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

Prediction: KC 20, CIN 17

Here is a game that only fantasy football could like. The Chiefs are only 1-6 on the road and the Bengals are just 1-5-1 at home. The Bengals just beat the Browns to end a four game losing streak and the Chiefs have lost their last three games. It could go either way and the Chiefs are experts at losing by now but I like the upset here since the Bengals will be without Chad Johnson and otherwise would have a two game winning streak.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-13)
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 20-30 +5.5 51
12 BUF 31-54 +3 43.5
13 @OAK 20-13 +3 41.5
14 @DEN 17-24 +9 48
15 SD 21-22 +5 46.5
16 MIA 31-38 +3.5 39.5
17 @CIN - +3 38
KC @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     270,2
RB Larry Johnson 60 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Mark Bradley   50  
WR Devard Darling   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   90,1  
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: It has been a brutal year for the Chiefs who will likely part ways with Herman Edwards in the offseason. But it looks like they may have a quarterback for next year and the passing game has been at it's best since Dick Vermeil left. Tony Gonzalez is wrapping up all the records but may be gone in 2009. And that would be the biggest change of them all in Kansas City. Gonzo has been the positive factor there for so long that he has personified the team despite "only" being a tight end,.

Quarterback: Tyler Thigpen has played well enough to be on the roster next year, the question is if the team drafts a hotshot rookie to eventually challenge him or just grab a veteran for a backup. Thigpen has been the best quarterback since Trent Green and he has thrown for five games with multiple scores and last week had a season high 320 yards and two scores against the Dolphins. His production on the road has been more a function of the game score. This is a pass first team now and when they fall behind the rushing game almost disappears completely.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson has been marginally productive compared to previous years but still has three games over 100 yards and five touchdowns. Johnson has lost all duties as a receiver and in most games he only has around 12 to 15 carries. It's nothing like the past years but that could change in 2009 depending on the coaching staff.

Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe has scored seven times this year but not in any of the last five road games. His yardage has remained solid but he just has not scored. Bowe is ending the year needing only 81 yards for his first 1000 yard season. Last year he only had 995 yards on the season, no doubt he wants to get the 1000 mark for 2008.

Mark Bradley has only played in two road games and yet scored in each. He has struggled with injuries but is healthy again.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez has already crossed the mark with 1008 yards on the season and a league leading nine touchdowns by a tight end. That makes four 1000 yard seasons for the future Pro Bowler and two in 2007 and 2008. Herman Edwards may have not benefited the offense much, but he's given Gonzo a way to raise the bar that perhaps no other tight end will ever reach.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals rushing defense has been better at home where the last three teams did not score or allow a runner over 100 yards. The Chiefs on the road have been among the worst of all teams in rushing so expect only moderate numbers from Johnson even though it may seem like a better matchup.

Have to like Thigpen's chances here against a secondary that has allowed five games over 280 passing yards and five games of multiple passing scores. The Bengals are coming off a win and could end up caring but the Chiefs have been staying in all games and this time it pays off. Look for scores by Gonzo and a wideout - Bradley is on a roll on the road but Bowe is over due.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 10 29 27 2 31 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    CIN 18 18 24 22 14 28

Cincinnati Bengals (3-11-1)
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 14-0 +3 32
17 KC - -3 38
CIN vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick     170,1
RB Cedric Benson 110,1 10  
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh   80,1  
WR Chris Henry   50  
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bengals won - on the road no less - and record their first shut out of the year. That alone speaks volumes to how bad the weather and the Browns were last week. This is still the lowest scoring offense in the league and yet one of the worst defenses. The offseason still may not see Marvin Lewis get fired but there will almost certainly be a shake up in the offense. Houshmandzadeh is looking for a huge free agent payday and Chad Johnson may pout enough to get away this time.

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick has been good for around 175 yards and one score in almost all games at home but the rushing game was finally working last week and Fitzpatrick only passed for nine attempts and five completions. That's unlikely this week but he has only passed 200 yards twice in 11 games. He only has eight touchdowns on the season.

Running Backs: Cedric Benson had a career best 171 yards in Cleveland last week but it took 38 carries and he still somehow did not score. Benson is playing for a new contract and has been good enough to likely warrant a return to the Bengals. He has only scored once this year though and needs a very soft defense to show up in the box score. He'll want to end the year on a strong note knowing he is looking for a job as of Monday.

Wide Receivers: The Bengals will be without Chad Johnson in the season finale due to a hamstring strain and while that won't be a huge loss to the offense, it does affect Houshmandzadeh who then becomes the only threat that the secondary will worry about. Chris Henry scored once last week but had no catches in the two previous games. This is the final game for the worst offense ever fielded by the Bengals and Houshmandzadeh plans to leave in the offseason which strips out all the production from this unit.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Bengals will look to ride Cedric Benson again this week and should see success and a score from a defense that has given up 11 touchdowns to rushers in road games. He should approach 100 yards again this year.

Fitzpatrick goes against a weak secondary but he's missing Chad and can only rely so much on the pas. Expecting more than one passing score here is a huge risk. The Bengals just do not throw that well this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 27 32 20 31 32 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 28 31 18 28 28 18

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