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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 6, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Nite
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   SEA at ARZ *updated

Prediction: BUF 13, NYJ 20

The Bills come off a loss to the Chargers that was close, just like most their losses and pretty much most their wins as well. But the Bills are only 2-4 on the road and already lost 28-20 when they hosted the Jets in week three. The Jets are 7-5 and this game can keep them in the thick of the hunt for a wild card. The Jets are only 3-3 at home this season and are 5-2 over the last seven games. The new schemes brought in by Eric Mangini are taking hold even if the players seem below average.

Update: Willis McGahee is questionable with a sore right ankle and has missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He was even seen wearing a protective boot as a sign that it is not a simple sprain. It appears likely that he will still play but will be less than 100%. I am lowering his projections but realize he is not healthy and not a safe play this week.

Buffalo Bills (5-7)
1 17-19 @NE 10 16-17 @IND
2 16-6 @MIA 11 24-21 @HOU
3 20-28 NYJ 12 27-24 JAX
4 17-12 MIN 13 21-24 SD
5 7-40 @CHI 14 --- @NYJ
6 17-20 @DET 15 --- MIA
7 6-28 NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 24-10 GB - - -
BUF at NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 0 0 200,1
RB Willis McGahee 60 0 0
TE Robert Royal 0 10 0
WR Peerless Price 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 80,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
WR Roscoe Parrish 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bills turned in a nice game last week but only because of a score in the final 30 seconds of the game to make it look closer than it truly was. The last three road games have all been decided by three points or less but Buffalo is living - or dying - based on what happens with Lee Evans in games. The defense has given up 21 or more points in each of the last thee games and at 5-7 on the year, another sub .500 season is soon to conclude.

Quarterback: Unless J.P. Losman faces a defense that somehow forgets to cover Lee Evans, he has been turning in less than 200 passing yards in every game this year and other than his one big game in Houston, he's been serving up only 180 yard games for the last six weeks - if that much.

Losman threw for 328 yards and one score against the Jets in week three.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee has scored three times in the last two games - impressive with opponents like the Jaguars and Chargers. But he has not run for more than 66 yards in a game since week four and he usually has only one catch per game. McGahee ran for 150 yards on 26 carries against the Jets earlier this year but that was roughly twice as many yards as he has gained in any other game. He has never scored in a road game.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans had eight receptions for 107 yards and Roscoe Parrish caught four passes for 104 yards and one score when the Jets came to Buffalo this season. That was Evans' best game other than his 265 yard effort against the Texans and even then he never scored against the Jets. Peerless Price had an impressive touchdown catch last Sunday but only had three catches for 17 yards. Parrish has never had more than 48 yards in any game since the previous Jets match-up. This unit still depends on Evans to succeed and when that doesn't happen - and it usually does not - then the Bills will not succeed in the passing game.

Josh Reed showed up again with 50 yards on four catches last week while Parrish turned in 33 yards. I am including both in the projections now.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal caught his first touchdown of the year last week but he's rarely had more than one inconsequential catch in any game this season.

Match Against the Defense: There is no arguing that the Jets rush defense is poor even at home. But it has slowly improved a bit and the Bills on the road have hardly been an offensive force. Figure on McGahee having a decent yardage game here and not scoring.

Losman faces a secondary that has improved as the season progresses and only one quarterback has managed more than one passing score in New York this year. Evans should turn in decent numbers if only from a sheer volume of passes but Losman once again should end up around the 200 yard mark and throw for only one touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 27 30 16 30 23 10
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 20 29 20 16 10 4


New York Jets (7-5)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 17-14 @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 0-10 CHI
3 28-20 @BUF 12 26-11 HOU
4 28-31 IND 13 38-10 @GB
5 0-41 @JAX 14 --- BUF
6 20-17 MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 31-24 DET 16 --- @MIA
8 13-20 @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 210,1
RB Cedric Houston 100,1 20 0
RB Leon Washington 40 10 0
TE Chris Baker 0 10 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 80,1 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 20 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 60 0
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets are on a two game winning streak and with upcoming games against teams with losing records, this could be one of the better seasons for the Jets even though it is just the first season for HC Eric Mangini. If the Jets can only advance their offense with a top runner next year, this team could definitely be on the right track. Cedric Houston has looked good recently against soft opponents but the backfield has been a mish-mash of failed starters for most of the season.

Quarterback: There's nothing like facing the Packers and Texans to make a quarterback look good once again. Chad Pennington has thrown for 286 and 263 yards in the last two weeks with three scores in that time. He had not topped189 yards or one score in the previous six games. But Pennington has always thrown better at home this year and scored in every game other than when the Bears showed up.

Pennington threw for 183 yards and one score in Buffalo this year.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow was inactive for the first time this season last week and in his place Cedric Houston turned in 105 yards on 22 carries and scored twice. He even added 24 yards on three catches. Leon Washington gained 40 yards on seven carries and scored once as well though his role expanded later in the game when the score was decided. Houston is clearly the best runner now - at least for this week. He's easily been the most consistently productive runner for the Jets this year.

The Jets backfield had touchdowns by both Houston and Barlow but no runner had more than 31 rushing yards in Buffalo this season.

Wide Receivers: Facing the Packers last week only resulted in three catches for 28 yards for Laveranues Coles - his worst game since week five. Coles had been good for over 60 yards in most games lately but wasn't needed as much in the Green Bay blow out. Jerricho Cotchery has turned in two straight big weeks now with games of 110 and 99 yards. He also scored once last week. The rest of the wideouts have been of little help for the entire year but at least Cotchery has been strong lately while Coles remains ready when needed. Coles' numbers increase when the opponents are tougher.

Coles caught ten passes for 78 yards and Cotchery was held to just 33 yards on three receptions in Buffalo.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker had four catches for 50 yards last week and scored once for only the second time this year. But normally Baker is only catching one pass per game - it was a freak high, not the start of anything.

Chris Baker scored once on three catches for 15 yards in Buffalo.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets have already beaten the Bills in Buffalo this year and have improved since that game back in week three. Look for Houston to turn in a nice game here. The Bills on the road have been very soft against the run and have allowed six rushing scores in the last four trips away from home. Houston should score once and could challenge 100 yards unless Washington takes too much action.

The Bills pass defense has been good this year but mainly because they lose and opponents just run. Look for Pennington to top 200 yards again this week as have most road opponents for the Bills and to score at least once. That should favor Coles this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 26 18 12 25 27 17
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 7 31 11 17 7 22