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WEEKLY FEATURES
Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 17
January 2, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
MIA at BAL * CLE at HOU * DET at TEN TB at ARZ DAL at NYG *
PIT at BUF SF at NE * MIN at WAS IND at DEN Happy
GB at CHI CIN at PHI * Sun 4 PM JAX at OAK * New Year!
NO at CAR NYJ at STL ATL at SEA * KC at SD * *updated
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels 0 0 160
RB Sammy Morris 50 10 0
RB Travis Minor 20 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 50 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 50 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 30 0
WR Brian Gilmore 0 10 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 0 XP -
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 0 0 170
RB Jamal Lewis 80,1 10 0
RB Chester Taylor 40,1 0 0
TE Terry Jones 0 40 0
WR Randy Hymes 0 40 0
WR Clarence Moore 0 40 0
WR Kevin Johnson 0 30 0
PK Matt Stover 2 FG 2 XP -

MIA (4-11) vs BAL (8-7)

Game Prediction: MIA 3, BAL 20

The Dolphins are on a two game winning streak while the Ravens have dropped their last two - time for a correction or the Ravens playoff hopes are gone.

Update: A.J. Feeley is expected to miss this game and Sage Rosenfels will take the start. I am adjusting the numbers downward since Rosenfels is showing a very bad sense of timing on when to become a starter. Marty Booker remains unlikely to play and Derrius Thompson has improved enough that he should play the #2 role.

Jamal Lewis is slated to play about 20 plays this week and Chester Taylor will figure in more heavily. Todd Heap has not practiced this week with a sprained ankle and has been downgraded to doubtful. I am removing him from the projections.

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

After surprising the Patriots, the Dolphins hung on to squeak past the Browns who are in an even bigger disarray. Miami has a new coach coming and this week he'll be checking out what the inheritance looks like.

Quarterback: A.J. Feeley is not a difference maker in his best games but he rarely is the reason why the Dolphins lose games. Feeley is not considered a lock to start next season by any means and while he has thrown at least one score in each of the last six games, he has not thrown more than one in the last three weeks nor topped 200 passing yards.

Running Backs: Sammy Morris has settled into the starting role and had 17 carries last week but only gained 69 yards against the Browns. His biggest value lies in picking up short yards near the goal line, something that may never happen this week. Travis Minor has seen his role decline in each of the last five weeks and only had six carries last Sunday. He's a more natural pass receiver though the Dolphins rarely use him in that capacity.

Wide Receivers: Marty Booker chugs along at about four catches a week for around 35 yards and has only one touchdown on the season. Booker has a sprained ankle and may not play this week. Chris Chambers had scored for three straight weeks but during fantasy playoffs last Sunday decided he would stop his scoring stretch. Chambers is the primary receiver but that has only mean around 50 yards a week over the last three games. If any wideout scores, it will be Chambers.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael rarely scores - he only has four touchdowns on the year and none since week 12 but he provides at least four or five receptions per game and around 40 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The low-powered rushing attack for Miami will be even worse this week in Baltimore so the success will be entirely up to A. J. Feeley. Facing a motivated Ravens team in Baltimore, he's more likely to throw multiple interceptions than scores but he could end up with 200 yards or so if trash time starts early enough.

Randy McMichael likely has the best shot at the touchdown this week since the Fins mainly use only Chambers and Booker may be out anyway.

Pre-Game Notes - BAL

The Ravens will be eliminated if the Colts, Steelers and Jaguars all win. But since the Ravens play in a morning game, they cannot know if that scenario occurs.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller closes out his season with 12 touchdowns on the year and four of those came in one game. In eight games he had no scores and he topped out with only 232 yards as his season high game. Facing an above average secondary this week should allow him to end with the majority of his games with no scores.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis won't likely practice much this week but will still play, much as he has for the last few weeks. He was ineffective against the Steelers last week with only 26 yards on 14 carries but he did score once and had 130 yards the previous week.

Wide Receivers: Travis Taylor was made inactive last week and Randy Hymes started in his place. It was the first time in his five-year career that Taylor was healthy enough to play and yet inactive for a game. He is due to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and the Ravens appear to be moving away from him. Taylor has also been hampered by a bad back this season.

That leaves only Kevin Johnson with one score on the season and Clarence Moore who has only one catch in the last two games while Hymes is getting more play. This remains a fantasy wasteland and there has been nothing in the development of Boller that suggests it will ever change.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap only had 34 yards on three catches last week against the Colts but scored three times in the two previous games. He still receives more passes than any other receiver.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins rush defense is not nearly as good as it once was and way from Miami will be even worse. Expect at least a moderate game from Lewis with a chance at some good numbers in a game that Baltimore has to win.

Expecting anything from a wideout other than Heap won't likely result in any appreciable fantasy numbers against the Dolphins. If Boller did score, it would almost certainly be to Heap but as noted, a passing score is not in keeping with the trends of Boller or the Miami defense.

MIA BAL 2004 Averages BAL MIA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
205
208
Pass yards
161
178
1.2
0.9
Pass TDs
0.8
1.3
1.5
1.1
Interceptions
0.7
1.0
5
9
Rush yards
11
6
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.3
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
73
95
Rush yards
114
133
0.5
0.5
Rush TDs
0.6
0.7
24
20
Receive yards
25
26
0.1
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
126
150
Receive yards
91
130
0.8
0.6
Receive TD's
0.4
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
58
38
Receive yards
45
23
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.4
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.7
Field Goals
1.7
1.1
1.5
1.4
Extra Points
1.8
2.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0.8
Fumbles
0.9
1.2
1.2
0.7
Interceptions
1.2
1.2
0.1
0.2
Touchdowns
0.5
0.6
2.6
2.3
Sacks
2.4
3.1
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Dolphins (4-11)
Score Opp.
7-17 TEN
13-16 @CIN
3-13 PIT
9-17 NYJ
10-24 @NE
13-20 @BUF
31-14 STL
14-41 @NYJ
23-24 ARI
Week 10 bye
17-24 @SEA
24-17 @SF
32-42 BUF
17-20 @DEN
29-28 NE
10-7 CLE
Week 17 @BAL
Ravens (8-7)
Score Opp.
3-20 @CLE
30-13 PIT
23-9 @CIN
24-27 KC
17-10 @WAS
Week 6 bye
20-6 BUF
10-15 @PHI
27-13 CLE
20-17 @NYJ
30-10 DAL
3-24 @NE
26-27 CIN
37-14 NYG
10-20 @IND
7-20 @PIT
Week 17 MIA