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

Prediction: HOU 13, IND 27

Update: The Colts have caught that same disease of the Patriots by naming ten players as questionable but none in any other category. Both Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez were listed but were listed last week and still played fine. Both players had full practices today.

The Texans couldn't take down the visiting Colts at their weakest, so it is probably not going to happen on the road for the Texans who haven't won away from Houston this year. The Colts won 31-27 in Houston during week five.

Houston Texans (3-5)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 17-38 +6.5 43
2 BYE - - -
3 @TEN 12-31 +5 38.5
4 @JAX 27-30 +7.5 42
5 IND 27-31 +3 47.5
6 MIA 29-28 -3 45
7 DET 28-21 -9 48
8 CIN 35-6 -10 44-
9 @MIN 21-28 +4.5 47
10 BAL 13-41 -1.5 41.5
11 @IND - +9 50
12 @CLE - - -
13 JAX - - -
14 @GB - - -
15 TEN - - -
16 @OAK - - -
17 CHI - - -
HOU @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels     210,1
RB Steve Slaton 60 10  
TE Owen Daniels   60  
WR Andre Johnson   60,1  
WR David Anderson   30  
WR Kevin Walter   40  
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: That three game winning streak is quickly being forgotten after losing in Minnesota and then being plastered by the Ravens in Houston last week. Matt Schaub may be the best quarterback that will never remain healthy and the Texans very possibly have won their last game of the year barring an upset. But they are already 0-4 on the road and have three of the next four games away from Houston. That's no help for anyone trying to keep their job.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub was also out the first time these teams met this season and Sage Rosenfels passed for 246 yards and one score in that matchup. The step down to Rosenfels is negligible if it even exists and his three starts this year all had a score and at least 225 passing yards. Most importantly, he has no less chemistry with Andre Johnson than Schaub has.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton only had four carries for seven yards against the Ravens and there is a concern by HC Gary Kubiak that the smallish rookie is wearing down. That wouldn't be surprising given he has six of the previous seven games with 15 or more carries. It is a longer season in the NFL and the guys tackling you hurt a lot more. The intention is to mix in Ryan Moats and Ahman Green more for the rest of the year. Yes - committee backfield. For now I will just project for a decreased carries version of Slaton and see how it plays out.

Slaton gained 93 yards on 16 carries and scored twice versus the Colts and even Green ran for 47 yards on 12 runs.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson has cooled down in the last two games but not from Rosenfels. After spinning through MIA, DET and CIN, the Texans played in Minnesota and then hosted the Ravens. Rosenfels was able to use Kevin Walter last week for 85 yards and a score when the Ravens rolled coverage too much to Johnson.

Johnson still ranks #1 in the NFL with 67 receptions and his 900 yards also ranks as best.

Johnson gained 131 yards on nine catches and scored once against the Colts this year. Walter only had two catches for 36 yards.

Tight Ends: While Owen Daniels was held to just one catch by the Ravens, he had a season high 11 receptions for 133 yards with Rosenfels the previous week against the Vikings. No problems here and Daniels caught five passes for 47 yards versus the Colts in the first matchup.

Match Against the Defense: This time around the Colts defense is better, Bob Sanders is back and the Colts are at home. Slaton is wearing down and Schaub is on the mend yet again. Look for trash time to post most the yardage and scores in this game since the Colts are starting to get back to business and the Texans have gone past their easy stretch of the year.

Rosenfels and Johnson are still worth starting. Johnson had seven catches for 74 yards in Indy last year with a score so he still has value though the Colts have still only allowed two passing touchdowns on the year. And one was Rosenfels the first time.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 4 22 3 12 24 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    IND 1 26 1 9 27 18

Indianapolis Colts (5-4)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 13-29 -9.5 44
2 @MIN 18-15 -2 43.5
3 JAX 21-23 -5.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 @HOU 31-27 -3 47.5
6 BAL 31-3 -4.5 39
7 @GB 14-34 -1 47
8 @TEN 21-31 +4 42
9 NE 18-15 -5.5 45
10 @PIT 24-20 OFF -
11 HOU - -9 50
12 @SD - - -
13 @CLE - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 DET - - -
16 @JAX - - -
17 TEN - - -
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     260,2
RB Joseph Addai 50    
RB Dominic Rhodes 30,1 20  
TE Dallas Clark   30  
WR Marvin Harrison   50,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   100,1  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   60  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The win in Pittsburgh could prove to be the turning of the corner for 2008. At 5-4 the Colts still are four games behind the Titans but will be favored every week at least until week 16 in Jacksonville. Week 17 against the Titans could be playing their scrubs since they would rest players. It has been a tough year for the Colts who have struggled almost inexplicably but now seem to be headed back to where they used to be. And they could win out.

Quarterback: The 2008 version of Peyton Manning is not as productive as most previous incarnations but he still has 15 touchdowns on the season already and three tough games in a row - @TEN, NE and @PIT all had at least two passing scores and over 220 yards. Granted he only has one 300 yard game on the year but Manning is getting back to form or at least getting used to his knee by now.

Manning passed for 247 yards and two scores in Houston this season.

Running Backs: Two weeks back and Joseph Addai is still waiting on his first game over 35 rushing yards. The last two opponents were tough to be sure and Addai was better earlier in the year but overall he still has only gained 78 rushing yards at most in a game this year. His 71 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown in Houston was his second best effort of the year. Addai needs to get back to form as well and this week is a perfect opportunity but his hamstring may be bothering him still. Dominic Rhodes will continue to share until Addai clearly has it all covered.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne has five scores on the year and four games over 90 yards. He has averaged 78 yards per game and may be about to explode since the schedule is suddenly getting much lighter and the running game is hardly dominating the play calling. Wayne has been nothing less than solid so far and may be entering spectacular this week.

Marvin Harrison has lost all fantasy value with no scores since week five and no more than 50 yards per game since then. Anthony Gonzalez is little better but at least has two scores to his credit against the Patriots and slightly higher yardage. Both players are just support for Wayne.

Wayne reeled in 97 yards on seven receptions with one score in Houston while Harrison only had four catches for 32 yards.

Tight Ends: Key alert - Dallas Clark has only scored in two games and and has three games over 80 yards. And all of those were on the road. He does almost nothing at home and has yet to score.

Clark caught five passes for 81 yards in Houston while Tom Santi caught a touchdown.

Match Against the Defense: These teams have already played and know one another well. There is no reason for a trap game here with the Colts needing to win out and having only the Chargers up next week. Look for Manning to turn in a decent game here but nothing monster because he just doesn't do that anymore. Look for the rushing game to do some damage too but using both Rhodes and Addai. This will be a solid and yet boring win.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 8 29 7 10 31 25
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 28 25 10 27 15 28

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