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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
2005
Championship
Round
Sunday Sunday
3 P.M. on FOX 6:30 P.M. on CBS
Atlanta at Philadelphia New England at Pittsburgh
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 200,1
RB Corey Dillon 90 10 0
RB Kevin Faulk 20 20 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 30,1 0
WR David Patten 0 40 0
WR Deion Branch 0 50 0
WR David Givens 0 50 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 3 FG 1 XP -
  Pittsburgh Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 0 0 170,1
RB Duce Staley 70 20 0
RB Jerome Bettis 70,1 0 0
TE Jerame Tuman 0 10 0
WR Hines Ward 0 50,1 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 20 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 60 0
PK Jeff Reed 1 FG 2 XP -

NE (14-2) vs PIT (15-1)

Game Prediction: NE 16, PIT 17

(Line - Patriots by 3)

This is a replay of week 8 when the Steelers won 34-20. That game had the Steelers jump out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter thanks to two touchdowns to Plaxico Burress and an interception return for a touchdown. The rest of the game was mainly just the Steelers protecting a lead though Bettis did later score a short rushing touchdown. He ended with 15 carries for 65 yards while Duce Staley had 25 runs for 125 yards - his biggest game of the year.

Most notable was that the Patriots were without Corey Dillon that week and Kevin Faulk only had five runs for four yards thanks to the large deficit on the scoreboard for virtually the entire game.

Tom Brady threw for 271 yards and two scores but had two interceptions. In the cold weather game this week, it will be all about defense and rushing and passing numbers from either team should be low.

Both of these teams were outstanding against the run this year. In allowing fantasy points, they actually ranked in the top 5 toughest rushing defenses the entire season. The Steelers were also the best against quarterbacks and top three against the other positions. This will not be a high scoring game.

This game could end up as a stalemate of sorts since both defenses are among the best and the weather won't be kind to passing. The Steelers have the weaker passing game with the rookie Roethlisberger but they are at home and have been successful defending against Brady before as well. The Steelers looked like the weaker team but last week was against an opponent they knew they could beat and they played like it. They got away with it but this week is for all the marbles and the homefield and defense will prove just enough.

This game should go down to the wire if only because neither team is likely to run up a big score. The gameday weather is predicted to be lower 20's with possible snow. That should depress the game score but not really favor either team.

NE PIT 2004 Averages PIT NE
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
234
191
Pass yards
184
232
1.8
0.9
Pass TDs
1.1
1.1
0.9
1.2
Interceptions
0.8
1.3
2
11
Rush yards
10
9
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
131
67
Rush yards
140
85
0.9
0.5
Rush TDs
0.9
0.4
36
30
Receive yards
21
32
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.2
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
155
132
Receive yards
140
164
1.0
0.6
Receive TD's
0.8
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
42
30
Receive yards
12
36
0.5
0.2
Receive TD's
0.3
0.1
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.9
1.4
Field Goals
1.8
0.9
3.0
1.5
Extra Points
2.5
1.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.0
0.5
Fumbles
0.8
0.8
1.3
0.8
Interceptions
1.2
0.9
0.3
0.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.3
2.9
2.3
Sacks
2.6
1.6
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Patriots (14-2)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
24-10 MIA
30-20 SEA
13-7 NYJ
20-34 @PIT
40-22 @STL
29-6 BUF
27-19 @KC
24-3 BAL
42-15 @CLE
35-28 CIN
28-29 @MIA
23-7 @NYJ
21-7 SF
Steelers (15-1)
Score Opp.
24-21 OAK
13-30 @BAL
13-3 @MIA
28-17 CIN
34-23 CLE
24-20 @DAL
Week 7 bye
34-20 NE
27-3 PHI
24-10 @CLE
19-14 @CIN
16-7 WAS
17-16 @JAX
17-6 NYJ
33-30 @NYG
20-7 BAL
29-24 @BUF