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

Prediction: IND 20, TEN 10

The Colts looked all-world in their season opener which is fitting for the NFL champion though too often not true. The Colts defense looked better than ever and the offense... well... man that is hard to beat. The Titans yet again pulled off another win that almost defies explanation. The Colts actually traded home wins with the Titans last year. The Colts barely clipped the TItans 14-13 in week 5 and later lost 17-20 in Tennessee during week 13. if the Titans can pull this one off, then give up trying to explain how they win and just accept that Vince Young is dabbling in magic.

Indianapolis Colts (1-0)
Homefield: RCA Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NO 41-10 -6 51.5
2 @TEN 16-Sep -7.5 46
3 @HOU 23-Sep SUN 1:00 PM
4 DEN 30-Sep SUN 4:15 PM
5 TB 7-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
6 BYE - - -
7 @JAC 22-Oct MON 8:30 PM
8 @CAR 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 NE 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 @SD 11-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
11 KC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @ATL 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 JAC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BAL 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @OAK 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 HOU 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 TEN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
Colts Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     270,2
RB Joseph Addai 60 30  
TE Dallas Clark   30,1  
WR Marvin Harrison   90,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   60  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   30  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 XP 2 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Colts served notice to the league that not only does their offense remain the cream of the crop, but that their defense is alive and very well. The Colts thoroughly dominated the Saints last Thursday and made it look rather easy. To be fair, the Colts played outstanding defense at home last year as well, particularly against the pass. And last week was their big emotional homecoming after winning the league championship last year. This week says if they can look just as good when they are on the road and if they do - and it seems rather likely - will probably spend another season laying bets on when the first time the Colts will actually lose a gain.

Quarterback: Last week Peyton Manning looked like he was playing in high school again. He coolly completed 18 of 30 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. What Manning did was to once again carry the game without much need for anyone else besides Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Once he brings Anthony Gonzalez into the mix and uses Joseph Addai more as a receiver, this offense only gets even better.

Manning threw for 166 yards and two scores at home against the Titans last year and then had 351 yards and one score in Tennessee.

Running Backs: No more conjecture about what Joseph Addai will be like without Dominic Rhodes around. While it was only one game last week, Addai opened up by making every owner wet his pants after getting injured on the first play but he returned to repeatedly gash the Saints defense. Addai gained 118 yards on 23 carries and ran in two scores. He also caught three passes for 25 yards. It was a big bang of a start this year and it may take a couple of more weeks to see exactly how good Addai will be this season. The Saints soft defense was no test.

Addai never gained more than 62 rushing yards against the Titans last year but the Colts ran for 95 yards including Dominic Rhodes when in Tennessee.

Wide Receivers: Just like last year, Manning focused on connecting mostly with Marvin Harrison (4-83, 1 TD) and Reggie Wayne (7-115, 2 TD's) in his quest to make ex-Colt CB Jason David look just stole his salary from the Saints. David was burned for the three passing scores and the Colts never had to use the rookie Anthony Gonzalez who is still waiting for his first NFL reception. Not other wideout had a catch for the Colts outside of the dynamic duo because there simply was no need.

Harrison only managed three catches for 29 yards and one score at home against the Titans but had a monster seven catch, 172 yard game in Tennessee with one score. Wayne had very small games both times with only 24 and 57 yards and one score in the home game.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark enjoyed a better game than usual when he had 48 yards on just two catches last week but 38 yards came on one long catch down the middle. He remains an option for Manning but one with marginal fantasy value. Ben Utecht also had a catch for 19 yards last Thursday as well.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans defense was scary good shutting down the Jaguars last week and in particular how they kept the rushing game at bay unlike any other team last year. The Jaguars were caught in the middle of shifting between quarterbacks and there's no such situation with the Colts. Look for Addai to tone down his numbers from last week but to add in enough receptions to make him a worthy start this week.

Manning had a great game in Tennessee last year and the Titans could manage to force Manning to throw which is a horrible idea but will happen. Look for Harrison to have the best numbers here and for Dallas Clark to end up as a good start as well. The Titans match up better with the Colts than seems reasonable but they have played them closely many times before.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 5 7 4 5 2 6
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 21 1 20 22 9 9


Tennessee Titans (1-0)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 16-Sep +7.5 46
3 @NO 24-Sep MON 8:30 PM
4 BYE - - -
5 ATL 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 @TB 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @HOU 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 OAK 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 CAR 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 JAC 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @DEN 19-Nov MON 8:30 PM
12 @CIN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 HOU 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 SD 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @KC 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 NYJ 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @IND 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TEN vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 40   140,1
RB Chris Brown 60 10  
RB Lendale White 40 10  
TE Bo Scaife   30,1  
TE Ben Troupe   20  
WR Brandon Jones   30  
WR Eric Moulds   20  
WR Roydell Williams   20  
PK Rob Bironas 1 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: Once again the Titans pull off a surprising win that comes on the road in Jacksonville. The vaunted Jags defense had no answer for Chris Brown and the Titans defense stuffed the duo of Taylor and Jones-Drew. On paper this should be another big win by the Colts but the Titans beat them last year under similar circumstances. The Titans aren't doing it pretty but that never shows on the league standings anyway.

Quarterback: The offseason did not make Vince Young into a better passer, at least not yet. Young only completely 11 of 18 passes for 78 yards and yet still ran 11 times. He was held to just 22 rushing yards but did score a critical touchdown last week. Every defense is going to commit to stopping him and yet Young is still going to run.

Young only had 63 passing yards in Indy last year but scored once on a run but back at home in week 13, Young threw for 163 yards and two scores and added nine runs for 78 more yards.

Running Backs: Perhaps the biggest surprise of last week was Chris Brown rushing for a career high 175 yards on 19 carries in Jacksonville. LenDale White gained 66 yards on 19 carries but Brown was nearly unstoppable. Brown's success won't send White to the Bench but is has bought obvious playing time for player who is playing for a new contract next year with whatever team wants the then-free agent.

The Titans ran well against the Colts last year with Travis Henry gaining 123 and 93 rushing yards against them though he never scored.

Wide Receivers: No way to judge if this set of wideouts will be any better than last year when Young only throws for 78 yards. This looks like a crew that won't have any fantasy value this year but one may emerge - just as soon as Young is forced to throw. There's nary a fantasy starter in here - not even for a bye week in a very large league.

No Titan wideout had more than 40 receiving yards in either match-up with the Colts in 2006. Brandon Jones and Drew Bennett scored in their only catches in the second meeting.

Tight Ends: While Bo Scaife only had two catches for 18 yards, that still made him one of the lead receivers last week. Sad really. But when the Titans can rush for 282 yards in a game, this will happen.

No tight end had more than 31 yards against Indy last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts defense looked so thoroughly dominate against the Saints that it's almost too good to believe. They won't be nearly so good on the road but these Titans cannot throw and must have success rushing. And that was precisely what the Colts were stuffing last week when they held Bush and McAllister to 22 carries for only 76 yards.

Look for a lower scoring game here with some success rushing but nothing like last week. Brown and White should combine for closer to 100 yards and Young won't pass for more than 150 unless the Colts get a bog lead early.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 22 4 31 27 15 23
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 7 9 8 24 10 20

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