fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


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: NE 24, NYJ 16

The Patriots had to squeak out a victory over the Bills during the weekend where all underdog visitors were supposed to win. The defense and the running game saved the day while Tom Brady is finally noticing that there are a lot of new faces wearing wideout jerseys lately. The Jets opened their new Eric Mangini era with a win by closely following the three stages that ensure a victory - 1.) dump the head coach for a young ex-coordinator; 2.) stick the all-time rushing leader on the shelf for the year; and 3.) play the Tennessee Titans. This week it's master vs. pupil with Bill Belichick facing off against Eric "grasshopper" Mangini.

The Patriots swept the Jets 16-3 and 31-21 in 2005.

New England Patriots (1-0)
1 19-17 BUF 10 --- NYJ
2 --- @NYJ 11 --- @GB
3 --- DEN 12 --- CHI
4 --- @CIN 13 --- DET
5 --- MIA 14 --- @MIA
6 Open Bye 15 --- HOU
7 --- @BUF 16 --- @JAX
8 --- @MIN 17 --- @TEN
9 --- IND - - MON
NEP at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 180,1
RB Corey Dillon 80,1 10 0
RB Lawrence Maroney 60,1 20 0
RB Kevin Faulk 0 30 0
TE Ben Watson 0 50,1 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 40 0
WR Troy Brown 0 20 0
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: With Corey Dillon healthy and the hot new rookie Maroney on board, the New England rushing attack looks primed to carry the day this year. That is fortunate too since the passing game has undergone a complete strip job of wide receivers over the last couple of years and only ageless Troy Brown remains. Tom Brady may not throw as much this year, but he'll continue to be enough to keep the Pats in games and at the very least, know enough not to get in the way.

Quarterback: Tom Brady only completed 11 of 23 passes for 163 yards against the Bills last week but he had two touchdowns passes that proved critical. He also was stripped of the ball to start the game which resulted in a touchdown for the Bills which started the surprisingly challenging game. Brady feels the effects of losing David Patten, David Givens and now Deion Branch. He may switch to Ben Watson as his crutch, but that's a lot of catches and scores to compensate for.

Brady threw for 271 yards at home against the Jets and had 185 yards and two scores in week 16 as a visitor.

Running Backs: Corey Dillon ran hard against the Jets, amassing 73 yards on just 16 carries but he was upstaged by the rookie Laurence Maroney who turned 17 handoffs into 86 yards. Maroney has shown the power, moves and speed to carry the full load whenever Dillon finally steps aside. Maroney was hampered by a knee sprain earlier last week but there was no signs of limitation when he was weaving through the Jets defense.

Kevin Faulk is also contributing as a third down back and a receiver. His touchdown catch of 17 yards was more than a little impressive last week. With continued wideout woes, Faulk should continue to factor in.

DIllon had games of 65 and 77 yards against the Jets last year with two scores in New York.

Wide Receivers: The new kids on the block now consists of just Troy Brown (more like the old man on the corner) and Reche Caldwell. They combined for only four catches and 51 yards though Brown had a touchdown. The only other active wideout on Sunday was the rookie Brandon Childress and he had no catches or even any passes thrown to him. This offense will be more about tight ends and running backs than wideouts unless a player is acquired.

Tight Ends: Ben Watson may have only had three catches for 50 yards last week but both were team highs for the game. Watson will likely continue as the primary passing target unless another receiver emerges.

Watson did not score against the Jets last year but he had two catches for 43 yards at home and later two receptions for 37 yards in New York.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets put together a solid effort last week but it was only against the Titans. If Chris Brown can gain 64 yards on 16 carries, then MaroneyDillon should easily combine for over 100 yards. If Travis Henry can score twice against the Jets, then MaroneyDillon will as well. Mangini knows the Patriots all too well and a simplified but effective rushing game will be the best way to a win.

Brady goes against a secondary that gave up 250 yards to Kerry Collins and Vince Young though they had wideouts to use. Look for at least one score from Brady but only moderate yardage as defense and rushing will be relied on mostly by the Pats this week.

New York Jets (1-0)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 --- NE 11 --- CHI
3 --- @BUF 12 --- HOU
4 --- IND 13 --- @GB
5 --- @JAX 14 --- BUF
6 --- MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 --- DET 16 --- @MIA
8 --- @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 200,1
RB Kevan Barlow 30 10 0
RB Derrick Blaylock 30 10 0
TE Chris Baker 0 30 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 50 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 30 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 60,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nothing like starting a new era out with a win and just as pleasing was the play of Chad Pennington who was nearly flawless and deadly effective against the Titans. With almost no rushing game to speak of, his passing will become the success factor for the offense and if he can repeat the feat this week, he'll win a lot of fans back over that he has lost after a few seasons of disappointment and injuries. The Jets were surprisingly potent last week but so far, all it's really being chalked up to is the opponent weaknesses.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington laid his claim to the starting role in a big way when he shredded the Titans for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Not too shabby for being told he was the starter only a few weeks ago. Pennington returns home now to face the Patriots and with that a chance to prove his success is more than just facing a terrible secondary. With the state of the running game in new York, he'll have no choice but to be the deciding factor in this game.

Running Backs: The promise to use all four tailbacks has not yet materialized for the Jets but opening day had both Derrick Blaylock (19-36) and Kevan Barlow (11-35) sharing time and not amounting to much. Barlow did manage to score once but neither back has shown the ability to merit a full-time job. This well could remain true two months from now.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles had one of his best games ever when he turned eight catches into 153 yards and one score last week. Jerricho Cotchery is the starting split end and had six receptions for 65 yards and one touchdown as well. The duo accounted for 218 yards and two scores - that may not happen again at least until week twelve when they host the Texans.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker had a nice start to the season during the pass-happy game and turned in a touchdown as well, ending with four catches for 34 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Regardless of what Pennington might do, it is a safe bet that neither Barlow or Blaylock will amount to much this week since Willis McGahee could only turn 20 carries into 70 yards against the Pats in week one. With a better rush defense than the Titans, there's even less reason to consider a Jets back this week.

Pennington is a different story and this week will either prove he is for real or that his big game was a blip called Tennessee. Or he may just get injured again. Expect only moderate yardage here and one score - anything else will just be a pleasant surprise. The same flanker spot as Coles only produced 25 yards for Lee Evans last week.