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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: BUF 13, JAC 17

Update: Troy Williamson remains out and Dennis Northcutt has a back ailment that forced him out of practice on Thursday and limited him on Friday. I am removing Northcutt from the projections though he may still play. Jerry Porter is expected to get at least some playing time this week and had full practices from Wednesday through Friday. He may not be 100% over his hamstring strain but is good enough to play. I am adding him into the projections.

This should be a very interesting game. The Bills come off a surprisingly easy thrashing of the Seahawks while the Jaguars could not score in Tennessee. Both teams bring good defenses and what should be sound rushing attacks though the Jags just lost valuable linemen. The game favors the Jaguars by six points but that could be optimistic if the Bills can bring that same defense on the road.

The Jaguars won 36-14 when these teams met in Jacksonville during week 12 last year.

Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX - +6 38
3 OAK - - -
4 @STL - - -
5 @ARZ - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 SD - - -
8 @MIA - - -
9 NYJ - - -
10 @NE - - -
11 CLE - - -
12 @KC - - -
13 SF - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     180,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 60 30  
TE Robert Royal   30,1  
WR Lee Evans   40  
WR Josh Reed   30  
WR Roscoe Parrish   20  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Could ask for a nicer opening weekend than last week and after this game, the schedule should be a fantasy cakewalk with OAK, STL and ARZ waiting before the bye week. This week will be a much greater test though on the road against a great defense. The Jaguars are already 0-1 and will not make this an easy week. But the Patriots just lost Tom Brady and the AFC East suddenly looks entirely more open for opportunity than a mere week ago.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards had a solid game against the Seahawks, passing for 215 yards and one score in a game where most passing was done at leisure and not by necessity. That's a good average showing with only one sack and no turnovers. Edwards relied more heavily on his tight end Robert Royal than usual and did not feature Marshawn Lynch as much as a receiver as expected. That should change this week.

Losman was the quarterback back in week 12 at Jacksonville last year and he passed for 211 yards and one score.

Running Backs: Gaining 76 yards on 18 carries was a solid 4.2 YPC for Marshawn Lynch last week and he did score one rushing touchdown. He only had three catches for 18 yards and just five passes thrown to him which was less than the initial gameplan was. This week against the tougher defense and on the road will mean Lynch as the receiver will be more attractive and realistically he wasn't needed last Sunday in the runaway win. Fred Jackson was given ten carries but that was mop up duty late in the game.

Lynch did not play in the Jaguars game last season and the Bills only gained 64 yards on 20 carries from Fred Jackson and Anthony Thomas. The lone touchdown came on a pass to Thomas.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans started his season with a 102 yard effort on just four catches against the Seahawks and that dwarfed all other wideouts as it always does. Josh Reed (3-37) had minimal use and the rookie James Hardy was active but was not used. With Reed nothing more than a mediocre fill-in, it was a small surprise to see the coaching staff not opt for Hardy especially later in the already decided game last week. Until he does gain the confidence of the coaching staff, Reed will continue to start.

Evans only had two receptions for 19 yards against the Jaguars.

Tight Ends: Edwards relied on Robert Royal for six catches for 52 yards and the lone passing score last Sunday. That's far more work than Royal had last year. That is more catches in a game than Royal has ever had. His best effort last year was just 46 yard. He is 31 years old and has played for seven years. He is not breaking out to be the new Antonio Gates now but is one of the preferred receivers for Edwards. And Edwards started nine games last year and only threw a score in three of them.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars had little trouble dispatching the Bills last year but this time Edwards is the starter, the Bills are bringing a better defense and Lynch did not play in the meeting last year. In Tennessee, the Jaguars gave up 133 rushing yards though most went to the ultra-speedy Chris Johnson. Look for a moderate showing here by Lynch that could become nice if they will use him more as a receiver.

Edwards faces a secondary that hasn't much been tested thanks to only playing the Titans but then again, the Bills are hardly an elite passing team. No opponent threw for more than one touchdown in Jacksonville last year so look for the same from Edwards. This won't be nearly as good a showing by the offense as last week and the scoring should remain low. No visiting wideouts scored in Jacksonville last year so expect the touchdown to go to a back or a tight end.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 21 18 21 6 6 1
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 8 26 1 26 13 30

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF - -6 38
3 @IND - - -
4 HOU - - -
5 PIT - - -
6 @DEN - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE - - -
9 @CIN - - -
10 @DET - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 MIN - - -
13 @HOU - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 20   210,1
RB Fred Taylor 70 20  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 30,1 20  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Dennis Northcutt 30
WR Jerry Porter   50  
WR Matt Jones   50  
WR Reggie Williams   20  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars are reeling from their offensive line woes and now are missing four key players. The starting center Brad Meester is out with a torn biceps and his replacement Richard Collier was shot last week. They lost two guards on Sunday when Mo Williams had a biceps injury pregame and Vince Manuwai suffered a knee injury. The interior of the line could be using backups for a extended period of time and that is not the way the Jaguars want to start the season (nor end it for that matter). Without a dominating offensive line, the Jags were stuffed in Tennessee and the schedule doesn't get a lot better for the next month.

Quarterback: David Garrard had an average fantasy game last week when he passed for 215 yards and a score but highly uncharacteristic were his two interceptions and a lost fumble. Thanks to blocking problems, Garrard was sacked seven times. The Jacksonville helped keep the team in the game but Garrard must get more time to throw and until the line improves, opposing defenses are going to come after him.

Garrard passed for 296 yards and one score against the Bills last year.

Running Backs: As bad as it went for Garrard last week, it was far worse for the rushing game. Thanks to the blocking woes, Fred Taylor only gained 18 yards on nine carries and Maurice Jones-Drew only had five rushing attempts for a paltry 13 yards. He added 37 yards on four catches but the lone passing touchdown went to fullback Greg Jones. It is easy enough to chalk it up to a bad road game but the offensive line problems don't appear likely to resolved by this week or within the month for that matter. And a tougher opening stretch of games doesn't make the fortunes of Jones-Drew and Taylor seem that attractive in the short-term.

Taylor rushed for 104 yards on 14 carries and scored once against the Bills last season while Jones-Drew only had ten carries for 10 yards and one score.

Wide Receivers: Garrard zeroed in on Matt Jones last week while he subbed for Jerry Porter. Jones was thrown ten passes - double any other receiver - and caught a team high six for 80 yards. No other receiver had more than 29 yards in a game that the Jags needed to use the pass. Porter was held out because of his healing hamstring and I will assume he is out until cleared to play and practicing. If the rushing problems continue, and they may, the receivers are going to have to step up.

Northcutt, Ernest Wilford and Williams all had almost exactly 60 receiving yards in the Bills game last year and WIlliams caught the lone touchdown.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis had his standard three catches for 29 yards last week. That may end up high side for the next few weeks if the Jags end up keeping him in to block more. Lewis had five receptions for 57 yards against the Bills last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rushing defense handled the Seahawks well enough last week but Taylor and Jones-Drew present a bigger challenge. The offensive line problems are a major concern until demonstrated to be resolved so expect only a moderate game here by both Jones-Drew and Taylor.

Garrard faces a defense that just sacked Hasselbeck five times and that is a worry. But at home, Garrard should be better and manage at least a decent showing with a touchdown pass that should favor Jones or Lewis the most. Nothing big here in what should be a low scoring affair and the Jags will play ultra-conservative after last week.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 20 22 25 23 23 15
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 10 8 13 16 9 4

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