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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 26, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARI at DAL JAC at STL* WAS at NYG* TB at SF* BUF at NE
CHI at DET* MIA at NO* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
GB at CIN OAK at TEN* PHI at DEN ATL, SEA *Updated

Prediction: Washington 17, NY Giants 20

Definitely one of the top matchups of the weekend, these two NFC Rivals square off with the winner taking the lead in the NFC East and all alone if the Eagles will just lay down in Denver this week. Both teams have been surprises this season though the Redskins have lost two of the last three games with the only win being against the 49ers. The Giants lost in overtime in Dallas but then stole the game back against Denver last week. This shapes up to be a great game since both teams have surprisingly advanced passing games this season. Both of these teams have won every home game and lost two on the road.

Each team won their home game last year when they met. Week two had the Giants win 20-14 while in week 17, the Skins took their home game 31-7.

Update: Plaxico Burress remains questionable with his shoulder sprain and has not practiced. I am lowering his projections and he remains questionable to play so be aware of the risk and make sure he is active on Sunday. John Hall is also close to getting his job back and could possibly play on Sunday though most likely Nick Novak will continue to be the kicker. Be aware there is risk there as well.

Washington Redskins (4-2)
1 9-7 CHI 10 Nov 13 @TBB
2 14-13 @DAL 11 Nov 20 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 SDC
4 20-17 SEA 13 Dec 4 @STL
5 19-21 @DEN 14 Dec 11 @ARI
6 21-28 @KCC 15 Dec 18 DAL
7 52-17 SFO 16 Dec 24 NYG
8 Oct 30 @NYG 17 Jan 1 @PHI
9 Nov 6 PHI . MON SAT
WAS at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 280,2
RB Clinton Portis 70 30 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 60,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 100,1 0
WR David Patten 0 30 0
WR James Thrash 0 30 0
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nothing like the 49ers visiting to let an offense look absolutely perfect. Truth is the Redskins have been surviving on little more than Portis yards and some Cooley with a whole lot of Santana Moss. Worked like a charm until the two road games in Denver and Kansas City.

Quarterback: For an old guy that didn't even know he was a starter until week two, Mark Brunell is having the best season of his career. He's thrown for at least 226 yards in every game and scored at least twice every week. He's had three games of 291 yards or more and he trails only Favre and Palmer for most touchdowns passed in the NFL.

Brunell only had 92 yards and one score in week two at New York. Ramsey threw for 174 yards and three scores when the Giants visited in week 13.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis mopped up the 49ers last week when he ran only 19 times for 101 yards and three scores - his only of the season. Even Rock Cartwright had a score. Portis now has three 100+ yard games this year but he's only averaging around 70 yards in road games without any scores.

Portis ran for only 69 yards in New York last year though he had 148 yards and one score in Washington against the Giants.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss now has five scores on the season and four games over 100 yards as the only wideout that matters for the Redskins. His 743 yards are almost 100 yards better than the second best NFL wideout (Chad Johnson - 655 yards). With his next games including PHI and TB, he'll be hard pressed to maintain his lead but he already has a good head start.

David Patten does exist but only for about 20 yards in most games with the occasional foray up to 60 yards but he has yet to score.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley only had two catches last week but still had 48 yards. Even that was his lowest game in the last month. Both of Cooley's touchdowns this season and his two biggest yardage games came on road trips to Denver and Kansas City. He has yet to score a touchdown at home.

Cooley scored one touchdown against the Giants in week two but only gained 14 yards - it was only his second game in the NFL. He later had 60 yards in the week 13 matchup.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have been good against the run though Tomlinson tore them up in San Diego. The Broncos were successful rushing in New York last week but otherwise all opponents have been stuffed when visiting the Big Apple. Expect Portis to turn in moderate yardage here and return to his no-scoring ways.

Where this game is decided will be the passing of Brunell since the Giants secondary has allowed every opponent to score with a pass if not twice. They've allowed up to 442 yards and thee games over 300 yards. It all comes down to the passing attack that looks to Moss first and Cooley second. CB Will Allen, AKA "the good corner" gets the matchup but Moss will be moved around and the Giants are not about to go man-to-man against the most prolific receiver this season. Expect Coles to get the volume needed to turn in good numbers here and he should eventually score once since the Redskins have thrown to him up to 15 times in a game. Cooley has a very nice matchup as well, going against a defense that has allowed two scores and big games to Witten and Gates. Look for two passing scores here for the top two receivers. If Brunell can throw three, the Redskins can win the game.

New York Giants (4-2)
1 42-19 ARI 10 Nov 13 MIN
2 27-10 @NOR 11 Nov 20 PHI
3 23-45 @SDC 12 Nov 27 @SEA
4 44-24 STL 13 Dec 4 DAL
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @PHI
6 13-16 @DAL 15 Dec 17 KCC
7 24-23 DEN 16 Dec 24 @WAS
8 Oct 30 WAS 17 Dec 31 @OAK
9 Nov 6 @SFO . . SAT
NYG Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 230,1
RB Tiki Barber 80,1 20 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 70,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 40 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 60 0
WR Tim Carter 0 30 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Giants may have lost in overtime to Dallas, but last week Eli Manning led a last minute drive to win the game. Fans hope that will be the first of many that Manning will provide and he showed great poise and patience when it mattered most. The Giants face perhaps their toughest defense to date this week and the game is critical. With only the 49ers and Vikings up next, all focus is on this week.

Quarterback: Eli Manning has thrown a score in every game this year and perhaps none so impressive as the final play in the Denver game when he found Amani Toomer for the winning score. Manning has 12 scores on the season against only four interceptions - only two of them coming in the last five games.

Eli Manning only had 113 passing yards against the Redskins last year.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber has not repeated his high-octane rushing of 2004 and he only had one game over 100 yards this season but he's scored five touchdowns this season - all of them coming at home. He has yet to score in a road game though there have only been two. Still, that is consistency, touchdowns in every home game, none in road games. He's good for at least 80 yards a game as well.

Barber was stuffed in both meetings with the Skins in 2004. He had only 42 rushing yards in New York and later only 38 yards at Washington.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress remains the first priority for Manning and he comes off an 84 yard, one touchdown game against the Broncos last week. Burress already has five scores on the season and his best yardage efforts have all been while at home. Amani Toomer has enjoyed two scores over the last three games with those scores, of course, both being at home. He's still rarely good for more than a handful of catches though he had a freakishly high 13 targets last week - five more than any other game.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey only had three catches for 44 yards and no scores last week but that was his worst game of the season. He had three touchdowns already and typically stays around 50 yards in each game. His two monster games this year - 129 yards and 101 yards - both came on away games. At home, Burress gets all the action but on the road, Shockey becomes a more common target.

Shockey only had 23 yards and no score in the last meeting with the Redskins.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins have been very good against the run this season but have allowed seven rushing scores already. Consider Barber likely to continue his string of home game touchdowns but most likely he'll be held to only moderate yardage.

The Redskins have been very good against the pass this season but have not really faced a team that has had much ability other than the visiting Seahawks (242-1) and the Cowboys (261-1). No team has thrown more than one score against them but the two losses were both when the opponent rushed well. Expect at least one passing score here and a chance for two if it ends up like last week in a close game. This should be an evenly matched game that as usual, favors the home team slightly.