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

Prediction: WAS 6, BAL 24

Update: As expected, Portis was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday before returning for limited work on Friday. He is considered questionable and a game time decision but much like recent weeks he is almost certain to play at least some and in Baltimore, he will not play well. I am leaving his already low projections alone but be aware he is not a lock to play and is highly unlikely to have a decent game here in the best of all scenarios.

Derek Mason was limited on Wednesday and then held out on Thursday because of his shoulder but had a full day on Friday and will play.

The Redskins loss to the Giants dropped them to 7-5 and one more may end a playoff bid. They are 4-1 on the road though and only 3-4 at home. The Ravens are one game behind the Steelers in the AFC North and cannot afford a loss as well. They are 4-1 at home and on a two game winning streak.

Washington Redskins (7-5)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYG 7-16 +3.5 41
2 NO 29-24 -1 42.5
3 ARZ 24-17 -3 42
4 @DAL 26-24 +11.5 46
5 @PHI 23-17 +5 43
6 STL 17-19 -13.5 44
7 CLE 14-11 -7.5 42.5
8 @DET 25-17 -8 43.5
9 PIT 6-23 -1.5 37
10 BYE - - -
11 DAL 10-14 +1.5 43
12 @SEA 20-17 -3.5 41.5
13 NYG 7-23 +3.5 41.5
14 @BAL - +5 36.5
15 @CIN - - -
16 PHI - - -
17 @SF - - -
WAS @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell     170
RB Clinton Portis 40    
TE Chris Cooley   50  
WR Santana Moss   40  
WR Antwaan Randle El   40  
WR Devin Thomas   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The Redskins started the year on a good note with a 4-1 record but since their loss to the Rams, the Skins are 3-3. That's three wins against bad teams of CLE, DET and SEA and then three losses against good teams of DAL, PIT and NYG. Not a positive sign. And with a struggling passing game and a gimpy running back, heading into Baltimore is not likely to help matters. After this week the Skins could run the table but what does 10-6 buy in the NFL this year?

Quarterback: Jason Campbell started the season very strong back when there was no game film of the new offense but since week four the passing numbers have dipped down and not improved. Campbell only has four touchdowns in the last eight games and after having no turnovers in the first seven weeks, he has thrown for four interceptions over the last month. Campbell is not taking the next step with this offense but HC Jim Zorn remains committed to him.

Running Backs: It's like Clinton Portis will keep on playing until it is just a bag of body parts with a helmet. Portis finally succumbed to injury last week when he only had 11 carries for 22 yards and left with a jammed neck to add onto this sore knee and host of other dings. No doubt he will barely practice again this week and be a gametime decision that will play to some level but if there ever was a week that makes you rethink the risk with Portis, let it be the game in Baltimore. I will project for a banged up Portis and update as warranted.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts continue to languish in obscurity here with Santana Moss not scoring since week eight and even then his only decent games have all been against the weakest of opponents - NO, ARI, CLE and DET. He has not scored against any other teams and his yardage has seriously declined as the season progresses until he only averages around 50 yards per game for the last month.

Antwaan Randle El has been even less productive though he did record a score in Seattle. The attempted rejuvenation of the wideouts with the NFL draft has fallen flat and this is the same group and results as last year.

Tight Ends: Saving grace for the passing attack has been Chris Cooley who has been very consist in the 50 to 70 yard range every game but he only has one score on the season. Cooley is the only element of the passing game that merits fantasy attention and even that is only luke warm.

Match Against the Defense: Hmmm... someone tell Clinton to take the week off. The Ravens at home have not allowed any rushing touchdowns this year and no runner has gained more than 56 rushing yards there. Not one. Considering the entire season there has only been three rushing scores against the Ravens and two were from the Giants. Stay away from Portis this week.

Campbell faces a secondary that has only allowed three passing scores to a visiting quarterback and none had more than one touchdown or 228 yards. Given the situation - struggling passing game, banged up Portis and the Ravens at home with a big need to win could spell a shut out. It will be very low scoring in the best case, No wideout has gained more than 76 yards in Baltimore and that was a freak play to Chaz Schilens. Oh yes, and no wideout has scored in Baltimore.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 25 17 18 10 22 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    BAL 3 2 4 8 4 23

Baltimore Ravens (8-4)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CIN 17-10 +1 39
2 BYE - - -
3 CLE 28-10 -2 38.5
4 @PIT 20-23 +6 34.5
5 TEN 10-17 +3 35
6 @IND 3-31 +4.5 39
7 @MIA 27-13 +3 36.5
8 OAK 29-10 -7 36
9 @CLE 37-27 +1.5 36.5
10 @HOU 41-13 +1.5 41.5
11 @NYG 10-30 +6.5 42
12 PHI 36-7 -1 38.5
13 @CIN 34-3 -7.5 36.5
14 WAS - -5 36.5
15 PIT - - -
16 @DAL - - -
17 JAX - - -
BAL vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco     230,1
RB Le'Ron McClain 60,1 10  
RB Ray Rice 30 10  
TE Todd Heap   30  
WR Mark Clayton   70,1  
WR Demetrius Williams   40  
WR Derrick Mason   60  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Ravens offense has been on fire lately posting over 34 points in four of the last five games and the defense has kept up their end other than against the Giants. The Ravens are only one game behind the Steelers who they will host next week for a battle of the AFC North. Week 16 in Dallas won't be easy though unlike the season finale against the Jaguars which should end well for the Ravens. All games are critical now and the Ravens cannot be caught looking past this to the Steeler game or that matchup won't matter anyway.

Quarterback: The move to the rookie Joe Flacco certainly started out slowly but he has already thrown for two touchdowns in four of the last five games and has scored in seven straight so far. His yardage tends to be lower but he is coming off a 280 yard game in Cincinnati as a career best so far. Flacco has made major strides already to being a very good NFL quarterback and done so with what could (and should) be considered less talented receivers than most.

Running Backs: The Baltimore backfield is a three-pronged attack that changes every week. Willis McGahee scored in three straight games and had over 100 rushing yards in two of them but then was barely used for two weeks and not used at all last Sunday. Le'Ron McClain had over 80 yards in the last two games but had almost no use in the two previous games, Ray Rice is more the constant because he doesn't get a lot of use anymore but he always gets used some. Whew. Stay away from this unless you have absolutely no other options because it is a mess that never stays the same for two weeks.

Wide Receivers: Talk about "where has that been?" - Mark Clayton was surprising enough when he had two catches for 76 yards and a score against the Eagles but last week he ended with five catches for 164 yards and a score - easily a career best game. Clayton has popped up in the past four years only to settle back down but a new quarterback makes any development here promising. Especially since Derrick Mason is no spring chicken and needs to hand the torch off pretty soon.

Tight Ends: The passing numbers have been so good lately that even Todd Heap has scored three times in the last four weeks. He rarely has much yardage and his past suggest the bandwagon should be left idling for now but if a rising tide lifts all ships, Flacco is that tide.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins rank fairly well against the run and pass but that takes into account playing a number of bad teams and the Ravens rushing attack is good if undecipherable. Expect at least one rushing score here and some decent yardage. I will give the score to McClain who has been scoring more but that probably means that McGahee comes back into play. Low confidence on who does what here.

Flacco faces a better than average secondary and recent successes not withstanding, the Ravens passing attack is still not considered elite. Look for one passing score here that should favor Clayton since the split ends have been the main weapon used against this secondary. I also like a defensive score here.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 19 9 19 24 19 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    WAS 6 9 6 6 7 18

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