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

Prediction: NE 38, CIN 20

Here's a Monday night game that had better throw some big points on the scoreboard. The Patriots have scored exactly 38 points each week and the Bengals have averaged around 31 points. The exciting thing is that Cincy also allows about 32 points each week so there just has to be some fireworks on national TV even if they only belong to Chad Johnson and Randy Moss.

The Patriots won 38-13 last year when these teams met in Cincinnati which is sort of creepy since they have scored 38 points every week this year already.

Update: T.J. Houshmandzadeh was held out of practice on Thursday to rest his sprained knee but is expected to play on Monday night. As expected, Rudi Johnson has already been deemed out this week and will be replaced by Kenny Watson.

New England Patriots (3-0)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYJ 38-14 -6.5 40.5
2 SD 38-14 -3 47
3 BUF 38-7 -16.5 41
4 @CIN   -7 52.5
5 CLE 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 @DAL 14-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
7 @MIA 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 WAS 28-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
9 @IND 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 @BUF 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 PHI 25-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
13 @BAL 3-Dec MON 8:30 PM
14 PIT 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 NYJ 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 MIA 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @NYG 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NEP at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     300,3
RB Laurence Maroney 80    
RB Sammy Morris 40,1 10  
TE Ben Watson   20  
WR Randy Moss   130,2  
WR Donte Stallworth   30  
WR Wes Welker   90,1  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 5 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Patriots have yet to win a game by less than 21 points and yet the defense ranks #3 in the league by only allowing around 12 points per game. The Bengals offense has been good but their defense has been one of the worst so yet again, the Pats should lay down the points on a Monday night game. The following week? The Pats host the Browns. Not until their trip to Dallas in week six should this team be really challenged and at the way they've been playing - they could end up on top that week as well.

Quarterback: So far all Tom Brady has done is to throw for at least three scores in every game and never fall below 279 yards. He has only one interception on the season and has been sacked just three times. If Derek Anderson can have his way against the Bengals, what can Brady do?

Brady threw for 188 yards and two scores against the Bengals in Cincinnati last year.

Running Backs: Laurence Maroney finally turned in a decent game this year when he ran for 103 yards on 19 carries against the Bills last Sunday. Just to make it less satisfying, Sammy Morris had 12 carries for 46 yards and scored once. In fact, Morris gets over ten carries every week and has both the rushing scores by the Pats this year. Maroney has apparently been capped at 20 carries a game and some of that could be related to keeping him healthy - something he did not do last year.

Corey Dillon scored one touchdown and ran for 67 yards on 17 carries against the Bengals last year while Laurence Maroney gained 125 yards and two scores in that week four game.

Wide Receivers: The Patriots remain the Wes Welker and Randy Moss show each week. Moss has already scored five times this year and never and less than 105 yards in a game yet. Welker has only scored once but he gets at least six receptions per week and usually around 70 or 80 yards. Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney are just role players for a catch or two per week but this offense that had long been predicated on spreading the ball around has Welker and Moss combining for 42 of the 50 catches made by Patriot wideouts this year. And they get to play the Bengals this week.

Tight Ends: While Ben Watson doesn't usually have many yards, he still has not had a game this year without a score. Between he and Randy Moss they have eight of the ten passing scores for the Pats.

Ben Watson only had one catch for 35 yards in the previous meeting with the Bengals.

Match Against the Defense: This is the defense that allowed Jamal Lewis to gain 216 rushing yards. Thanks to sharing the ball, expect just moderate numbers from both Maroney and Morris this week.

Brady faces a secondary that has given up eight touchdowns in just the last two weeks. And those went to Derek Anderson and Matt Hasselbeck. Be very disappointed if Brady turns in less than three scores in this and don't be surprised if there are more. With the whole cheating situation still a topic, a big showing on Monday night will give the booth something else to talk about. I like the chance for a defensive score in this game as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 6 3 7 7 5
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 29 22 31 26 27 25


Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 BAL 27-20 +3 40.5
2 @CLE 45-51 -7 41.5
3 @SEA 21-24 +3 50
4 NE   +7 52.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @KC 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 NYJ 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 PIT 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 @BUF 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @BAL 11-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
11 ARI 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 TEN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @PIT 2-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
14 STL 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @SF 15-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
16 CLE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @MIA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CIN vs NEP Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     230,2
RB Kenny Watson 60 10  
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   90,1  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   80,1  
WR Glenn Holt   20  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Once again the Bengals defense is the undoing of this team. After losing their two road games to Cleveland and Seattle, the Bengals return home to face the Patriots before heading to their bye week where once again they can chat about where it all went wrong (pssst - defense). Now to make matters just a little worse, Rudi Johnson had a hamstring injury and may not play this week. Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson are three great players but they are starting to be the only parts of the Cincy team that make a positive difference. And with a lesser rushing game - that could be harder to sustain.

Quarterback: No problems with Carson Palmer this year other than he is starting to throw two interceptions per game the last couple of weeks. In Seattle last week, Palmer threw for 342 yards but only one score and while he has 937 passing yards already this year, over 700 of them have gone to just Chad Johnson and Houshmandzadeh. The absence of Chris Henry has never been filled by Tab Perry or Glenn Holt and facing better teams down the stretch will make winning with only two receivers more challenging. But - a nice two to have indeed.

Palmer threw for 245 yards and two interceptions against the Patriots last year.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson has been one of the most consistently productive backs in the NFL the last couple of seasons and had never missed a game. In Seattle he was entirely ineffective running and left in the second half with a hamstring injury that could keep him out this week. That means Kenny Watson should step in as a replacement and Watson did managed to gain 60 yards on nine carries last week in relief of Johnson.

The Bengals also just signed DeDe Dorsey who already knows the offense having spent last year on the Bengals practice squad.

Johnson ran for 65 yards on 14 carries and scored one touchdown against the Pats last season.

Wide Receivers: The offense is all about Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh who have combined for the most productive duo in the NFL this year. Chad Johnson already has 442 receiving yards and three scores including a 209 yard effort in Cleveland. Houshmandzadeh only has 260 yards but has scored four times and at least once every week. Glenn Holt mans the slot now and didn't even manage a catch in Seattle.

Johnson was held to six catches for 64 yards while Houshmandzadeh turned four passes into 95 yards against the Patriots last year. Neither wideout scored.

Tight Ends: One catch per week and never more.

Match Against the Defense: The Patriots have one of the top rushing defenses this year in no small part because they score so much that their opponents cannot afford to just run the ball. Expect only moderate yardage from Watson this week that can only happen because the Patriots will be primarily defending the pass anyway.

Palmer struggled against the Patriots in 2006 but he's easily the best quarterback to date to face the Pats. And both Pennington and Rivers threw for two scores though less than 200 yards each. Whatever happens here go through two players. Every team knows it and no one has stopped them cold yet.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 4 21 2 31 14 6
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 7 5 8 16 1 1

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