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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: Tennessee 10, Indianapolis 27

The Colts already won 31-10 as a visitor in week four and back at home the only chance the Titans have here is if the Colts' team bus passes through a warp in the space-time continuum. Even then, Colts win just on principle alone.

Update: Chris Brown is listed as questionable this week and has not participated in all practices due to a ankle sprain. He is still expected to play but will likely be sharing the ball with Travis Henry more this week. I am lowering Brown's projections which were already low to start with.

Tennessee Titans (3-8)
1 7-34 @PIT 10 Open Bye
2 25-10 BAL 11 28-31 JAC
3 27-31 @STL 12 33-22 SFO
4 10-31 IND 13 Dec 4 @IND
5 34-20 @HOU 14 Dec 11 HOU
6 23-31 CIN 15 Dec 18 SEA
7 10-20 @ARI 16 Dec 24 @MIA
8 25-34 OAK 17 Jan 1 @JAC
9 14-20 @CLE . . SAT
TEN at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 0 0 200,1
RB Chris Brown 40 20 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 20 0
TE Erron Kinney 0 40,1 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 50 0
WR Courtney Roby 0 20 0
WR Roydell Williams 0 30 0
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Titans welcomed the visiting 49ers last week since it was a team that they could actually beat and break their five game losing streak. The Titans host the Texans next week, they should just save themselves for that match-up and let the scrubs play here.

Quarterback: Steve McNair threw for 220 yards and one score against the Colts earlier this year and he has managed at least one touchdown in all but one game. This week on the road, McNair will need to have the Colts still tired from Monday night before he can top that week four score.

Running Backs: Chris Brown has scored in each of the last four games and has become a passing target over the last two weeks when he totaled seven catches for 163 yards and two scores. Those were both home games and one was against the 49ers, but Brown's role as a receiver should help him maintain solid numbers from even this game.

Chris Brown only had 31 yards on ten carries in the last meeting with the Colts.

Wide Receivers: Drew Bennett has turned in around 50 yards in each of the two games since he returned from thumb surgery and he only has one score on the season. Bennett only had 20 yards in the previous meeting with the Colts. Brandon Jones sprained his knee and was replaced by Roydell Williams last week. Williams led the team with 95 yards and one score. But that was against the 49ers secondary where everyone should look good and Williams padded his stats with a 50 yard reception. No wideout had more than 33 yards when the Colts came to town in week four.

Pending information on Jones, I am assuming he is out this week and that Williams will instead be the wideout that does little.

Tight Ends: The tight ends continue to matter most for the Titans though it is spread out mostly between Erron Kinney and Ben Troupe now. Kinney remains the safest bet for most yards in a game other than Chris Brown who is now racking up the short catches. Brown's use comes at the expense of the tight ends.

The tight ends combined for 122 yards and one score which was almost evenly split out among the three tight ends.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts already took the Titans down hard in week four and that was in Tennessee. There is a chance that the Titans fare better this time since the Colts are not likely to worry too much about preparing for a win here, though they should handily. Expect a low yardage game from Brown rushing though his receiving could allow him to challenge 100 total yards.

McNair struggled in the week four meeting and should be no more effective in Indianapolis. Look for one score and his standard 200 or so yards that will largely come in trash time.

Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
1 24-7 @BAL 10 31-17 HOU
2 10-3 JAC 11 45-37 @CIN
3 13-6 CLE 12 26-7 PIT
4 31-10 @TEN 13 Dec 4 TEN
5 28-3 @SFO 14 Dec 11 @JAC
6 45-28 STL 15 Dec 18 SDC
7 38-20 @HOU 16 Dec 24 @SEA
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 ARI
9 40-21 @NE . MON SAT
IND vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 250,2
RB Edgerrin James 130,1 10 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 110,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 80,1 0
WR Brandon Stokley 0 20 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: This game is little more than schedule filler for the 11-0 Colts who have to travel to Jacksonville in week 14 for their next big test. The Colts have not scored less than 28 points in the last eight games until last week when they only managed 26. The defense has been solid and the offense spectacular. While never losing is a tall order, this team seems as likely to manage the feat as any since the '72 Dolphins went undefeated.

Quarterback: Sure, Peyton Manning had a slow start to the season as the team toyed with their defense and rushing game, but he is now only one touchdown behind Carson Palmer for the NFL lead (23). Manning has thrown for at least two scores in each of the last six games. Manning had 264 yards and four touchdowns in the previous meeting with the Titans that started this touchdown spree.

Running Backs: Edgerrin James failed to score last week for the first time in six games but he still turned in 124 rushing yards against the tough Steelers defense. James ran for 90 yards and scored once on a pass against the Titans this year - expect more this week.

Wide Receivers: Marvin Harrison has scored in six of the last eight games and he is tied with Steve Smith with nine receiving scores on the season. Reggie Wayne remains good for at least 60 yards a game and he scores every other week for the last eight games. He did not score last week. Marvin Harrison had 109 yards and two touchdowns in the last meeting with the Titans while Reggie Wayne turned in just 48 yards and once touchdown.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark only had 47 yards on four catches in the last game against the Titans and after a big 125 yards and a score against the Bengals, he only had 19 yards last week. Bryan Fletcher has scored in each of the last two games and had more passes than Clark did last week.

Match Against the Defense: No reason to expect that the Colts do less this week other than saving themselves for the stretch run. They've already mowed the Titans down in Nashville so this week look for more of the same with a slightly smaller score - though it could be much larger just as easily. Good chance that Dominic Rhodes gets playing time this week.