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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 4, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
MIA at NE WAS at NYG DAL at PHI   updated

Prediction: TEN 13, IND 31

The 0-4 Titans hit the road to face the 4-0 Colts. Last year the Colts swept the Titans 31-10 and 35-3. The official line on the game has the Colts winning by a ridiculous 19 points though they won by 21 and 32 in 2005. Mismatch? Yes. the Colts only have their bye week waiting after this so there's no reason to look past this game other than to think about what color to paint the living room.

Update: David Givens has been counted out this week due to his bruised hand and will be replaced by Brandon Jones. Brandon Stokley is still listed as questionable with his high ankle sprain but returned to practice on Thursday and could play. I am not including him in the projections because he is not a lock to play and the Colts won't really need him this week anyway.

Tennessee Titans (0-4)
1 16-23 NYJ 10 --- BAL
2 7-40 @SD 11 --- @PHI
3 10-13 @MIA 12 --- NYG
4 14-45 DAL 13 --- IND
5 --- @IND 14 --- @HOU
6 --- @WAS 15 --- JAX
7 Open Bye 16 --- @BUF
8 --- HOU 17 --- NE
9 --- @JAX - - -
TEN at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 20 0 140,1
RB Chris Brown 30 0 0
RB LenDale White 30 0 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 30 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 40,1 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 30 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 10 0
WR Brandon Jones 0 20 0
WR David Givens 0 20 0
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The switch to Vince Young had predictable results though a necessary step for the rookie quarterback. Going against the Colts this week could provide some nifty trash time but the loss here should be apparent early on. With two road games ahead, the Titans will likely reach their bye at 0-6 but then host the Texans in week eight where hope can once again grow.

Quarterback: In his first NFL start, Vince Young completed 14 of 29 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions and one lost fumble - not all together bad considering the Cowboys have a good defense and Vince Young has rather limited tool to use. Young came out in the post-game interview trying to say all the right things about how the loss was on him, he was the leader, losing is not acceptable and the rest of the spiel expected from a player whose last start was winning the national championship single-handedly. Let's see what he says in week 17 when the team is likely 1-15 or 2-14.

Young only ran for three yards on five rushes - he needs to improve on that aspect of the game.

Running Backs: One of the messier backfields in the NFL had Travis Henry inactive last week despite being healthy so that Chris Brown could gain 33 yards on 12 carries and LenDale White could turn nine runs into 20 yards. Though nothing official has been said yet, it's reasonable to expect that White's role increases as the year progresses and that likely leaves Henry out until Brown gets injured again.

Chris Brown ran for only 31 and 32 yards in the two meetings against the Colts last year.

Wide Receivers: Young tried using the free agent acquisition of David Givens with a team high six passes thrown to him but like the other weeks, Givens could only snare one catch for three yards. Until Givens steps up, this passing attack will look like last year and be even less effective. Drew Bennett only had two catches for 10 yards while Bobby Wade turned three catches into a team high 45 yards. Some of that reflected the corners of the Cowboys forcing Young to the slot receiver Wade but that could happen in most any week.

Tight Ends: Not unlike last season, the tight ends came into heavier use and Bo Scaife ended with three catches for 40 yards while Ben Troupe finally did something this year and had a touchdown catch during his three receptions for 39 yards. Chances are good that the tight ends here will continue to be featured in the passing game.

Troupe had games of 34 and 67 yards against the Colts in 2005.

Match Against the Defense: Chris Brown had no success last year against the Colts and there's no reason to expect different here. Look for minimal rushing numbers again this week.

Young goes against a secondary that has allowed at least one passing score every week and even if it takes a late game trash time throw, Young should follow that trend. The Colts are actually weaker against tight ends than wideouts so look for Scaife and Troupe to show up in the box score again this week. The Colts could still be without CB Harper and S Sanders which could help the passing numbers here.


Indianapolis Colts (4-0)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 --- BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 --- @DAL
3 21-14 JAX 12 --- PHI
4 31-28 @NYJ 13 --- @TEN
5 --- TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 --- WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 --- @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 --- @NE - - MON
IND vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 220,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 70,1 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 60,1 20 0
TE Clark/ Fletcher 0 40 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 80,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 60,1 0
WR Aaron Moorehead 0 10 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts have been scoring as well as previous seasons but their dominating defense of 2005 has yet to show up. The Colts could likely score at will in this game so the biggest question here is if a big halftime lead will mean the Indy starters beginning their bye 30 minutes earlier than expected. The Titans get no favors by being an inter-divisional opponent though with potential tie-breaking characteristics from their match-up.

Quarterback: The passing yardage has been less than eye-popping in all but the Houston game this year but Peyton Manning has scored in every game and had two or more scores in the last three. The biggest surprise? That Manning has rushed in a score in both of his last two games. Like the defense didn't have enough to worry about already.

Manning threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns in Tennessee last year and had 187 yards and three scores when the Titans came to Indianapolis.

Running Backs: The rookie Joseph Addai had his heaviest use of the season last week when he carried the ball 20 times for 84 yards and scored once. Dominic Rhodes also scored and had an even better 15 carries for 75 yards. Neither back is distinguishing himself yet for more work though eventually the Colts want Addai to become "the man". Rhodes remains the primary goal line runner and has three touchdowns on the season.

The Colts ran for around 100 yards in each of the meetings against the Titans last year with one touchdown in the home game.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts continue to be good fantasy bets every week with Marvin Harrison already turning in two efforts over 100 yards and never falling below 79 yards in a game. Reggie Wayne had only one game over the century mark but has been good for around 70 yards or so every week. The quiet aberration here is that neither Harrison nor Wayne has scored a touchdown this year. Not one in four games. For either. Brandon Stokley is the only wideout with a touchdown and that came on his only catch of the year. This should be cured soon and likely this week but so far - nada. In the slow starting 2005, the two had combined for four scores by this time.

Harrison had games of 109 yards and two scores and later 61 yards and one touchdown against the Titans in 2005. Reggie Wayne only turned in 48 and 50 yards in the two match-ups but scored in each.

Tight Ends: This is where the bulk of those touchdowns have gone so far. The tight ends have accounted for four scores so far this season with both Dallas Clark and Bryan Fletcher hauling in two scores each. Clark does slightly better with yardage but no tight end here has turned in more than 39 yards in a game. They just catch the touchdowns.

The tight ends only had around 60 total yards against the Titans last year with no scores.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans have allowed a total of six rushing scores already this season and with a likely blowout waiting, count on extra carries this week for both Addai and Rhodes who are must starts on fantasy rosters.

Manning hasn't been lighting up the scoreboard much this year but he remains solid with at least one score in every game. Expect there to be two touchdowns thrown that will favor the wideouts that are getting antsy with no scores this year. The Titans have been pretty good against tight ends and limited Gates to four catches and no score.