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

Prediction: TEN 17, KC 10

Update: Justin Gage still has been unable to practice so I have counted him out. Justin McCareins has a hamstring tweak and will be a gametime decision so I would not bother with him in the highly unlikely event you wanted to use him. The big news of course is that the Chiefs have suspended Larry Johnson from this game because of his violations of team policy. Johnson was apparently late for a team meeting but it was more the final straw than a major transgression. Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles will split carries to replave Johnson.

The Titans are now the only unbeaten team and the Chiefs have only one game against the Broncos to separate themselves from absolute futility. On paper this should be a rout but both teams are coming off their bye weeks and the Chiefs will be much more focused on getting their second win. Not enough to actually get it, but enough to keep the score closer.

The Titans won 26-17 in Kansas City during week 15 last season.

Tennessee Titans (5-0)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAX 17-10 +3 37
2 @CIN 24-7 +1 37.5
3 HOU 31-12 -5 38.5
4 MIN 30-17 -3 36
5 @BAL 17-10 -3 35
6 BYE - - -
7 @KC - -8 35.5
8 IND - - -
9 GB - - -
10 @CHI - - -
11 @JAX - - -
12 NYJ - - -
13 @DET - - -
14 CLE - - -
15 @HOU - - -
16 PIT - - -
17 @IND - - -
TEN at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     140,1
RB Chris Johnson 110 20,1  
RB Lendale White 40,1    
TE Bo Scaife   30  
WR Brandon Jones   50  
WR Justin McCareins   30 GTD
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Titans are enjoying their NFL-best record and this game should not change that unless it turns into a trap game which were everywhere last week. The formula so far is no secret - dominating defense and a sound running game. The schedule gets much tougher after this week until a nice little stretch during fantasy playoffs. The Titans are two games ahead of the Colts so their week eight matchup will be critical and could be the reason why this week is open for a trap game.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins has been little more than a caretaker quarterback so far with never more than one touchdown per game or 200 passing yards. Unfortunately when faced with a better than average defense, he's also been throwing for a couple of interceptions per week but that should not be a factor on Sunday. The Titans are undefeated - not much reason to change anything.

Vince Young passed for 191 yards and two scores in Kansas City last year.

Running Backs: No matter what the game situation, Chris Johnson is getting around 18 carries for 70 yards and two catches each week. He comes off his worst game when the Titans visited Baltimore back in week five and all Johnson had was 44 rushing yards but he still had 18 carries. LenDale White was only given three carries in Baltimore and finally had his first game without a touchdown. But his five rushing scores are tied for third best in the league even though the Titans have already had their bye week.

The Titans ran for 116 yards on 29 carries in Kansas City last season but had no touchdowns.

Wide Receivers: The only Titan wideout with any fantasy value has been Justin Gage - in fact he is the only one of this group that has a touchdown and that's just the one. Gage has been out since week five with a knee injury that was reported as a small meniscus tear and he could play this week. Gage himself says that he will but I will hold him out of the projections until he is cleared and practices. Again - there is not a shred of reliable fantasy value here in any other receiver and only marginal for Gage.

Roydell Williams turned in four catches for 94 yards and both passing touchdowns in Kansas City last year. No other wideout had more than 45 yards.

Tight Ends: Alge Crumpler finally showed up this year when he had a touchdown catch in Baltimore but he's been nearly invisible otherwise. Bo Scaife currently ranks as the most productive receiver for the Titans but he's been as good as 105 yards and as bad as only six yards in a game. Scaife came up big in Baltimore with a season high seven catches for 72 yards.

The Titans completed no passes to tight ends last year in Kansas City.

Match Against the Defense: Let's see, the Chiefs are ranked #32 against running backs. Yeah, I think the Titans will try to establish the run. Everyone gets over 100 rushing yards against the Chiefs and they have allowed six rushing scores over the last two games but those were on the road and they are better in Arrowhead Stadium. But other than the one uncharacteristic game against the Broncos, the Chiefs have been exploited by the run every week. Look for a 100 yard game from Johnson and enough left over to make sure that White gets action and a score this week as well.

Collins goes against a secondary that is nothing special but ranks a bit better than it should thanks to most teams just running all day against them. Look for one touchdown pass that will likely avoid Scaife and end up with a wide receiver or running back.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 28 9 31 7 18 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 11 32 15 2 27 25

Kansas City Chiefs (1-4)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 10-17 +16.5 45
2 OAK 8-23 -4 34.5
3 @ATL 14-38 +5 36
4 DEN 33-19 +9.5 46.5
5 @CAR 0-34 +9.5 38.5
6 BYE - - -
7 TEN - +8 35.5
8 @NYJ - - -
9 TB - - -
10 @SD - - -
11 NO - - -
12 BUF - - -
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brodie Croyle     150
RB Larry Johnson 60,1
RB Jamaal Charles 40,1    
RB Kolby Smith 20    
TE Tony Gonzalez   50  
WR Jeff Webb   20  
WR Devard Darling   20  
WR Dwayne Bowe   50  
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Just when the Chiefs finally had something to cheer about by beating the visiting Broncos, they travel to Carolina and get bombed 0-34 and then stew about that for two weeks thanks to the bye. Apparently every NFL team has their one shining week where they play well about their heads and win the game. And the Chiefs have already had theirs. There is nothing in the remaining schedule that looks particularly promising if only because the Chiefs are one of the examples of being a bad team.

Quarterback: The Chiefs are using Brodie Croyle as the starting quarterback this week after he missed all the games since the season opener when he injured his shoulder. This means the Chiefs get a rusty Croyle to face one of the best defenses in the league. In fairness, the bar is not very high for Croyle to look good since the Chiefs have yet to get more than 160 passing yards from any quarterback this year. All totaled there have only been four passing scores.

Croyle passed for 217 yards and two scores against the Titans last year.

Running Backs: After an encouraging two week stretch where Larry Johnson gained over 120 rushing yards each game and scored a total of three touchdowns, he went to Carolina where he dropped right back into the same horrible area that started the season - seven carries for two net yards. On the plus side he will be at home this week but then again he only managed 22 rushing yards against the visiting Raiders back in week two.

Kolby Smith was the starter in week 15 and ran for 82 yards on 18 carries against the visiting Titans last season.

Wide Receivers: So far the wide receivers are different than last year - only Dwayne Bowe matters and he has the only two touchdowns caught by a wide receiver this year. Bowe has been remarkably consistent staying above 50 yards or so but the return of Brodie Croyle may impact that this week. The rest of this crew literally never has more than 20 yards in almost any game.

Bowe turned in five catches for 64 yards against the Titans last year while Samie Parker caught a touchdown.

Tight Ends: The rumors have swirled about Tony Gonzalez potentially being traded but that has apparently fallen through. Gonzo has been having a quiet year that may get a little worse now that Croyle is returning.

Gonzalez only managed 17 yards on three catches against the Titans last year. Kris Wilson caught a score.

Match Against the Defense: Croyle could have timed it a little better than returning after five weeks to go against the #1 defense against quarterbacks. Larry Johnson could have minor success here at home since the Titans are weaker against the run and that's about all that the Chiefs have. What will come into play more this week is that Croyle already looked rusty in practice so he could really "stink up the joint" this week if not give way to Huard coming back into the game. The Titans have only allowed one passing score so far this year. Expecting Croyle to have #2 is optimistic.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 29 24 28 14 32 24
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 1 15 3 14 1 2

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