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

Prediction: NE 34, BUF 10

Update: Marshawn Lynch has not practiced this week and will miss at least this game and potentially more with a badly sprained ankle. Anthony Thomas is expected to start and will get some assistance from Dwayne Wright. I am removing Lynch and adding Thomas who really sucks in his sense of timing for being a starter.

The Patriots are rested after their bye and their next victim opponent is the team they beat 38-7 in week three when the Bills were the visitors. Make no mistake - these Bills are on a four game winning streak and are playing much better than their 5-4 record suggests and the Pats are always going to be open for a trap game but not this time.

New England Patriots (9-0)
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 34-13    
5 CLE 34-17 -15.5 48
6 @DAL 48-27 -5 52.5
7 @MIA 49-28 -17 51
8 WAS 52-7 -16 48
9 @IND 24-20 -5.5 56.5
10 BYE - - -
11 @BUF   -15.5 46.5
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 BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     320,4
RB Laurence Maroney 70    
TE Ben Watson   30,1  
WR Randy Moss   110,2  
WR Donte Stallworth   70  
WR Wes Welker   80,1  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The trek towards that perfect season picks up with the Patriots coming off their bye. The greatest aspect to this potential aspect to their march towards immortality (aside from shutting up all those ex-Miami players) is that it will keep the Pats trying in every game regardless of their record. The most likely road bumps look like the Steelers in week 14 and the Giants in week 17 but on any given Sunday...

Quarterback: Tom Brady comes back to work and all he has done so far is just score 33 touchdowns over nine games. That's a pace for 59 touchdowns in the year which is ten better than has ever been done. He's not only averaging 3.7 passing touchdowns per game, he has never had less than three in any game and even has two rushing scores as well. Oh yes, he is just averaging 299 yards per game as well. Brady is turning in a fantasy for the ages and potentially the best one ever.

Brady was limited to 311 yards and four scores against the visiting Bills this year.

Running Backs: Sammy Morris is officially on injured reserve and Laurence Maroney is toting the rock but unlike Morris who had several games over 20 carries, Maroney is being limited to around 15 per game since returning from injury. He still hasn't scored a touchdown and has to share with Kevin Faulk and Heath Evans. Maroney is a major disappointment for owners and with Brady so committed to shattering passing records, there's little reason to expect any big step up for Maroney.

Maroney gained 103 yards on 19 carries versus the Bills this year.

Wide Receivers: With a touchdown in eight of nine games this year, no one is wondering if Randy Moss still has "the magic." He has 12 scores on the season and has topped 100 yards six times already. The only shocking part of Moss' season is that his worst game came when the Pats hosted the Browns. Wes Welker has become the #3 wideout in the league with 61 catches on the season and is on pace for 108 receptions this year. Moss is #1 in the NFL with 924 receiving yards which is a pace for 1640 yards on the year.

The only ongoing change here to the fantasy superheroes of the Patriots receivers is that Chad Jackson has been added to the active roster after tearing his ACL last January. He will be the sixth wideout on the roster so maybe he will stay under ten touchdowns on the season.

Moss only managed five catches for 115 yards and two scores against the Bills while Welker had 69 yards on six receptions.

Tight Ends: After starting the year out with five touchdowns in the first five weeks, Benjamin Watson has been far less busy and missed two weeks due to injury. On three of his last four games, he did not score and remained under 30 yards. But you know he is always there just waiting.

Watson scored once and had two receptions for 17 yards versus the Bills this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Patriots have already stomped on the Bills earlier this year and should be healthy coming off a bye week. The Bills' rush defense has been poor in most games but the Pats prefer to rack up passing yards and scores anyway. Look for a solid game here by Maroney but other backs will be involved enough to prevent him from having a big game.

Brady tore up the Bills the first time and should manage the feat again. The Bills have been winning and are improved but they have not been playing opponents of the quality of the Pats. Expect the standard fare here and realize it could easily go higher since Brady usually does more on the road.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 1 11 1 9 3 3
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 21 18 20 14 13 4


Buffalo Bills (5-4)
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 19-14 +3 35
8 @NYJ 13-3 +3 37
9 CIN 33-21 +1 43.5
10 @MIA 13-10 -3 41
11 NE   +15.5 46.5
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 NEP Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman     160,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 60 10
RB Anthony Thomas 40 10  
TE Robert Royal   20  
WR Lee Evans   60  
WR Josh Reed   30,1  
WR Roscoe Parrish   20  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bills are on a four game winning streak and had they outlasted the Cowboys, it would be a six game streak. They have done this with a changing quarterback situation and a defense that has been great whenever facing an average or worse team. That won't be the case this week and the rest of the schedule should prove more challenging than the last month with five of the next six games against teams with better records.

Quarterback: The starter this week is still unknown since Trent Edwards has missed the last two games and J.P. Losman has been playing well enough to win games. Edwards only had 97 yards and no scores in New England this year so it is hard to expect much this week and the Bills as a team only have three passing scores on the entire season. I will project for Losman to start and update if needed. Neither quarterback is likely to do much anyway since both quarterbacks only have one game with over 175 passing yards.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch injured his ankle at the end of the Dolphins game but early word is that it is not serious. He will likely be held out of practices at least through mid-week and be re-evaluated at that point. I am going to project for him to be the starter but to be somewhat limited this week and will update as warranted. Lynch ran for 74 yards on 20 carries and scored the lone touchdown in New England during week three. The Bills need him if they are to have any chance which realistically they do not have anyway.

Wide Receivers: What a difference a month makes. Lee Evans first five games of the year totaled just 113 yards. The last four weeks have combined for 466 yards and two scores and that was two weeks with Edwards and two with Losman. Josh Reed plugs along with around 40 or 50 yards each week and Roscoe Parrish has completely disappeared since week five but Evans has come to life as he did in 2006 with signature deep pass touchdowns and impressive run after catch. But no wideout had more than 27 yards against the Patriots this year. Outside of Evans, the passing game doesn't work at all and the Pats likely have seen the game film to know that. On the plus side there should be plenty of passes thrown in this game.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal had his lone touchdown in week nine but has never had more than 35 yards in a game and left last week with a concussion. I will assume he returns and update if needed. He's not likely to have more than a token catch here and was blanked in New England earlier this year.

Match Against the Defense: The rested Patriots have had two weeks to wait for this and the Bill are on the current longest winning streak in the NFL outside of the Pats. But Lynch is banged up at best and the passing game still is nothing more than Lee Evans. Look for an eventual passing score there that could go anywhere but little reliable fantasy numbers even for Lynch.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 31 25 25 22 24 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 12 8 5 21 2 1

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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