYG Scores
12
22
14
6
29
20
WAS Allows
22
26
20
28
12
15
NYG AP
10
4
6
22
-17
-5
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
NYG
2003 Game Averages
NYG
WAS
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
204
211
Pass yards
258
230
1.3
1.4
Pass TDs
1
1.5
0.9
0.7
Interceptions
1.3
2.4
7
8
Rush yards
5
6
0.1
0
Rush TDs
0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
88
105
Rush yards
94
126
0.4
1
Rush TDs
0.4
0.9
45
44
Receive yards
43
40
0.1
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
152
147
Receive yards
154
150
1.2
1
Receive TD's
0.8
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
7
20
Receive yards
60
41
0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
0.9
Field Goals
1.2
1.1
1.9
2.7
Extra Points
1.5
2.9
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
0.9
Fumbles
0.7
0.6
1.3
1.3
Interceptions
0.7
1
0.1
0.2
Touchdowns
0.1
0.2
1.2
2.4
Sacks
2.4
2.4
0
0.1
Safeties
0
0
Redskins (4-6)
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
17-20 @CAR
23-24 @MIA
20-24 NO
Week 14 @NYG
Week 15 DAL
Week 16 @CHI
Week 17 PHI
Giants (4-8)
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
13-19 @TB
7-24 BUF
Week 14 WAS
Week 15 @NO
Week 16 @DAL
Week 17 CAR

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points