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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK *updated

Prediction: JAX 23, TEN 20

This should be the most intriguing game of the weekend. The Jaguars offense has been lighting it up for the last month and comes off a huge crushing of the Colts. The Titans are now 6-7 with a four game winning streak because no one has been able to stop Vince Young when it counts the most. This game is played in Tennessee just to make it even more difficult to read. The Titans are bound to fall but we've been saying that for weeks now.

The Jaguars had little problem with this match-up back in week nine when they beat the visiting Titans 37-7.

Update: Fred Taylor is listed as probable with a hamstring strain and was held out on Wednesday and returned on Thursday to practice. He claims he will play this week. Taylor with a sore hamstring is a concern even in the best case. Maurice Jones-Drew is probable with a calf injury and has been held out of practice the last two days but is expected to play. He injured his calf last week but returned to the game. I am adding Taylor back into the projections but be aware that a healthy Taylor is risky enough and with him nursing a sore hamstring makes him even less attractive this week.

Travis Henry is questionable to play this week because of a sore ankle and has not practiced. Henry could be a game time decision so I am lowering his projections and realize that there is a chance that he does not play. In that event, it is not certain if Chris Brown or LenDale White will replace him because Brown looked good last week and White was out because of his sore hip and a case of the flu. He is healthy this week but Brown being back in the picture could end up limiting White or even replacing him. Running against the Jaguars is not that attractive anyway and now the Titans have a murky backfield this week. The Titans want to keep the Jaguars guessing as long as they can.

Bo Scaife is also unlikely to play this week because of a sprained ankle and has not practiced. Scaife was wearing a protective boot. Ben Hartsock will take the starting spot this week.

Furthering the Titans injury woes is Drew Bennett who is questionable with a sore knee and he has not practiced. The Titans have downplayed that injury and he is expected to play this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)
1 24-17 DAL 10 10-13 HOU
2 9-0 PIT 11 26-10 NYG
3 14-21 @IND 12 24-27 @BUF
4 30-36 @WAS 13 24-10 @MIA
5 41-0 NYJ 14 44-17 IND
6 Open Bye 15 --- @TEN
7 7-27 @HOU 16 --- NE
8 13-6 @PHI 17 --- @KC
9 37-7 TEN - - MON
JAX at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 0 0 180,1
RB Maurice Drew 50,1 40 0
RB Fred Taylor 60 0 0
TE George Wrighster 0 30 0
WR Reggie Williams 0 20 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 40 0
WR Matt Jones 0 60,1 0
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: After a big win over the Giants, the Jags stumbled in Buffalo but turned around and put the smite on both the Fins in Miami and the visiting Colts last week. There still little chance that the Jags can make up the two game difference to catch the Colts but at 8-5 they are in the lead for a wild card. Getting there won't be easy though with a home game against the Pats and a final game in Kansas City.

Quarterback: David Garrard did little more than just hand off the ball in the butt-whooping laid on the Colts by Taylor and Jones-Drew but he threw for two scores in the two previous games. Garrard threw for 177 yards and three scores against the Titans in week nine.

Running Backs: Last week was the banner game for the runners in Jacksonville with Fred Taylor gaining a season high 131 yards and scoring once while Maurice Drew-Jones gained 166 yards on just 15 carries and rushed in two scores while returning a kick for a third touchdown. Jones has scored in each of the last five games. Taylor injured his hamstring last week and pending a report that he will play, I will not include him in the projections now. Updates as warranted.

Taylor gained 79 yards on 13 carries and Jones-Drew ran for 56 yards against the Titans earlier this year. Jones-Drew added 29 yards on two receptions as well.

Wide Receivers: Last week the wideouts just blocked downfield for the running backs but Matt Jones scored in each of the two games previous to last Sunday. Ernest WIlford and Reggie Williams have done little in the last month while Jones has ben emerging.

WIlford only had three catches for 44 yards against the Texans this year but scored two touchdowns. Jones led all receivers with 66 yards on three receptions.

