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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 20, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
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On Bye
GB at DET WAS at HOU STL at ARZ   updated

Prediction: NYJ 13, BUF 17

An interesting AFC East match-up with the Jets featuring a passing game and the Bills showing up with a good defense. While these teams were once mirror images of each other, now the strengths and weaknesses are almost opposite. The Jets cannot run and the Bills can. The Bills cannot throw and the Jets can. Both teams played the Patriots and scored 17 points but the Bills win in Miami has to be considered more impressive than the Jets victory over the Titans. But maybe not that much.

The Bills beat the Jets 27-17 in week six of last year and then lost as a visitor 30-26 in week 17.

Update: Laveranues Coles was held from practice this week with a calf injury and he remains questionable to play. I am downgrading his projections and he is not a lock to play but the decision has not yet been made. This is a morning game so his status will be known be first kick-off.

New York Jets (1-1)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 17-24 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 at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 220,1
RB Kevan Barlow 50 10 0
RB Derrick Blaylock 20 10 0
TE Chris Baker 0 40 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 40 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 40 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 60,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: After two games, the Jets passing attack has never looked more formidable which is fortunate since the rushing game has never looked worse. With Indianapolis and Jacksonville looming, this could be as good as it gets for a while for the Jets.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington has never been known for much more than getting injured ever season but after two games this year, it would be a shame to see him fall. Pennington has thrown for over 305 yards in both games this year and scored twice in each game. Granted - the Titans have no secondary and the Pats thought the game was over but trash time or not, Pennington currently ranks third in the NFL for passing yardage. Bet you never imagined grouping him with Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb.

Running Backs: And the mess just gets messier. Once again, Derrick Blaylock started the game and only gained seven yards on six carries. Kevan Barlow came in and ran 14 times for 42 yards which is astronomic by comparison but three yards a carry is exactly what Barlow has always been about and why he was dumped by the 49ers. This is strictly a hands off scenario in fantasy football.

Wide Receivers: All this passing success is turning Laveranues Coles into a star (or maybe the 2005 version of Santana Moss). Coles now has 14 catches for 253 yards on the season to lead the entire NFL in receiving yards. Jerricho Cotchery has gone from a no name bench player to having 12 catches for 186 yards and two scores on the season. The good tidings have not extended to any other players than those two but for a couple of weeks, they look like the next coming of Fitzgerald and Boldin.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker opened the season with 34 yards and a score and then last week only managed one catch for five yards. it's too early to tell which week is more indicative but by that token, whatever happens against the Titans is rarely replicated against other teams.

Match Against the Defense: Let's not waste time here. The Bills have not allowed a rushing score and the Jets barely have anyone with a leading "3" on their jersey. Stay away from this group.

Pennington goes against a secondary that just held Tom Brady to 162 yards and Culpepper had 250 yards at home. Have to assume that the home opener will be better than those efforts, so look for Pennington to fall to much more reasonable numbers this week against a defense that has only allowed a wideout to gain more than 55 yards in a game so far. Two touchdowns are not out of the question, but one is more reasonable. There are only two players that Pennington actually throws to but there is no weak side. Coles is likely a bit more due than Cotchery but it could go anywhere.

Buffalo Bills (1-1)
1 17-19 @NE 10 --- @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 --- @HOU
3 --- NYJ 12 --- JAX
4 --- MIN 13 --- SD
5 --- @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 --- @DET 15 --- MIA
7 --- NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 --- GB - - -
BUF vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 140
RB Willis McGahee 110,2 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 20 0
WR Lee Evans 0 30 0
WR Josh Reed 0 40 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills are only 1-1 but they have to be pleased with the results from opening with two road games against the best two teams in their division and holding them to a combined 25 points while scoring 33 points. For a rebuilding team installing new schemes, this team has to be considered a pleasant surprise if only because of the play of their defense.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman has hardly turned any heads after games of just 164 and 83 yards and just one touchdown but he has yet to turn the ball over and he is completing 63% of his passes. The defense has kept the game score low enough that there has been no need for a shootout to happen early in games. The new offense installed by OC Steve Fairchild was supposed to bring a St. Louis flair to it but so far it's just been ball control and game management.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee has ran fairly solidly with games of 70 and 91 yards on the season but he is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry and the lone rushing score for the Bills happened on one of the few plays that Anthony Thomas has been on the field. McGahee still receives over 20 carries a game but he's not had a breakout game yet this year. Playing on the road in Miami and New England does have much to do with that.

McGahee ran for 143 yards and one score when the Jets visited in week six and later still had 113 yards as a visitor in week 17.

Wide Receivers: As any Lee Evans owner can readily tell you, the first two games of the season have been pretty dismal for the speedy wideout, netting only efforts of 2-25 and 2-19. Those are tight end numbers - not #1 wideout numbers. But the passing game has just rarely been used in this offense and the best yet for any receiver was only 39 yards that Josh Reed had last week. He did score - the only passing score so far on the year for the Bills.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal has one catch per game so far. No less, no more.

Match Against the Defense: Willis McGahee is the defining player in this game. If he runs well, the Bills control the ball and win the game. If not, Pennington has the time to eventually find Coles or Cotchery for a score. The Jets have allowed two rushing scores per week though and the Pats tandem of Maroney and Dillon just rolled up 145 yards. Look for this to be the breakout game that McGahee has been waiting for with at least one score and yardage over the century mark.

Losman goes against a secondary that has only allowed one passing score so don't expect any revival for Losman here. Just another mediocre game with the focus on not making a mistake. All the wideouts take it in the shorts because of this.