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

Prediction: BAL 17, BUF 20

The Bills on the road lose every game by 21 points or more. But at home, they are 1-2 and lost both by one point margins on the final play of the game. The Ravens are 4-2 but only 1-2 on the road with a two point win in San Francisco. This game should be very competitive and complicated by the quarterback situations for both teams.

The Ravens defeated the visiting Bills 19-7 in week 17 of last season.

Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 20-27 +3 40.5
2 NYJ 20-13 -9.5 33
3 ARI 26-23 -7 35.5
4 @CLE 13-27 -4 40
5 @SF 9-7 -3.5 34.5
6 STL 22-3 -9 36.5
7 @BUF   -3 35
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 5-Nov MON 8:30 PM
10 CIN 11-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
11 CLE 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @SD 25-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
13 NE 3-Dec MON 8:30 PM
14 IND 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @MIA 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SEA 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 PIT 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BAL at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller     220,1
RB Willis McGahee 80,1 30  
TE Quinn Sypniewski   30  
WR Mark Clayton   20  
WR Demetrius Williams   40  
WR Derrick Mason   90,1  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Ravens are 4-2 but have been two entirely different teams on the road this year and the offense that was supposed to reinvigorate the passing game is even worse than it was in 2006. Steven McNair cannot stay healthy and the defense is no longer the dominating unit that crushes opponents. The loss of several linemen including LT Jonathan Ogden has been no help in sustaining drives.

Quarterback: Kyle Boller is expected to take his second start of the season as Steve McNair rests his strained back that stemmed from his strained groin which probably precedes whatever else McNair suffers when he returns after the bye week. Boller threw for just 184 yards against the Rams last week - the Rams! - and did not score though he lost a fumble and an interception and was sacked twice. More shocking than anything was that Boller's return as starter resulted in no catches for Todd Heap who had to leave after re-aggravating his hamstring strain.

McNair threw for 216 yards and no scores against the Bills last year.

Running Backs: Have to like Willis McGahee facing his old team again. So far McGahee has been only mildly effective in Baltimore thanks mostly to offensive line injuries and he only had one game over 100 rushing yards during the only time he had less than 20 carries in a game. His score against the Rams last week was his first rushing touchdown for the Ravens. McGahee has the talent, but the loss of Ogden and center Mike Flynn has been a big blow to the rushing attack. McGahee will be plenty motivated this week, the question is if the holes are there.

Wide Receivers: The Ravens changed quarterbacks last week but the results were still the same. Derrick Mason led all receivers with five catches for 79 yards (down from an average of nearly nine catches per game) and Mark Clayton (3-23) and Demetrius Williams (2-45) had little impact. Evidently the only thing that can keep Mason from having the most receptions for the year is Kyle Boller.

No Ravens wideout had more than 30 yards or scored in the meeting against the Bills last season.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap re-aggravated his hamstring strain during the Rams game and left after the first quarter. There is a good chance that he will sit out this week and coupled with the looming bye, get a couple of weeks to heal up completely. I will project for Quinn Sypniewski to start and update later if warranted.

Heap led all receivers with five catches for 60 yards when the Bills came to town last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rush defense started the year badly with each game producing an opposing runner over 100 rushing yards but in the last two games the unit has defended much better at home. Thomas Jones was held to just 35 yards and even the Cowboys only had 69 yards on 20 carries. Look for the motivated McGahee to have a decent game but not the big one he would prefer. He has a decent chance of scoring here.

Boller faces a secondary that has always allowed at least one passing score and very healthy yardage but the Bills have faced top passing attacks from NE and DAL to skew the numbers a bit. Expect one passing score here with only moderate yardage that will favor Mason to be sure.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 25 18 27 11 1 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 29 22 27 26 27 4


Buffalo Bills (1-4)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-15 +3.5 37
2 @PIT 3-26 +10 37.5
3 @NE 7-38 +16.5 41
4 NYJ 17-14 +3 37.5
5 DAL 24-25 +10 42
6 BYE - - -
7 BAL   +3 35
8 @NYJ 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 CIN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @MIA 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 NE 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @JAC 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @WAS 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 MIA 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @CLE 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 NYG 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @PHI 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BUF vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     190,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 60,1 10  
TE Robert Royal   30  
WR Lee Evans   60,1  
WR Josh Reed   30  
WR Roscoe Parrish   50  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: That one cut deep. The Bills first Monday night game in 13 years and the Cowboys mounted a furious comeback to score 9 points in the final 20 seconds to win by one point. It was a crowning glory of a game up until the final play and technically the Cowboys never had the lead during regulation time - just a second after the clock expired. With three scores by the special teams and defense, it hid what was yet again a poor offensive showing that only supplied three points but it would have been a great emotional boost for a team that could use one. At 1-4, the Bills now resume their season with a tough schedule looming and a quarterback controversy brewing.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman only played in two games before spraining his MCL but his absence was hardly felt. Losman had only produced 97 and 154 passing yards in the first two games without any scores. Trent Edwards stepped in and has looked much better in two full games played including the only touchdown pass by the Bills this year. HC Dick Jauron said that he will not name a quarterback until mid-week at the earliest so until final word is given I will project for the healthy and more productive rookie to play. In fairness, Losman started the year against the Broncos and Steelers for two of the very best secondaries in the league. But this week is the Ravens defense that is not a big drop down. Losman is on a very short leash if in fact he even gets on the field.

Losman had 237 passing yards and one score against the Ravens last year.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has been more than adequate this year considering that the Bills had almost no passing game to concern the defenses. He has scored three times this year - the entire offense only has four touchdowns. He has never gained less than 64 rushing yards in any game but facing stacked lines has not made it easy. He has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry thanks to a declining trend the last couple of weeks. But he is on pace for almost 1200 rushing yards and about nine scores which would dwarf what any other player has done so far this year.

The most perplexing fact so far is the Bills reluctance to use him as a receiver despite his great success in college in that capacity. He has never had more than two catches in any game this year.

Wide Receivers: Week four against the Jets. That not only was the only decent game by Lee Evans (6-72), it was the only decent game by a Bills wideout this year. It was also the only game that they won. And it came with Edwards under center - not Losman who only used Evans for four catches and 22 yards in the first two weeks. Roscoe Parrish has stepped up to replace Peerless Price who is gone for the year but Parrish usually only produces 30 or 40 yards per game. Losman may get his chance again but he'll have to start connecting with these wide receivers to have any hope of keeping Edwards on the sideline.

Evans gained 145 yards on seven receptions and scored once against the Ravens last season. No other receiver had more than 50 yards.

Tight Ends: There is no fantasy value here other than the one game where Michael Gaines caught the only Bills passing touchdown this year. Neither Losman nor Edwards uses this unit much in the passing game.

Match Against the Defense: The Ravens rushing defense has been very good this year and not allowed any runner to top 67 rushing yards against them. Only one player has rushed in a score - Jamal Lewis. Lynch is a solid runner but limited to only moderate yardage in this match-up at best though he could score once.

Edwards faces a secondary that has been the weaker link for the Ravens and every opponent has thrown for at least one score and usually decent yardage. Look for one passing score here that should end up with either Evans or a tight end.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 32 26 32 24 32 3
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 12 3 25 4 11 11

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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