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

Prediction: CIN 24, KC 21

The 1-3 Bengals come off their bye week more than frustrated by close losses to the Browns and Seahawks while the 2-3 Chiefs decided that their big win in San Diego should be erased by an inept showing at home against the Jaguars. Both teams need this game but the Bengals will go into a tailspin with another loss. There's just too much firepower there for the Chiefs to match even if Huard plays.

The Bengals won 23-10 in Kansas City last year.

Update: Rudi Johnson still has not returned to practice since pulling his hamstring and is very likely to miss at least this weekend as expected. No need to change the projections. Kenny Watson will get the start and should have better results against the Chiefs this week than he did against the Patriots or Seahawks.

Also notable is that cameo appearance by Eddie Kennison last week before reinjuring his hamstring better last for you since he still has not returned to practice and is not expected to play. Damon Huard will start this week despite having a shoulder injury that limited him.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)
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 13-34 +7.5 54
5 BYE - - -
6 @KC   -3 41.5
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 at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer     240,2
RB Kenny Watson 90,1    
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   100,1  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   80,1  
WR Glenn Holt   30  
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Tough times for the Bengals who have dropped their last three games and now hit the road yet again where they are winless. The loss in Cleveland was a true surprise and then the Seahawks at home are always tough. Playing their last home game against the Patriots led to the predictable but painful third loss. Now the Bengals hit a slightly softer part of their schedule but the dissension that seems to accompany most years has already reared its head this season. A few wins will go a long way to letting the Bengals get back on track. A few more losses and this team itself could be lost. While the offense has never been worse than good, the defense has never been better than bad - and that makes the difference.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer started the season strongly with eight scores in those first two games thanks to the six he tossed in Cleveland. But he's only had one touchdown in each of the last two efforts against two interceptions both times. The third option of Chris Henry has been missed this year, particularly against teams with strong cornerbacks who can handle Houshmandzadeh and Johnson - or at least keep them contained. Palmer really only uses those two players in the passing scheme and while they are largely effective individually, the offense still struggles in places because it is limited to just those two receivers on passing downs.

Palmer only threw for 127 yards in Kansas City last season.

Running Backs: Rudi Johnson has struggled this year other than in the Cleveland game and then pulled a hamstring in week three. Kenny Watson took the start against the Patriots but only had 13 carries for 55 yards during the lop-sided rout. Barring practice results, I am assuming that Johnson can return this week but will update as needed. He hasn't practiced yet this week with his hamstring injury so I will project for Kenny Watson and update if warranted.

Johnson ran for 96 yards on 28 carries with one score against the Chiefs last year. Kenny Watson also rushed in one score.

Wide Receivers: As mentioned, the Bengals passing game is almost exclusively directed to Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Johnson only managed 53 yards on three catches against New England but had 347 receiving yards in the two previous games and has scored three times this year. Houshmandzadeh again offers the more consistent numbers each week with a total of five scores and never less than one per week and over 100 yards in each of the last two games. Other than literally one catch by Glenn Holt for a score in week two, no other wideout or tight end on this team had managed more a couple of inconsequential catches per game.

Neither Houshmandzadeh nor Johnson practiced during their bye week to rest injuries. Johnson had a protective boot for his sprained left ankle but said he would be ready for this game.

Chad Johnson only had 48 yards on five catches against the Chiefs while Houshmandzadeh did not play in the game.

Tight Ends: Reggie Kelly has never accounted for more than one or two catches per week. No fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rush defense has been poor this year and three runners have already topped 100 rushing yards against them. Look for a decent showing by Watson but not quite enough to reach the 100 yard mark. I like Watson to chip in one short score here as well.

Palmer faces the #1 defense against quarterbacks though Holcomb, Garrard, Grossman and Schaub are not considered the elite of the league. Look for a nice game here by Chad Johnson if he is healthy and for Houshmandzadeh to turn in his usual nice game as well. This is the same secondary that allowed Andre Johnson to gain 142 yards and a score - they just have not faced any other big time wideouts this year. The Bengals have been preparing - and stewing - for this game for two weeks.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 3 26 1 31 11 12
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 1 21 3 7 17 24


Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @HOU 3-20 +3 38
2 @CHI 10-20 +12 34.5
3 MIN 13-10 -3 33.5
4 @SD 30-16 +13 38.5
5 JAC 7-17 +2 35
6 CIN   +3 41.5
7 @OAK 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 DEN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @IND 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 OAK 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 SD 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @DEN 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 TEN 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @DET 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @NYJ 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
KCC vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard     220,2
RB Larry Johnson 80,1 20  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Jeff Webb   10  
WR Samie Parker   20  
WR Dwayne Bowe   80,1  
PK Dave Rayner   3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The loss to the Jaguars last week undid every shred of good spawned when the Chiefs took down the Chargers in San Diego. Damon Huard injured his shoulder and is not a lock for this week which means the Chiefs will need to turn to Brodie Croyle who could not wrest the starting job from Huard this summer. Larry Johnson disappeared last week and looked rather unphased at the near shutdown. The Chiefs are about one step forward and two steps back. This is the second step week.

Quarterback: With Huard probably out this week with a bruised shoulder, the Chiefs will need to turn to Brodie Croyle who looked horrible against preseason defenses that were full of players that would not make their respective teams. The Bengals are horrible against the pass so if Croyle could chose one game to start, this would definitely be the one. I will project for Croyle and update if warranted.

The Chiefs threw for 230 yards and one score against the Bengals last year using Damon Huard and Trent Green.

Running Backs: Just when Larry Johnson's 123 yards in San Diego said he was back to form, turning in a paltry 12 yards on nine carries last week against the Jaguars screams "no, not really". The Chiefs have yet to score a rushing touchdown this year and Johnson is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry. That is bound to rise this week with the Bengals coming to town but if the Chiefs are forced to pass, Johnson's totals will remain below expectations.

Even last year Johnson only gained 68 yards on 17 carries against the Bengals and did not score. He did add 80 yards on just five receptions.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison finally returned last week and was thrown one pass he did not catch before re-injuring his hamstring. Thanks Eddie, don't spend all that paycheck in one place. Dwayne Bowe ended his three game scoring streak but still posted 70 yards on four catches against the Jaguars. He remains the main cog in the passing game after Tony Gonzalez. Samie Parker had a touchdown last week from Croyle but still has never had more than 48 yards this year and usually remains below 30 yards in most games.

Kennison only recorded one catch for 14 yards against the Bengals last year

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez comes off his first 100 yard game of the year when he had eight catches against the visiting Jaguars on Sunday. After a slow start to the season, Gonzalez has remained about 70 yards in each of the last three games and has one score on the season.

Gonzalez caught ten passes for 81 yards and a score when the Bengals visited last year.

Match Against the Defense: Larry Johnson struggled against the Bengals last year and has not been running nearly as well in 2007. Expect only moderate yardage here unless the Chiefs can somehow keep the Bengals from getting a lead. With a higher volume of carries Johnson could have a big game but the Bengals are coming off a bye week and are motivated. The Chiefs remain at home after a disappointing loss and are starting a new quarterback. Only moderate yardage is safe here.

Croyle looks like the starter unless Huard can heal up by Sunday and the starter here is bound to post some nice numbers because the Bengals have given up 11 passing scores in just the last three games. Dwayne Bowe is an excellent fantasy start regardless of quarterback since the Bengals CB Johnathan Joseph just got suspended for a game. I like two passing scores here which is low side for what the Bengals usually allow.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 23 32 22 8 28 14
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 30 27 32 16 30 21

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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