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

Prediction: BUF 17, DEN 20

Update: The weather will be cold at around 13 degrees but there will be very little wind.

Trent Edwards is expected to take the start even though he has been limited in practices this week. Losman has been bad enough that the team just wants Edwards back. I am inserting him into the projections. Marshawn Lynch was held out of practice on Wednesday and then limited for the rest of the week. He is just trying to rest a bruised shoulder and HC Dick Jauron said he is optimistic that Lynch can play this week. I see no need to change his projections but be aware that he won't be 100% healthy and could end up sharing more with Jackson if his shoulder bothers him during the game.

Brandon Stokley was held out of practice this week until Friday when he was limited but he has been resting his foot and HC Mike Shanahan said that he expectes Stokley to play.

The Bills have lost their last three games and have no chance at post season play and likely not even a winning record. They are 3-4 on the road this year. The Broncos need to win this game so that next week in San Diego can be just a trip to the zoo and maybe a battleship and not for the division title. The Broncos are 4-3 at home.

The Broncos opened the 2007 season by winning 15-14 in Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills (6-8)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL 31-14 -8 41.5
5 @ARZ 17-41 +1 45
6 BYE - - -
7 SD 23-14 +1 46.5
8 @MIA 16-23 -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ 17-26 -5.5 43
10 @NE 10-20 +4 41
11 CLE 27-29


12 @KC 54-31 -3 43.5
13 SF 3-10 -7 42.5
14 MIA 3-16 -1 42
15 @NYJ 27-31 +7 41
16 @DEN - +7 44
17 NE - - -
BUF @ DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman 10,1 180
QB Trent Edwards     200,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 90 30  
RB Fred Jackson 20,1 20  
WR Lee Evans   70,1  
WR Josh Reed   50  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: In order to celebrate the implosion of a team that started out 5-1 before going 1-7 down the stretch, the Bills have signed a contract extension for Dick Jauron to lock him up through 2011. Makes you wonder if he had actually won games if they would have made him King of Buffalo. The Chiefs are the only reason why the Bills are not on an eight game losing streak. That has to really excite the fans.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards remains out indefinitely with a groin injury and the Bills are left with J.P. Losman who has thrown five interceptions against two touchdowns and lost four fumbles in only four games played. In what almost became a win, Losman had passed for 148 yards and a score and also rushed in his second touchdown of the year. Those are two rushing scores that every Marshawn Lynch owner would love to have.

J.P. Losman was the starter in 2007 when he passed for only 97 yards against the visiting Broncos.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch comes off a season high 127 yards on 21 carries but he still has only scored one rushing touchdown in the last seven weeks. Of course Fred Jackson came in to hawk the score last week and act as the third down back so that Lynch only has limited receptions. Last week was a true surprise given that he had only topped 100 yards once all year and that was a home game against the Browns.

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries and had one catch against the Broncos last season.

Wide Receivers: The Bills lost the rookie Hardy James to a torn ACL but he has been of minimal value in his first season. Lee Evans has not managed to gain more than 23 yards in the two games that Losman started and that's exactly the reason why he lost the job to Edwards. Seventh-round rookie Steve Johnson scored against the Jets but he only has nine career catches and has no fantasy value yet. This is a passing attack that has always faltered with Losman at the helm.

No receiver had more than 37 yards against the Broncos last year.

Tight Ends: Two weeks with Losman and Robert Royal has caught one pass for five yards. I am removing him from the projections at this time.

Match Against the Defense: Certainly an opportunity for Lynch to have a good game against the #28 defense against running backs but he's had cream puff games in the past with mediocre showings. Plus Fred Jackson shows up enough to hawks scores and reduce Lynch's workload. Expect one rushing score this week and moderate yardage that feels like it should have been more.

Losman goes against a secondary that has usually allowed a touchdown pass but never more than one for the last six home games. Expect only moderate yardage and the one score that would have strongly favored Royal if Edwards were still playing. Under Losman it is much less certain. I will award it as a rushing score for Losman but it could go anywhere.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 16 19 25 22 10 14
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 14 28 9 29 26 15

Denver Broncos (8-6)
Homefield: Invesco Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 41-14 -3 41.5
2 SD 39-38 +1.5 45.5
3 NO 34-32 -5.5 51.5
4 @KC 19-33 -9.5 46.5
5 TB 16-13 -3 48
6 JAX 17-24 -3.5 48
7 @NE 7-41 +3 46.5
8 BYE - - -
9 MIA 17-26 -3 49
10 @CLE 34-30 +3 46
11 @ATL 24-20 +5.5 51
12 OAK 10-31 -9.5 42.5
13 @NYJ 34-17 +7.5 47.5
14 KC 24-17 -9 48
15 @CAR 10-30 +6.5 45
16 BUF - -7 44
17 @SD - - -
DEN vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     260,1
RB Tatum Bell 50,1 10  
TE Tony Scheffler   40  
WR Eddie Royal   30  
WR Brandon Stokley   50  
WR Brandon Marshall   80,1  
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Broncos are on a big two game streak of winning games they are favored in and losing those that they are not. Prior to that was almost no week meeting expectations. After getting pummeled in Carolina, the Broncos need this final game at home to be a win so that they last game of the regular season in San Diego doesn't matter. Denver has a pretty spotty record with this sort of thing but they really need to win and allowing the Bills to win would seem unbelievable even though they did lose twice with a nine point spread advantage.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler has made the Pro Bowl (somehow with Philip Rivers not as one of those mysteries) and continues to shine in this career year. He has passed for 24 touchdowns and topped 300 yards six times.

Cutler passed for 304 yards and one touchdown in Buffalo last year.

Running Backs: The Broncos are now on a three man rotation at running back using Tatum Bell as the starter (7-43) and some P. J. Pope (7-51) and also some Selvin Young (6-19) though Young lost a fumble in his first game back and may end up in a dog house because of it.

Bottom line - stay away. Of these three runners only Young has rushed in a score (week one) and all three are playing and splitting up yardage. And the sad thing - the Broncos will not acquire a top flight player in 2009 and do this all over again next year. I am only projecting for Bell but even that is purely speculation.

The Broncos rushed for 139 yards in Buffalo last season.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall is back at home this week where he has turned in all his best efforts this year and scored four of his six touchdowns. He has remained at 80 yards or better in all but the Miami and Tampa Bay game. Eddie Royal is the player that has been a road warrior with three 100 yard games and three scores. But at home, Royal has never had more than 69 yards in a game and all others have stayed at 42 yards or less. When in Denver, Cutler just rarely looks to the right.

Brandon Stokley has been the most consistent only because he reaches around 40 yards and always stops.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler has been about equally as effective no matter where he plays but he rarely does the same thing twice and each good game has been followed by a bad one. And last week he was held to no catches.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills have been weak on the road against the run but who to expect to benefit on this team? every road opponent has turned in at least one score by a running back so when I credit Bell, realize it could go to Pope or even Young. None are worthwhile plays.

Cutler faces a secondary that has allowed one or two scored to recent road opponents and decent yardage. Expect a good showing here by Cutler who should pass for at least one touchdown and rack up some decent yardage. Royal is likely out since he disappears in home games but Marshall should be a strong play this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 4 21 4 3 20 31
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 10 16 14 8 24 27

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