fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
October 13, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
SD at ATL KC at JAX HOU at TEN* PIT at DAL Bye Week:
CIN at CLE* SF at NYJ*   Sun 8:30 PM ARZ, BAL
WAS at CHI* SEA at NE* Times ET MIN at NO IND, NYG
  Houston Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 20 0 250,2
RB Domanick Davis 60 30 0
TE Billy Miller 0 20,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 50 0
PK Kris Brown 0 FG 2 XP -
  Tennessee Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 20 0 240,2
RB Chris Brown 110,1 10 0
TE Shad Meier 0 30 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 70,1 0
WR Eddie Berlin 0 50 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 60,1 0
PK Gary Anderson 2 FG 3 XP -

HOU (2-3) vs TEN (2-3)

Game Prediction: HOU 14, TEN 27

Here is another statement game that we need to see what these teams are going to be like this year. The Texans have been a scoring machine the past three weeks while the Titans had mysteriously lost their offense outside of Chris Brown. Then they spanked the Packers 48-27 as if there were no problems.

Update: Mason has missed practice due to a sprained ankle but is expected to play. I am slightly shifting his numbers downward in case his ankle has not healed fully.

Andre Johnson has also been bothered by a sprained ankle and did not practice earlier this week but is expected to play. I have slightly lowered his numbers similar to Mason.

Pre-Game Notes - HOU

After winning two games in a row, the Texans hosted the Vikings last week but not before throwing an overtime scare into Tice and the boys. Unlike last year, the running game is not always working but the passing game gets better each week. Losing an overtime game is always an emotional downer and heading back out on the road is less likely a treat.

Quarterback: After throwing only one 300 yard game last season, David Carr now has two in the past month. His 372 yard effort against the Vikings is a career best and he has no interceptions in the last two games. His chemistry with Andre Johnson is starting to cause fear in the league.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis returned to the lineup last week but only managed 31 yards on 14 carries with no other runners used in the game. After Jonathan Wells had 105 yards the previous week, the plan was supposed to include a three-way share between Wells, Davis and Tony Hollings. Never happened. Davis had every carry.

The Texans are starting to turn away from such heavy use of Davis anyway with the success of the passing game and the fact that they were being too predictable with using mainly only Davis as a threat in every game. Davis still came in and scored once last week but his days of 25 carries in a game may be waning to the benefit of the Texans.

Wide Receivers: In his second year, Andre Johnson is quickly becoming a top stud wideout in the league. in the last two games he has three scores, 18 catches and 285 yards. He is becoming a fixture on weekly highlight reels in spite of heavy coverage.

Outside of Johnson, the only wideout of note lately has been Derick Armstrong who comes in as the #4 receiver on passing downs. Armstrong scored his first touchdown last week and ended with 101 yards on six catches. Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney have done little even though the passing yardage is way up. Armstrong is still too green to be more than a #4 wideout, but he's making the case for more playing time and attention this season.

Tight Ends: They never matter... until maybe this week.

Match Against the Defense: Here's the question - which Titan defense do we see this week? The one that stuffed Ahman Green or the one that was ripped apart by both James and Tomlinson and even allowed Fred Taylor his best game of the season? Back at home though on a short week, expect the Titans to hold Davis to only moderate yardage this week but with a decent shot at running in a score. Houston should allow the Titans to get a lead and force Carr to throw which will depress Davis' numbers even further.

David Carr is on a hot streak and this secondary can be exploited. Every opponent has thrown for at least one score and some up to three touchdowns. The Texans rarely use Billy Miller but his matchup has been a gold mine for tight ends this year. The Titans have allowed seven touchdowns to go to tight ends in only five games this year - every single week at least one and the last two opponents have thrown two scores to the position. Miller is not used typically, but if there ever was a week you needed one, here is the best chance he'll have all year at scoring.

In spite of loving tight ends, the Titans have only allowed three passing scores to wideouts this season thanks to above average cornerbacks with Andre Dyson and Samari Rolle. They have allowed five wideouts to top 98 yards receiving though and there should be plenty of passing. Figure Johnson as the best choice since he gets about three times the passes as any other wideout and beyond him, the others have not shown to matter too much in the passing game, certainly not near the endzone.

Pre-Game Notes - TEN

Like driving a car with carburetor problems for a month, the Titans suddenly got everything fixed and whoa! We forgot how fast this baby can go. After three straight losses and no game over 17 points, the Titans rolled up 48 points against the Packers. With a pre-bye schedule left of HOU, MIN and CIN, there's some fast times ahead if nothing breaks down.

Quarterback: Steve McNair was having such an easy time last week he even let Drew Bennett throw a touchdown. After only throwing one score in the first three weeks, McNair had two in each of his last two games and has made Derrick Mason a fantasy factor once again.

Running Backs: Chris Brown was ambushed in San Diego for only 55 yards on 15 carries but got back on his wildly productive ways again with 172 yards and two scores against the Packers. That makes four of five games over 100 yards and four scores on the year.

Wide Receivers: It's as if McNair finally accepted that Tyrone Calico was not in the picture this year and decided to pretend it was 2003 again. Derrick Mason had two scores and 157 yards in the last two weeks and even Eddie Berlin caught a touchdown against the Packers. While Drew Bennett (2-47) had a down game receiving, he threw a touchdown pass last week. This group still has not risen to last year's level with the loss of Justin McCareins never really filled but McNair showed he can get the job done with what he has, particularly since Brown is making the defense fear the run more than the pass.

Tight Ends: As a final testament that the Titans are truly a different team now, the tight ends never had a single pass last week.

Match Against the Defense: Here's the week you want McNair as your starter. The Texans have already allowed 13 total passing scores to the four opponents this season and only Collins first start was not a gold mine for opposing quarterbacks. The only factor limiting McNair here is Chris Brown who goes against a rush defense that is ripe for allowing another 100+ yard game.

Expect Brown to turn in his fifth 100 yard game of the season this week and McNair to toss at least two scores in what should be a solid win that gets Tennessee back on track. The Texans have been giving up scores to the best wideout they face each week regardless of which side so Mason should score here.

HOU TEN 2004 Averages TEN HOU
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
239 Pass yards 195
2.0 Pass TDs 1.0
1.2 Interceptions 0.4
3 Rush yards 17
0.0 Rush TDs 0.2
103 Rush yards 131
1.0 Rush TDs 1.0
28 Receive yards 29
0.0 Receive TD's 0.2
172 Receive yards 150
0.6 Receive TD's 0.6
39 Receive yards 22
1.4 Receive TD's 0.4
0.8 Field Goals 1.6
2.8 Extra Points 2.4
0.4 Fumbles 1.0
0.4 Interceptions 1.2
0.0 Touchdowns 0.2
2.2 Sacks 1.4
0.0 Safeties 0.0
Texans (2-3)
Score Opp.
20-27 SD
16-28 @DET
24-21 @KC
30-17 OAK
28-34 MIN
Week 6 @TEN
Week 7 bye
Week 8 JAX
Week 9 @DEN
Week 10 @IND
Week 11 GB
Week 12 TEN
Week 13 @NYJ
Week 14 IND
Week 15 @CHI
Week 16 @JAX
Week 17 CLE
Tennessee (2-3)
Score Opp.
17-7 @MIA
17-31 IND
12-15 JAX
17-38 @SD
48-27 @GB
Week 6 HOU
Week 7 @MIN
Week 8 CIN
Week 9 bye
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @JAX
Week 12 @HOU
Week 13 @IND
Week 14 KC
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 DEN
Week 17 DET