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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at DET* MIA at TBB* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
CLE at BAL NYG at DAL* NYJ at BUF PHI, SF *Updated

Prediction: NY Jets 13, Buffalo 17

A mere week ago and both these teams looked like their passing games were in shambles. Now one Testaverde and Holcomb later, everyone is back to business in the surprisingly soft AFC East. The home team won in the two meetings of 2004 between these teams. The Jets took their win 16-14 in week five and the Bills won 22-17 in week nine. There is virtually no chance this is the highest scoring game of the week. Take that one to the bank.

New York Jets (2-3)
1 7-27 @KCC 10 Nov 13 @CAR
2 17-7 MIA 11 Nov 20 @DEN
3 20-26 JAC 12 Nov 27 NOR
4 3-13 @BAL 13 Dec 4 @NE
5 14-12 TBB 14 Dec 11 OAK
6 Oct 16 @BUF 15 Dec 18 @MIA
7 Oct 24 @ATL 16 Dec 26 NE
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 BUF
9 Nov 6 SDC . . MON
NYJ at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 180,1
RB Curtis Martin 60 20 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20,1 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 60 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 40 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 10 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Brooks Bollinger Reality Experiment ran its course in only one week before turning into the Vinny Testaverde Reunion Tour. One win over the defeated Buccaneers and already they are talking about Saint Vinny.

Quarterback: For only owning the uniform for a few days, Vinny Testaverde certainly looked like he had been doing more than just kicking back the last nine months (though he hadn't). While he did not throw a touchdown and he had one interception, he completed 13 of 19 passes for 163 yards and gave Laveranues Coles his best game this season. Pennington had been nothing special this year anyway and with the solid play of the defense, the ship is back on course for the Jets.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin still cannot cover ground like last year but his 23 carries for only 59 yards did include two touchdowns last week - his first of the season. Martin has yet to exceed 72 yards in a game despite having up to 31 carries and is producing about half what he had last season. Derrick Blaylock suffered a broken foot last week and will be out for at least six or more weeks. Cedric Houston will now become the primary backup for Martin.

Curtis Martin ran for only 77 and 67 yards in the two meetings with the Bills last year with no touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: As noted, Laveranues Coles had a nice game last Sunday, catching six passes for 89 yards and easing the fears of every fantasy owner. Coles had languished with only 17 and 16 yards in the two previous games so that was a very big sigh of relief heard last Sunday. What Testaverde did not do was use any other wideout - only Jerricho Cotchery had two catches for 14 yards and Justin McCareins had no receptions.

Tight Ends: Testaverde did use his tight ends, with Chris Baker (1-11) and Doug Jolley (3-46) having a better game than most of the wide receivers. The Jets are using more two tight end sets now and both players are starting.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rush defense has been surprisingly soft but the Jets are hardly a great rushing team this year. It will take a higher volume of carries to reach 100 than what Martin can hope to get so expect another moderate game from him that will likely see no scores.

Testaverde matches against another good secondary this week and Coles will likely see a dip back down from his matchup against CB Nate Clements that has been consistently shutting down opposing spit ends this season. The Bills have only allowed one passing score to wideouts this year and that went to Michael Jenkins on a busted play. Where the Jets will more likely score is with the tight ends which has happened three times this season compared to only once for all wideouts. Testaverde already has used his tight ends and will need them again this week. McCareins should get back to some catches this week, but nothing more than a moderate game.

Buffalo Bills (2-3)
1 22-7 HOU 10 Nov 13 KCC
2 3-19 @TBB 11 Nov 20 @SDC
3 16-24 ATL 12 Nov 27 CAR
4 7-19 @NOR 13 Dec 4 @MIA
5 20-14 MIA 14 Dec 11 NE
6 Oct 16 NYJ 15 Dec 17 DEN
7 Oct 23 @OAK 16 Dec 24 @CIN
8 Oct 30 @NE 17 Jan 1 @NYJ
9 Open Bye . . SAT
BUF vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 170,1
RB Willis McGahee 90,1 10 0
TE Mark Campbell 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 60,1 0
WR Lee Evans 0 50 0
WR Josh Reed 0 20 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The results from swapping Losman for Holcomb were just good enough to force the question " what took so long?" The Bills had struggled to a three game losing streak with good rushing by McGahee, sound defense and Losman. One small change later and the Bills are back in contention for the AFC East with Holcomb as the starter. Yes, it hurts J.P., but look - a win!

Quarterback: Kelly Holcomb only had 169 yards and one touchdown with one interception, but was almost the exact same results as Losman had against the Texans - a far lesser defense than the Dolphins. And the biggest difference was that Holcomb completed 20 of 26 passes and looked in control. Losman will get his time again, but not right now because look - a win!

Running Backs: Other than the one away game in Tampa Bay, Willis McGahee has ran for at least 84 yards in every game and has scored once in each of the last three matchups. Granted, it took 31 carries last week to reach 86 yards but McGahee remains the rock in this offense.

McGahee only managed to gain 42 yards in week five last year but later had 132 yards and one touchdown when he was at home against the Jets.

Wide Receivers: A strange thing happened when Holcomb started last week. While he only had 169 yards passing, he had Lee Evans catching three passes for 65 yards - more than his three previous games combined. What was even more surreal, Eric Moulds had seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown - more than his three previous games combined. Holcomb actually found the two primary wideouts and gave them both fantasy relevance. The Jets this week will be tough, but there could be some nice games down the road against OAK, NE and KC.

Tight Ends: Mark Campbell only had three catches for 15 yards, but guess what - it was more than... you get the picture.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets defense has been very good since the week one debacle in Kansas City and McGahee's trend for gaining around 80 yards holds true to what opponents have been getting. Look for about that and one score from McGahee and anything more will be unexpected gravy.

Holcomb faces a secondary that has not allowed more than 226 passing yards and only has given up three passing scores in five games. He won't be throwing for big yardage but he's already shown he does know where to look - Evans and Moulds. Of the two, Moulds has the better matchup against CB David Barrett though CB Ty Law against Evans still could give up a long gainer. Look for similar results to last week with likely a slight shift in the favor of Moulds this time.