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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 30,, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at MIA* HOU at BAL TEN at IND* DEN at KC Mon 9 PM
CIN at PIT JAC at CLE* Sun 4 PM NYJ at NE SEA at PHI
DAL at NYG MIN at DET* ARI at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: NY Jets 17, New England 24

The Patriots fell to 6-5 with their most recent loss this season but that's astronomic compared to the Jets. Last year when the Jets were healthy, the Patriots swept swept them 13-7 and later 23-7. As injured as the Patriots are, they can take some solace in the fact that they are not the Jets.

New York Jets (2-9)
1 7-27 @KCC 10 3-30 @CAR
2 17-7 MIA 11 0-27 @DEN
3 20-26 JAC 12 19-21 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 14-27 @ATL 16 Dec 26 NE
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 BUF
9 26-31 SDC . . MON
NYJ at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Brooks Bollinger 0 0 260,2
RB Curtis Martin 80 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 30 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 100,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 70,1 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 40 0
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets lost to the visiting Saints last week because Mike Nugent could not make a 53-yard field goal at the end of the game. That makes the sixth straight loss for the beleaguered franchise though they did make it through the entire game with the same quarterback. But the Jets are 0-6 on the road and have been outscored 57-3 in the last two away games. It just gets worse.

Quarterback: Brooks Bollinger actually had a decent passing game last week when he threw for a career-high 251 yards and one score against the Saints. This week he faces the Patriots that have allowed four consecutive teams to pass for over 300 yards. With the Jets, that could take three quarterbacks to accomplish.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin had his best game in a month when he ran for 91 yards on 24 carries against the Saints but everyone is supposed to do that. Martin only has one 100 yard game this season and hasn't scored in three weeks. The Jets are rolling out Cedric Houston to see what the rookie has for next year and so far it is five carries for 12 yards.

Wide Receivers: Justin McCareins comes off his first score of the year when he had three catches for 71 yards last week and Laveranues Coles only turned in 36 yards on three catches though one touchdown was called back on replay. Facing the #31 secondary this week should allow the wideouts to have one of their better games of the year.

Tight Ends: Doug Jolley had a season high 62 yards on four catches last week but his best games have been coming when the Jets are at home.

Match Against the Defense: Martin should have some success rushing here, the question is how many carries he will have before the passing game is a must. Expect at least moderate yardage here with a chance for an actual good game.

The Patriots secondary is nothing short of horrible and have allowed the last four teams to throw for over 300 yards. This is Bollinger's chance to show that he belongs and while he'll likely fail to throw for 300 - he never has before - he should have his best game of the season here. Almost every quarterback does when they face the Patriots. That will directly benefit Coles and McCareins with enough left over so that even Cotchery should have a meaningful game.

New England Patriots (6-5)
1 30-20 OAK 11 23-16 @MIA
2 17-27 @CAR 12 24-17 NOR
3 23-20 @PIT 13 16-26 @KCC
4 17-41 SDC 14 Dec 4 NYJ
5 31-28 @ATL 15 Dec 11 @BUF
6 20-28 @DEN 16 Dec 17 TBB
7 Open Bye 17 Dec 26 @NYJ
8 21-16 BUF 7 Jan 1 MIA
9 21-40 IND M THU SAT
NEP vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 240,2
RB Patrick Pass 60,1 20 0
RB Heath Evans 40 20 0
TE Ben Watson 0 20 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 30,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 50,1 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 40 0
WR Troy Brown 0 30 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Patriots are just a shell of what won the Superbowl last year with the worst defense that has been seen in New England for decades. Injuries have made each game a shootout with Brady called on to do magic without the big-time running game by Dillon like last year. But the Patriots are 6-5 and they will win the AFC East because no one else remotely deserves it. A win here pretty much guarantees that the Patriots advance to the playoffs.

Quarterback: Tom Brady has been responsible for most if not all the Patriot wins this season but even he hits the wall occasionally. Brady threw for 275 yards and two scores against the Chiefs but had four interceptions and was blasted many times in the game. Brady's best games have been on the road in losing efforts but he still remains one of the better fantasy quarterbacks with 18 touchdowns already this season.

Running Backs: Assumedly Corey Dillon is going to play eventually but he has not been a factor for three weeks now. In his place the Patriots are splitting carries between Heath Evans and Patrick Pass and managing to combine them for an average rushing attack. Pass is the more likely player to score with three touchdowns on the season. Evans has not scored in his three games played.

I am assuming that Evans and Pass again share the load but Dillon will be back when you finally write him off. We just cannot know what week that will be until he actually carries the ball.

Wide Receivers: The Patriots have long employed a complicated, "use no one twice" approach to wideouts and that still continues despite all else deteriorating this season. Deion Branch has been the best of the bunch with three scores and usually over 50 yards a week but literally every other wideout has turned in decent games only to have no catches the next week. David Givens has been out for the last three weeks but his position is being split up between Andre Davis, Tim Dwight and occasionally Troy Brown.

Tight Ends: The Pats are still using Daniel Graham, Ben Watson and even the recently called back Christian Fauria in each game, it's just never the same player doing better each week. Fauria had the score last week on his only catch in the game.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets rushing defense has been bad and is only getting worse as the season progresses. The Patriots should manage over 100 rushing yards and at least one score. Most likely that favors Pass unless Dillon plays.

Brady faces a secondary that remains above average and that has only allowed 10 touchdowns on the season. Brady's been saving the Patriots with his passing but this week will be harder than most. Expect him to throw for around 240 yards or so with a good chance at two scores since he is at home.