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

Prediction: CIN 13, CLE 17

Update: The weather is calling for a chance of snow (no big deal), around 25 degrees (no big deal) and wind from 22 to 27 mph (very big deal). I am downgrading the passing attacks and expecting more rushing.

The most appropriate thing to happen would be a 0-0 tie. The Bengals are 0-7 on the road this year while the Browns are actually just 1-7 at home. Imagine having to be the announcer here. They have to whip up the excitement of Dorsey vs. Fitzpatrick. Yeah, they will earn their paycheck this week.

The Browns won 20-12 against the visiting Bengals back in week four.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-11-1)
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 21-19 +7.5 40
10 BYE - - -
11 PHI 13-13 +9 42.5
12 @PIT 10-27 +10.5 35
13 BAL 3-34 +7.5 36.5
14 @IND 3-35 +14 42.5
15 WAS 20-13 +6.5 36.5
16 @CLE - +3 38
17 KC - - -
CIN @ CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick     150
RB Cedric Benson 80,1 20  
TE Reggie Kelly   10  
WR Chad Johnson   30  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   50  
WR Chris Henry   30  
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bengals actually beat the Redskins last week which makes you wonder if it says anything good about the Bengals or is just a laugh at the expense of the Redskins? The Bengals actually have a shot at win #3 when the Chiefs visit next week. But the Bengals are on the road this week where they have never won and have scored only 19 points total over the last three trips away.

Quarterback: The Bengals have released a statement that Carson Palmer's stats for the last two games has not been decided. Who cares? This is a 2-11-1 team. Why would Palmer want to return this season? What difference can it possibly make? After this season, why would any Bengals player want to return from injury and risk themselves for nothing. The season is a success because they are not the Lions. That is about as high as aspirations go in Cincy.

Fitzpatrick passed for 156 yards and one score against the Browns this year.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson actually had some nice runs last week when he gained 73 yards on 21 carries and snagged three passes for 88 yards that included a 79-yard gain. Benson had actual holes in the line to run through and may have helped his cause if he wants to remain a Bengal next year. it has been a brutal schedule this year and now the final two games have the easiest matchups. Benson has a chance to at least make himself look more marketable for next season.

The Bengals only rushed for 28 yards in the last meeting with the Browns.

Wide Receivers: Here during fantasy playoffs, T.J. Houshmandzadeh has turned in his worst game of the year when he only managed to catch three passes for 19 yards during the win over the Skins. He's really lost all fantasy value outside of reception point leagues because he has only caught around 60 yards in every game this year and scored only once in the last nine weeks. Houshmandzadeh has only produced three good games this year and none in the last month.

Chad Johnson is even worse with rarely more than 45 yards in any week.

Houshmandzadeh had six catches for 50 yards while Johnson had three receptions for 28 yards and scored once when the Browns visited in week four.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: This is just a replay game that has changed to Cleveland. Expect nothing more than average numbers at best and facing the Browns is not the treat it may seem. Even for Benson who missed the first meeting. There is a chance that both teams put up better fights and the Browns are down a quarterback and tight end. But on the road, the Bengals have been even worse. I do like the chance that Benson scores since he is still playing hard as he can. It will be interesting to see if they throw to him more this week after the success against the Redskins.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 27 32 20 31 32 30
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 13 24 24 11 5 9

Cleveland Browns (4-10)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DAL 10-28 +5.5 49
2 PIT 6-10 +6 45
3 @BAL 10-28 +2 38.5
4 @CIN 20-12 -3.5 44
5 BYE - - -
6 NYG 35-14 +8 43
7 @WAS 11-14 +7.5 42.5
8 @JAX 23-17 +6.5 41
9 BAL 27-37 -1.5 36.5
10 DEN 30-34 -3 46
11 @BUF 29-27 +4.5 42
12 HOU 6-16 -3 50
13 IND 6-10 +4.5 45
14 @TEN 9-28 +13.5


15 @PHI 10-30 +14 39
16 CIN - -3 38
17 @PIT - - -
CLE vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ken Dorsey     140
RB Jamal Lewis 90,1    
WR Braylon Edwards   60  
WR Donte Stallworth   30  
WR Josh Cribbs   10  
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: It just gets worse. The Browns have now lost Steve Heiden for these last two games and Ken Dorsey remains the starting quarterback. The Browns are on a four game losing streak and this is the last chance for one more win this year. This will be a boring, messy game to be sure, but one that the Browns should be able to handle before heading to Pittsburgh for a week 17 beating.

Quarterback: Taking over the reins before playing the Titans and then Eagles - both on the road - was a tough job for Ken Dorsey who produced matching pairs of 150 yard games with no touchdown. In fairness, he is working without Kellen Winslow or any tight end since Heiden is injured and gone. Dorsey actually had a few nice passes and gave Braylon Edwards his first decent game in a month. That spawns minor optimism when facing the Bengals this week.

Anderson was the starter in week four when he passed for 138 yards and one score in Cincinnati.

Running Backs: It is like Jamal Lewis had a dream that lasted all of 2007 and made him believe he was a NFL quality running back. But 2008 says that he is still just another over-used, over the hill back that has passed his glory days. Lewis has not scored since week ten and only has four touchdowns on the year. He has yet to gain more than 90 rushing yards in any game. This week is as good as it gets for Lewis this year and maybe at all for his time in Cleveland for all we know.

Lewis ran for 79 yards and one score in Cincinnati this year.

Wide Receivers: Dorsey honed in on Braylon Edwards last Monday night and the much maligned wideout tripping from a bottle of five hour energy drink actually caught his passes and had 102 yards on five catches against the Eagles who literally had no one else to cover. It was the first time in a month that Edwards had turned in over 100 yards and just the third time for the year.

Edwards scored once on three receptions for 22 yards against the Bengals this season.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow remains out and Steve Heiden has been placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Darnell Dinkins will likely start but is not worth projecting for.

Winslow had five catches for 54 yards in Cincy this year.

Match Against the Defense: Anderson or Brady could have some fun here by Dorsey is still learning the ropes that are limited to Braylon Edwards. Jamal Lewis has an excellent chance to score this week as have every other team that hosted the Bengals. A big yardage game is hard to expect since it has no precedent this year, but the score should happen.

Everyone also scores a passing touchdown on the Bengals as well, That has to be Edwards or it just does not happen. I like a Cleveland special teams score as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 31 27 31 10 9 18
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 25 19 29 27 22 28

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