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

Prediction: NO 31, KC 27

The Saints are in the cellar of the AFC South at 4-5 and yet may be the most exciting team to watch play. Three games out of the lead already, another loss of two ends any pretensions of post season play. The Chiefs are lucky since they have absolutely no dreams of playing in January. They are also only 1-8 on the season and have lost their last four games by a combined eight points in a manner that has to weigh heavy in the locker room and practice field. This is a coin toss game but the Saints gotta win and can win.

New Orleans Saints (4-5)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 24-20 -3.5


2 @WAS 24-29 +1 42.5
3 @DEN 32-34 +5.5 51.5
4 SF 31-17 -6 48.5
5 MIN 27-30 -3 47
6 OAK 34-3 -7.5 47.5
7 @CAR 7-30 +3 44
8 SD 37-32 +3.5 47
9 BYE - - -
10 @ATL 20-34 PK 50
11 @KC - -4.5 47.5
12 GB - - -
13 @TB - - -
14 ATL - - -
15 @CHI - - -
16 @DET - - -
17 CAR - - -
NO at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     300,3
RB Deuce McAllister 40,1    
TE Jeremy Shockey   40  
WR Marques Colston   110,2  
WR Devery Henderson   60,1  
WR Lance Moore   50  
PK Garrett Hartley 1 FG 4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Saints have been winning and then losing every other week since week two and that fits into this week since the Falcons beat them in week ten. The team needs to get healthy again but just lost CB Mike McKenzie for the year with a broken patella. This defense does not need any attrition, particularly at the corners. The Saints could end up on a roll if they can get a few players back and stop with the bad breaks but the defense is going to force a shootout every week and inside that, Drew Brees will be in contention for Player of the Year.

Quarterback: Drew Brees has passed for 2985 yards in nine games and is on pace to have 5300 passing yards. If he can average around 300 yards per game he can beat Marino's single season record of 5084 yards and he's done this largely without Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey who were supposed to be the two best weapons. He needs to average around 300 yards per game and so far has topped the mark in seven of nine games. Even the loss of Reggie Bush has not slowed him down.

Running Backs: There is a chance that Reggie Bush could return from his knee surgery and play this week but he'll need to get into practice this week and be cleared first. I will assume he sits this week out since the Saints could win it without him but the team is getting desperate for a win.

The team also lost blocking fullback Mike Karney for a few weeks with a MCL sprain and that will affect the lanes for Deuce McAllister. Even Aaron Stecker has injured his hamstring and may not be available this week. I will project for McAllister and update as needed.

Wide Receivers: Finally Marques Colston showed up this year with seven catches for 140 yards in Atlanta but he has no scores on the year and just the one game so far. Colston's return to form would be a major boost for this offense that has operated fine without him but can always use better players. Lance Moore moves back to being the #3 in the offense but still had 76 yards on six catches and one score last week. The main losers are David Patten and Robert Meachem who have all but disappeared now. Devery Henderson will keep the flanker spot but hasn't done much in the last month.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey sprained his right ankle early in the fourth quarter last week and could not finish the game. He's been a bust so far and still has no touchdowns and only one game over 55 yards. He cannot stay healthy and was arguing with his quarterback last week. It was like he was Jeremy Shockey all over again.

I will assume that Shockey can play and update if needed.

Match Against the Defense: This would be a great time to have a healthy Bush. Or a blocking fullback like Karney. Have to assume that McAllister has at least a decent game against the #32 defense against running backs but the Chiefs are bad against the pass as well but most teams don't have to bother with it. In the last three weeks, the Chiefs have allowed at least 290 passing yards per game and a total of five passing scores. Drew Brees will be okay.

Look for a traditional 300 yard game with at least two passing scores and possibly three that will favor the wideouts the most unless Bush is back and healthy

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 1 6 4 5 22 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 13 32 15 12 25 19

Kansas City Chiefs (1-8)
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 10-34 +8 35.5
8 @NYJ 24-28 +13 38
9 TB 27-30 +8.5 37.5
10 @SD 19-20 +15 48
11 NO - -4.5 47.5
12 BUF - - -
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     270,2
RB Larry Johnson 80,1 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   50,1  
WR Mark Bradley   70  
WR Dwayne Bowe   90,1  
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: That last game is going to leave a mark. The Chiefs battle valiantly each week and then watch the win get yanked away. That has to play on the psyche and it has been three straight games like that. The news is not all bad though with Tyler Thigpen playing so well that the team may not need to make quarterback priority #1 in the offseason (coach - maybe). Larry Johnson also returns this week if he can avoid hitting or threatening anyone. This is yet another lost season for the Chiefs and that's a sad fact for all fans.

Quarterback: Tyler Thigpen was the first ever starting quarterback at Coastal Carolina University when they started their program and he holds all their passing records at least for now. But he is now looking like the last quarterback that the Chiefs need to look at. Thigpen has been really good. In three starts, he has no turnovers and six touchdowns. He has some mobility as well and the Chiefs have to wonder why they took so long to use him. Facing the Jets, Buccaneers and Chargers was a good test and Thigpen aced it. He's even using both wideouts. The Chiefs never use both. At least until now.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson is due to play this week and the offense has changed since week four when he last played a full game. The passing attack has been much upgraded which can actually help him though the stated intent is for a more balanced offense and no more of the "30 carry Larry" kind of games. If the defense has to worry about the pass, and it should, it could make Johnson just as productive as before but with less carries.

Wide Receivers: This group is shaking out nicely at long last. Dwayne Bowe is the clear #1 but Mark Bradley was picked up from the Bears and in the matter of three weeks already looks like a bona fide complement to Bowe and a valuable target for Thigpen. Bradley has scored in two of the last three games and had nine catches for 81 yards in San Diego. Going into next year when Gonzalez may or may not be with the team, having a receiver other than Bowe able to make a difference will be a huge benefit for this offense.

Tight Ends: The old man just gets better. Tony Gonzalez comes off a season high10 catches for 113 yards and two scores in San Diego and has 23 catches for 254 yards and three scores over the last three weeks with Thigpen at the helm.

Match Against the Defense: If the Saints ever make a movie it should be called "There will be points". All but one road opponent for them has thrown for two passing touchdowns and usually 250+ yards. The Saints rushing defense is actually better than may be known but partially because their pass defense is so bad. It is safe to assume that the Chiefs will run though to keep the Saints off the field.

Expect a decent game from Johnson here and a two score effort from Thigpen. This should break out into a nice shootout.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 15 31 28 3 32 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    NO 21 20 23 17 30 20

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