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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
  New York Jets Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 230,2
RB Curtis Martin 110,1 10 0
RB Lamont Jordan 10 10 0
TE Anthony Becht 0 10 0
WR Jonathan Carter 0 30 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 60,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 90,1 0
PK Doug Brien 1 FG 3 XP -
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 220,1
RB L. Tomlinson 120,1 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 60 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 30 0
WR Eric Parker 0 60,1 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 40 0
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 2 XP -

NYJ (1-0) vs SD (1-0)

Game Prediction: NYJ 24, SD 23

The battle of the undefeateds come to San Diego where the young Superbuck Tomlinson gets to face Curtis "Old School" Martin and the winner finally settles the "age or beauty" question.

Pre-Game Notes - NYJ

The Jets start the season with a win - odd enough. Curtis Martin rushes for 196 yards and you know this is really a different year than 2003.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington had a near flawless game last week, completing 20 of 27 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. This on top of the big day by Martin. The Bengals may not be a top defense, but then again, neither are the Chargers.

Running Backs: This year Curtis Martin took more action in the preseason in order to prepare him better for the regular season and so that he could hit the ground running. He not only did, he effectively ran the lengths of two football fields by the final gun. Now he faces the Chargers defense where even bad backs look good.

Lamont Jordan is back in the game plan with one catch and no runs. Not much different, huh Lamont?

Wide Receivers: While injuries to Santana Moss and Wayne Chrebet limited the amount of practice that Pennington had with the wideouts, they still were efficient last week when Moss had four catches for 55 yards and Justin McCareins turned in five receptions for 66 yards. The lone score went to Jonathan Carter on a 46-yard play and last week was the first time Wayne Chrebet was back on the field since his injury last year.

Tight Ends: Just one catch for four yards and no fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: With Curtis Martin suddenly back to form, the Jets present a much different offense to their opponents than most of last year. The Chargers are always bad against the run - Domanick Davis had 87 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns just last week. Look for another nice afternoon from CuMar.

Safe enough to also start Pennington, Moss and McCareins who will post at least moderate numbers. They'll be held down only if Martin runs wild again but even last week all three were fantasy relevant for the week.

Pre-Game Notes - SD

The Chargers were almost overlooked by the Texans last week and once Houston realized it was not going to be all that easy, it was too late.

Quarterback: Drew Brees may not have made Philip Rivers go away, but his performance last week may keep the rookie on the bench a bit longer. Brees had 209 yards and two scores on the day with no interceptions. If he only would have played like that all last year the Chargers could have drafted one of those big name receivers last April instead of Rivers.

Running Backs: Ladainian Tomlinson had a slow start in 2003 but that's not happening this year. Against the Texans, LT gained 121 yards on 26 carries (4.7 YPC) and scored once. Now he faces the Jets.

Wide Receivers: The nice passing game of last week gave scores to both Reche Caldwell (4-65) and Eric Parker (2-25) but Tim Dwight is slated to return from hamstring injury and take the spot back from Reche Caldwell. Look for Kassim Osgood and and Caldwell to still be involved in multiple receiver sets.

Tight Ends: Not only did Antonio Gates catch eight passes for 123 yards, he actually caught every pass thrown to him last Sunday. He also led all tight ends in yardage for the week. This converted wideout is not done making noise - he is just starting.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets bring a better defense to the game this week than what Houston put up last Sunday. While Carson Palmer had success with Peter Warrick and Chad Johnson, that duo is easily better than Eric Parker and Tim Dwight. With the game likely to see the Chargers fall behind, the passing will increase in the second half and both Parker and Dwight will figure in. Parker has the better matchup and will be the more favorable play.

While the Jets limited Rudi Johnson to only 70 yards on 24 carries, it's folly to think that Tomlinson won't have more success.

NYJ SD 2003 Averages SD NYJ
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
224 229 Pass yards 209 248
2 0 Pass TDs 2 2
0 2 Interceptions 0 1
-4 12 Rush yards -2 10
0 0 Rush TDs 0 0
--- --- RB's --- ---
215 98 Rush yards 124 95
1 2 Rush TDs 1 1
32 100 Receive yards -4 23
1 0 Receive TD's 0 1
--- --- WR's --- ---
188 122 Receive yards 90 222
1 0 Receive TD's 2 1
--- --- TE's --- ---
4 7 Receive yards 123 3
0 0 Receive TD's 0 0
--- --- PK's --- ---
1 2 Field Goals 2 1
4 2 Extra Points 3 3
--- --- DEF/ST --- ---
1 0 Fumbles 2 1
1 0 Interceptions 2 0
1 0 Touchdowns 0 0
1 1 Sacks 2 1
0 0 Safeties 0 0
Jets (1-0)
Score Opp.
31-24 CIN
Week 2 @SD
Week 3 bye
Week 4 @MIA
Week 5 BUF
Week 6 SF
Week 7 @NE
Week 8 MIA
Week 9 @BUF
Week 10 BAL
Week 11 @CLE
Week 12 @ARI
Week 13 HOU
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 SEA
Week 16 NE
Week 17 @STL
Chargers (1-0)
Score Opp.
27-20 @HOU
Week 2 NYJ
Week 3 @DEN
Week 4 TEN
Week 5 JAX
Week 6 @ATL
Week 7 @CAR
Week 8 OAK
Week 9 NO
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @OAK
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 TB
Week 15 @CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 KC

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points