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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 16
December 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at TB 1 BAL at CLE NYG at DAL ARZ at SEA DEN at IND
KC at MIN 5 CIN at STL NO at JAX SD at PIT Mon 9 PM
NE at NYJ 8:30 DET at CAR TEN at HOU SF at PHI GB at OAK
Times EST MIA at BUF WAS at CHI *updated
   
New England vs NY Jets Sat, Dec 20; 8:30 PM on ESPN at Giants Stadium
  New England at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 210,1
RB Kevin Faulk 50 20 0
RB Antowain Smith 30,1 10 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 50,1 0
WR Troy Brown 0 50 0
WR David Givens 0 30 0
WR Deion Branch 0 40 0
  NY Jets vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 200,1
RB Curtis Martin 70 10 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 20 0
WR Reggie Swayne 0 30 0
WR Curtis Conway 0 40 0
WR Santana Moss 0 70,1 0

Game Prediction: NE 17, NYJ 16

This is a replay of week three when the Patriots defeated the Jets 23-16. The Patriots are due to lose a game but still have homefield to fight for in the playoffs while the Jets are merely hoping to reach .500 before the season mercifully ends. It should be a low scoring affair that the Patriots take a close win.

New England Notes

The Patriots rise to 12-2, have locked up the AFC East and are on a ten game winning streak.

Quarterbacks:: Tom Brady threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns last week - his first multiple touchdown game while at home and it came in the driving snow. Brady goes on the road this week where he has been his deadliest, throwing for at least two scores in all but one game. Brady had 181 yards and a rushing score in his previous game against the Jets.

Running Backs: The terrible game conditions last week saw Kevin Faulk only gain 34 yards on 11 carries while Antowain "snowplow" Smith netted 39 yards on 17 runs with one touchdown. In the previous game against the Jets, Faulk (17-79) and Smith (13-55) were used in tandem.

Receivers: Troy Brown finally made it back to the lineup after missing the past month and scored once while catching four passes for 43 yards. David Givens had 65 yards and Daniel Graham led all receivers with five catches for 69 yards and one score. No receivers had a good game in the last meeting with the Jets and Christian Fauria was tops with only 49 yards. Troy Brown had only one catch for 16 yards and Deion Branch ended with 25 yards on two receptions.

Deion Branch injured his hand last week when he jammed his fingers on a pass and did not finish the game. He is expected to be back this Sunday. Bethel Johnson was inactive last week because he ticked off the coaches with what was considered inadequate preparation but since Brown returned anyway, Johnson was not as important.

Match against the Defense: The Jets have only allowed one passing score while at home in the past three games and have allowed more than one only once this entire season. Look for Brady to have a standard showing here as do most quarterbacks.

After being burned regularly by opposing runners this season, the Jets have improved in their run defense but the Patriots do not have a good set of runners anyway.

NY Jets Notes

The Jets rise to 6-8 on the season.

Quarterbacks:: Chad Pennington threw for only 144 yards and no score last week in the bad weather game in New York. His hot start in week nine has cooled considerably now and he has not thrown a passing score in the past two games. Testaverde had 264 yards and one score back in week three against the Patriots.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin comes off his best game of the season, gaining 174 yards on 30 carries for his fourth 100 yard game of the year. Incredibly he has only one touchdown on the season and Martin only managed 53 yards on 15 carries in his last game against the Patriots.

Receivers: In the frigid weather the passing was not productive last week and Santana Moss only had 44 yards on five catches. After stringing seven consecutive scoring games this season, Moss has not scored in three weeks and each week has less yardage than the previous week.

Wayne Chrebet had 55 yards and one score against the Patriots in week three and Conway turned in 70 yards on five receptions. Santana Moss only had one catch.

Match against the Defense: As always, it will be a defensive affair when facing the Patriots and the decline in Pennington's numbers is unlikely to turn around this week. In his favor, the Patriots have allowed the last four home teams to score through the air though none had much yardage. The Patriots are due for a stumble but are still playing for homefield advantage.

The Patriots have allowed only Clinton Portis to top 100 yards and since Martin never scores, he is most likely to hang around the 60-80 yard mark this week and not be a big fantasy factor.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NE Scores
16
22
11
7
8
5
NYJ Allows
3
20
23
6
1
5
NE AP
-13
-2
12
-1
-7
0
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
NYJ Scores
24
23
15
31
22
30
NE Allows
14
1
20
27
5
13
NYJ AP
-10
-22
5
-4
-17
-17
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.
NE
NYJ
2003 Game Averages
NYJ
NE
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
241
211
Pass yards
197
196
1.2
0.8
Pass TDs
1.2
1.4
0.8
0.8
Interceptions
1.0
1.8
4
0
Rush yards
4
10
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
78
132
Rush yards
103
71
0.8
1.0
Rush TDs
0.2
0.0
48
20
Receive yards
57
41
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
155
160
Receive yards
121
133
0.8
0.8
Receive TD's
1.2
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
39
31
Receive yards
19
22
0.4
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
0.8
Field Goals
1.2
1.2
2.4
2.0
Extra Points
2.0
1.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.2
Fumbles
0.4
1.0
1.8
0.8
Interceptions
0.8
0.8
0.4
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.4
2.4
Sacks
1.4
2.6
0.2
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Patriots (12-2)
Score Opp.
0-31 @BUF
31-10 @PHI
23-16 NYJ
17-20 @WAS
38-30 TEN
17-6 NYG
19-13 @MIA
9-3 CLE
30-26 @DEN
Week 10 BYE
12-0 DAL
23-20 @HOU
38-34 @IND
12-0 MIA
27-13 JAX
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 BUF
Jets (6-8)
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
13-10 JAX
24-17 TEN
6-17 @BUF
6-0 PIT
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @MIA

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points using only the last five games played