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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DET at DAL NO at NE Sun 4 PM PIT at BAL* MIN at GB*
IND at CIN OAK at WAS SEA at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Kansas City 24, Houston 20

Time for payback. The Texans stole a win 24-21 in Kansas City during week three of 2004. But this game could end up closer than the records suggest since the Texans are starting to regain their offense and the Chiefs without Holmes on the road last week could only score one field goal. There is zero chance that the Chiefs were overlooking the Bills in anticipation of this matchup. Still, it's hard to get past a 1-8 record as the deciding factor - that happened for good reasons.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
1 27-7 NYJ 10 3-14 @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 HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 220,1
RB Larry Johnson 130,2 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 80,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 50 0
WR Chris Horn 0 20 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Evidently life without Holmes is not going to include actual touchdowns. At least it didn't last week in Buffalo when the Chiefs moved freely up and down the field but could not actually get into the endzone without somehow losing the ball. Kansas City is hardly a great road team but they've now fallen two games behind the Broncos and are tied with the Chargers in the AFC West. Time to get it back together before all is lost and the schedule becomes absolutely brutal in the coming months.

Quarterback: Trent Green comes off his worst showing of the year when he only had 220 yards and no scores against the Bills that included three interceptions and one lost fumble. Outside of his big game in San Diego, Green has been a flop this year and the loss of offensive linemen have been no help as evidenced by the six sacks by the Bills last week when LT Willie Roaf was out.

Green threw for 224 yards and three scores against the Texans last year.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson has his first start without Holmes this year and turned in 132 yards on 27 rushes and added 46 yards on five catches though he failed to score. The rushing game continues to do well even in the absence of the passing game. With Green having so many problems turning over the ball (he has lost a fumble in each of the last three games), the running game should be no less important this week.

Holmes had 134 yards against Houston in 2004 though no scores.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts have gone back into hiding lately and even Eddie Kennison only had 41 yards on four catches last week though the Bills do have good corners. No other wideout had even 20 yards on the day. Kennison has been the only wideout with any consistency and even he has been all over the map this season, varying between 115 yards and a score against the Chargers down to no catches against the Redskins. The softer the secondary, the better Kennison naturally gets. Against good defenses, Kennison starts to disappear.

Tight Ends: While the wideouts have been declining, at least Tony Gonzalez remains the only player with good numbers when the Chiefs pass. He has remained above 65 yards in the last four games and had a season high eight catches last week that went for 81 yards. The Chiefs are again using Gonzalez as the primary receiver.

Tony Gonzalez had 106 yards and one score against the Texans last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Houston defense has been among the worst this year and ranks only 30th against the run. Expect a big game from Johnson here with 120 yards and at least one score if not two. With the passing game problems, he could do even more than that.

Trent Green will have a score here - every team has thrown for at least one or two in every game against the Texans this season. This could be a nice game for Green but after last week, expect him to remain in moderate numbers and score only once - the running game should take this game by itself. Gonzalez should be a lock to score in this matchup. Four of the last five opponents of the Texans have thrown touchdowns to the tight end.

Houston Texans (1-8)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 17-31 @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 20-38 IND 16 Dec 24 JAC
8 19-16 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 14-21 @JAC . . SAT
HOU vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 240,2
RB Domanick Davis 60 30 0
TE Matt Murphy 0 10 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 30 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 60,1 0
WR Jerome Mathis 0 30 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Texans offense is improving finally even if it cannot post more than 20 points in any game this season. The last two weeks against the Jaguars and Colts had 14 and 17 points which on the road were signs of life even though Domanick Davis missed last week. This would be one of the games that the Texans would have the best chance at winning, but that doesn't mean that they will.

Quarterback: David Carr remains almost machine like in that he always scores one touchdown in every game this year. Never two and never none. Always one. But he's only topped 200 yards in one game this year and that came against the Jaguars which was a surprise. The other three most recent games he only had 138 yards at most. This week will be the softest secondary of the year and with that, a chance for a breakout game. Of course that just means he gets more than 200 yards.

Carr threw for 233 yards and one score against the Chiefs last year.

Running Backs: With Domanick Davis out due to his hamstring strain, Jonathan Wells took the start last week and turned in 58 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. It was almost identical to what he had the previous week against the Colts. Since Davis was a game time inactive last week, I am assuming that he will be ready to go this Sunday.

Domanick Davis was held to only 12 rushing yards in Kansas City last season.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson followed up his fine 91 yard game in Jacksonville with a return to mediocrity when he only managed 42 yards on four catches last week. That actually led the team for receiving yards though Jabar Gaffney was the lucky one last Sunday because he got to catch the one touchdown pass that Carr always throws. He only had two catches for 24 yards in the game though. Carr is clearly not able to rekindle any of the success of 2004 and has brought this unit down with him - even though it is the exact same wideouts as last year.

Andre Johnson had four catches for 96 yards against the Chiefs last year.

Tight Ends: Oh yeah, that one passing touchdown per week has never been to a tight end. Nor has more than 19 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: Assuming that Davis can play this week and not be limited, the Texans could gain some moderate yardage here but the Chiefs have not allowed any 100 yard rushers this season and have been very tough to run on. Their weakness is entirely in the secondary so expect only moderate numbers from Davis that will need some receptions for any significance.

Carr has a chance here to finally have a breakout game and by that I mean two touchdowns in a game for the very first time this season. The Chiefs have allowed most of their opponents to throw for two or three scores and already have given up numerous big yardage games. Look for the best game yet from Carr who should end up around 240 yards and two scores that strongly favor the two starting wideouts. If Carr is to shine at any time this season, this is the game.