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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

WAS 17, IND 27

The Skins come stumbling into this game after getting taken down by the Titans in Washington, D.C. and at 2-4, the season is already getting away from them. The Colts are 5-0 but their last game was just a one point win over those same visiting Titans. Indy hasn't really had a blowout win yet but come off their bye week rested.

Update: Adam Vinatieri is still listed as questionable but was at practice this week and is expected to play though a final determination won't be made likely until Saturday. It appears better for him this week but that still doesn't completely rule out a quick phone call to Martin Gramatica. Brandon Stokley remains questionable with a knee sprain and since he has not practiced, it's very unlikely that he will play. There are no changes to the projections warranted, but be aware that Vinatieri needs to make it through Saturday to be in the clear.

Washington Redskins (2-4)
1 16-19 MIN 10 --- @PHI
2 10-27 @DAL 11 --- @TB
3 31-15 @HOU 12 --- CAR
4 36-30 JAX 13 --- ATL
5 3-19 @NYG 14 --- PHI
6 25-22 TEN 15 --- @NO
7 --- @IND 16 --- @STL
8 Open Bye 17 --- NYG
9 --- DAL - MON SAT
WAS at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 180,1
RB Clinton Portis 100,1 30 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 30,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 50 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 30 0
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Redskins dropped their game against the Titans and that has to hurt. The passing game once again went into hiding and has never been much more than connecting deep with Santana Moss in the few times it has looked good. The win over the Jaguars was huge, but it looks like that will have to serve as the season's high water mark for the Skins.

Quarterback: The team is sticking with Mark Brunell despite the passing woes. He has only thrown five touchdowns in six games and three of those happened against Jacksonville. Take away that one game and Brunell has failed to exceed 200 passing yards in four games and only managed one score in two of the five. On the road, Brunell has only one passing score in three games and that happened in Houston.

Running Backs: As the passing game struggles, so does Clinton Portis. He has balanced his fantasy worth with six touchdowns in the last five games but only has one effort over 100 rushing yards this year. He rarely ever shares carries though so he will get whatever the defense allows - and he scores pretty well too. So far Portis only has one game with more than 20 carries - the big win over the Jaguars.

Wide Receivers: After languishing in near obscurity, Brandon Lloyd finally showed up last week when he caught a 52-yard pass but that ended up as his only catch in the game and the highest yardage he's turned in this year. He's been a colossal flop considering his cost but it's hard to fault him when he only has two to five passes a game thrown at him. Santana Moss comes off a 50 yard effort last week and other than his one monster game against the Jags, he has no scores or any games over 70 yards. Moss is a one-trick pony and as long as he is covered on deep routes, he's not even equal to the #2 wideout on most other teams.

Tight Ends: Six weeks into the season, Chris Cooley finally caught a touchdown but like all other Redskins, he's been a non-factor other than the Jacksonville game.

Match Against the Defense: There is no doubt that the Redskins will want to run as much as possible in this game and they should enjoy some success as have most opponents. The safety Bob Sanders has been out and that has really hurt defending the inside runs but he is expected to start practicing this week and could be cleared to play this week. He's coming off a minor knee surgery though so likely the Colts have the same problem against the run. Expect Portis to have a decent game here with one score but he could end up with some nice numbers if the Redskins can somehow slow down the Colts offense.

Brunell has been shaky at best and ineffective on the road, so don't look for big passing numbers here even if they are called for. No visiting wideout has turned in more than 60 yards against the Colts and everyone knows to cover Moss and take the chance on the others. Brunell will likely end up with one touchdown pass here that favors Cooley the most.

Indianapolis Colts (5-0)
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 14-13 TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 --- WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 --- @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 --- @NE - - MON
IND vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 250,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 80,1 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 70 30 0
TE Dallas Clark 0 30 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 80,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 70,1 0
WR Aaron Moorehead 0 20 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts are undefeated, but there's hardly the same sense that they could run the board like last year. The offense has started slow in most games and had to struggle to get past the Jets and Titans - games they should have normally wrapped up by halftime. Unlike last year, the defense has been far less effective this year thanks in part to a couple key injuries but has not been helped by an offense that doesn't run particularly well or start passing much until the second half. With road games in Denver and New England looming, the Colts could even look past this week but if they do - they'll still likely get away with it.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has thrown for at least one score in every game this year but with "only" eight touchdowns in five games, he's well off his typical pace. What's even worse is that his yardage has languished as well with his last three efforts falling below 220 passing yards. About the only saving grace to this is that he has already scored twice on runs. Manning is still solid, but he's hardly playing like the Manning we've come to expect. The Colts are rushing the ball more the last two weeks though so his numbers are bound to rise as opponents become more challenging.

Running Backs: The split backfield has yet to really offer significant fantasy value though were the numbers combined, it would be a pretty productive backfield. Dominic Rhodes has been the better runner for the last two weeks but never topped 84 rushing yards in any game this year. Rhodes is the more likely goal line runner though and has scored three times so far. Joseph Addai has been running well the last couple of games but only has one score on the year. He also figures into the passing game as well but normally one for two or three catches per game.

Wide Receivers: Colts wideouts are always a hot property in fantasy drafts but that has not translated into many points so far. Marvin Harrison finally scored for the first time this year but only had three catches for 29 yards against the Titans while Reggie Wayne also had his first score on the year in the same game and he only had three receptions for 24 yards. Harrison has had declining yardage in every game for the last month as had Wayne. With only three 100 yard efforts from the duo on the year and none from the last two games, the normally red hot passing attack here has been quietly simmering on low.

Brandon Stokley likely won't play this week after spraining a knee against the Titans.

Tight Ends: The Colts have never used the tight ends less than this year and some of that reflects the need to block for the "no-Edge" backfield. Dallas Clark is the only tight end with a catch in every game but he still has never had more than 39 yards in any game.

Match Against the Defense: This is the same defense that just gave a career best game of 178 rushing yards to Travis Henry, so the run will work this week if the Colts can stick to it. But the results will continue to be watered down in the rotation between Addai and Rhodes. Expect moderate to good yards from each this week with a score by Rhodes.

Manning goes against a secondary that has never prevented an opponent from throwing at least one score and half their games come in with two more. Look for the rested Manning to end up with a couple of touchdowns in this game that should favor Wayne and Harrison. The Colts will win this game but won't need to press too hard with the pass to get it down.