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

Prediction: JAC 16, HOU 23

Update: Ron Dayne was held out of practice on Wednesday but had limited work on Thursday and has not bee ruled out. He will be a gametime decision. I am not adding him into the projections but he may still play a limited role.

The Jaguars have wrapped up the #5 seed and there's nothing that can happen this week to change that. The Texans have a home game this week and a chance to end 8-8 for a .500 season. That and facing the Jacksonville second string should be enough to get the win.

The Jaguars won 37-17 against the visiting Texans in week six.

Jacksonville Jaguars (11-4)
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 7-29 +3.5 45
8 @TB 24-23 -4 32.5
9 @NO 24-41 +3.5 40
10 @TEN 28-13 +4 35
11 SD 24-17 -3 41
12 BUF 36-14 -7.5 36
13 @IND 25-28 +7 44.5
14 CAR 37-6 +10.5 38
15 @PIT 29-22 +4 39
16 OAK 49-11 -13 40
17 @HOU   +4 41
JAX at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     140,1
RB Fred Taylor 50 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 40 10  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   30  
WR Ernest Wilford   40  
WR Reggie Williams   30,1  
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars are peaking right at the right time and only playing in the same division with the Colts has prevented them from taking the division. The defense and rushing game has been top notch and David Garrard has proven that the Jaguars made the right move when they dumped Byron Leftwich before the season started. But Jacksonville has nothing to gain this week and already had started pulling players last week.

Quarterback: David Garrard started the year out as the game manager with one score and around 200 yards per game. Now he has developed into much more with multiple scores in the last four weeks and playing nearly error free football. He hasn't been good enough to warrant a top ten fantasy quarterback status but he isn't far behind and getting better all the time. But he will no doubt not play the entire game this week with a playoff game just next week. Projections reflect that Quinn Gray will get significant playing time this week.

Garrard threw for 221 yards and two scores in Houston this year.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor is having a magic year not unlike Maurice Jones-Drew did last season. Taylor has rushed for 1202 yards and five scores on just 223 carries for a 5.4 yard average. He has scored in four of the last five games while rushing for over 100 yards in each. He is rarely a factor as a receiver but he's just been in rare form the last month including a season high 147 yards in Pittsburgh.

Maurice Jones-Drew is winding down a solid year with 768 yards and nine touchdowns and he added 40 catches for 407 yards but that is all below expectations for all who drafted him. He's still more likely to score than Taylor but has taken a definite backseat in yardage and carries.

That all said, at least Taylor and likely Jones-Drew will see less work this week in a game that doesn't matter.

Jones-Drew ran for 125 yards and two scores on just 12 carries in Houston while Taylor gained 90 yards on only six runs.

Wide Receivers: While Garrard has been much improved and even deadly in many cases, there still is no wideout for the Jaguars that can be clearly pointed as as the #1. Reggie Williams has been a scoring machine with nine touchdowns on the year but rarely has much yardage. Matt Jones is showing up lately for one score on one catch and Dennis Northcutt has the occasional good game but no receiver here has more than 601 yards on the season or more than 44 catches on the season. It all works in combination but individually only Williams has fantasy value because he usually catches one touchdown.

Reggie Williams caught five passes for 38 yards and one score in Houston while Northcutt led the receivers with four catches for 46 yards.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis follows the path of the wideouts. He has marginal success almost every week and yet never had a big game. Only two scores on the year and marginal fantasy value even as a back-up.

Lewis had two catches for 30 yards in Houston but George Wrighster had a score on his only catch.

Match Against the Defense: This all depends on how much the starters play this week. I am projecting for half games from the more notable players but there is risk in relying on any of them this week. They just have nothing to play for and need to remain healthy for next week.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 15 4 16 15 17 14
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 15 25 11 28 25 18


Houston Texans (7-8)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 20-3 +3 38
2 @CAR 34-21 +6.5 39
3 IND 24-30 + 6 47.5
4 @ATL 16-26 -2.5 39.5
5 MIA 22-19 -5.5 43
6 @JAC 17-37 +7 37
7 TEN 36-38 -2 37.5
8 @SD 10-35 +11 45
9 @OAK 24-17 +3 41.5
10 BYE - - -
11 NO 23-10 +1 47
12 @CLE 17-27 +3.5 51
13 @TEN 20-28 +3.5 43
14 TB 28-14 -1 40.5
15 DEN 31-13 -1.5 47
16 @IND 15-38 +7 47.5
17 JAC   -4 41
HOU vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels     230,1
RB Darius Walker 70,1 10  
TE Owen Daniels   50  
WR Andre Johnson   100,1  
WR Andre Davis   40  
WR Kevin Walter   30  
PK Kris Brown 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Texans can end up no better than .500 on the season but there has been definite progress made, particularly on the offense. Matt Schaub has been a much needed upgrade from David Carr and Andre Johnson has flourished without Carr around. The passing game has been far improved and now the rushing attack needs some attention in the offseason since aged Ahman Green was no better than was feared, There's still plenty to work on but the franchise is in better shape heading into the offseason than it has been in many years. And this week they should get a gift from Jacksonville who will rest players.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub has struggled with injuries twice this season but when he has been healthy, he's been a huge upgrade from David Carr and has ignited the passing game. Not only has Andre Johnson risen to one of the elite wide outs in the league, but even Kevin Walter and Andre Davis had posted nice games this year. Schaub could play this week but it will depend on practices. I will assume that Sage Rosenfels takes his fourth straight start.

Schaub passed for 259 yards and no scores in Jacksonville this year.

Running Backs: This is the one area that the Texans must address in the offseason unless HC Gary Kubiak still believes he can get by with a smattering of average running backs. Ahman Green has proven to be a huge bust since he could never remain healthy and that was no surprise to anyone other than evidently the Texans' head office. Ron Dayne was held out last week because of his ankle and Darius Walker started. I will assume that Walker starts until Dayne appears likely to play.

Ahman Green was still the primary back in week six and ran for only 44 yards on 16 carries in Jacksonville.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson has scored in every game this year except against the Browns when he should have had his biggest game. He has already created great chemistry with both Rosenfels and Schaub and has turned in at least six catches in all but one game. He is a lock do be a top ten wideout next year, the only question is how high in the top ten he goes. He's been as productive per game as any other wideout other than Randy Moss.

Kevin Walter gained 160 yards on 12 catches against the Jags this year while no other wideout had more than 33 yards or three catches in that game. Johnson did not play that week.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels has been rock solid with yardage this year. While he never won anyone a game by himself, he never hurt fantasy owners and is ending his season with 62 catches for 766 yards and two scores. He's a marginal fantasy starter and a tremendous back-up tight end.

Owen Daniels had five receptions for 79 yards in Jacksonville.

Match Against the Defense: The performance of the offense depends on how quickly and how deeply the Jaguars rest players this week. That makes all players in this game a huge speculation this week but at least the Texans want to end their season with a win and are at home.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 10 22 9 11 8 12
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 23 6 13 29 6 4

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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