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

Prediction: NYJ 10, DAL 30

Turkey Day game #2 pits the Jets coming off a huge win over the Steelers against the Cowboys who are tied for the #1 seed with the Packers. Could the Jets make it two trap games in a row? No doubt the Dallas coaches are talking about exactly that this week. One big factor in this game could be the weather. The Dallas area is slated to be hit with a winter storm on Wednesday that may not be cleared up in time for the game. It should be up to around 50 degrees by game time though and Texas Stadium offers some protection from the wind.

New York Jets (2-8)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NE 14-38 +6.5 40.5
2 @BAL 13-20 +9.5 33
3 MIA 31-28 +3 35.5
4 @BUF 14-17 -3 37.5
5 @NYG 24-35 +3 41
6 PHI 9-16 +4.5 43.5
7 @CIN 31-38 +5.5 46.5
8 BUF 3-13 -3 37
9 WAS 20-23 +3.5 35.5
10 BYE - - -
11 PIT 19-16 +9.5 40.5
12 @DAL   +14.5 47
13 @MIA 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CLE 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @NE 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @TEN 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 KC 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
NYJ at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kellen Clemens 20   220,1
RB Thomas Jones 50    
TE Chris Baker   40,1  
WR Brad Smith   30  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   50  
WR Justin McCareins   60  
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: It was a classic trap game last week when the Jets held off the Steelers. That ended a six game losing streak but the Jets are still 0-4 on the road and have already used their surprise game for the year. Kellen Clemens is coming along slowly, Thomas Jones still runs slowly and Laveranues Coles is hopping on one foot slowly.

Quarterback: Kellen Clemens new gig as the starting quarterback has been predictably slow in ramping up but he has tossed a touchdown in each start and had to go against decent defenses each time including the Steelers last week. He's also shown a surprising willingness to run with 48 yards on seven carries against the Redskins. He has promise for the future to be sure but it won't happen overnight.

Running Backs: Perhaps the biggest sign of the trap game last week was Thomas Jones gaining 117 yards against the top ranked Steelers defense though it did require 30 carries and he still has never scored this season. On the road, Jones has never gained more than 67 rushing yards and is rarely used as a receiver.

Wide Receivers: The worst news of all is that Laveranues Coles suffered a high ankle sprain last week and will miss this game. That removes almost all talent from the wideouts and greatly shrinks the offense since Jerricho Cotchery has been far less productive this year and only has one touchdown so far. The absence of Coles will likely move Justin McCareins up but he has not turned in more than three catches or 32 yards in a game this year. Facing the #2 scoring offense in the NFL is not when you want to lose your best scoring option.

Tight Ends: Chris Baker had the lone touchdown catch against the Steelers and that gives him three scores on the year. He has been a reliable target for Clemens and had eight catches for 76 yards in the last two games.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys rushing defense has been solid this year and with as many points as the Cowboys post, most teams are forced to abandon the run anyway. Thomas Jones is a lock to turn in another sub-par game here and will not score for the 12th straight game.

Clemens will get a workout and unfortunately is without Coles this week. Cotchery becomes the #1 but gets the worse match-up against CB Terrance Newman. Have to like Baker to turn in a score this week more than any other player and there should be ample enough trash time that gives some yards out.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 21 32 12 18 17 24
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 21 4 24 22 14 19


Dallas Cowboys (9-1)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF 25-24 -10 42
6 NE 27-48 +5 52.5
7 MIN 24-14 -9.5 46
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 38-17 -3 46
10 @NYG 31-20 -1.5 49
11 WAS 28-23 -10.5 47
12 NYJ   -14.5 47
13 GB 29-Nov THU 8:15 PM
14 @DET 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 PHI 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @CAR 22-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
17 @WAS 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
DAL vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     260, 2
RB Julius Jones 60    
RB Marion Barber 70,1 30  
TE Jason Witten   70,1  
WR Terrell Owens   110,1  
WR Patrick Crayton   40  
WR Sam Hurd   20  
PK Nick Folk 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys had trouble enough dispatching the Redskins last week and it wasn't like they were overlooking them because of this week's game. Playing at home every Thanksgiving is a bit of an advantage but so do the Packers who they will face in a very big game next week on another Thursday meeting. The Cowboys weakness has been against the pass but the offense has been so productive that it hasn't matter outside of that Patriot game. But the national game is a spotlight for Terrell Owens and the Cowboys could hardly find a weaker opponent to go against.

Quarterback: With 27 touchdown passes already this year, Tony Romo is on pace to shatter all Cowboy's records and he is on track to gain over 4500 passing yards as well. There has only been one game where he had just one score and the last three weeks has posted a total of 11. The Cowboys offense has been red hot to the point of wondering if it is peaking too early.

Running Backs: After finally following the court of public opinion, now the Cowboys are using Marion Barber more than Julius Jones though not unlike in New England, the rushing game has taken a back seat to the passing. Marion Barber only has two scores in the last seven games and only once has topped 60 rushing yards in that time. Julius Jones still acts like the Dallas version of Fred Taylor and only has two scores on the year. The ability to rush is still there, but it's just easier to lob a score to Owens.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens has been a tad bit hot in the most recent three games that has seen him turn in no less than 125 yards and last week's four scores were a career high for Owens. He has scored 12 times this year and has just been unstoppable in the last month.

Patrick Crayton had a decent showing two weeks ago against the Giants but otherwise he has almost completely disappeared. If opponents do not stop Owens, then Romo never needs Crayton and no one is stopping Owens lately. Crayton missed practice this week because of a sprained ankle suffered in the Redskins game. If he cannot play, Sam Hurd will step up.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten continues on his career best year but even he has taken a backseat to Owens when it comes to scoring. Witten had four scores over the first five weeks of the season but then only has one on the last five games. But his yardage typically comes in around 70 yards per game and the tougher the match-up, the better he plays.

Match Against the Defense: The Jets rushing defense has been their weakness and the Cowboys at home should take some advantage even with the pass happy ways of the offense. Expect a score here by Barber and solid yardage for both he and Jones.

The Jets secondary has been about average this year but mainly because most teams just run all over them. They have not faced many decent quarterbacks and Romo in a national game should manage to throw at least two and possibly three just to keep pace with Brady a bit and keep Owens happy. Though several wideouts have turned in 100+ yard games against the Jets, none have scored more than once. Expect the yards and score from Owens and another for Witten.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 9 5 1 6 9
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 15 31 19 13 23 18

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
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