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

Prediction: JAC 23, CIN 13

Great place for an 0-8 team to take down a road team that may take them too lightly. This would actually make some sense but in the end, the Bengals and winning... just hard to imagine.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TEN 10-17 -3 37
2 BUF 16-20 -6 38
3 @IND 23-21 +5.5 42
4 HOU 30-27 -7.5 42
5 PIT 21-26 -4 36
6 @DEN 24-17 +3.5 48
7 BYE - - -
8 CLE 17-23 -6.5 41
9 @CIN - -7.5 40
10 @DET - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 MIN - - -
13 @HOU - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 GB - - -
16 IND - - -
17 @BAL - - -
JAX @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     180,1
RB Fred Taylor 40 10  
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 90,1 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   20  
WR Jerry Porter   10  
WR Matt Jones   60,1  
WR Reggie Williams   40  
PK Josh Scobee 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Every time the Jaguars seem to pull themselves up out of the mud they go splashing back the next week. Getting beaten by the visiting Browns was the toughest loss of them all. But these next two games against the Bengals and Lions will give the Jags a chance to go 5-4 and then enter the tougher part of their schedule. If the team could just rediscover and then keep their old running game the season would fall into place but so far there is no reason to expect consistency from a team with only three wins that they barely managed to get.

Quarterback: No doubt it had much to do with facing the soft secondaries of the Browns and Broncos, but these last two weeks have seen David Garrard finally leave his sub-200 yard games with a score about every other week. After passing for 276 yards and one touchdown in Denver, Garrard had a season best 283 yards and two scores against the visiting Browns though he lost the game. Garrard has two more soft defenses to face before it toughens up again and should produce better numbers but that could be limited by the success of the rushing game.

Running Backs: The Jaguars offensive line has been hard hit with injuries and that translated into problems in the rushing game but the performances of both Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew almost defy explanation. Other than the game at Indianapolis, Taylor has been devoid of fantasy value and has only averaged 2.7 yards per carry in those other games. He has not scored this year and doesn't have much more than one catch per week. He has the look of a player that has squarely hit the "over 30 years old" wall.

Jones-Drew has maintained his fantasy value thanks to scoring in most games but his yardage has also been either under 30 yards or over 100 yards. Nothing in between. In fact, Jones-Drew only had two decent games and both were on the road (IND and DEN).

Wide Receivers: Matt Jones has never played so well until he was caught with cocaine. After being a star in training camp and remaining the best wideout during the season, he was handed down a three game suspension by the NFL which he appealed. And then had his best game of the year with eight catches for 117 yards and one touchdown and very nearly a second score that could have won the game. I assume that Jones can play this week until his suspension is formally underway.

Reggie Williams finally caught his first score of the year after recording ten touchdowns in 2007 but only had 42 yards on three receptions and that was his second most productive game this season. Jerry Porter had a season high two passes thrown to him but he failed to actually catch either of them and continues to rank as the most horribly expensive free agent mistake of 2008.

Whenever Jones is suspended, either Porter or Mike Walker will likely replace him. Porter has been a waste but Walker has plenty of promise and gained 107 yards three weeks ago. But his problem continues to be an inability to remain healthy. If he could stay healthy, Walker might be a better receiver than the lot of them.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has offered some fantasy value in the last three weeks with two scores and around 30 yards per week but he's just as likely to be blanked in any given week.

Match Against the Defense: Playing this game in Cincinnati makes it less a sure thing for the rushing game. Granted Mewelde Moore recently had a monster game there but the Jags - Maurice Jones-Drew in particular - have only two games where the runners had any real success.But these are the Bengals so look for Jones-Drew to have good yardage and at least one rushing score.

Garrard faces a secondary that always allows one score but rarely much yardage since most teams just run the ball against them. Look for one passing score that should favor a wideout like Jones - the #1 guy is the one most likely to do the damage.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 14 14 24 18 18 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    CIN 19 24 24 11 20 28

Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BAL 10-17 -1 39
2 TEN 7-24 -1 37.5
3 @NYG 23-26 +13.5 42
4 CLE 12-20 +3.5 44
5 @DAL 22-31 +17.5 44
6 @NYJ 14-26 +6 45
7 PIT 10-38 +9.5 37
8 @HOU 6-35 +10 44
9 JAX - +7.5 40
10 BYE - - -
11 PHI - - -
12 @PIT - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @IND - - -
15 WAS - - -
16 @CLE - - -
17 KC - - -
CIN vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick     160,1
RB Cedric Benson 70    
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   50  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   80,1  
WR Chris Henry   10  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: How low can you go? Probably a little lower. The Bengals have their bye week waiting on the other side of this game which only opens the door for obvious coaching changes. It is another forgettable year but only if they can actually get one win before it is all over. But it has been five games since they ended within a touchdown of their opponent and typically they play pretty well in the first half before it all comes apart. And it seems that the offense is getting worse without Carson Palmer and the defense is declining as well.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer remains out this week but he still expects to be back "sometime". Until then, it is just more of the same from Ryan Fitzpatrick who is showing astounding consistency by starting four game and ending all of them between 152 and 164 passing yards. That also includes exactly one lost fumble each week for the same price and about four sacks. Fitzpatrick has only two passing scores on the year against five interceptions but he does gain yards with his legs and even has one rushing score.

Running Backs: As if being fired from his original team and then sitting at home with no one calling wasn't a big enough blow to the ego, Cedric Benson wound up signing with the Bengals. Compared to Chris "Fallen from Grace" Perry, Benson has been a great addition. Maybe not so much compared to most NFL starting running backs. Benson has rushed 27 times for 101 yards over two games and had some legitimately good moments on a bad team that has little reason to be running the ball in most games. Unfortunately for Benson, the schedule here on out is brutal and he'll need to see a college game film of himself to remember what being arrogant was all about.

Wide Receivers: The only bright spot here which is more like a penlight is that T.J. Houshmandzadeh is still catching enough passes to be on track for another 100+ season. He has only scored in two games this year and he has a ridiculously low 9.5 yards per catch average but in a reception points league he has maintained value unlike literally every other Bengals player.

Chad Johnson plugs away in a world where he only gains 50 yards per week and yet still thinks that it matters. It doesn't. He has 57 yards as his high game of the year.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value from Reggie Kelly.

Match Against the Defense: There is nothing special about the Jaguars defense this year other than they get to play the Bengals this week. They hold most opponents to average rushing gains and Benson would be happy enough if he could reach "average". Look for moderate yardage and most likely no score.

Fitzpatrick somehow ends up at the same place each week regardless where or who he plays. I will credit Houshmandzadeh as the one catching a score since he is the only player here who should be considered for a fantasy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 28 32 23 30 29 30
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 26 19 19 23 12 6

The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
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