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

Prediction: IND 26, BAL 17

Update: No changes to the projections but Marvin Harrison participated in limited practice on Wednesday only to be held out completely on Thursday. It is highly unlikely he will play this week with his rather lingering knee injury. Also Todd Heap was reported to have limited practice this week but was not there during the media portion. It is still too early to expect Heap to play and Demetrius Williams remains out with his ankle sprain. To the benefit of the Colts, CB Chris McAlister has been unable to pracitce because of his knee and S Ed Reed was limited on Wednesday and held out on Thursday. I am tacking on one more field goal for the Colts because of this.

The Colts are back on a three game winning streak after tripping up around mid-season while the Ravens apparently saved all their bullets for one battle and still fell maddeningly short on Monday night against the Patriots. That leaves the Ravens with a six game losing streak but a 3-3 record at home.

Indianapolis Colts (10-2)
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 29-7 -3.5 45
8 @CAR 31-7 -6.5 45
9 NE 20-24 +5.5 56.5
10 @SD 21-23 -3.5 49
11 KC 13-10 -15 44
12 @ATL 31-13 -12 45
13 JAC 28-25 -7 44.5
14 @BAL   -9.5 44
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 BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     260,2
RB Joseph Addai 60 20  
TE Dallas Clark   50,1  
WR Craphonso Thorpe   20  
WR Reggie Wayne   80  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   60,1  
PK Adam Vinatieri 4 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Colts had to fight off a resilient Jaguars team last week but in doing so should wrap up the division and the #2 seed in the AFC without much trouble. The continued absence of Harrison has now turned into just the norm and Manning was deadly against the solid Jacksonville defense even without Marvin. What is a little more troubling is the rushing game which has been on a slide recently but there's more than a month to get that fixed before games in January.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning had his surreal 163 yard game against the Chiefs but smoothed that bump over with seven touchdowns in the last two weeks. He is uncharacteristically throwing at least one interception every game but has adjusted to life without Marvin. He has 23 passing scores on the season but only two games over 300 passing yards.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai has been much less productive since week ten and has only averaged about 60 rushing yards per game over the last four weeks. He has also been less used as a receiver and comes off the Jaguars game where he had no catches for the first time this year - he was never even thrown a pass. There have only been three times this season that he failed to score though but he has undeniably been a disappointment over the last month to fantasy owners.

Wide Receivers: This has been the year to own Reggie Wayne. He already has 1169 yards on the season and has scored eight times. He comes off a big 158 yard effort against the Jaguars and has topped 100 yards in five games this year. Without Harrison around, Wayne has become the focal point of the offense and yet defenses still struggle to shut him down.

The rookie Anthony Gonzalez still has not scored this year though he had a touchdown called back last week on an unrelated penalty. He came up big with 105 yards in Atlanta but has been limited to just one catch in three of the last four games. This unit now is almost nothing more than Wayne.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark has tied the franchise record for touchdown catches in a season by a tight end with nine and has been picking up his production the last couple of weeks with games of 49 and 60 yards. He scored twice last week for his second two touchdown game of the year. With the lack of production coming from all wideouts other than Wayne, Clark is needed to remain a bigger part of the passing attack.

Match Against the Defense: The impact of the close loss on Monday night to the Patriots could have a telling effect this week. The defense played their hearts out and came up just short but they are at home again which should help. The rushing defense has been outstanding all year and since Addai has been struggling more lately, it is safe to assume he will not improve against the #2 defense against running backs.

Manning will have to win this game and the Ravens will no doubt be all over Wayne this week. Look for good yardage here since the rushing game will likely falter and for Clark and Gonzalez to step up and fill any void. This should be the week that Gonzalez scores - as long as there are no more penalty flags. Wayne has been nearly unstoppable but the Ravens will devote everything to just that.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 5 3 14 2 9 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 14 2 25 10 32 23


Baltimore Ravens (4-8)
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 14-19 -3 35
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 7-38 +4 48
10 CIN 7-21 -4.5 44.5
11 CLE 30-33 +2.5 43.5
12 @SD 14-32 +9.5 38.5
13 NE 24-27 +20.5 51.5
14 IND   +9.5 44
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 vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller     190,1
RB Willis McGahee 80,1 20  
TE Quinn Sypniewski   20  
WR Mark Clayton   30  
WR Devard Darling   40  
WR Derrick Mason   60,1  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: What a heartbreaker. Since 49 of 50 states are populated with people who wanted to see the Pats lose last week, the tremendous effort by the Ravens did not go unnoticed. But then again, this is a team that has found a way to lose their last six games and two of their last three were only by a field goal. Kyle Boller has been impressive these last two games and Willis McGahee has really been in gear but combined, they just fall short each Sunday. A road trip to Miami next week should be just the cure for losing but then final games in Seattle and against the Steelers won't be any help.

Quarterback: Give Kyle Boller some credit, he is making a case for himself for 2008. In three games as the starter, he has thrown at least one score in each and had two on Monday against the Patriots. He was never even sacked in that game after being taken down ten times in the two previous games. But Monday night was one of those "magic" nights that still missed the mark and Boller has been much more consistent with only one score each week. And that alone makes him a better option than Steve McNair.

Running Backs: Following on the theme of a magic night, Willis McGahee turned in a season high of 138 rushing yards on 30 carries against the Patriots and he scored for the seventh game in a row. He has yet to get more than one touchdown in a game as a Raven and he has more normally turned in around 60 yards in most games, but he has been a consistent scoring machine this year. He's a definite upgrade to Jamal Lewis that adds in at least a couple of catches each week as well.

Wide Receivers: It is questionable why anyone covers a Ravens wideout besides Derrick Mason. Last week he had six catches for 67 yards and a score while no other wideout had more than one catch. That is not all that unusual for a team that has only received one good game this year from any other wideout than Mason. Devard Darling has the jets but exists solely on the deep pass and Mark Clayton had more yardage in week 10 (107) than he did in the four previous games combined. Clayton did turn in 52 yards on Monday - all on one catch.

Tight Ends: Quinn Sypniewski has the occasional decent game but mixes in too many one catch weeks to merit any fantasy attention.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts rushing defense has been generally good this year but McGahee is addicted to the endzone. Expect that score but only his average yardage against a team that hold most runners to average games.

Boller faces one of the best secondaries in the league this week and that will give him problems since he relies so heavily on just one wideout - Mason. I like this game to be lower scoring so look for no more than one passing touchdown here and that has to favor Mason both from his high volume of catches and the Colts allowing the #1 wideout of opponents to most often score.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 29 14 24 19 14 21
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 6 9 2 11 4 8

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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