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

Prediction: TEN 21, NO 24

The Titans come into this game 1-1 with a near miss against the Colts last week. As always, they get the job done (or nearly done) and yet do it without traditional numbers. The Saints finally return home to swig down several Hurricanes and wonder what is the heck happened to that outstanding offense of 2006. This will be an interesting Monday night game in the sense that what will happen could be many things but if these teams continue their two game ways, then the Saints will once again be the most surprising team of the year - but for the wrong reasons this time.

Update: Deuce McAllister returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday to let the swelling in his knee subside. He is expected to play this week and has an extra day to heal because of the Monday night game. He may not be 100% but should suit up. The biggest concern here would be that his knee bothers him during the game.

Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 20-22 +7 46
3 @NO 24-Sep +5 45.5
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 at NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 40,1   160,1
RB Chris Brown 60 10  
RB Lendale White 50,1    
TE Bo Scaife   30  
WR Brandon Jones   80,1  
WR Eric Moulds   20  
WR Roydell Williams   30  
PK Rob Bironas 3 XP    
Pregame Notes: Why anyone bets against the Titans is hard to guess anymore since they either win the game or at least beat the spread almost every time. With Vince Young as the league's biggest wildcard, it figuring out how they do it that is the tough part. The defense has been no less than solid this year and the offense gets it done by changing almost every week.

Quarterback: While Vince Young had problems throwing against the Jaguars in week one when he only had 78 passing yards but ran 11 times for 22 yards and a score, he looked far better in the pocket last weekend when he went 17 of 27 for 184 yards and a score against the Colts secondary while adding 53 yards on five runs. Young plays in front of a national crowd this week and that has been when he is at his best in the past.

Running Backs: So scrambling to pick up Chris Brown last week only netted you 34 yards on 12 carries. Did you really think he could gain 175 yards per week? Brown's monster opening game toned down to more expected levels last week while LenDale White has been consistent with about 65 rushing yards in each game and a score last week against the Colts. Brown's speed should serve him better this week in the Superdome though, so don't be surprised when the duo once again flip-flops on production.

Wide Receivers: Roydell Williams caught the only Titan passing score so far this year when he had four catches for 72 yards against the Colts last Sunday. Even Brandon Jones looked better with five receptions for 57 yards so the passing game is looking better and it has nothing to do with Eric Moulds. Facing a soft secondary this week should extend the success.

Tight Ends: Going against two solid defenses so far has not helped the use of the tight ends but this week should be more interesting with a soft secondary. Neither Bo Scaife or Ben Troupe has done anything noteworthy so far but the Titans have not gone against a weak defense either.

Match Against the Defense: The Saints rush defense has already given up three scores this year and Joseph Addai opened the year with a big game but this will be the first week at home for the Saints and that should make a difference. Expect decent rushing numbers here that should favor the faster Brown on the carpet of the Superdome. White is the better bet for a rushing score though Young usually takes them first.

Young faces a secondary that has been clobbered this year for no less than 240 passing yards or two scores in each game. The improvement using the wideouts last week should continue here though the Titans will want to run the ball just to keep the Saints offense off of the field just in case they wake up. The Saints have give up 45+ yards to a tight end in both games, so look for some numbers finally from Scaife and/or Troupe.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 22 11 24 32 17 24
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 28 26 29 22 24 22


New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 10-41 +6 51.5
2 @TB 14-31 -3.5 41.5
3 TEN 24-Sep -5 45.5
4 BYE - - -
5 CAR 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 @SEA 14-Oct SUN 8:15 PM
7 ATL 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @SF 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 JAC 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 STL 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @HOU 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CAR 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 TB 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @ATL 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 ARI 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 PHI 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @CHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
NOR vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     260,2
RB Reggie Bush 20 40  
RB Deuce McAllister 70,1 10  
TE Eric Johnson   40,1  
WR Marques Colston   70  
WR Devery Henderson   20  
WR David Patten   60,1  
PK Olindo Mare 3 XP 1 FG  

Pregame Notes: The Saints have hit hard times after only two games because the defense is at least as bad as last year and the offense has all but disappeared. This is a critical week for the Saints to show up and win a game with some offense. The schedule is fairly light this year but so far this offense has showed no signs of rising up to the task.

Quarterback: Drew Brees improved last week with a 260 yard game with one score against the Buccaneers but much of that came late in the game when there were trash yards to be hard. That's a good sign - Brees couldn't even get that much in Indianapolis in the season opener. On the plus side as well was finding Marques Colston more but this offense is struggling largely because there is no rushing game to fear and the defenses are sitting back and taking away the deep ball that was a staple last year.

Running Backs: The Saints have made a decision this year that appears to have bitten them. They are giving Reggie Bush an equal rushing load to Deuce McAllister and Bush has only managed to gain 65 yards on 22 carries. McAllister has been limited to only ten carries in each of the two games and gained only 87 yards with the minimal workload despite gaining 4.1 yards per carry against 2.9 for Bush. The Saints need to return to McAllister as the primary runner and Bush playing just that deadly third down role.

McAllister injured his eye and had blurred vision last week but continued to play while averaging almost five yards per carry in Tampa Bay. I am assuming he is fine this week.

Wide Receivers: Devery Henderson was benched last week after several drops even though the move was played off by HC Sean Payton as a "rotational thing". Marques Colston finally started getting into the groove again with eight catches for 70 yards and a score. and David Patten contributed 66 yards on only two catches. I will project for Henderson remaining on the field but until he shows up a lot better than he has been, David Patten is a better bet and even the rookie Lance Moore has been getting work. The wideouts will be changing their roles until it starts to click again.

Robert Meacham - the first round rookie - was inactive last week which only shows how amazing Colston was last year.

Tight Ends: Eric Johnson calmed down to much more expected numbers when he only had three catches for 18 yards last week. He is still a weapon when needed but not a normal part of the gameplan.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans rushing defense has been very good through two games this year and completely shut down the Jaguars in week one before holding Joseph Addai to 81 yards and a score last week. Projecting for the Saints is more difficult this year since the Saints haven't yet settled down to one identity because nothing has worked well. I am expecting to see more running by McAllister this week with decent success though he will still share with Bush. This is a huge game for the Saints and their home opener as well. It is almost a do or die game.

Brees faces a secondary that has allowed one score in each of the first two games and Manning had 312 passing yards last Sunday. But the wideouts are going to be challenged by a defense that held both Harrison and Wayne to 87 yards or less and the only receivers scoring against them this year has been the tight end Dallas Clark and a bomb thrown to John Broussard. It is a good defense and will force Brees to use Johnson more this week as well as Bush out of the backfield.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 25 21 18 18 29 27
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 21 5 17 28 15 15

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