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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: DET 20, NYJ 23

The Lions finally managed to get that win-less monkey off their back in a close game against the Bills and now head back on the road to face the 3-3 Jets. This game could go either way very easily but the Jets back at home has to be better than the Lions on the road. Two straight wins from the Lions is just hard to imagine.

Update: Tim Dwight remains questionable and was held out of some drills in practice due to his thigh strain. He is still expected to play but won't be 100%

Detroit Lions (1-5)
1 6-9 SEA 10 --- SF
2 7-34 @CHI 11 --- @ARZ
3 24-31 GB 12 --- MIA
4 34-41 @STL 13 --- @NE
5 17-26 @MIN 14 --- MIN
6 20-17 BUF 15 --- @GB
7 --- @NYJ 16 --- CHI
8 Open Bye 17 --- @DAL
9 --- ATL - - THU
DET at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 260,1
RB Kevin Jones 70,1 20 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 20 0
WR Roy Williams 0 100,1 0
WR Mike Furrey 0 50 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 50 0
PK Jason Hanson 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Nothing like a win to make things better though at 1-5, "better" is a relative term. The running game has been working and Kitna continues to throw enough scores to make it a game and enough interceptions to make it a tough game to win. Now Shawn Bryson is out for the year and once again, the Lions offense starts to shrink.

Quarterback: Jon Kitna has been consistently scoring at least once each week for the last month and he remains above 225 yards every week so he has decent fantasy value that has been boosted with two uncharacteristic rushing scores and what has become a deadly connection with Roy Williams. The nicest part of this Martz-inspired passing offense is that the Lions have no choice but to throw each week thanks to trailing on the scoreboard.

Running Backs: Kevin Jones had gone 19 consecutive games without rushing for 100 yards but the win over the Bills has week saw him gain 127 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown. He even added 36 yards on six carries. That makes three of the last four games for Jones contain at least one score and nice total yardage though his week five game in Minnesota only had eight yards on ten carries - a reminder that he's not above a very good defense.

Jones is fighting a hip pointer now but is expected to play this week.

Wide Receivers: Roy Williams had many fantasy owners concerned last week when he missed practice with a sore neck but he just proceeded to turn in a career best game with ten catches for 161 yards and a score. That makes three of the last four games for Williams exceeding 130 yards with only the Minnesota game when he was injured as a black mark (one catch for seven yards). Williams is gold in this offense and his size and speed means defenses struggle even though they know he is getting the most passes.

But Williams monster game came at the expense of Mike Furrey (3-39) and Az-Zahir Hakim (3-14) since both had season low games. Hard to argue with a win though and if it works, why change?

Tight Ends: Neither Dan Campbell or Marcus Pollard offer any fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: This will be an interesting match-up because neither defense is that good. Expect at least a decent rushing game from Jones here with at least one touchdown but his yardage may lag if a shootout happens and both teams start to throw a lot - very possible.

Kitna goes against a secondary that has given up a score in each of the last five games but only once more than one touchdown. Since Kitna will be throwing a lot by design, expect some nice yardage here that could potentially turn into a very nice game if the Jets get a lead of any size and force the Lions to throw even more. Roy Williams should catch another score here and be the lead receiver of course but there should be enough left over to make both Furrey and Hakim have moderate fantasy value this week. Those interceptions by Kitna will probably be a factor in this game.

New York Jets (3-3)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 --- CHI
3 28-20 @BUF 12 --- HOU
4 28-31 IND 13 --- @GB
5 0-41 @JAX 14 --- BUF
6 20-17 MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 --- DET 16 --- @MIA
8 --- @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 250,2
RB Kevan Barlow 40 0 0
RB Leon Washington 50 10 0
TE Chris Baker 0 20,1 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 110 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 60,1 0
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets made amends for their shellacking by the Jaguars by beating the Fins last week in a close match-up. Pennington still hasn't recaptured the magic of those first two games but he's gone through four defenses that are far weaker than the one he'll face this week. The rushing game still in transition but these Jets always play better at home. With Detroit and Cleveland on the slate, the Jets are aiming to reach their week nine bye at 5-3 which would be a major accomplishment for new head coach Eric Mangini.

Quarterback: While Chad Pennington only had 175 yards last week, he did score twice for the first time since week two and had no turnovers. That was a much needed performance after the melt down in Jacksonville the week before. Facing the Lions this week, he's bound to continue his rise upwards. Pennington started the year with two 300 yard efforts but has been stuck around 200 yards in every game since.

Running Backs: The Jets have played around with several configurations in the backfield and the most recent seems to work best - Kevan Barlow and Leon Washington. But Cedric Houston could be returning soon after hyper-extending his knee in week four to help muddy the picture again.

So far Leon Washington has by far the healthiest average though that was helped by running against the Jaguars who did not care and taking just 11 carries last week for 58 yards. But Washington is viewed by most to be too small for a primary load which is why Barlow still figures in - he has four of the five rushing touchdowns by the Jets this year and Houston has the other. Houston was running well in week four until he was injured, so while I will project for a Barlow/ Washington backfield again, what will happen is hard to guess and could be temporary anyway because of Houston's impending return. Thrown in at least the chance that Curtis Martin could show up and this backfield may not be settled until next year.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles has been enjoying a nice year and comes off a five catch, 106 yard game against the Dolphins with two touchdowns. Last week Jerricho Cotchery was held to only one catch but he had been coming up big almost every week and almost certainly will show up again against the Lions. This game should feature some decent passing yardage and scores so the duo of Coles and Cotchery should be both factors in this game.

Tight Ends: A couple of scores early in the year for Chris Baker but he rarely factors in with more than one catch.

Match Against the Defense: The Lions have only allowed one rushing score this year and the Jets are not even sure who to use from week to week. Expect a split game from Barlow and Washington with more yardage from the rookie but anything could happen here other than they won't likely score a touchdown.

Pennington faces a secondary that has been lit up several times this year and that has allowed at least two scores in four of the last five weeks. Expect at least two touchdowns in this game and Baker could end up with a score here since the Lions have already allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends.