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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 22, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
  CIN at CLE NYG at TEN   Updated

Prediction: CIN 24, CLE 17

The Bengals, finally, come off a good win over the Saints that snapped a three game losing skid. The Browns almost beat the Steelers last week and their defense keeps them in almost every game. And their offense fails to score more than the opponent in almost every game. This is the second round for the teams this season and the Bengals won 34-17 when the Browns came to Cincinnati in week two. The Bengals are teetering on the brink of sitting home in January and need this win.

Update: Reuben Droughns remains listed as questionable but has returned to practice and may be able to play this week. I am not adding him back into the projections because it is not certain that he will play or how much. The Browns were very pleased with Jason Wright gaining four yards per carry against the Steelers last week and he should take the majority of carries in any case. Both Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards are listed as questionable but both have practiced and are expected to play.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
1 23-10 @KC 10 41-49 SD
2 34-17 CLE 11 31-16 @NO
3 28-20 @PIT 12 --- @CLE
4 13-38 NE 13 --- BAL
5 Open Bye 14 --- OAK
6 13-14 @TB 15 --- @IND
7 17-14 CAR 16 --- @DEN
8 27-29 ATL 17 --- PIT
9 20-26 @BAL - MON THU
CIN at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 0 0 240,2
RB Rudi Johnson 90,1 10 0
TE Reggie Kelly 0 30 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 80,1 0
WR Houshmandzadeh 0 70 0
WR Chris Henry 0 50,1 0
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: 5-5 and barely alive. The Bengals defense finally managed to hold an opponent off and allow the magic to continue between Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. The road is still marked with plenty of problems - BAL, IND, DEN and PIT await. The schedule has been brutal to the Bengals this year and games against 3-7 teams are few and far between.

Quarterback: Thanks in no small part to Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer has thrown for 715 yards and six scores over the last two games and with that regained a good fantasy ranking more akin to last year. Palmer has thrown for at least one score in each of the last six games but nothing can touch what happens when he can connect with Ocho Cinco. Palmer currently has 18 touchdowns on the season.

Palmer had 352 passing yards and two scores in Cleveland this year.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson ran for 111 yards on 27 carries last week for his first trip past the century mark in a month. But that came without a score for the first time in four weeks. Johnson is just having an average season but has scored seven times.

Rudi Johnson ran 26 times for 145 yards and two scores against the Browns in week two. That remains his best game this year.

Wide Receivers: Chad Johnson now owns an NFL record for gaining 450 receiving yards in consecutive games. He also scored three times last week and coupled with the two the previous game give Johnson a very respectable seven scores on the year. He is currently the top wideout in most fantasy leagues and it all came in just two weeks. After week nine, he only ranked around 30th best. Now that is making up lost time. Prior to week ten, Johnson only had 482 yards over eight games. His 933 yards now leads all NFL receivers.

Unfortunately, that meant that T.J. Houshmandzadeh only had two catches for 15 yards last week. Chris Henry only had 24 yards on two catches. But for Chad Johnson owners, the last two weeks have been nirvana.

Chad Johnson gained 78 yards on six catches while Chris Henry had 113 yards on five receptions against the Browns this year. Neither scored and Houshmandzadeh had not returned from injury yet in that game.

Tight Ends: Reginald Kelly had two catches for 35 yards in Cleveland this year and that is around how much he has been turning in the last couple of weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals had little trouble winning last time but in Cleveland this game should prove to be closer. The Browns defense is at home and has been playing well this year. Rudi Johnson had a big game in week two and should manage such again with the defense plenty concerned about the passing game. Expect one rushing score and close to the century mark this week.

Palmer had a big passing effort last time that easily remains the most allowed by the Browns this year. Hard as it is to believe, chances are that Chad Johnson won't have a monster game here but he should manage decent numbers. Much of the Browns low passing stats stem from facing mostly teams that did not have the need to throw if they even had the ability much. Look for two scores here and good yardage in a game that the Bengals need to win. The scoring should go to both Johnson and Henry.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 8 22 1 26 5 23
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 4 19 12 8 24 32


Cleveland Browns (3-4)
1 14-19 NO 10 17-13 @ATL
2 17-34 @CIN 11 20-24 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 7-17 DEN 16 --- TB
8 20-13 NYJ 17 --- @HOU
9 25-32 @SD - - THU
CLE vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Frye 0 0 230,2
RB Jason Wright 60 10 0
TE Kellen Winslow 0 70,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 40 0
WR Braylon Edwards 0 90,1 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 10 0
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns almost managed to take down the Steelers last week but the offense couldn't keep up - once again. The schedule has not been kind to the Browns and their lack of offense outside of Kellen Winslow has doomed most match-ups that the defense cannot control. The basis of all the problems - a lack of a running game. With Droughns playing it is mediocre at best and without him, almost anyone looks good by comparison. As a team the Browns only have three rushing scores - the same amount they totaled in all of 2005. It is a problem they continue to believe that Droughns can solve when he clearly is not up to the task.

Quarterback: Charlie Frye threw for 244 yards and ran in one score against Cincinnati earlier this year and that's been one of his best games of the year. Frye has not thrown for more than one score in any of the last six games and only has nine scores on the year. His 12 interceptions rank among the highest in the league and he has lost six fumbles. The offensive line is a major culprit here but even with protection, Frye has struggled in most games to reach even 200 passing yards.

Running Backs: Reuben Droughns missed last week with a sprained ankle and in his place Jason Wright gained 74 yards on 18 carries for the third best rushing total of the Browns' season. Droughns gained only 32 yards on 14 carries against the Bengals in week two though he had one touchdown. I am assuming Wright replaces Droughns again this week until he is cleared to play.

Wide Receivers: Braylon Edwards is showing up once again after a month long lull. He comes off his best game of the year with 137 yards on seven catches against the Steelers and he scored in each of the two previous games. Dennis Northcutt has almost completely disappeared and Joe Jurevicius varies between one and four catches per week. Only Edwards has fantasy value and turns in decent numbers whenever the Browns face a weaker secondary.

Braylon Edwards had four catches for 110 yards against the Bengals this year.

Tight Ends: Even coming off a down game, Kellen Winslow still leads all NFL tight ends with 60 catches and 597 yards. He only had four catches for 36 yards last week after three straight weeks over 70 yards. Winslow only came up with four catches for 42 yards in week two against the Bengals.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals low ranking against the run is the product of Parker, Tomlinson and Maroney having monster games - other runners have remained with far less production. The Cleveland runner - likely Wright if Droughns remains out - will only end with barely moderate numbers if only because of a lack of carries.

Frye had a decent game last time against the Bengals who still have a secondary that needs work. I like the rare event to happen here - Frye throws for two scores and decent yardage in a game with trash time. Just like week two.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 18 32 30 2 11 22
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 30 28 8 31 14 8