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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 18, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
JAX at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND   *updated

Prediction: DEN 17, CLE 7

The Broncos come into town with an awesome defense and very little offense to face the 1-4 Browns. Denver will have to fight the urge to look past this game at next week against the Colts but it's not like they are scoring much anyway. It's just that their opponents do even less.

Denver Broncos (4-1)
1 10-18 @STL 10 --- @OAK
2 9-6 KC 11 --- SD
3 17-7 @NE 12 --- @KC
4 Open Bye 13 --- SEA
5 13-3 BAL 14 --- @SD
6 13-3 OAK 15 --- @ARZ
7 --- @CLE 16 --- CIN
8 --- IND 17 --- SF
9 --- @PIT - MON THU
DEN at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 20 0 160,1
RB Tatum Bell 110,1 10 0
TE Tony Scheffler 0 10 0
WR Rod Smith 0 30 0
WR David Kircus 0 10 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
PK Jason Elam 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It apparently does really matter how good the opponent is, the Broncos are going to crush them defensively and then barely manage to score enough to win the game. It is a working formula though and one that the Browns won't likely change. The offense with Plummer at the helm has never thrown the ball worse and Tatum Bell has to mix in enough long runs to counter his many "stuffed at the line". The only thing more amazing than the Broncos only allowing one touchdown all season is that their offense has only scored five touchdowns in six games.

Quarterback: There is no movement to call up Jay Cutler, but Jake Plummer could hardly be less effective. He has only thrown for touchdowns in two games and only once had more than 173 passing yards. Evidently this is acceptable to Mike Shanahan but it all smacks of an early loss in the playoffs when they eventually face a team that can actually score more than once against them. Plummer had a golden opportunity against the Raiders in Denver and turned in his worst game yet - just 102 yards and no score.

Running Backs: The oddity about Tatum Bell is that he only has two games over 100 yards and both came in the only road games. Bell has been getting plenty of opportunities and ends with a nice enough yardage total in most weeks but it's coming inconsistently with long runs sandwiched by little or no gain on most carries. Bell only has one score on the year which came just last week at home against the Raiders.

The Broncos have probably lost fullback Kyle Johnson for this week to an ankle sprain, so Cecil Sapp will take his place.

Wide Receivers: Though the passing numbers remain anemic each week, that almost entirely goes to Javon Walker who has been over 60 yards in each of the last four games. That also means that Rod Smith is now worthless in fantasy terms. He only had one catch for 12 yards against the Raiders. Walker remains a moderately worthy choice for a fantasy team but there is nothing else here worth owning.

Tight Ends: Week six served up the conclusion of any value for this position when no tight end had a catch.

Match Against the Defense: The Cleveland defense is below average in all categories but so is the Denver offense. Expect a good game here from Tatum Bell who shines on the road.

Plummer would be the first quarterback not to score against the Browns but it would be no shock. Look for just one score that favors a wideout that has to be Walker because evidently there are no other wideouts for Denver. After six weeks, Denver is not playing possum with the offense, it just smells that way.

Cleveland Browns (1-4)
1 14-19 NO 10 --- @ATL
2 17-34 @CIN 11 --- PIT
3 14-15 BAL 12 --- CIN
4 24-21 @OAK 13 --- KC
5 12-20 @CAR 14 --- @PIT
6 Open Bye 15 --- @BAL
7 --- DEN 16 --- TB
8 --- NYJ 17 --- @HOU
9 --- @SD - - THU
CLE vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Frye 0 0 170,1
RB Reuben Droughns 50 0 0
TE Kellen Winslow 0 60,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 20 0
WR Braylon Edwards 0 50 0
WR Josh Cribbs 0 20 0
PK Phil Dawson 0 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns head back home after a two week road stretch that saw them gain their first win of the year in Oakland and then get swamped by the Panthers last week, The offense has been consistent with a couple of scores each week but that's not likely to happen against Denver, This game has the markings of yet another match-up they are seemingly in and yet everyone knows they will lose, The Browns are better than their 1-4 record but probably not a lot better. They come off their bye with two weeks to prepare for this game but that doesn't mean that they have the players to get the job done.

Quarterback: Other than Charlie Frye's three scores against the Raiders, this offense never passes for more than one touchdown per game and two road efforts netted no scores. Frye started the year with three straight games with a rushing touchdown but now has done nearly nothing on the ground thanks to rarely nearing the endzone. That won't change this week.

Running Backs: Reuben Droughns has been running better over the last two games with an actual 100 yard effort in Oakland but he has only one score on the year and does very little on receptions in any week. For some reason, he has no catches in the two home games. Droughns has plenty of motivation this week as he faces the team that dumped him in the offseason but then again, he doesn't have the blocking to do that much about it.

Wide Receivers: Braylon Edwards enjoyed three straight weeks with more than 75 yards per game and he is clearly a favorite for Frye, but he only had three catches for 27 yards against the Panthers and this week faces his toughest secondary yet. Joe Jurevicius is back in the line-up and while his size suggests he would make a nice target, he has only three catches in each of the games he has player and not more than 28 yards in either.

Dennis Northcutt has a rib injury that could keep him out this week. I will hold him out of the projections until he has practiced and appears likely to play. Josh Cribbs will replace him if needed.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow has been solid this year and turns in around 50 yards in most games with two scores on the year - more than any other Cleveland receiver. With the Broncos adept at shutting down the wideouts, Winslow will be key in this game.

Match Against the Defense: Droughns has yet to be even average this year and now he faces a team that has not allowed any runner to score. Figure on even moderate yardage here as a big success.

Frye faces a defense that has allowed only one score this year though the opponents so far have been weak teams other than the Patriots and Brady is the one with "the" score (and 320 yards in that game as well). Figure that Frye finds a way to score once but anything more than that would be a true surprise.