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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 27, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
MIA at HOU SF at KC NE at CIN   updated

Prediction: IND 28, NYJ 17

The Colts have been winning all their games, naturally, but without the benefit of a top-notch defense or rushing game so far. The Jets are in a rebuilding year but that hasn't stopped them from discovering a passing game and a 2-1 record - good enough to tie the Patriots for the AFC East lead.

Update: Reggie Wayne returned to Indianapolis after spending time in Louisiana due to the tragic death of his brother. It is now expected that he will play this week and then return to Louisiana for his brother's funeral early next week. How this will affect his play is a very personal matter that is hard to know. I am adding him back into the projections but there is obvious risk that he may not play well - or he could play even better. Hard to say.

Brandon Stokley remains out this week and while he has done some running, his ankle is still an issue.

Adam Vinatieri has not been able to practice due to his groin strain and is likely to miss this week. I am removing him from the projections and putting in Martin Gramatica.

Laveranues Coles remains questionable to play and he has been held out of practice but the same was true last week when he 10 catches for 78 yards. I am lowering his numbers a bit but he could be just as good as last week.

Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 --- BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 --- @DAL
3 21-14 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 at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 260,3
RB Dominic Rhodes 60,1 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 50 40 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 30,1 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 100,1 0
WR Aaron Moorehead 0 20 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 60,1 0
PK Martin Gramatica 0 FG 4 XP -
Pregame Notes: So far so good. The Colts may not have Edgerrin James anymore and they may not be keeping everyone out of the endzone this year but at 3-0 and with the Jets and Titans left before their bye week, the season is heading in the same direction as last year. They'll just need to watch those sudden turns in the playoffs.

Quarterback: No slow start to the season for Peyton Manning this year, he's already thrown for five scores and even ran in one. He's had a 400 yard game and survived the Jacksonville defense without a turnover. He may be without Reggie Wayne this week but you may not notice any difference.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai ran for 82 yards on 16 carries against the Texans but that didn't translate into more work. Against the Jaguars, Addai only had three carries for 15 yards compared to 14 for 48 yards by Dominic Rhodes. There still is no clear cut change happening here other than what a hot hand in a game may do. And the hands have yet to be very hot.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne could miss this week due to the untimely death of his brother in an accident on Sunday. Until he has formally announced that he will play, the assumption is that he won't. When he does return, it will be hard to gauge how the death could affect him in the short term.

Brandon Stokley would be in line to take his spot but he missed last week with a re-aggravated ankle sprain. Until further clarity on the situation is made, Aaron Moorehead and Terrence Wilkins would move into starting roles.

Tight Ends: Manning continues to mix and match his use of the position but no single tight end has accounted for much. Dallas Clark comes off his second score of the year but has only seven catches for 95 yards over three games.

Match Against the Defense: Here's a game that should result in some decent rushing yardage. The Jets have given up about 150 rushing yards to the Patriots and Bills in the last two weeks. The ever changing split between Addai and Rhodes makes divvying up the yardage a challenge, but there should be enough for both to have fantasy value this week and one should score - likely Rhodes.

Manning goes against a secondary that just gave Losman a career high 328 yards so the yardage should be good and at least two scores turned in. The potentially reduced Colts passing game without Wayne or Stokley would mean the tight ends come more into play if not Addai on a pass.

New York Jets (2-1)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 --- CHI
3 28-20 @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 IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 250,2
RB Kevan Barlow 30 10 0
RB Leon Washington 10 20 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20,1 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 90,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 20 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 80 0
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets are 2-1 and came with one score of the Patriots in week two. Then again, everyone beats the Titans and the Bills should have won the game. No matter, the passing game here continues to carry the team. So far five different backs have carries for the Jets and none of them have really mattered beyond scoring three short touchdowns.

Quarterback: The high-flying Chad Pennington opened the year with dual games of 300 yards and two scores but settled back to just 183 yards and one score against the Bills. One big factor - he had no turnovers. With coming matchups against the Colts and then the Jags, the shine will likely continue to come of Pennington.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow was given his first start last week and ended with 12 carries for 31 yards and one touchdown. That gives him two scores on the year and his third effort that has fallen between 30 and 40 rushing yards. Cedric Houston also was used on two runs for ten yards with one touchdown. Not to leave the rookie out, Leon Washington also had seven carries for 25 yards. This is a backfield that is determined by straws prior to the kickoff. There is no winner.

One small positive here - Washington had two catches and turned one into a 47-yard gain. That had to be noticed by the coaching staff.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles was limited in practice last week but still played and ended with ten catches for 78 yards - his highest reception total and lowest yardage on the season. Coles currently leads the league with 24 catches and he falls just three yards short of Marvin Harrison for the yardage lead. Jerricho Cotchery had scored in each of the first two games but only managed three catches for 33 yards against the Bills.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker may only get one catch in most games, but he's already scored twice on the season - more than Coles and tied with Cotchery for the team lead.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts rush defense is not as dominating as it was last year but it's still plenty good to keep this unit from doing anything. As we know by now, any of five different runners could play and maybe all of them.

Pennington may catch a break here with safety Bob Sanders possibly out again and CB Nick Harper nursing a groin injury and uncertain if he will play. Harper would have covered Laveranues Coles. Look for Pennington to turn in over 200 yards in this game and to throw two scores even if they come late in trash time. Baker goes against a team that has allowed three different tight ends to score this year.