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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
Sunday Late
DET at CHI OAK at BAL STL at SF   updated

Prediction: HOU 13, IND 34

The Texans come off a big loss to the Eagles that ruined HC Gary Kubiak's coming out party. The Colts showed that a brother on brother war usually goes to the side with Marvin Harrison. This game has seen dominating wins by the Colts for more than last year and there's no reason to expect less here.

The Colts swept the Texans last year, winning 38-20 and 31-17.

Update: The Texans shipped Vernand Morency off to the Packers in exchange for Samkon Gado. I have slightly increased Lundy's numbers since he should have a bit more work this week though the recently acquired Ron Dayne should figure in as well. Gado starts out as #3 on the depth chart. HC Gary Kubiak said that he may play all three running backs on Sunday so there is a risk in starting Lundy, beyond having to face the Colts defense.

Brandon Stokley is still not practicing and remains off the projections.

Houston Texans (0-1)
1 10-24 PHI 10 --- @JAX
2 --- @IND 11 --- BUF
3 --- WAS 12 --- @NYJ
4 --- MIA 13 --- @OAK
5 Open Bye 14 --- TEN
6 --- @DAL 15 --- @NE
7 --- JAX 16 --- IND
8 --- @TEN 17 --- CLE
9 --- @NYG - - -
HOU at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 30 0 190,1
RB Vernand Morency 20 10 0
RB Wali Lundy 40 30 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 50 0
WR Kevin Walter 0 10 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: HC Gary Kubiak now knows that drumming up some no name running back doesn't work as well without a dominating offensive line and hardly works at all with one of the worst ones in the league. But the passing game already looks improved. Not so much for the secondary.

Quarterback: David Carr managed to complete 18 of 27 passes for 208 yards and one score against the Eagles and he had no turnovers. Carr led the team down to an opening series touchdown pass to Eric Moulds and Andre Johnson had a career high 83 yards by halftime. That shows good coaching that was absent last year. The eventual game score also showed that more than good coaching is needed to turn this team completely around.

David Carr struggled against the Colts in 2005, turning in a career low 48 yards and one score in week seven and later 138 yards and one score at Indianapolis in week 10.

Running Backs: Wali Lundy took the start but he only managed to gain 32 yards on 11 carries while Vernand Morency had roughly the same success with five carries for 13 yards. Lundy did have two catches but lost a yard on them. The rushing game remains very much a work in progress but with no other tailbacks on the roster of note, the 2:1 sharing between Lundy and Morency will likely continue.

The Texans had a decent game from Domanick Davis in Houston with 98 yards and a score but when the team traveled to Indianapolis in week 10, Davis was out and Jonathan Wells only had 58 yards but scored once.

Wide Receivers: As noted, Andre Johnson had a big first half and then ended with six catches for 101 yards - already better than all but two games last season. Eric Moulds had the lone touchdown and his six catches for 68 yards shows that he can become the much needed complement to Johnson that neither Gaffney or Bradford were able to provide. With the running game struggling and the defense still porous, expect Moulds and Johnson to figure heavily into every game this year.

Andre Johnson only had 42 yards at Indianapolis in 2005.

Tight Ends: The Texans made Owen Daniels the starting tight end but he failed to catch either of his passes. Jeb Putzier was actually more heavily used with five passes and one catch for 26 yards. Until Daniels shows up in a game, ignore the depth chart and consider Putzier the better bet.

Match Against the Defense: Needless to say, the rushing game is to be steered clear of for the immediate future. Lundy may grow into a bigger role as a receiver but the rushing game here is not worth a second glance for a fantasy team this week.

Carr has more weapons and undoubtedly will have a need to throw the ball. Look for some decent passing numbers here if only in trash time and for Moulds and Johnson to have at least moderate to good numbers. With enough passes, Carr could end up with more than 200 yards and a score here.

Indianapolis Colts (1-0)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 --- BUF
2 --- HOU 11 --- @DAL
3 --- JAX 12 --- PHI
4 --- @NYJ 13 --- @TEN
5 --- TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 --- WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 --- @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 --- @NE - - MON
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 300,3
RB Dominic Rhodes 50,1 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 30 20 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 30 0
TE Ben Utecht 0 20,1 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 110,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 80,1 0
WR Aaron Moorehead 0 20 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts start the trek to the playoffs again this year with a determination not to be the first guy pushed back down the hill. Manning and the passing offense was sharp against the Giants and that really all you need against the Texans. This is fortunate since the rushing game still has a lot of work before anyone will stop reminiscing about Edgerrin James.

Quarterback: Facing his little brother's team, Peyton Manning had few problems with yardage when he gained 276 yards but he only managed one touchdown pass in the game. While Harrison came up big like usual, Wayne and the rest could use some more chances with the ball. Oh look - here comes the Houston secondary!

Manning threw for 237 yards and two scores in Houston last year and later 297 yards and three scores when the Texans came to Indianapolis.

Running Backs: After one week, the new "committee" approach in Indianapolis is less than impressive. Dominic Rhodes only gained 29 yards on 16 carries against the Giants but scored once and had three catches for 14 yards. The rookie Joseph Addai only produced 26 yards on seven carries and added 22 more on three receptions. Put it all together and it still doesn't equal to what James did in each half when he played. Like most RBBC schemes, the Colts are using the 2:1 ratio but neither back has earned more time so far.

Wide Receivers: Starting out the right way was Marvin Harrison who had nine catches for 113 yards. He's always the one when the defenses are tough but Wayne should become much more involved this week and improve on the 67 yards he had against the Giants. Aaron Moorehead replaced Brandon Stokley who was out with a high ankle sprain but did nothing with the opportunity. Until Stokley is cleared to play, I will project for Moorehead again.

Harrison had 108 yards and one score at home against the Texans in 2005 and scored once with 65 yards in Houston earlier in the season. Harrison pretty much always scores against the Texans. Wayne had 89 yards in Houston and later 72 yards at home but had no touchdowns in either game.

Tight Ends: Both Dallas Clark and Ben Utecht had three catches last week but Clark had the lone passing touchdown. Manning continues to mix the use of both players and actually threw one more pass to Utecht (5) than to Clark (4).

Dallas Clark scored once in each of the meetings against the Texans in 2005.

Match Against the Defense: Not that you would ever bench a Colt player, but with Houston coming to town, it's time to start them with gusto. All except for the rushing game which should improve this week but remains mediocre at best. Figure on Rhodes getting one score eventually but neither back should accumulate much yardage.

Manning will score at least twice and usually three times when the Texans come to town. Look for a near repeat of what McNabb did in Houston last week and know it could be even worse if the Colts would just pile it on for once.