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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: MIN 13, BUF 17

The Vikings are playing some amazingly consistent games in terms of scores but that's a function of the ball control and improved defense this year. They come off their first loss of the year to the Bears but losing by three points hurt since the Bears mounted a comeback with two minutes to play to take the win. The Bills have also been playing games close but come in 1-2 thanks to a fumble return given up for a score. The one certainty here is that it should be a close game and maybe a bit boring unless Losman gets hot again.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
1 19-16 @WAS 10 --- GB
2 16-13 CAR 11 --- @MIA
3 16-19 CHI 12 --- ARZ
4 --- @BUF 13 --- @CHI
5 --- DET 14 --- @DET
6 Open Bye 15 --- NYJ
7 --- @SEA 16 --- @GB
8 --- NE 17 --- STL
9 --- @SF - MON THU
MIN at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Brad Johnson 0 0 180,1
RB Chester Taylor 80 20 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 10 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 10 0
WR Troy Williamson 0 80,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 50 0
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Minnesota defense has played exceptionally well this year and allowed opponents score just one touchdown per game. This is just a dink and dunk offense now with the occasional lob to Troy Williamson and with plenty of Chester Taylor to keep the clock going. The passing game here is nothing special but so far it has not needed to be.

Quarterback: Brad Johnson is just a game manager now and only has one touchdown on the season back in week one. His three games this year have all produced right around 20 completions on 30 passes for around 220 yards with nothing added on via the run. Johnson runs this offense almost in robotic fashion.

Running Backs: Chester Taylor has been the primary back with very little interference from the bench until last week when Mewelde Moore ran three times for 23 yards and had three catches for 18 yards. Otherwise, it's been all about Taylor who has ran at least 20 times in each game and already has one 100 yard game this year. Taylor only has three catches each week though and the last two games only had 15 receiving yards in each. While the offense is imported from Philly, it certainly has not brought along the penchant for running back receptions yet.

Wide Receivers: There is no wideout here worth noting outside of Troy Williamson and even he only had four catches for 39 yards last week because the Bears knew he was the only wideout to worry about. Travis Taylor has actually increased his role as the season progresses largely from the attention that Williamson now commands. Taylor had a season high of 82 yards on six catches last week though he lost one fumble.

Tight Ends: Jermaine Wiggins - just one catch for nine yards last week and without any fantasy value for now.

Match Against the Defense: Buffalo has an average defense so far against the run so expect moderate gains here by Taylor but likely no scores on the road in Buffalo. The Bills will give up some yardage to a decent back and MIN will try to get as many carries to Taylor as the game allows.

Johnson faces a secondary that has allowed at least one score in each game this year but not much in the way of passing yardage. His average game would be a big success here though he should manage the one score that favors Williamson slightly. This should be a slow game and the Vikings do not play a quick strike attack.

Buffalo Bills (1-2)
1 17-19 @NE 10 --- @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 --- @HOU
3 20-28 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 MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 190,1
RB Willis McGahee 80,1 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 30 0
WR Lee Evans 0 80,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills let a game get away from them last week and this team is not yet good enough to recover from big mistakes. The positive news here is that J.P. Losman finally had a big game even though it was not enough to win. Same for McGahee, though it was not enough to win. This team is improving slowly, but has to stay away from mistakes that undermine the gains in the offense.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman comes off a career best game of 328 yards and one score though much of that came on the 51-yard touchdown pass to Roscoe Parrish who turned a short gain into a long score. Losman also lost two fumbles in the game and threw one interception for the first time this year. One of those fumbles turned the tide to the Jets in the third quarter last week. Prior to that game, Losman only had 247 yards from the first two weeks combined.

Running Backs: For some reason, Willis McGahee really loves the Jets. He turned in his fourth 100 yard effort against them and his 150 yards on 26 carries was a career best. Still - he did not score and has no touchdowns on the season. But he has not fallen below 90 total yards in any game this year.

Wide Receivers: After two efforts with 25 yards or less, Lee Evans finally got back on track when he turned in 107 yards on eight catches against the Jets last week. As noted, Roscoe Parrish turned a shorter pass into a 50-yard score and ended with his career best 104 yards on just four catches. Peerless Price and Josh Reed still await that fateful day when they can produce over 50 yards in a single game. Parrish was successful last week but only thanks to being in a few spread formations. He may see more playing time but for now the same lineup remains.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal caught one pass for 20 yards but suffered a wrist injury late in the game. I am assuming that he plays this week, that you would never start him and that he once again has one catch in the game like the last three weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings defense has been very good this year but this is only their second trip away from home and the opener in Washington was just an odd game with limited play from Portis. Look for McGahee to turn in solid numbers this week and score once but he'll likely end up just short of 100 total yards.

Losman had been up and down this year but after the mistakes of last week, he likely won't be asked to press it too much in this game. I like Lee Evans to continue to play well in this game with the same match-up that netted Keyshawn Johnson 106 yards and Bernard Berrian 70 yards. Losman should throw just one score in this game and that would go to Evans.