Tight Ends: George Wrighster has been a factor in the passing game these recent weeks and but he only had one catch for 14 yards against the Texans this year though it was a touchdown. Mercedes Lewis had the only catch by a tight end last week.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars ran for over 130 yards in the last meeting with the Titans but in Tennessee runners have fared much less. If Taylor is out, Jones-Drew will get the benefit of a full load but even that should end up below 100 yards. Jones ins an endzone magnet - expect another touchdown this week if not two.

Garrard goes against a secondary that gave him just an average game in week nine. With the running game working well lately and by now everyone fearing what Young might do at the end of the game, look for just another moderate game here by Garrard from a reduced use of the pass. The lone passing score should favor Jones who is starting to step up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAX 22 2 26 19 3 20
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 24 27 27 25 21 13


Tennessee Titans (6-7)
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 20-17 IND
5 13-14 @IND 14 26-20 @HOU
6 25-22 @WAS 15 --- JAX
7 Open Bye 16 --- @BUF
8 28-22 HOU 17 --- NE
9 7-37 @JAX - - -
TEN vs JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 50,1 0 190,1
RB Travis Henry 40 10 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 30 0
TE Ben Hartsock 0 30 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 50 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
WR Brandon Jones 0 50,1 0
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: If there's one thing that this season has shown, it is to not count out the Titans until the final whistle is blown. That and drafting Young was a good move. The Titans have won their last four games after making up 21 and 14 point deficits and witnessing Young weave through the Texans to win the game in overtime. That's a four game winning streak that started after the Titans lost to the Ravens by just one point. The Titans are not going to the playoffs but Vince Young has given the fan base a reason to hope for the future - and thoroughly enjoy the present. When's the last time that was true for the Titans?

Quarterback: Vince Young threw for 163 yards and one score against the Jaguars in week nine and had only 14 rushing yards on four runs. That was the last time that he has not excelled in a game. Young has ran in scores in every other game since becoming a starter in week four and he leads all quarterbacks with five rushing scores. His passing numbers have taken a definite swing upwards in the last three weeks while throwing for four touchdowns in that time. Young only ran for 14 yards against the Jags in week nine and has gained more yards in each of the successive five games since, ending with a season high 86 yards last week.

Running Backs: Travis Henry has varied each week with a low of 27 yards against the Giants and a high of 142 yards in Philadelphia. He only gained 67 yards against the Jaguars in week nine but has gained at least 88 rushing yards in four of the five games since. With LenDale While out with a hip problem, Chris Brown was given playing time last week and he gained 44 yards on just four carries against the Texans. It was his first game since week six.

Wide Receivers: Young is still developing as a passer but Drew Bennett comes off his third game over 100 receiving yards this season and two of them were in the last five weeks with Young. But Bennett had a game without any catches and another with just 35 yards on three catches. He's not consistent week to week but then again no wideout here is. Bobby Wade, Courtney Roby and Brandon Jones figure in each week at least for a few targets.

Bennett had three catches for 51 yards and one score against the Jaguars this year while no other wideout had more than 17 yards.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife suffered an ankle injury early in the game and ended with just two catches for eight yards. If he cannot play this week, it will put a dent into the passing as one of Young's preferred targets. That will leave just Casey Cramer and Ben Hartsock as healthy tight ends and both are primarily blockers.

Scaife had five catches for 70 yards in Jacksonville this year. I will include him in the projections this week as limited but playing and will update when practice reports make his status clear.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans are facing a Jacksonville defense which has improved but has not played as well on the road. Look for a moderate game here by Henry at best and no scores.

Young has been so electric in the last month that it's like projecting what he will do in the final two minutes of every game. The Titans run has been thoroughly impressive and Young is getting better but this will be the best defense that they have faced since the winning streak began and the Jags already are familiar with him. Expect a moderate game from Young who is due for a game without the late game theatrics. At least in theory. With a rag tag group of wideouts, it's hard enough to project in an average game and now the Titans have a top five defense in almost every category.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 11 23 29 14 30 17
Preventing Fantasy Points JAX 6 3 4 10 4 4