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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 7, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CLE at CIN* OAK at NYJ SF at SEA MIA at SD* Mon 9 PM
IND at JAC TB at CAR BAL at DEN Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Kansas City 17, Dallas 24

This is a big game with neither team being able to afford a loss. The Chiefs are only 3-3 on the road this year while the Cowboys are 5-1 at home. The Chiefs are on a three game winning streak while the Cowboys have lost their last two games.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
1 27-7 NYJ 10 3-14 @BUF
2 23-17 @OAK 11 45-17 @HOU
3 10-30 @DEN 12 26-16 NE
4 31-37 PHI 13 31-27 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 DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 180,1
RB Larry Johnson 90,1 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 60,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40 0
WR Samie Parker 0 20 0
WR Dante Hall 0 30 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Chiefs offense has been cranking out the points in the last three weeks though the only road game was in Houston. The win last week over the Broncos was huge but the upcoming schedule is as tough as any team in the NFL. The 7-5 Cowboys are likely the worst team remaining to play and two big match-ups against the NFC East on the road in the next two weeks will be a major test.

Quarterback: Trent Green has been playing well for the last three weeks and in particular his 253 yards and two scores against the Broncos last week was impressive against a quality secondary. The support from Larry Johnson running has been invaluable to keeping defenses from loading up against the pass and Green has responded well despite relying almost solely on Gonzalez and Kennison with Dante Hall only recently popping up as an option.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson ran very well against the Texans and Patriots but almost every team does anyway. But last week he gained 140 yards and two scores against the Broncos for easily his most impressive performance of the season. More notable though is that his best rushing games have been almost entirely at home (other than in Houston).

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison comes off a 108 yard effort last week and he remains the primary wideout for the Chiefs. In the last two games, Dante Hall has suddenly had his two best efforts with about 60 yards and a score in each game. Green has been throwing better in the last two home games but on the road these wideouts will need to step up even more for the Chiefs to stay in games. Samie Parker remains locked at around 30 yards a game and Chris Horn is lucky to have even one catch.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez only had one pass even thrown to him last week but it did result in a 25-yard touchdown - only his second of the season. Interestingly enough, the three best games by Gonzalez this year have all been on the road.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys at home have been very hard on runners this year and until Ron Dayne broke that long run two weeks ago, no runner had topped 64 yards in Dallas this season. This will be a test for Johnson and he was up to the task at home last week against the Broncos. Look for a decent game here from a high volume of carries and a chance for one score.

Green goes against a secondary that has been outstanding when at home and only has allowed a total of five passing scores in the six home games this year. This will be a lower game by Green that should result in one passing score and likely a sub-200 yard effort. Gonzalez is most likely to manage that one score but even Hall could be the guy on one long pass play since the Cowboys corners should take Kennison and Parker out of the equation.

Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
1 28-24 @SDC 10 21-20 @PHI
2 13-14 WAS 11 20-7 DET
3 34-31 @SFO 12 21-24 DEN
4 13-19 @OAK 13 10-17 @NYG
5 33-10 PHI 14 Dec 11 KCC
6 16-13 NYG 15 Dec 18 @WAS
7 10-13 @SEA 16 Dec 24 @CAR
8 34-13 ARI 17 Jan 1 STL
9 Open Bye M THU SAT
DAL vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 230,2
RB Julius Jones 80,1 30 0
TE Jason Witten 0 60,1 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 50 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 60,1 0
WR Patrick Crayton 0 20 0
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys come off two straight losses to division leaders in games they were in until the end but unable to secure a win. The defense has been playing well enough and even the running game has been adequate with a healthy Julius Jones but like last year, the passing game has declined as the season grows old.

Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe started the year looking like a major free agent acquisition but his level of play has tailed off badly in the last three games. He had 232 yards and two scores against the Broncos but tossed two bad interceptions and last week against the Giants in a must win - he only managed 146 yards, one score, two interceptions and two lost fumbles one of which that was returned for the seven point difference in the score.

Running Backs: Julius Jones is back to being the primary runner now that he is healthy and he had 74 yards on 23 carries last week in New York. Even more notable was that he had nine catches for 88 yards after never having more than four receptions or 28 yards in any game this year. Marion Barber only had two carries last week and has taken a back seat now that Jones is back.

Wide Receivers: The decline of the passing game has been mirrored by the numbers of Keyshawn Johnson who had 120 yards against the Giants in week six but only managed to gain 16 yards last week in New York. Terry Glenn finally scored a touchdown but he's rarely been over 40 yards in a game since week six. The return of Patrick Crayton led to the dismissal of Peerless Price but even Crayton only had three passes and no catches last week. This passing game has been the main problem with the Cowboys as of late.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten had nine catches for 82 yards and a score against the Broncos in week 12 for one of his best efforts of the year but he only managed to catch one pass for five yards last week. The good news here - Witten has consistently posted better numbers at home than on the road this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs have not allowed any runner to top 100 yards this season though three have reached into the 90's and six times they gave up a rushing score. Look for a moderate to good game from Jones here with a nice chance for one score but a big game is unlikely.

The Cowboys may be catching a break playing the Chiefs on the heels of their big win over Denver and Bledsoe will need to cure his passing woes in order for the Cowboys to win. The good news is that the Chiefs secondary is their weak spot and have allowed multiple scores in five games this year. Look for a nice passing effort from Bledsoe here with at least 200 to 240 yards and two scores that strongly favor both Witten and Glenn.