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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 19, 2005
Season Ticket
FRI 7 PM Sun 1 PM SF at WAS* Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM
KC at MIA* NO at STL Sun 4 PM DEN at NYG TEN at ARI*
Sun 1 PM PIT at CIN* DAL at SEA* On Bye: Mon 9 PM
GB at MIN* IND at HOU BUF at OAK CAR, TB Updated*

Prediction: Indianapolis 24, Houston 14

This looks like a fair fight. The only 6-0 team going against the only 0-5 team... 'click'....

The Texans have a great chance to make this look like a real game. The Colts are coming off a short week and in this ridiculously lop-sided matchup, how could Indy get up for this game? The Colts swept the Texans last season 49-17 and 23-14.

Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
1 24-7 @BAL 10 Nov 13 HOU
2 10-3 JAC 11 Nov 20 @CIN
3 13-6 CLE 12 Nov 28 PIT
4 31-10 @TEN 13 Dec 4 TEN
5 28-3 @SFO 14 Dec 11 @JAC
6 45-28 STL 15 Dec 18 SDC
7 Oct 23 @HOU 16 Dec 24 @SEA
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 ARI
9 Nov 7 @NE . MON SAT
IND Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 200,1
RB Edgerrin James 120,2 10 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 50 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 40 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Colts have a short week to prepare how to decimate the Texans but anything over about 20 minutes is likely enough. The offense is back to scoring big except this time it is using the running game instead. Let's see, the Colts just had four rushing scores last week and the Texans gave up five rushing touchdowns in Seattle. Oh yeah, start Edgerrin this week.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning had two scores against the Rams and he did secure the all-time tandem scoring record with Marvin Harrison but he looked a little less in synch than last year. He only had 191 yards passing in the game though he really did not need that much. The apparent rustiness of the passing game - at least compared to last year - may be an issue down the road but not this week. Considering that they have a bye, the Colts now get two weeks to game plan against the Patriots and week nine.

Manning was magic against the Texans in 2004, turning in games of 320 yards and five touchdowns and later 298 yards and two scores as a visitor.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James ran for 143 yards and three scores on Monday night and he could have had more since Dominic Rhodes was given 11 carries and a score in the game. That makes every game this year with over 20 carries for James and every effort nets over 100 total yards.

James ran for 86 yards and 104 yards in the games against the Texans last year with no scores in either.

Wide Receivers: While Marvin Harrison got his touchdown and set the all-time record for tandem scores with a quarterback, he didn't come across as happy as you might expect someone with a new plaque in Canton should be. Harrison only had four catches for 39 yards against the Texans and that makes all but the one Titan game this year as just average receiver production. He only has four scores on the year and just the one game above 69 yards.

Reggie Wayne was the more common target against the Rams and he netted seven catches for 59 yards and one score. The passing offense still is taking a back seat to the running game and by now, it's hard to tell just how well it could work if it was needed. Problem is - hasn't been needed and it won't this week either.

Harrison never did much against the Texans in 2004, gaining only 22 and 26 yards during the two meetings. He scored once and Reggie Wayne scored in both games while gaining either 33 or 96 yards. Brandon Stokley had 132 yards and two scores in the first matchup and later only 54 yards in the second game.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark will be insignificant until the passing game is needed and the wideouts are all covered. At current rate, that appears likely by 2007.

Dallas Clark had 102 yards and two scores when the Texans visited Indianapolis last year but only had 26 yards in the second game.

Match Against the Defense: As noted, James is scoring touchdowns at a clip only exceeded by how many the Texans are giving out lately. Big game for James as the Colts cool down for a bye week.

Manning could carve this defense up and he will get at least one score and maybe two if the mood strikes him, but it won't be needed and will only remind you of what last year was like and how this year is such a step down. Any receiver could score here but if you have to choose one, Marvin "little buddy" Harrison looks like he needs some love more than the others.

Houston Texans (0-5)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 Nov 13 @IND
2 7-27 PIT 11 Nov 20 KCC
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 STL
4 10-16 @CIN 13 Dec 4 @BAL
5 20-34 TEN 14 Dec 11 @TEN
6 10-42 @SEA 15 Dec 18 ARI
7 Oct 23 IND 16 Dec 24 JAC
8 Oct 30 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 Nov 6 @JAC . . SAT
HOU Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 190,1
RB Domanick Davis 90,1 30 0
TE Matt Murphy 0 8 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 40 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 80,1 0
WR Derick Armstrong 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 0 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: How low can you go? The Texas Two-step has been replaced with the Houston Limbo and evidently the "butt dragging the dirt" is not the end yet of how poorly the Texans are doing. Carr remains stuck at about 170 yards a game and the only question is if Domanick Davis will make it interesting. Not "win the game" interesting mind you, just "fantasy numbers" interesting.

Quarterback: For the last four games, David Carr has thrown one score and around 170 yards every week. No matter what. He only has one interception in the last four games but has lost two fumbles as he continues to be blasted on a weekly basis by the pass rush. David, this is Dwight Freeney. Dwight, this is lunch.

Carr threw for only 215 yards and no scores in the home game against the Colts and later only turned in 167 yards and one score in the meeting in Indianapolis.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis appeared to have turned the corner on a bad season when he gained 130 yards against the Titans but the Seahawks reminded him that ain't so when he only gained 40 yards on 18 carries. Davis did score once last week and now has two touchdowns on the year - both receiving.

Domanick Davis had 152 total yards and two scores on the road against the Colts in 2004, and later turned in 201 yards and one score back in Houston.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson missed last week due to a calf injury but as we all know, he's done nothing this season really and only has 76 yards on the entire season. He's been rather successfully covered this year and never had more than 6 or 7 passes even thrown at him in a game. Until word out of camp is given, I am not projecting for Johnson to be a part of Carr's 170 yards this week.

Jabar Gaffney has the two best performances by Texans wideouts this season with 88 and 87 yards. He had his 87 yard game last week against Seattle when he had 13 passes and caught ten of them. Shame Johnson cannot get that volume of passes. Corey Bradford only had 38 yards last week and other than his one score in week five, he's varied between 49 yards and no catches this year to produce no fantasy relevance.

Tight Ends: It has been three weeks since one cracked the elusive "10 yard" barrier in a game.

Match Against the Defense: Steven Jackson had the lone rushing score against the Colts last Monday but otherwise, there have been no successful runners this year against Indy. The biggest hope here - and it could be realized easily - is that Davis goes against a tired Colts squad that knows they can win and a half-hearted fight means Davis posts decent numbers. Like Barlow did against the Colts when he had 99 yards.

Carr - 170 yards and one score every week and his fortunes are likely there again unless Indy just stops caring which is possible. Then again, there has been nothing to suggest Carr is capable of more this year.