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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 14, 2005
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
KC at NYG CAR at NO* SD at IND CLE at OAK* Mon 9 PM
  NYJ at MIA SF at JAC* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: NY Jets 7, Miami 17

The Jets ended their seven game losing streak by beating the Raiders last week while the Dolphins come off the biggest upset last week when they took down the Chargers in San Diego. The Jets won 17-7 when this game was in New York back in week two but that was about a dozen healthy players ago for the Jets.

New York Jets (3-10)
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 3-16 @NE
5 14-12 TBB 14 26-10 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 MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Brooks Bollinger 0 0 180,1
RB Cedric Houston 50 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 40 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 50 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 40,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 0 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The win last week helped soften the blow of losing Curtis Martin for the season but the reality now is that the Jets offense has taken the final blow and that 0-7 road record is not likely to improve in this final away game. HC Herman Edwards has done a great job trying to keep the team together in the face of all the injuries and frustrations and now they have their final win. Time to start seeing what the future will hold.

Quarterback: Brooks Bollinger has been slightly improved since taking the reins back in week 12. He has thrown two scores in three games with only one interception and he comes off his first win as a starter. Bollinger has only started in three road games this year and never scored in any. He's not even topped 150 yards as a road starter.

The first match-up between these teams had Pennington throwing for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

Running Backs: Cedric Houston had his first start of the season and scored one touchdown while rushing for 74 yards on 28 carries. That 2.6 YPC wont' get him far in the NFL but it was a start and a chance to see what life without Curtis Martin will be like. Martin is undergoing surgery on his knee this week and will be gone the rest of season but claims he will be back in 2006. Houston's lack of success in breaking any runs led the Jets to using fullback B.J. Askew for nine runs that covered 54 yards. That was the first action that Askew has seen this season as a ball carrier. Houston is the tailback for the rest of the way but if he falters more, Askew could see more work.

Curtis Martin ran 31 times for just 72 yards in the previous match-up with the Dolphins. Fullback Jerald Sowell caught touchdown pass as well.

Wide Receivers: With Bollinger at the helm, just write down 35 yards for Laveranues Coles and be done with it. Coles has remained around that mark in four of the last five games with only one jaunt up to 62 yards in Denver. Justin McCareins has been less consistently used but will vary higher and lower than Coles. McCareins also had the lone passing score last week.

Laveranues Coles had five catches for 68 yards and one touchdown in the previous game against the Fins. That was his only score of the year. McCareins had five catches for 87 yards in that game.

Tight Ends: Doug Jolley provides only occasional use by Bollinger, typically two catches per game.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets were only marginally able to rush against the Dolphins earlier this year and if anything these Dolphins are better now. Expect Houston to have similar results to last week with less carries and no score.

Bollinger goes against a secondary that will give up a score or two but that has also had one or two interceptions in each of the last five games. Nothing that Bollinger has done suggests that a road game in Miami will do anything more than match his already low level of production.

Miami Dolphins (6-7)
1 34-10 DEN 10 16-23 NE
2 7-17 @NYJ 11 0-22 @CLE
3 27-24 CAR 12 33-21 @OAK
4 Open Bye 13 24-23 BUF
5 14-20 @BUF 14 23-21 @SDC
6 13-27 @TBB 15 Dec 18 NYJ
7 20-30 KCC 16 Dec 24 TEN
8 21-6 @NOR 17 Jan 1 @NE
9 10-17 ATL . . SAT
MIA vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Gus Frerotte 0 0 170,1
RB Ronnie Brown 40,1 10 0
RB Ricky Williams 50 20 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30,1 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 50 0
WR Marty Booker 0 40 0
WR Wes Welker 0 30 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: In the vastly changed landscape of the AFC East, the Dolphins are only 6-7 but have a realistic shot at winning the division if they can win out - including beating the Pats in week 17 - and get a little help from New England by them losing. Sure, it is unlikely. But then again, who would have thought that 6-7 would be the second best record in the AFC East?

Quarterback: Gus Frerotte is consistent, at least in a very weird way. He had a score and 168 yards, and then flopped with only 103 yards against the Falcons. He rang up a season high 360 yards and two scores, then flopped with just 53 passing yards in Cleveland. He responded by throwing for 261 yards and two scores against the Raiders and then flopped with only 115 yards against the Bills. Then last week, right on cue, he was back with 229 yards and two scores against the Chargers.

Of course in week thirteen he went out in the fourth quarter and Sage Rosenfels came in to throw for 272 yards and two scores, but the pattern is complete. He is on schedule for another bad game this week as unlikely as it seems.

Frerotte threw for 177 yards and one score against the Jets in week two.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown was wearing down, gaining less and less yards almost each week and he only had 30 yards on 11 carries in San Diego last week. Ricky Williams was holding up the running game but even he has faltered lately, gaining only 46 and 28 yards in the last two games. The Dolphins are still scoring on the ground with three touchdowns in the last three weeks but the yardage has been missing.

Ronnie Brown ran for just 35 yards on 12 carries earlier against the Jets.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers now has two great games in a row for the first time in his career. He had his monster 238 yards in week 13 against the Bills and last Sunday added 121 more yards with two scores. Chambers now has gained 406 yards in the last three games. He only had 498 yards in the ten previous games. As with other teams like CAR, WAS and TB, Chambers is the only wideout of any note for his team. Marty Booker has occasionally showed up but just as often turns in sub-50 yard games.

No wideout had more than 21 yards in the last game against the Jets.

Tight Ends: Other than week 12 when Randy McMichael had 59 yards and one score, he has not been a part of the bigger passing games and apparently his role has been giving way to more use of Chambers.

McMichael was the leading receiver in the previous meeting with the Jets when he caught eight passes for 77 yards and one score.

Match Against the Defense: These two teams have changed since their initial meeting in week two and the Jets are far softer against the run. But since the Dolphins are not rushing well and splitting carries between Brown and Williams, expect only moderate numbers here with a good chance for a rushing score that favors Brown.

The Jets have a better than average secondary that should manage to cover Chambers as the only receiver that matters anymore. Look for one passing score to happen here that will favor McMichael or Booker the most - likely McMichael. Frerotte is due for a down game if his odd trend holds and the Jets have been successful keep the Dolphins from throwing in the past.