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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 10 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at IND HOU at TB SF at CIN CLE at DEN NYG at NO
BUF at TEN JAX at NE SEA at STL CAR at ARZ Mon 9 PM
DAL at WAS MIN at CHI Sun 4 PM GB at SD PHI at MIA
DET at KC PIT at NYJ BAL at OAK *updated Times EST
   
San Francisco vs Cincinnati Sun, Dec 14; 1 PM on FOX at Paul Brown Stadium
  San Francisco Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia 20,1 0 190,1
RB Garrison Hearst Q Q Q
RB Kevan Barlow 60 10 0
TE Jed Weaver 0 30 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 60,1 0
WR Tai Streets 0 20 0
WR Cedrick Wilson 0 20 0
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 240,2
RB Corey Dillon 70,1 0 0
TE Stewart/Schobel 0 30 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 70,1 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 40 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 80,1 0

Game Prediction: SF 14, CIN 24

The old question arises - which 49ers show up? The ones that have been on the road this season have yet to win a game nor score more than 13 points in their last three trips outside San Francisco. Take last week as an indictment of the Cardinals, not a sudden rejuvenation of the 49ers.

The Bengals have won their last four games at home which includes KC, HOU, SEA and BAL. No reason why that should not continue.

San Francisco Notes

The 49ers rise to 6-7 with their stomp over the Cardinals.

Quarterbacks:: Jeff Garcia turned in the best game of his career last week by throwing four touchdowns, three of which came in the second quarter. He had 252 yards passing and one shudders to think what he would have had if football fields were 1000 yards long. He added two rushing touchdowns as well and eventually gave way to Tim "who?" Rattay. This comes on the heels of his 112 yard, four interception game against the Ravens and provides the illustration of what the 49ers have been this season - great at home, terrible on the road.

Running Backs: With Garrison Hearst out for the week, Kevan Barlow could not have hoped for a better showcase than what the visiting Cardinals provided. Barlow gained 154 yards on 18 carries and scored once. Until more info is available, I will assume Hearst is out again this week but will update as warranted.

Receivers: The blowout was statistically kind to all 49ers involved. Terrell Owens had two scores and 92 yards while both Cedric Wilson and Tai Streets also had touchdowns. Jed Weaver had four catches for 76 yards - about his norm for each four games combined.

Match against the Defense: The Bengals have allowed at least one passing score to each of the last 11 opponents and two or more to seven different teams this season. Garcia has the opportunity if he can get beyond the road curse. The Bengals have allowed four 300 yard games this season.

While Cincinnati has been much tougher against the rush at home. Portis has been tops with 120 yards but only Domanick Davis and Jamal Lewis has been able to crest the 100 yard mark. Most backs settle around 60 -80 yards on the ground and there have only been four runners to score against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

The question here is if the 49ers continue their inexplicable metamorphosis into an inept set of bumblers on the road. Garcia has not thrown a touchdown in the past four road games though he rushed in one score on two occasions. In his last four road games he has never thrown for more than 168 yards. Garcia has not shown the ability - on the road - to take advantage of a softer secondary.

Cincinnati Notes

The Bengals fall to 7-6 with their loss in Baltimore. They are now one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North.

Quarterbacks:: After throwing nine touchdowns in the past three games, Jon Kitna was held to only 214 yards and one score against the Ravens and threw two interceptions when he was not busy losing two fumbles. It allowed Kitna to extend his streak of games with a touchdown to eight though he had never had four turnovers in any game this season.

Running Backs: Back to the Bengals of last season - Corey Dillon only had 45 yards on 11 carries with no catches and Rudi Johnson never touched the ball. Other than one game against the Chargers, Dillon has not exceeded even 50 yards rushing since week two of this year.

Receivers: Chad Johnson got a healthy, and some would say much needed, does of humility last week when he only caught two passes for 15 yards. His previous worst had only been 67 yards and he had two touchdowns that week. Peter Warrick became the only open target last week, catching 11 passes for 90 yards and the lone passing score.

Match against the Defense: Back to the oddity of the 49ers - their defense also falls apart on the road as well.

There is no reason why Kitna should not throw at least one touchdown and the 49ers have allowed two scores in each of the past three games. The only time that SF has not allowed good yardage passing on the road is when they are allowing big rushing yardage. Both Shipp and Ahman Green ran for over 150 yards when San Francisco came to town though most stay closer to 70 yards. In five of six games, SF has allowed a rushing score though never two.

Chad Johnson should have a decent rebound game from last week and Peter Warrick gets the most favorable matchup where the 49ers have given up a touchdown in each of the past three 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
SF Scores
7
18
10
27
16
13
CIN Allows
26
23
30
30
19
3
SF AP
19
5
20
3
3
-10
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
CIN Scores
9
31
6
12
20
21
SF Allows
25
8
29
11
3
5
CIN AP
16
-23
23
-1
-17
-16
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.
SF
CIN
2003 Game Averages
CIN
SF
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
207
245
Pass yards
208
224
1.4
1.7
Pass TDs
1.8
1.5
1.1
0.9
Interceptions
0.5
1.5
17
6
Rush yards
7
10
0.5
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
119
110
Rush yards
86
91
0.4
0.8
Rush TDs
0.3
0.5
36
35
Receive yards
22
34
0.1
0.3
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
145
171
Receive yards
153
162
1.2
1.0
Receive TD's
1.5
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
26
39
Receive yards
34
27
0.1
0.5
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.4
1.5
Field Goals
1.3
1.1
2.4
2.5
Extra Points
2.3
2.3
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.5
Fumbles
0.6
0.4
1.5
0.6
Interceptions
0.8
1.2
0.1
0.0
Touchdowns
0.1
0.1
2.2
2.1
Sacks
2.3
1.8
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
49ers (6-7)
Score Opp.
49-7 CHI
24-27 @STL
12-13 CLE
7-35 @MIN
24-17 DET
19-20 @SEA
24-7 TB
13-16 @ARZ
30-10 STL
Week 10 BYE
30-14 PIT
10-20 @GB
6-44 @BAL
50-14 ARZ
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @PHI
Week 17 SEA
Bengals (6-7)
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
13-31 @BAL
Week 15 SF
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CLE

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points