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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 29, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
ATL at WAS MIN at CHI   TB at PIT Updated

Prediction: IND 27, TEN 21

Here is a game that might seem to be a slam dunk for the 10-1 Colts but they only won 14-13 when they hosted the Titans in week five. And the Titans are plenty full of confidence after beating the Giants last week. But Indy has a habit of just playing to the level of their competition in many games (plus a few points to win). Fortunately the Chargers and Ravens are making the Colts keep winning to preserve the homefield advantage. But that doesn't mean the Colts have to score 45 points every week (be still my heart).

Update: Ben Utecht is listed as questionable with a knee sprain but he has practiced both Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to play. Bo Scaife is also questionable to play with a quad strain but has practiced and should play without limitation. I didn't project for LenDale White anyway, but he is questionable because of a hip flexor and missed part of practice on Wednesday and then all of the Thursday sessions. He may not play which could allow Chris "remember me" Brown to get some playing time as Travis Henry's back-up. No need to change the projections but notable from the original write-up.

Indianapolis Colts (10-1)
1 26-21 @NYG 10 17-16 BUF
2 43-24 HOU 11 14-21 @DAL
3 21-14 JAX 12 45-21 PHI
4 31-28 @NYJ 13 --- @TEN
5 14-13 TEN 14 --- @JAX
6 Open Bye 15 --- CIN
7 36-22 WAS 16 --- @HOU
8 34-31 @DEN 17 --- MIA
9 27-20 @NE - - MON
IND at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 230,2
RB Dominic Rhodes 50 10 0
RB Joseph Addai 70,1 20 0
TE Ben Utecht 0 30 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 70,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 80,1 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Coming off the loss to Dallas, the Colts went right back to their winning ways with their biggest win of the year last Sunday when the Eagles came to town. Joseph Addai had a "sonic boom" sort of breakout effort while even Manning could not resist scoring at least once. The schedule is fairly light other than the road trip to Jacksonville and the hosting of the Bengals. All we can hope for is for the Chargers and Ravens to keep winning and force the Colts to keep playing.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning ranks second in passing yards (2964) and is tied for first in passing touchdowns (21) with Carson Palmer. But Manning only threw for just 166 yards and two scores against the Titans in week five because that was all he had to do. He has never had a game without at least one score this year but the improvement in the rushing game could mean Manning doesn't need to do much more in easier match-ups.

Running Backs: For 11 weeks, Joseph Addai had shared the load with Dominic Rhodes but had started getting more carries and all the touchdown runs after week four. But he had never run for more than 84 yards in any game until last week when Addai went against the Eagles and turned 24 carries into 171 yards and four touchdowns - one more score than he had on the season prior to Sunday. Dominic Rhodes even gained 68 yards on 15 carries during the rout. That monster effort should get Addai more playing time but clearly Rhodes will continue to factor in.

Addai ran for 62 yards on 13 carries while Rhodes had 84 yards on 20 runs in week five against the Titans.

Wide Receivers: The biggest question now is what's wrong with Marvin Harrison? Last week he only had one catch for eight yards and that was on his only pass in the game. Reggie Wayne had 77 yards on four catches and scored for the third straight week. While Harrison only had one game over 100 yards in the last nine weeks, Wayne has turned in three during that time. Harrison only has five scores on the year while Wayne now has eight. The Colts are still winning but Harrison has not been a big part of that lately.

Ricky Proehl has reportedly agreed to a free agent contract with the Colts. With Brandon Stokley always injured, Proehl could start showing up soon.

Harrison only had three receptions for 29 yards against the Titans in week five but scored once while Wayne had just three catches for 24 yards and also scored in that game.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark suffered a knee injury and won't be available this week. There is a chance it could be season ending but that has not been confirmed. That will let Bryan Fletcher take over his spot while Ben Utecht continues to man the other side.

Match Against the Defense: After last week's comeback win over the Giants, that should motivate the Colts to not rest on a small lead this week. The Titans are equally weak against the run and pass so the Colts can go either way evidently with Addai finding his groove. The most reasonable outcome here would be one rushing score for Addai and two for Manning. But Indy has to push itself to get there and don't expect another 14 point game will win this. It's high time that Harrison records a touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 9 7 5 4 21
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 27 27 27 25 21 12


Tennessee Titans (4-7)
1 16-23 NYJ 10 26-27 BAL
2 7-40 @SD 11 31-13 @PHI
3 10-13 @MIA 12 24-21 NYG
4 14-45 DAL 13 --- IND
5 13-14 @IND 14 --- @HOU
6 25-22 @WAS 15 --- JAX
7 Open Bye 16 --- @BUF
8 28-22 HOU 17 --- NE
9 7-37 @JAX - - -
TEN vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 40,1 0 160,1
RB Travis Henry 90,1 10 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 30,1 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 40 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
WR Brandon Jones 0 40 0
PK Rob Bironas 0 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nothing like mounting a 24 point fourth quarter to stage the biggest comeback of the year for the league. That gave the Titans their third win in five games which included beating Philly and Houston and almost beating the Ravens. Vince Young is still running but he's also passing better almost every week. For the want of just three points in each game, the Titans could be 8-3 right now. But much of that stems from teams playing down to their level expecting to win. After last week, that officially became a very bad idea.

Quarterback: Vince Young engineered the biggest comeback by a rookie quarterback in NFL history last week and he racked up his career best stats along the way. Young ended with 249 passing yards and two scoring passes and added 69 rushing yards and a third touchdown during 10 runs. That gives Young four rushing and eight passing touchdowns on the season Young was only starting his second game when the Titans went to Indy in week five and he had just 63 passing yards though he ran for 43 yards and one touchdown.

Running Backs: Travis Henry only gained 27 yards on 12 carries last week but had a score and 100+ rushing yards in both the previous games and had 123 yards on 19 carries against the Colts in week five. Even Lendale White ran for 48 yards on just eight carries in that game though he's been rarely used the last three weeks.

Wide Receivers: Young was able to use both Brandon Jones (4-38, 1 TD) and Bobby Wade (6-83) with some success last week while Drew Bennett only had three catches for 35 yards. Usually Bennett is the best wideout each week but the improved passing numbers by Young are slowly coming down to benefit the wideouts. Even Roydell Williams is getting at least one catch per week.

Brandon Jones was the only wideout with a catch in the previous meeting with the Colts and he gained just 30 yards on three catches.

Tight Ends: Last week, Young went back to one of his favorite receivers in Bo Scaife who had five catches for 34 yards and one score. Ben Troupe scored in week 11 but had no catches against the Giants. Scaife has some chemistry with Young but as he progresses, he's finding more wideouts now rather than using his tight ends more.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts not only have allowed every road opponent to score once via the run, the last four had one back scoring twice against them. The rushing yardage and rarely that much but the scores have been very consistent. Expect Henry to gain at least moderate yardage here and score at least once. If that is all he does, he'll be the first back in five road trips to fall short of two touchdowns.

Young is much better but the Colts passing defense is solid and has only allowed four passing scores during their five road games. Look for Young to throw for at least one score that should favor Scaife the most and he could manage to run in a score as well. The Titans are getting better but the Colts will try to score early and force Young to pass - that should just lead to more rushing yards for Young.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 15 26 28 13 29 11
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 7 30 2 18 4 8