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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
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The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
SF at SEA CLE at BAL NYJ at MIN DEN at ARZ KC at SD
Saturday
DET at GB PIT at CAR PHI at NYG
Monday
DAL at ATL HOU at NE TB at CHI MIA at BUF CIN at IND
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK *updated

Prediction: MIA 14, BUF 17

This is the battle of the AFC East cellar and remarkably the winner will be at .500 on the season. This is a coin flip game and the Bills won 16-6 when they visited the Dolphins in week two.

Miami Dolphins (6-7)
1 17-28 @PIT 10 13-10 KC
2 6-16 BUF 11 24-20 MIN
3 13-10 TEN 12 27-10 @DET
4 15-17 @HOU 13 10-24 JAX
5 10-20 @NE 14 21-0 NE
6 17-20 @NYJ 15 --- @BUF
7 24-34 GB 16 --- NYJ
8 Open Bye 17 --- @IND
9 31-13 @CHI - MON THU
MIA at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 200,1
RB Sammy Morris 70,1 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 40 0
WR Marty Booker 0 60,1 0
WR Wes Welker 0 50 0
PK Olindo Mare 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: It just doesn't come much bigger than last week when the Dolphins shutout the Patriots for the first time since 1972. The season may not lead to the post season but for a team that started 1-6 on the season, the late season rally was topped off with that victory. And it came with Ronnie Brown on the sideline. But Miami is only 2-4 on the road this year and still have a trip to Indianapolis in week 17.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington hasn't done much in the last five weeks outside of the game in Miami but with a defense that has been outstanding since the week nine bye, there hasn't bee a big need to throw much. Harrington has passed for a score in each of the last four games but only once - Detroit - did he have more than one touchdown. But worth noting, Harrington only has two games this year with three scores and those came in the last two road games in Chicago and Detroit.

The Fins still had Culpepper as the starting quarterback in week two when these teams met. He threw for 250 yards and one score.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown has missed the last two games with a broken bone in his left hand but hopes to play this week. In his place Sammy Morris only had 47 yards against the Jaguars but turned in 123 yards and a score on 25 carries last week against the Patriots. I will project for Morris again but update if Brown looks likely to play this week.

Brown gained 70 yards on 15 carries and added six catches for 52 yards against the Bills in week two.

Wide Receivers: Over the last month, Chris Chambers has had only one decent game and not scored. Last week, he only had a season low three receptions for 11 yards. But Marty Booker has enjoyed the best four game stretch as a Dolphin with four scores in the last three games and two efforts over 100 yards. Booker has become the go-to guy for Harrington and has scored six times since Harrington took the reins. Chambers has only scored twice and not at all in the last five games.

Chambers scored once in the previous meeting with the Bills but had only 55 yards on four catches to lead the team.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael gains around 30 yards in most games now but has only scored once this year.

McMichael had three catches for 34 yards in the previous game against the Bills.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills are soft against the run so that adds incentive to Brown to return this week. While neither Brown nor Morris will likely top 100 rushing yards this week, the starter here will have at least moderate yardage and a good shot at one score at a minimum.

The Bills have given up at least one passing score in all but one game this year but never more than two and rarely more than 200 passing yards in Buffalo. That matches up well against what Harrington usually does. Booker is the most likely to score based on what Harrington has been doing for a month now.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 25 11 16 23 4
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 9 29 11 14 6 20

 

Buffalo Bills (6-7)
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 31-13 @NYJ
6 17-20 @DET 15 --- MIA
7 6-28 NE 16 --- TEN
8 Open Bye 17 --- @BAL
9 24-10 GB - - -
BUF vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 10 0 180,2
RB Willis McGahee 80 10 0
TE Robert Royal 0 20 0
WR Peerless Price 0 30,1 0
WR Lee Evans 0 70,1 0
WR Josh Reed 0 30 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills mopped up the Jets last week in New York and while they are 4-2 since their bye week, the two losses were by just one point in Indianapolis and three points against the Chargers. Like the Dolphins, the Bills need this win to have a hope for a .500 season with a final game against the Ravens in Baltimore looming.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman has been hot lately, throwing for at least two scores in three of the last four games. Other than the one freak high game in Houston, Losman has remained well under 200 passing yards for the last seven games but the scoring has been there as of late. Losman only has 14 passing scores on the season.

Losman threw for only 83 yards against the Dolphins this year but had one touchdown.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee only scored once in the first eight games but has turned in a touchdown in each of the last three games including two in week 12 against the Jaguars. He ran for 125 yards against the Jets last week but had remained around 60 yards in most games over the last seven weeks..

McGahee ran for 91 yards on 25 carries in Miami this year.

Wide Receivers: While Peerless Price can score on occasion, it never comes with any significant yardage because Lee Evans takes that role - if it even exists. Evans only had two catches last week but gained 91 yards and one score. Evans usually bounces around 50 yards in most game unless he connects on a deep pass.

No wideout had more than 39 yards against the Dolphins earlier this season though Josh Reed had the lone touchdown. It was his only score on the year.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal has never had more than 36 yards in a game this year and he rarely has more than one catch but has scored in each of the last two games. He only has those two touchdowns on the season.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins rushing defense has been outstanding this year and on the road have not allowed an opposing runner to rush in a score. Look for moderate to good yardage from McGahee this week but likely no scores.

Losman is the key in this game that won't be won with McGahee. The Dolphins rank highly against quarterbacks but that mixes both home and away games in. When the Dolphins have been on the road this year, they have allowed at least one passing score to every opposing quarterback and two or more scores to three different players. The Dolphins held the Bills to little passing success back in week two but the Bills won that game handily and did not need to throw - Losman only had 18 attempts in that game.

I like the Bills to score two touchdowns this week and at least one will be passing if not both (the other could be a defensive score). I am projecting for both Price and Evans to score this week but Price has the side that most often is exploited. Royal also has a decent matchup but he has already scored in the last two games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 27 28 17 30 22 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 5 4 9 23 11 17