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

Prediction: TEN 17, TB 13

Nice battle here between two teams that have exceeded expectations this year - largely on the defensive side of the ball. The only loss by the Titans went to the Colts and the only loss by the Buccaneers happened on the road to Seattle. This is a coin flip game that will be decided by either a defensive or special teams play. Not much chance for a big score in this game since both teams' only weeks over 20 points came against the Saints.

Update: Brandon Jones has not participated in practice this week because of his knee injury and has been removed from the projections. Justin Gage is expected to take his place.

Tennessee Titans (3-1)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 20-22 +7 46
3 @NO 31-14 +4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 ATL 20-13 -8 41
6 @TB   +3 38
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 TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 30   160,1
RB Chris Brown 30 10  
RB Lendale White 60,1 10  
TE Bo Scaife   20,1  
TE Ben Troupe   20  
WR Justin Gage   20  
WR Brandon Jones 20
WR Eric Moulds   30  
WR Roydell Williams   40  
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Titans are not going to win many games by big margins because their modus operandi is to play good defense and let Vince Young figure out how to take the win. This will be a tough test against a resurgent Buccaneers team and probably the hardest game that the Titans will face for the next month. Consider last week as a tune up game for this one.

Quarterback: There is no mistaking Vince Young for a big time passer, he's never had more than 184 passing yards in any game this year and has only thrown three scores and two of those came against the Saints. But he hasn't been sacked in two games and has not lost a fumble either. Young has settled down to around six runs per game for about 25 yards but he carries the intangible quality of leadership that gets the job done. Unfortunately, there are no fantasy points for that.

Running Backs: After starting the year on a high note, the Titans rushing game has wafted back to mediocrity and LenDale White typically takes around 16 carries each week with no games over 66 yards this year. He has scored twice and remains a threat near the goal line but last week Chris Brown took the rushing score instead. This is a committee backfield and not all that productive of one.

Wide Receivers: The good news is that opposing defenses are never sure who to cover because Young will regularly connect with four different wide outs each game. The bad news is that none of them carry much fantasy value and have combined for only two scores this season. Brandon Jones is the primary receiver of sorts, but has only been good for more than 57 yards in a game once.

Of minor note is that Eric Moulds has seen an extra pass or two each week and yet that has only peaked at four catches for 31 yards against the Falcons on Sunday.

Tight Ends: Young is spreading the ball around too much to settle on any one receiver and the tight ends that were so productive in 2006 really have done little this year. Bo Scaife has one score but never more than 26 yards while Ben Troupe has topped out at just 22 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Buccaneers rushing defense has been only average and was torn up by Kenton Keith last week. Even at home, they surrendered 115 yards to Steven Jackson and a touchdown to Mike Karney. The Titans won't have a huge rushing game here but should produce decent numbers with one rushing touchdown by either White or Young.

The pass defense is very good for the Buccaneers but the Titans present an offense that doesn't rely on the pass much and even when it does, there are usually four equally viable targets so the good corners here won't stop the passing attack dead. Look for one passing score and only moderate numbers at best from Young. That score could go anywhere though I am awarding it to Scaife just on a hunch that the wideouts will be covered well enough by the secondary.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 26 11 24 17 27 26
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 4 6 9 15 7 19


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 6-20 +6 41
2 NO 31-14 +3.5 41.5
3 STL 24-3 -4 38.5
4 @CAR 20-7 +3 39
5 @IND 14-33 +9 45
6 TEN   -3 37.5
7 @DET 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 JAC 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 ARI 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 @ATL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 WAS 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @NO 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @HOU 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 ATL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SF 23-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
17 CAR 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TBB vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia     160,1
RB Earnest Graham 40    
TE Alex Smith   20,1  
WR Joey Galloway   50  
WR Ike Hilliard   70  
WR Michael Clayton   20  
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The three game winning streak came to a halt in Indianapolis last week but the Bucs can take some solace in having a winning record. The loss of Carnell Williams will be hard to compensate for now that Michael Pittman is also gone for a while and that leaves Jeff Garcia as the hoped-for savior in the coming weeks. The Bucs catch a break with the schedule since they play three home games in the next four weeks but will need to get Earnest Graham on track to help the offense or acquire a tailback from free agency or in a trade.

Quarterback: While Jon Gruden loves to heap praise on Jeff Garcia, the reality is that he hasn't even been as good as an average quarterback. He just gets compared to what has passed for a starting quarterback in Tampa Bay the last few years and sure - he looks pretty good. To his credit, he has yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble. But he only averages about 180 passing yards per game and has only thrown for scores in two of the five games this season. Garcia is not killing the team like past quarterbacks so often did, but he's also not doing much to move the offense regularly.

Running Backs: The bad news just keeps coming. After losing Carnell Williams for the year, the Bucs saw Michael Pittman get his ankle crushed on Sunday and he too will be gone for about the next month or more. That leaves Earnest Graham as the starter and if his six carries for 11 yards in Indianapolis is an indication - the Bucs may still be looking for more help.

Wide Receivers: Joey Galloway started the season with games of 72 and 135 yards (Saints of course) with two scores (Saints of course) but the least two weeks have only served up a combined five catches for 49 yards. Ike Hilliard has been the better target recently with games of 114 and 58 yards. He doesn't score but as a serviceable fantasy bye week fill-in, he has some value. The only scores caught by wideouts this year were the two by Galloway (Saints of course). Otherwise, this unit is Galloway being tightly covered and Hilliard serving as a non-Galloway outlet.

Tight Ends: Alex Smith finally had a decent game last week when he caught two scores but those were the only catches in the game and he has never had more than27 yards in the last three weeks.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans defense has been very good this year though it has not faced many good offenses - nor will it this week. Consider Graham has only minimal rushing yardage this year and if he scores it is only because the ball somehow ended up on the one-yard line.

Garcia goes against a very good secondary that has allowed only two passing scores in the four games played this year. Expect another week where Hilliard does better than Galloway since the Titans corners have handled all wideouts well this year and the Bucs only really have one. I like Alex Smith to catch the passing touchdown again this week though it could end up elsewhere.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 24 14 25 23 12 7
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 7 28 6 5 4 2

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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