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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

Prediction: ATL 10, JAC 24

Two teams meet still looking for their first win but while that was to be expected with the Falcons, the Jags loss to the visiting Titans is not the way the season was supposed to start. Here's a chance for a "do-over" that the Jaguars have to get right with a trip to Denver waiting on the other side.

Update: Josh Scobee will miss at least a couple of weeks with a quadriceps injury and is replaced by John Carney

Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIN 3-24 +3 36
2 @JAC 16-Sep +11 34.5
3 CAR 23-Sep SUN 4:15 PM
4 HOU 30-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
5 @TEN 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 NYG 15-Oct MON 8:30 PM
7 @NO 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 SF 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @CAR 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 TB 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 IND 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 @STL 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 NO 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 @TB 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @ARI 23-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
17 SEA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
ATL at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington     180,1
RB Warrick Dunn 50 30  
RB Jerious Norwood 40 10  
TE Alge Crumpler   30  
WR Joe Horn   30  
WR Michael Jenkins   20  
WR Roddy White   40,1  
PK Matt Prater 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Falcons were waxed by the Vikings on both sides of the ball and there's plenty to work on for this week. For a rebuilding year with the Vick fiasco, starting out on the road against two very good defenses was never going to be easy. The passing game looked suspiciously similar to last year's results and yet the rushing game all but disappeared. The offensive line needs much more work in pass protection and general blocking. It may be weeks before positive signs of progress are seen since so many fundamental issues remain.

Quarterback: Joey Harrington's first start for the Falcons wasn't all bad but it wasn't really any good either. He threw for 199 yards but had two passes intercepted and returned for touchdowns. He was sacked six times as well while waiting for receivers to get open. It was a solid defense he faced on the road but the lead receiver was Alge Crumpler - yet again for the Falcons.

Running Backs: Particularly troubling here was that the Falcons could not run and stuck with Warrick Dunn despite his 22 rushing attempts only netting 55 yards - and on carpet inside a dome like at home. Jerious Norwood gained 33 yards but only had five carries. One small change here was that Dunn had four catches for 26 yards and the Falcons are finally starting to throw to him. Dunn was a valuable receiver during his years in Tampa Bay but that ability was never really used by the Falcons in the past.

Wide Receivers: The hoped for benefit to the wideouts from switching to a more traditional quarterback still has not been seen. Roddy White led this crew with just four catches for 29 yards and offseason acquisition Joe Horn only managed one catch for 14 yards. The best catch of the game came from rookie Laurent Robinson when he was replacing Michael Jenkins in the slot but all combined this unit only had ten catches for 86 yards spread over four players. Not time yet to throw all of them off your roster but certainly no reason yet to consider any a starter.

Tight Ends: It was a down game for the Falcons and Alge Crumpler only managed to catch four passes for 40 yards though it led the team. The more things change, the more they remain the same in Atlanta.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars were solid against the run last year, especially at home, but last week they were ripped by Chris Henry for a league leading 175 yards. This will be priority #1 this week for the Jags defense and the Falcons running game already looks anemic. Figure on the Jags getting indignant after last week and holding the Falcons to only moderate rushing at best.

Harrington faces a very solid secondary and brings what so far is a struggling, below average passing game. Expect a replay of last week that may not even have as many yards. Harrington will have to spread it around and the Jags are good at covering tight ends. That means that any score will end up going to a wideout most likely but there's four equal, and unappealing, options there.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 25 19 28 8 26 31
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 11 29 2 6 16 5


Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TEN 10-13 -6.5 37.5
2 ATL 16-Sep -11 34.5
3 @DEN 23-Sep SUN 4:05 PM
4 BYE - - -
5 @KC 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 HOU 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 IND 22-Oct MON 8:30 PM
8 @TB 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 @NO 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @TEN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 SD 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 BUF 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @IND 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CAR 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @PIT 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 OAK 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @HOU 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
JAC vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 20   190,1
RB Fred Taylor 80    
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 60,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   30  
WR Ernest Wilford   50,1  
WR Matt Jones   20  
PK John Carney 3 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars replaced virtually all of their coaches on the offensive side of the ball but the results last week say either they were better off staying the same or that the team hasn't yet gotten through the learning curve. The switch to David Garrard may have had a minor impact here but the almost inexplicable woes of the rushing game defy an easy explanation. Just to make matters worse, Josh Scobee had a quad injury in pregame warm-ups and could not kick anything more than a chip shot which prevented the Jaguars from kicking what would have been a game-tying field goal. The Jaguars will likely be looking for a replacement kicker this week unless Scobee improves quickly.

Quarterback: David Garrard's move to being a starter didn't win the game last week but he wasn't really the problem either. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 204 yards and one score without any interceptions and he also ran five times for 24 yards. The passing game here could improve to be sure and has been held back by the change in quarterback (some) and the shuffling of receivers around (more). The lead receiver last week was Dennis Northcutt who is new to the team this year and only now getting in synch with Garrard who spent last year throwing to Matt Jones (no catches) and Reggie Williams (inactive). It will take longer for this passing game to reach the next level, if it does at all.

Running Backs: The Titans defense stuffed the run surprisingly well last week and Fred Taylor only had six carries for 16 yards. They tried Maurice Jones-Drew next and he only produced 32 yards on seven carries though he did have three receptions for 28 yards to help. This week the running game is the primary focus of the offense and in particular Taylor who looked a bit sheepish after doing nothing in the game despite claiming he was going to have a Pro Bowl year. It was a flat performance and the best of all cases here is that the Jaguars did not adequately prepare for the Titans and were surprised.

Wide Receivers: The attempt to find a productive set of wideouts continues. Reggie Williams was not even active this week. Matt Jones played the slot and couldn't catch the two passes that were thrown to him. Dennis Northcutt was the primary target with nine passes and four catches but only gained 35 yards. Ernest Wilford had two receptions for 20 yards. It was just a bit of this and that and other than throwing a lot of passes at Northcutt, there was no rhythm to this passing game. The seventh-round rookie John Broussard posted the only offensive points in the game when he caught a bomb. Still a lot to do with his unit before success can be found.

Tight Ends: While Marcedes Lewis only had four catches for 35 yards, no other Jaguar player had more catches last week. He was targeted six times, more than any other player besides Dennis Northcutt. The offense won't heavily use the tight end spot but the second-year player is worth a casual watch.

Match Against the Defense: The Falcons rush defense was an issue last year and again last week when Adrian Peterson ripped them for 103 yards on 19 carries and Taylor was averaging six yards a carry before he was injured. The Jaguars need to re-establish their rushing attack and this week should be tailor made for it. Look for healthy numbers from both Taylor and Jones-Drew with at least one score for Maurice.

Garrard should post only moderately numbers this week as the Jaguars try to assert their defense and rushing attach to control the game. Expect a passing score here that could go anywhere other than Northcutt who will be matched against DeAngelo Hall. Wilford or Lewis should end up with the score here. I really like the chance for a defensive score here as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 12 32 13 12 23 27
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 13 30 3 7 13 32

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