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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: JAX 17, WAS 16

The Jaguars run had to end in Indianapolis but they held their own and made the Colts work for the win. The Redskins finally get into the win column last week with a trip to Houston where opponents never have any offensive weaknesses. The win was important for the Skins but all of the games are important when you start out 0-2.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)
1 24-17 DAL 10 --- HOU
2 9-0 PIT 11 --- NYG
3 14-21 @IND 12 --- @BUF
4 --- @WAS 13 --- @MIA
5 --- NYJ 14 --- IND
6 Open Bye 15 --- @TEN
7 --- @HOU 16 --- NE
8 --- @PHI 17 --- @KC
9 --- TEN - - MON
JAX at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 190,1
RB Fred Taylor 70 10 0
RB Maurice Drew 30,1 20 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 40,1 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 50 0
WR Matt Jones 0 40 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars came off their monster win over the Steelers and while they lost to the Colts, they showed good poise and no signs of a letdown from the previous Monday night. While Fred Taylor remains a strong runner, the rookie Maurice Jones-Drew came to life and helped make it a competitive game. On the road again, the Jags big defense will have to once again lead the way but the offense is not far behind.

Quarterback: After opening with games of 237 and 260 yards, Byron Leftwich fell to just 107 passing yards against the Colts with one score against two interceptions. The surprisingly effective rushing game took center stage for most of that game and Leftwich only threw 28 times with 16 completions. Leftwich has four interceptions and a lost fumble on the season but had looked like he was finally taking the final step up until last week.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor has been solid so far this year, with games of 74, 92 and 74 yards but the big story coming out of the last game was the rookie Maurice Jones-Drew who had only two meaningless carries in each of the opening games and then was given 13 carries at Indianapolis that he turned into 103 yards. And not from just one long run either, his longest was 26 yards. Drew was electric when he ran, showing speed and moves with enough power to advance the ball when tackled. He even had four catches for 32 yards and his first NFL touchdown. His performance kept the Jaguars in the game.

There has been no official word from the Jags about yet another RBBC being born but the results on the road at Indianapolis has to merit more work in the future.

Wide Receivers: Matt Jones did play last week but he had no passes or catches thanks to his groin injury that limited him. I will project for him to play limited again this week and update if progress is noted. Without Jones, the Jags were unable to mount any passing game (though playing the Colts didn't help either) and neither Ernest Wilford or Reggie Williams had more than 32 yards in that game. Williams in particular seemed to disappear when called on to play a more pivotal role.

Tight Ends: The Jaguars continue to rely on George Wrighster for three or four catches per game and around 30 yards. Not a bad bye week filler in a pinch.

Match Against the Defense: The rushing game may be changing if they introduce Maurice Drew into the equation more and the Redskins are only average against the run, allowing a couple of scores already and around the standard four yards per carry. Look for close to 100 rushing yards to get split between Taylor and Drew with one touchdown.

Leftwich goes against a secondary that has always allowed 200+ yards and at least one score. That should match up well with what Leftwich has been doing unless Leftwich gets into another funk or the run game does better than expected. The lone score should end up with Reggie Williams from the slot as long as Matt Jones plays. He'll draw Shawn Springs if he returns from injury this week but it could be two limited players going against each other.

Washington Redskins (1-2)
1 16-19 MIN 10 --- @PHI
2 10-27 @DAL 11 --- @TB
3 31-15 @HOU 12 --- CAR
4 --- JAX 13 --- ATL
5 --- @NYG 14 --- PHI
6 --- TEN 15 --- @NO
7 --- @IND 16 --- @STL
8 Open Bye 17 --- NYG
9 --- DAL - MON SAT
WAS vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 170,1
RB Clinton Portis 70 30 0
RB Ladell Betts 20 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 20,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 60 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 30 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 20 0
PK John Hall 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Redskins tromped on the Texans last week as have all opponents but the big win was aided by the very important return of Clinton Portis. Mark Brunell quieted his detractors temporarily by setting the NFL record for 22 consecutive completions to begin the game. But that all came against a terrible defense - not so this week.

Quarterback: Mark Brunell posted 261 yards and one score against the Texans last week and set that record. He ended with 24 completions on 27 attempts. But as good as that was, it came against the Texans and doesn't erase the fact that he only has one passing score on the year and only once has thrown for over 200 yards. His lone score went to the slot receiver Randle El. The two pricey starting wideouts only accounted for 56 yards against a terrible secondary.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis finally had more playing time and turned 16 carries into 86 yards and two touchdowns and added 78 more yards on only two receptions. Ladell Betts also had 16 carries and even he had 124 yards and one score. It was the Texans. It was nothing monumental.

Portis will take the start this week with a much tougher foe on the docket. Betts' numbers should dry up this week and Portis will also be heading southward.

Wide Receivers: For all the potential that seems to be here, three weeks into the season and nothing has happened yet. Santana Moss has topped out at 69 yards and has yet to score. Brandon Lloyd had only 20 yards as a high game and has yet to score. Antwaan Randle El does have the lone passing score but has only turned in up to 34 yards in the game. This unit is ineffective at best and a flop at worst. Much of that all points back to one place - Brunell. No Washington wideout has had more than seven passes in a game this year and that went to Moss in the blowout win in Houston.

Tight Ends: The endzone target of last season of Chris Cooley currently has no scores and just seven catches for 38 yards on the season.

Match Against the Defense: No surprise that the Redskins will want to run the ball but the Jaguars have only allowed one runner to score and no player to gain more than 72 yards rushing. Look for Portis to come in around that mark but without the score.

Brunell needs to do more in the passing game, records not withstanding, and it will be hard to happen against a top defense. It's too early to expect a switch to Jason Campbell or Todd Collins, but Brunell is likely in for a down game this week. I like the Redskins to score once and that will likely come via the pass to Cooley if they will use him. Otherwise it will go to Betts on a goal line plunge.