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Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
September 19, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
STL at ATL DEN at JAX* Sun 4 PM IND at TEN Mon 9 PM
CLE at DAL* CAR at KC* SEA at TB* NYJ at SD MIN at PHI*
HOU at DET SF at NO* BUF at OAK* Times ET *updated
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB A.J. Feeley 10 0 230,2
RB Lamar Gordon 60 20 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 50,1 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 60,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 20 0
WR Marty Booker 0 50 0
PK Olindo Mare 0 FG 2 XP -
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 210,2
RB Rudi Johnson 90,1 10 0
TE Kelly/Stewart/Schobel 0 20 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 40 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 60,1 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 70,1 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP -

MIA (0-1) vs CIN (0-1)

Game Prediction: MIA 14, CIN 24

When's the last time that the Bengals were favored by 4.5 points and even that looks like it could be low?

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

The Dolphins have now joined forces with the Florida State University system and donated the use of their offense as a real-life experiment in the Chaos Theory. Sure, it's an easy "A" but you have to actually watch the games and the classes just aren't filling.

Quarterback: The quarterback swap only took one half of play from Jay Fiedler which stemmed from completing only 5 of 13 passes for 42 yards and two interceptions. A.J. Feeley gets the start this week (but no guarantees on "the end") since he only had one interception and one touchdown.

Running Backs: Lamar Gordon was hastily acquired in a trade with the Rams (who may still be snickering) and he was playing with pricetags still on his uniform. Gordon only gained 32 yards on 12 carries and he played mainly because both Sammy Morris and Travis Minor were hit with ankle injuries. Gordon did have 30 yards on five catches so his quick use was not without payback.

Travis Minor is still considered questionable to play this week and I am assuming he is out and that Sammy Morris will serve as Gordon's back-up. Updates if warranted.

Wide Receivers: The quarterbacks threw 20 passes to the wideouts but only completed ten of them - Chris Chambers (6-35), Marty Booker (4-36) and Derrius Thompson (no catches) were not enough to keep the chains moving. With Feeley looking somewhat more effective than Fiedler, all hope is not lost for the wideouts particularly considering many games will need come from behind efforts.

Tight Ends: The lone productive receiver was the guy closest to the quarterback - Randy McMichael. He had eight catches for 79 yards and the lone Miami touchdown. At this rate, McMichael should have a career year.

Match Against the Defense: To their benefit, the Bengals defense is much softer than the Titans. However, there is reason to believe that TEN was mostly trying to mail the game in last week in Miami and the Bengals are still looking for their first win. With the offense still sputtering, there are no real matchups that you can bank on this week.

The Bengals were ripped by Curtis Martin last week, but neither the MIA offensive line nor Gordon appear to be similarly situated. Gordon is likely the safer start though Feeley could surprise if left in the entire game.

Pre-Game Notes - CIN

The Bengals come off a good showing against the Jets, scoring 24 points and proving that while he is still a bit green, Carson Palmer belongs in the NFL.

Quarterback: in his much anticipated debut, Carson Palmer completed 18 of 27 for 248 yards and two touchdowns against only one interception. He connected for 188 yards to the wideouts and ignored the tight ends - just like Jon Kitna. Considering the impressive nature of his first game, Palmer should be a fun one to watch develop this season. He's currently sixth in the NFL with a QB rating of 111.2.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson faced what has been a poor rush defense of the Jets but only gained 70 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown for a 2.9 YPC. He'll be even more tested facing the Miami defense though Chris Brown had little trouble.

The rookie Chris Perry missed last week due to a hamstring strain but is expected back this Sunday. It will be interesting to see if Perry is used in a mixture much like the Bengals did in 2003 with Corey Dillon and Rudi Johnson. During the offseason, Johnson only signed a one year contract and the Bengals burned a high pick on Perry so eventually the rookie will get some playing time to help make the next offseason decision.

Wide Receivers: Palmer has a cannon of an arm and that benefits the speedy Chad Johnson who ended last week with 99 yards on five catches with one touchdown. Peter Warrick also had five catches for 76 yards but later received a deep bruise to his thigh. It is not considered serious and so far should not limit him this weekend.

Tight Ends: The Kelly/Stewart/Schobel trio only accounted for one catch and three yards last week. No reason to break the group up individually.

Match Against the Defense: Miami on the road is much kinder than Miami at home and this year's version seems all together different anyway. Chris Brown was cruising through the defense last week before his ankle sprain and Rudi Johnson has a similar style of running. Rudi should have at least a moderate output this week and some upside from volume on a good game.

Those good corners of Surtain and Madison will be challenged by the Bengals and hold passing numbers a little lower this week. There's some weakness at safety but the way they move Chad Johnson to get the better matchup, he is still a safe play. Cincinnati will be playing to win this week and the Miami offense will need to do better than expected to keep the defense from getting into constant bad situations. Those would most likely benefit Johnson as the runner.

MIA CIN 2003 Averages CIN MIA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
210 224 Pass yards 248 73
1 2 Pass TDs 2 1
3 0 Interceptions 1 0
0 -4 Rush yards 10 11
0 0 Rush TDs 0 0
--- --- RB's --- ---
59 215 Rush yards 95 171
0 1 Rush TDs 1 0
60 32 Receive yards 23 6
0 1 Receive TD's 1 0
--- --- WR's --- ---
71 188 Receive yards 222 66
0 1 Receive TD's 1 0
--- --- TE's --- ---
79 4 Receive yards 3 1
1 0 Receive TD's 0 1
--- --- PK's --- ---
0 1 Field Goals 1 1
1 4 Extra Points 3 2
--- --- DEF/ST --- ---
1 1 Fumbles 1 0
0 1 Interceptions 0 3
0 1 Touchdowns 0 1
2 1 Sacks 1 3
0 0 Safeties 0 0
Dolphins (0-1)
Score Opp.
7-17 TEN
Week 2 @CIN
Week 3 PIT
Week 4 NYJ
Week 5 @NE
Week 6 @BUF
Week 7 STL
Week 8 @NYJ
Week 9 ARI
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @SEA
Week 12 @SF
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 NE
Week 16 CLE
Week 17 @BAL
Bengals (0-1
Score Opp.
24-31 @NYJ
Week 2 MIA
Week 3 BAL
Week 4 @PIT
Week 5 bye
Week 6 @CLE
Week 7 DEN
Week 8 @TEN
Week 9 DAL
Week 10 @WAS
Week 11 PIT
Week 12 CLE
Week 13 @BAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 BUF
Week 16 NYG
Week 17 @PHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points