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

Prediction: KC 14, ATL 17

The Chiefs are in a race to see who has the least effective offense and they probably have the lead since they have no where to go but where they already are. The Falcons were served notice by the Bucs that they are not all that but after the Chiefs leave this week, the Falcons may be getting conceited again.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 10-17 +16.5 45
2 OAK 8-23 -4 34.5
3 @ATL - +5 36
4 DEN - - -
5 @CAR - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 TEN - - -
8 @NYJ - - -
9 TB - - -
10 @SD - - -
11 NO - - -
12 BUF - - -
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KCC at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     180,1
RB Larry Johnson 50,1    
TE Tony Gonzalez   70,1  
WR Jeff Webb   10  
WR Devard Darling   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   60  
PK Nick Novak   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Chiefs opted to go with Brodie Croyle to start the year and he was injured. Then they reverted to the more effective and yet not long term solution of Damon Huard who also was injured. Now they have moved on to Tyler Thigpen. The rushing attack has gone from being premier to not even serviceable and Larry Johnson is wondering why he was not used in the second half last week when he is the closest they had to an actual weapon. This all smacks of "Edwards - The Final Year".

Quarterback: Tyler Thigpen is presumably the starter this week with Croyle and Huard on the mend and that means the Chiefs are still trying to pretend that they have a franchise quarterback somewhere hidden on the team. Like a gridiron version of "Where's Waldo" only he keeps appearing in the uniform of the opponents. Thigpen only completed 14 of 33 passes for 151 yards and one score against the visiting Raiders and had one interception.

Running Backs: If you understand what the Chiefs are doing with their running game, give Larry Johnson a call and fill him in. The starting tailback only had two carries in the second half last week in a game that was only 6-0 at halftime. The Chiefs abandoned the run and don't even use Johnson as a receiver anymore. If they start avoiding Dwayne Bowe as well, you can be sure some sort of fix is on. A struggling franchise is getting close to losing its players. Johnson at home against the Raiders only had 12 carries and only gained 22 yards.

Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe is the lone reason why the Chiefs can hope to have an offense two years from now. The second year player had 90 yards against the Raiders which is more than all other Chiefs receivers for the season combined have gained. That Bowe is this good with that quarterback situation suggests he is actually an elite wideout forced to merely look good. His fellow wideouts contributed just one catch for ten yards last week.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez has to be saying "I'm too old for this @#@!^&$#."

He only had five catches for 39 yards last week but did have the lone team score in the fourth quarter to prevent the shutout. He was thrown 13 passes including almost every one for the final two series.

Match Against the Defense: The question here is more about what the offense is going to do than what the defense will do against it. Johnson could have a nearly acceptable game here if he gets his old standard 20 carries and some receptions, but the Chiefs are mysteriously not using him in any capacity. Until the situation is certain, you should find another option. If not, expect moderate yardage at best with a shot at one rushing score but this is a team in transition (to somewhere) and nothing is certain.

Croyle Huard Thigpen faces a secondary that should allow one touchdown pass but the Chiefs have not yet shown that they can do more than that. A given here is that the Falcons will be running the ball and controlling the clock so there will be less plays to deal with this week as there was last week.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 19 28 20 7 32 19
Preventing Fantasy Points    ATL 18 23 14 29 7 14

Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 34-21 +3 41
2 @TB 9-24 +8 38.5
3 KC - -5 36
4 @CAR - - -
5 @GB - - -
6 CHI - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 @PHI - - -
9 @OAK - - -
10 NO - - -
11 DEN - - -
12 CAR - - -
13 @SD - - -
14 @NO - - -
15 TB - - -
16 @MIN - - -
17 STL - - -
ATL vs KCC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan     140
RB Michael Turner 120,1 10  
RB Jerious Norwood 50,1 10  
TE Ben Hartsock   10  
WR Michael Jenkins   30  
WR Roddy White   50  
WR Harry Douglas   20  
PK Jason Elam 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Okay, so it ends up that every opponent is not the visiting Lions of week one. Not every team will allow the Falcons to rush for over 300 yards in a game while failing to put up enough offense to beat a rebuilding franchise. Except for the Chiefs who just sort of did that exact same thing only they were at home hosting the Raiders.

Quarterback: Matt Ryan learned that he would have to throw more than 13 passes to win games when the Buccaneers held him to 13 of 33 for only 158 yards and two interceptions. Ryan faces a decent secondary with the Chiefs and a soft rushing defense means that Ryan will once again have a below average game while learning the ropes of the NFL.

Running Backs: Michael Turner came back to earth after his 220 yards against the Lions. The Buccaneers limited him to only 42 yards on 14 carries and yet Jerious Norwood had six carries himself. Turner is not the only back in the scheme for the Falcons since this makes two weeks of a 2:1 ratio with Turner and Norwood. Both backs get only a pass or two per game.

Wide Receivers: Roddy White remains the primary wideout but the passing is still low enough that White is only good for around 50 yards per game so far. Michael Jenkins had the one 62 yard touchdown catch to open the season but last week he could not catch even one of the seven passes thrown to him. Another week or two of that and Laurent Robinson may end up reclaiming the flanker role he lost in the offseason.

Ryan is trying to develop his rapport with the wide receivers and has all but ignored the running backs and tight ends so far.

Tight Ends: So far both Justin Peelle and Ben Hartsock have only been thrown one pass each in both games this year. The position is only for blocking with the very rare catch figured in.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs are in disarray and they are back on the road where they usually struggle anyway. They allowed the Patriots to gain five yards per carry and then last week had no answer for either Darren McFadden or Michael Bush. The Falcons will try to replicate week one with Turner rushing and should see good success. That should also make Norwood have some marginal fantasy value as well.

Ryan could have one passing score but likely not since the rushing game should be good enough. Only look for a lower passing effort this week because Ryan's handoffs will do enough damage.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 29 4 16 30 6 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 4 29 8 5 22 23

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