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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 17
December 24, 2003
Season Ticket
Sat 1:30 PM Sat 8:30 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM
BUF at NE PHI at WAS CHI at KC JAX at ATL CAR at NYG
Sat 5 PM Sun 8:30 PM CLE at CIN NYJ at MIA MIN at ARZ
SEA at SF PIT at BAL DAL at NO STL at DET DEN at GB
  IND at HOU TB at TEN OAK at SD
   
Indianapolis vs Houston Sun, Dec 28; 1 PM on CBS at Reliant Stadium
  Indianapolis at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 280,3
RB Edgerrin James 100,1 0 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 40,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 40 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 120,2 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 70 0
  Houston vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 20 0 260,1
RB Domanick Davis 70,1 20 0
TE Billy Miller 0 30 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 60 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 90,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40 0

Game Prediction: IND 31, HOU 20

Indianapolis Notes

The Colts fall to 11-4 with their loss to the Broncos and now have to hold off the Titans in order to win the AFC South. They must win this week. Last week showed how to beat the Colts - just never let them have the ball. That will not likely matter much this week but will rear its' head again in the playoffs.

Peyton Manning comes off his worst game of the season when he only threw 12 of 23 for 146 yards and no scores. In his last game against the Texans he had 269 yards and three touchdowns. Manning is now the only quarterback in the history of the NFL that has thrown for at least 4000 yards in five consecutive seasons.

Edgerrin James had 104 yards on 23 carries the last time he played against the Texans and should be good for at least that much this week. Marcus Pollard had 55 yards on four catches last week and scored one of his three touchdowns this season when he played against Houston in week 13.

Marvin Harrison had eight catches for 100 yards in the last meeting with Houston.

Match against the Defense: The Colts already beat the Texans 31-20 in their previous meeting and the Texans no longer have CB Aaron Glenn (IR) and just lost his backup Kenny Wright who tore the PCL in his knee. That side matches on Marvin Harrison who should manage at least one score here and more if Manning so chooses.

The Texans defense has been hit by injuries and can give up big games to either runners or passers and sometimes both. This could end up as a sort of shoot-out as it did in Indy earlier this year which only bodes better for the Colts offensive production.

Houston Notes

The Texans fall to 5-10 and have lost their last three games.

David Carr started his first game in four weeks against the Titans and ended with 242 yards and one touchdown. The team is convinced that Carr will develop into a top quarterback and this season he had several good performances once the rushing game demanded respect. Carr had only 62 yards and one score in the last meeting with the Colts when he was injured and Banks finished the game with 88 yards passing.

Domanick Davis scored his sixth touchdown last week against the Titans though he only gained 51 yards on 14 carries. Davis has only gained 70 or more yards rushing one time in the past four games but had 109 yards and two scores in his last meeting against the Colts.

Carr's return to the field was enjoyed by Andre Johnson who turned in 108 yards on five catches last week. Johnson had disappeared during the games with Banks and Ragone. He only had 29 yards on four catches in the previous matchup with Indianapolis since Davis was running well.

Match against the Defense: The Colts will be scoring early and often against a soft defense in a game they need to win. That means less chances that Davis gets a lot of carries and for some reason the Texans are not throwing to him much since his two big games in weeks six and seven of the season.

The Texans will have reason to play well at home and finally with Carr and Davis back on the field. The Colts have allowed good yardage and scores in most of their away games this season and since the Colts will likely be ahead, the Texans will have to throw.

There could be nice yardage and scores here for the Texans even if it is only trash time.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
IND Scores
13
12
3
6
4
20
HOU Allows
16
23
17
19
31
22
IND AP
3
11
14
13
27
2
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
HOU Scores
32
31
31
21
29
28
IND Allows
21
14
21
4
10
4
HOU AP
-11
-17
-10
-17
-19
-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.
IND
HOU
2003 Game Averages
HOU
IND
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
262
238
Pass yards
136
185
1.7
0.8
Pass TDs
0.7
1.3
0.2
0.7
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
3
6
Rush yards
21
13
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.7
---
---
RB's
---
---
107
145
Rush yards
64
104
1.3
0.7
Rush TDs
0.5
0.8
29
48
Receive yards
14
29
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
185
162
Receive yards
99
129
1.5
0.5
Receive TD's
0.5
1.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
48
27
Receive yards
23
28
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
2.3
Field Goals
1.2
0.8
3.3
1.7
Extra Points
1.3
3.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.7
Fumbles
0.3
0.7
0.7
1.0
Interceptions
0.7
0.2
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.2
0.2
2.0
3.3
Sacks
1.7
1.8
0.0
0.3
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Colts (11-4)
Score Opp.
9-6 @CLE
33-7 TEN
23-13 JAX
55-21 @NO
38-35 @TB
20-23 CAR
Week 7 BYE
30-21 HOU
23-17 @MIA
23-28 @JAX
38-31 NYJ
17-14 @BUF
34-38 NE
29-27 @TEN
38-7 ATL
17-31 DEN
Week 17 @HOU
Jaguars (5-10)
Score Opp.
23-24 @CAR
17-38 BUF
13-23 @IND
20-24 @HOU
27-21 SD
10-24 MIA
Week 7 BYE
17-30 TEN
17-24 @BAL
28-23 IND
3-10 @TEN
10-13 @NYJ
17-10 TB
27-0 HOU
13-27 @NE
20-19 NO
Week 17 @ATL

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points