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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD Updated *
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: Kansas City 27, Buffalo 24

The Chiefs are hanging out only one game behind the Broncos and will host them in week 13 for the shootout of the AFC West. The Bills are only 3-5 on the season but four of the losses came during each of the road games. The Bills may be only 3-5, but in the greatly reduced AFC East this season, that means they are only one game back of the Patriots. This should be a close game that will be decided by which team runs the best.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)
1 27-7 NYJ 10 Nov 13 @BUF
2 23-17 @OAK 11 Nov 20 @HOU
3 10-30 @DEN 12 Nov 27 NE
4 31-37 PHI 13 Dec 4 DEN
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @DAL
6 28-21 WAS 15 Dec 17 @NYG
7 30-20 @MIA 16 Dec 24 SDC
8 20-28 @SDC 17 Jan 1 CIN
9 27-23 OAK . MON SAT
KCC at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 200,1
RB Larry Johnson 120,2 10 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 70,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 60 0
WR Chris Horn 0 30 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Chiefs have won three of their last four games and have returned to the formula of last season - score more points, throw better and let your opponent remain in the game to keep it all too exciting. Priest Holmes seems a likely scratch at least this week since he is flying around the country to meet with spinal specialists but Larry Johnson has taken the handoff and he is still running.

Quarterback: Trent Green had a great outing in week eight when he threw for 347 yards and two scores against the Chargers but he was back to his more pedestrian ways last week when he only had 235 yards and one score against the Raiders. Larry Johnson was enough to win that game and he is running well enough to expect Green to remain mostly a game manager than a gunslinger.

Running Backs: Priest Holmes has not been ruled out yet this week but he's been seeing a spinal specialist and that can never be a good thing. HC Dick Vermeil still says that he thinks that Holmes will be cleared and return with a clean bill of health, but Vermeil has always been a "glass half full" sort of coach. Expect Larry Johnson to start again this week and after turning 22 rushes into 107 yards and two scores last week, he'll carry the load as well as Holmes. Johnson also had 48 yards on three catches thanks to the long gainer at the end of the game last Sunday.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison had six catches for 60 yards last week and while that is about his average, the problem is that his week to week performances are all over the map. He has three 100+ yard games and he's been as bad as only 24 yards or even no catches at all as he did in week six against the Redskins. Chris Horn offers some support but only for a couple of catches a game as does Dante Hall. If anyone matters here, it will be Kennison. But sometimes no wideouts matter.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez is back to being a primary target for Trent Green, even if he only has one touchdown on the season. Gonzalez has been good for around 70 yards in each of the last three games and is getting more passes than any other single player for the Chiefs.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rush defense has never recovered from the loss of Takeo Spikes and have allowed seven rushing scores over the last three games. Literally every opponent that can run well has a big game against the Bills. Look for an excellent outing by Johnson here with a real shot at two touchdowns.

Green faces a better than average secondary that has held most opponents to fewer than 200 yards largely because they are too busy running all over the defense to bother with throwing. Look for a moderate game here with one passing score at most that favors Gonzalez strongly.

Buffalo Bills (3-5)
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 27-17 NYJ 15 Dec 17 DEN
7 17-38 @OAK 16 Dec 24 @CIN
8 16-21 @NE 17 Jan 1 @NYJ
9 Open Bye . . SAT
BUF vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 240,2
RB Willis McGahee 80,1 10 0
TE Mark Campbell 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 90,1 0
WR Lee Evans 0 70,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills have lost their last two games but still are only one game back of the Patriots in the AFC East - go figure. So far the only wins that Buffalo has managed have been at home against either Houston or divisional rivals Miami and the Jets. Holcomb is passing better but the Bills continue to have problems punching in the scores or stopping any opposing runner.

Quarterback: The Bills come off their bye week and need to decide what to do with J.P. Losman. After playing a little worse in each of his four starts this season, Losman was benched for Kelly Holcomb. The best game by Losman this year was week one when he had 170 yards and one score with no turnovers. It went down hill quickly and his final two games both had only 75 passing yards with no score and one interception. The worst Holcomb had was 159 yards with two scores - basically his worst was still better than anything that Losman could do. Consider too that Losman faced HOU and NO as well.

But HC Mike Mularkey isn't doing the long term health of the team any good if the Bills intend on using Losman again. The Bills are only 3-5 this season and if (or maybe when) they fall out of playoff contention, then Losman is likely to get playing time. Problem for Losman is that the final games - DEN, @CIN and @NYJ are all against excellent secondaries and likely won't make him look any better.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee hasn't scored in the last two games but he's been solid other than the one trip to Oakland. He comes off 136 yards on 31 carries against the Patriots and that makes four 100+ yard games this season. McGahee has yet to string two such efforts together but he's been good for at least 86 yards in any game that Holcomb is the quarterback.

Wide Receivers: The fine rookie season of Lee Evans just hasn't been repeated this year. Evans only has one score on the year and only twice has exceeded 27 yards in a game. His strength is the long ball which has completely disappeared along with Drew Bledsoe. Eric Moulds certainly has fared better with Holcomb, scoring three times in the last four games and he comes off his season best 125 yards against the Patriots in week eight. The passing game is really limited only to Moulds now and uses Evans and Josh Reed almost equally - both being minimally productive.

Tight Ends: No scores this season from this unit and many weeks there are no catches.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rush defense has been outstanding this season and has not allowed any runner to exceed 100 yards this year. Only three tailbacks have scored against them and all had only one touchdown in the game - and all were on the road. Look for a decent showing by McGahee who should fall just short of the century mark but a decent chance to score once.

Holcomb goes against a secondary that can be beaten and has been the source of all those close games by the Chiefs. Most opponents have had two or more passing scores against them with three topping 300 passing yards in the game. Look for big games here from Eric Moulds and even Lee Evans stands an excellent chance of having a season best game here.