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

Prediction: IND 20, JAC 17

Do not underestimate how good this game could be. These teams traded home wins in 2006 with the Colts winning 21-14 in week seven and the Jaguars racking up 44-17 in Jacksonville during week 14. The Jags defense has never allowed more than 17 points in any game this year and know that this is a huge game with big consequences played on Monday night. The Colts have to get past this match-up before worrying about week nine against the Pats.

Indianapolis Colts (5-0)
Homefield: RCA Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NO 41-10 -6 51.5
2 @TEN 22-20 -7 46
3 @HOU 30-24 -6 47.5
4 DEN 38-20 -10 46.5
5 TB 33-14 -9 45
6 BYE - - -
7 @JAC   -3.5 45
8 @CAR 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 NE 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 @SD 11-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
11 KC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @ATL 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 JAC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BAL 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @OAK 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 HOU 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 TEN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
IND at JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     250,2
RB Joseph Addai 70 20  
TE Dallas Clark   60,1  
WR Marvin Harrison   70,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   60  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   30  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: At 5-0 everything is going according to plan except for the injuries that took away Marvin Harrison and Joseph Addai in the last game. With a bye week to heal, all hands are expected to be on deck including run-stopping safety Bob Sanders. The schedule is not going to make it easy to maintain that unbeaten record which eventually will fall. This week in Jacksonville will be a major test against a great defense and then home against the Pats in week nine may be the game of the year if both reach it without a loss as expected. The rushing game looks even better than last year and the defense that was expected to decline hasn't. If it isn't Colts and the Pats in the AFC Championship, some team has pulled off a major upset.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has been his usual solid self but hasn't been among the top quarterbacks in almost any week. He has scored in every game but on the road twice this year only had one score to show for the trip. He only has one game over 300 yards as well so it has been more like Manning-lite this year. He'll be pushed to do more in future games but the success of the rushing game has done much to reduce his need to pass.

Manning threw for only 219 yards and one score against the visiting Jaguars last year but did rush in a touchdown as well. He threw for 313 in Jacksonville without a passing score but ran in a score again.

Running Backs: Basically Joseph Addai alone has at least maintained each week what he and Dominic Rhodes did last year. He has scored at least once in every game and topped 100 rushing yards twice. His worst two rushing efforts (81 and 72 yard) came in the road games and he missed week five with a bruised chest. In his place, Kenton Keith upheld the tradition of strong home showings with 121 rushing yards and two scores against the visiting Buccaneers. Where Addai has fallen a little short of last year is as a receiver since he has yet to have more than three catches or 25 receiving yards in a game.

The Colts as a team only rushed for 37 and 59 yards in the two meetings with the Jaguars last season. Rhodes ran in one score in Jacksonville.

Wide Receivers: Marvin Harrison missed week five with a bruised knee and is expected back for this game. But he's not met the big numbers of last year so far with only one score and never more than 87 yards in any game this year. Reggie Wayne has scored three times so far and been more productive but even he has not supplied any eye-popping performances this year. Then again - the Colts have not needed either wideout to do that in order to win and the increased usage of the tight end Dallas Clark comes directly from passes that went to wideouts in the past - particularly Harrison.

Anthony Gonzalez has his first NFL start when he replaced Harrison against the Buccaneers. He collected seven catches for 71 yards and brings even more optimism for the future when he eventually replaces Harrison for good.

Harrison turned in games of 94 and 101 yards against the Jaguars last year while Wayne had 82 and 110 yards. Neither wideout scored.

Tight Ends: No doubt this has been the year of Dallas Clark. He has scored at least once in each of the last four contests and turns in around 50 to 60 yards each week. He brings a new aspect to the passing offense and one that naturally sparks the question - "where has that been all these years?"

Clark only played in one game against the Jaguars last year and had just one catch for 30 yards. It was also the only passing score by the Colts in the two meetings with the Jags.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars rush defense has been better than their ranking indicates because of week one when the Titans rolled over them. Since them no runner has managed more than 50 rushing yards and one twice has anyone ran in a score. Don't expect a big game here from Addai unless the Colts can score early and get a decent lead..

Manning has never had great success against the Jaguars but at least the offense should be healthy this week. The Jags have only given up three passing scores all year but have also played against a litany of less than stellar passers - Young, Harrington, Cutler, Huard and Schaub. Expect decent yardage with two scores that should favor Clark and Harrison. Manning rushed in a score in both meetings last year so they should be looking for it.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 6 4 11 1 2 21
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 8 9 6 22 2 8


Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TEN 10-13 -6.5 37.5
2 ATL 13-7 -10.5 34.5
3 @DEN 23-14 +3 35.5
4 BYE - - -
5 @KC 17-7 -2 35
6 HOU 37-17 -7 37
7 IND   +3.5 45
8 @TB 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 @NO 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @TEN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 SD 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 BUF 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @IND 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CAR 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @PIT 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 OAK 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @HOU 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
JAX vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 30   200,1
RB Fred Taylor 40    
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 40  
TE Marcedes Lewis   40  
WR Dennis Northcutt   60  
WR Ernest Wilford   20  
WR Reggie Williams   10,1  
PK John Carney 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Take away that week one loss by three points and this is a battle of unbeatens. The Jaguars defense has come together with a vengeance this year and has held each opponent to 17 points or less. The offense had been struggling until last week when Jones-Drew sprung back to life and David Garrard just chugs along like a robot that never makes mistakes. If Jones-Drew is truly back, then the Jags can start making plans for January.

Quarterback: Finally David Garrard did not throw one touchdown in a game - he had two against the Texans. That not only makes all five games with a score this year, he still has yet to throw an interception. This will be his biggest test of the year since merely managing the offense likely won't be quite enough.

Garrard started the week 14 home game against the Colts and only threw for 79 yards and one interception.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor comes off his best game of the year with 90 yards on only six carries against the Texans but 76 came on one opening game run and his groin later tightened up on him. Taylor still has yet to score a touchdown this year.

After three games of minimal production, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 82 yards and a score against the Chiefs and last week finally had his big breakout for the year when he gained 125 yards and scored twice on only 12 carries. Her also added four receptions for 59 yards. If Jones-Drew is finally turning the corner for good this year, the Jags will be very hard to beat.

Taylor and Jones-Drew feasted on the weak Colts rushing defense last year. Taylor gained 74 and 131 yards against them with one score in the home game while Jones-Drew ran for 103 and 166 yards with two scores in the home game. Jones-Drew also caught a touchdown in the away game.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Williams has done little this year with only 11 catches over four games but he leads all receivers with three touchdowns. He has not turned in more than five catches or 41 yards but has become the de facto touchdown guy for Garrard. Dennis Northcutt has been the only wideout with any consistent yardage but that tops out at 75 yards. Ernest Wilford still starts but that's hard to justify with only seven catches for 79 yards on the season. This unit has no stars but combined offers just enough to keep the offense moving.

No Jaguars wideout had more than 32 yards against the Colts last year.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis is quietly having a decent year with around 30 or so yards every week but he usually only catches three passes and has yet to score a touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: This game really revolves around how well Jones-Drew can run and Bob Sanders is back this week to try and make it more difficult. The Colts have only allowed two running backs to rush in a score this year and over than the 131 yards by Henry in week four, no runner has managed more than 64 yards. Figure this week to be much more like the Denver game and for the Jags to commit to the run knowing that the pass is unlikely to do much more than get them in trouble.

The Colts have only allowed five passing scores this year so Garrard's standard one score should still apply. That could go anywhere on this offense though Williams has been the preferred target.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 15 10 18 14 15 17
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 9 10 3 20 6 3

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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