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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 11, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
HOU at DAL TEN at WAS     updated

Prediction: HOU 10, DAL 27

The Texans come off their bye week but are probably catching the Cowboys at a bad time - home after a disappointing loss to the Eagles. The only game that the Texans have even remotely been in this year was the lone win over the visiting Dolphins. Looks like the battle for the State of Texas could get ugly.

Houston Texans (1-3)
1 10-24 PHI 10 --- @JAX
2 24-43 @IND 11 --- BUF
3 15-31 WAS 12 --- @NYJ
4 17-15 MIA 13 --- @OAK
5 Open Bye 14 --- TEN
6 --- @DAL 15 --- @NE
7 --- JAX 16 --- IND
8 --- @TEN 17 --- CLE
9 --- @NYG - - -
HOU at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 200,1
RB Ron Dayne 40 0 0
TE Jeb Putzier 0 20 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 60 0
WR Kevin Walter 0 20 0
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans had the good fortune to finally win a game right before their bye week and have spent almost two weeks basking in the glory. That should end pretty quickly with a trip to Dallas and then hosting the Jaguars up next. Other than Andre Johnson, there is no facet of this offense which indicates HC Gary Kubiak has made much improvement from 2005 and the defense has allowed three scores in three of the four games. Still a long way to go to reach respectability, but at least one win says they can beat a visiting bad team. Unfortunately that won't happen again until week 14 when the Titans show up.

Quarterback: David Carr has improved this year in the sense he's scoring at least once in every game and twice in most. Carr has not been running the ball much this year though he finally had one rushing score but his passing to Andre Johnson has dramatically improved thanks to moving Johnson around in different formations. Carr has remained between 208 and 230 yards in every game this year.

Running Backs: The decision to pretend that Ron Dayne is a fulltime back continues to serve very mediocre results. Dayne has topped out at 58 yards on 22 carries in the last game played and has 47 carries for just 153 yards on the season after being the primary back for three weeks. That just a 3.3 yard per carry average that was mostly spawned with home games. He still has yet to score a touchdown and has almost no role in the passing game. But he has been given almost the entire load for Houston, so he is as good as it gets - it's just not that good.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson has enjoyed the best opening month in his career, scoring in two of the four games and recording three games over 100 yards. With 410 receiving yards, he is on pace for 1640 yards on the season - more than any wideout had in 2005. Eric Moulds has provided Carr with a valuable possession role but that has only resulted in one touchdown and he's topped out at 76 yards in a game so far. No other receiver has ever managed more than 25 yards in a game. In this offense, it's all about Johnson, a few throws to Moulds for first downs and almost nothing else in the passing game.

Tight Ends: The rookie Owen Daniels scored in two games already this year but he rarely gets more than one pass and has been held without a catch in two games so far. Not enough to count on for fantasy but enough to keep an eye on.

Match Against the Defense: Dayne goes against a defense that has only allowed two scores this year and both were on the road in games that they lost. No runner has topped 74 yards against the Cowboys and most end up well below 50 yards. That matches Dayne's norm.

Carr goes against a secondary that is generally good but has been burned repeatedly by the long pass. Look for Carr to end with one score and around 200 yards that will, of course, heavily favor Andre Johnson. This is only the second home game for the Cowboys and they'll want to show up big this week.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
1 17-24 @JAX 10 --- @ARZ
2 27-10 WAS 11 --- IND
3 Open Bye 12 --- TB
4 45-14 @TEN 13 --- @NYG
5 24-38 @PHI 14 --- NO
6 --- HOU 15 --- @ATL
7 --- NYG 16 --- PHI
8 --- @CAR 17 --- DET
9 --- @WAS M THU SAT
DAL vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 270,2
RB Julius Jones 100 10 0
RB Marion Barber 30,1 20 0
TE Jason Witten 0 40 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 100,1 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 80,1 0
WR Patrick Crayton 0 20 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys fell to 2-2 with the loss to the Eagles and that only served to give the media yet another week to ask when Bledsoe is going to be replaced (note - Parcels has never actually said he ever would, only that he liked Romo). The Cowboys played the Eagles and the Jaguars about even but melted down late in those road games. Owens is barking on the sidelines again and the team could really use a nice game here before facing the Giants in week seven.

Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe caught plenty of flack from the last game thanks to three interceptions and one lost fumble, but some of that was due to the incessant pounding he was taking on pass plays. Bledsoe had thrown a score in every game until last week though he did run in a touchdown to keep his streak alive and counteract the fantasy penalty from those three interceptions. The passing game here still has never topped 246 yards in a game.

Running Backs: Julius Jones is enjoying a nice season rather quietly and comes off a 26 carry, 100 yard game in Philadelphia last week. That makes three straight games over 90 yards rushing and he has scored twice so far. But the goal line duty continues to favor Marion Barber who has touchdowns in each of the last three games. He rarely has more than eight carries but has been the consistent scorer when the goal line is near. Barber also has at least one catch per game unlike Jones.

Wide Receivers: The Eagles blanketed Terrell Owens last week and held him to just 45 yards on three catches. So far, Owens only has one touchdown on the year and hasn't yet gone over 100 yards in any game. Terry Glenn has been much more effective with three touchdowns on the year and he remains good for at least 60 yards each week. Patrick Crayton is nearly invisible in the slot as the Cowboys are just not throwing much and when they do, it's always to Glenn or Owens.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten no longer is called in the endzone but he has settled into a steady role of around four receptions per week for around 30 or 40 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys could suffer a letdown after the loss in Philly but more likely it will make this home game even more focused to give the home crowd something to cheer about. The Texans almost always allow a rushing score if not two so expect a very nice game here from Julius Jones with Marion Barber trotting in to steal the touchdown. Houston ranks 30th against running backs.

Bledsoe more than anyone needs a good outing and Houston ranks 31st against quarterbacks with no one turning in less than 250 yards against them (if not up to 400). Figure this to be a good spot to shut up Owens and let him score along with Glenn.