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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: NY Jets 17, Atlanta 23

The loss to the Bills was particularly damaging to the Jets hope that they were back on track and could challenge for the divisional title. The Falcons come off a close win and like most games with Atlanta, it was decided by four points or less. The win keeps the Falcons within one game of the Buccaneers. Both these teams head into their bye next week and the Jets have no desire to be looking at 2-5 for a week. This Monday night game could be one of the less interesting ones of the season.

New York Jets (2-4)
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 17-27 @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 ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Vinny Testaverde 0 0 200,1
RB Curtis Martin 90,1 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 30 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 70,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 60 0
WR Wayne Chrebet 0 20 0
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Testaverde seemed to be a great fit when the Jets beat the Buccaneers but last week in Buffalo he looked much more like a retired quarterback coming in mid-season to take over a team. The rushing game picked up sharply while the passing game went down. If this team could get all the parts working at the same time, they can win some games. Until that happens, they can expect to be 2-5 during their bye week.

Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde was surprisingly sharp against Tampa Bay but had problems weathering the pass rush last week and was sacked five times, lost one fumble and threw two interceptions, one that killed a scoring drive. He completed only 12 of 26 for 161 yards and no scores though he did run in one touchdown. Don't stay up late waiting for the next one.

Running Backs: After plodding along this season and nursing a bad knee, the 2004 version of Curtis Martin reappeared against the Bills last week and he gained 148 yards on only 18 carries with one touchdown. Martin picked up some nice chunks of yardage including a 49 yard romp. The Bills rush defense had been worse this year, but had not been that bad - Martin was just running very well.

Losing center Kevin Mawae won't be a help here but shouldn't affect Martin as much as Testaverde.

Wide Receivers: Evidently the Bills had seen the game tape of Vinny throwing to Laveranues Coles and shut him down to only four catches for 33 yards in the game. That, however, allowed Testaverde to look to his left and hit Justin McCareins for a season high 116 yards on five catches. It is encouraging to see Vinny using both wideouts well, he just needs it to happen in the same game.

Tight Ends: While Chris Baker had won the starting job earlier this year and opened with a monster game, he has almost completely disappeared in the last two weeks of Vinny. Doug Jolley had three catches for 46 yards against the Bills while Baker had no catches and only one throw.

Match Against the Defense: This game could be yet another nice surprise for Martin owners. After looking so good last week, Martin goes against a defense that has been allowing opponents to run very well against them and have allowed five rushing scores this year. Expect at least 80 yards from Martin this week with a good shot at tipping the century mark if the Jet defense can keep the game low scoring and close.

Vinny is not going to be throwing anymore than he needs to, but the Falcons secondary has allowed opponents to score and top about 250 yards a week or more. Not likely that Vinny will hit that mark but he should have some success with both Coles and McCareins this week and if the Falcons did get a big lead, then Vinny will have to throw and should have some good fantasy results. The Jets defense is good enough to keep the game score reasonable though and this should be a fairly fast game with plenty of running.

Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
1 14-10 PHI 10 Nov 13 GBP
2 18-21 @SEA 11 Nov 20 TBB
3 24-16 @BUF 12 Nov 24 @DET
4 30-10 MIN 13 Dec 4 @CAR
5 28-31 NE 14 Dec 12 NOR
6 34-31 @NOR 15 Dec 18 @CHI
7 Oct 24 NYJ 16 Dec 24 @TBB
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 CAR
9 Nov 6 @MIA M THU SAT
ATL vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 80,1 0 110
RB Warrick Dunn 100,1 0 0
TE Alge Crumpler 0 50 0
WR Dez White 0 20 0
WR Michael Jenkins 0 30 0
WR Brian Finneran 0 10 0
PK Todd Peterson 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Falcons return home after dodging a bullet against the Saints last week and in the process probably lost T.J. Duckett for this week to a high ankle sprain. That doesn't help a team that is struggling in the passing game but the Falcon defense has been opportunistic and with Vick - all things are possible.

Quarterback: Michael Vick had another scare last week when it appeared he had reaggravated his knee sprain but he was back for the next series. Vick threw a touchdown for the fourth straight game that somehow went to Dez White who had been dropping passes prior to his touchdown. Vick only managed to complete 11 of 23 for 112 yards and his interception went straight to a defender on a pass play intended for Dez White. Vick ran for 51 yards on eight scampers to keep the sticks moving. He has rushed for around 50 yards in every game this season and without Duckett this week - it could be more.

Running Backs: T.J. Duckett only had two runs for five yards last week before suffering what is being called a possible high ankle sprain. He was in a walking boot earlier this week and it is unlikely that he will play against the Jets on Monday. Warrick Dunn took a heavier load and ran 22 times for 100 yards and one touchdown including the short yardage plays. Dunn will need to play a bigger role with Duckett out but there is a bye week once the game is over to rest.

Justin Griffith still did not get carries with Duckett out though he did catch the lone scoring pass during his two receptions in the game.

Wide Receivers: For the first time this season, Brian Finneran had no catches and only one pass thrown to him as the game plan seemed to focus more on getting the ball thrown to Dez White so he could drop it. Michael Jenkins only had 24 yards against the Saints which bodes poorly for this week against better corners. The Saints game was likely the softest secondary that the Falcons had faced other than the Vikings and the wideouts were of little use.

Tight Ends: While Alge Crumpler's two game stretch of scoring ended, he still had four catches for 52 yards last week and really has only had one game this season without decent numbers.

Match Against the Defense: There is no big secret here. Vick is not throwing well, the receivers are not catching and the Jets are bringing one of the better secondaries to play against the Falcons. This game will be even more slanted to rushing and without Duckett there, it will be the Vick and Dunn show.

The Jets defense has given up the run when on the road this year with five of the six scores allowed on the ground coming in the three road trips. There is a bye week waiting so Vick and Dunn will be getting a workout. Expect Dunn to challenge for the 100 yard mark and score once while Vick adds some nice yardage and even a chance of a score himself.