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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: HOU 10, TEN 27

Saturday Update: Walter continues to be a question mark and has been limited in the last two practices because of his hamstring that seemed better since he had a full day on Wednesday. Consider him a gametime decision that won't be 100% even if he can play. Andre Davis has already been ruled out because of his concussion which means Andre Johnson may be very alone out there if Walter cannot play. I am removing both Davis and Walter from the projections because Walter seems too risky in the best case scenario. Bo Scaife remains out this week with his sprained knee.

Friday Update: Kevin Walter was limited on Thursday because of his hamstring but had a full practice on Wednesday but Andre Davis is still missing practice because of his concussion. No update yet but Davis may be removed from the projections tomorrow. Bo Scaife remains out of practice and is not likely to play this week.

These divisional rivals each won their home game in 2008. The Texans won 13-12 in Houston while the Titans took theirs 31-12. The Texans have to hit the road after an embarrassing loss at home to the Jets while the Titans are finally in Nashville with three extra days to prepare for this game after losing the home opener right at the end. Titans are looking to win, the Texans are just wondering what happened last week.

Houston Texans (0-1)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 7-24 -4.5 44
2 @TEN - +7 40.5
3 JAC - - -
4 OAK - - -
5 @ARI - - -
6 @CIN - - -
7 SF - - -
8 @BUF - - -
9 @IND - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 TEN - - -
12 IND - - -
13 @JAC - - -
14 SEA - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 @MIA - - -
17 NE - - -
HOU at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     230,1
RB Steve Slaton 40 30  
RB Chris Brown 20    
TE Owen Daniels   70  
WR Andre' Johnson   80,1  
WR Kevin Walter 50
WR Andre Davis 10
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: We'll know more as the weeks unfold, but either Rex Ryan's new defense for the Jets is really working well or the Texans have some deep problems in the offense. The good news is that there is a slate of upcoming games that the Texans have an excellent chance to win - OAK, @ARI, @CIN, SF. The bad news is that the Jets were supposed to be one of those easier teams. On the road will be a tough place to cause a turn around. The only reason it was not a shutout last week was because of a fumble recovery for a score by the defense.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub opened the season with a down effort of only 166 yards and one interception to open the year. The Texans were clearly under prepared to play the Jets who in fairness were rolling out a new, aggressive defense that gave the Texans fits all day.

Unfortunately, Schaub only managed 188 yards and no scores with three interceptions in Tennessee last year but later had 284 yards and a touchdown at home. The Titans did give up major passing yardage to the Steelers in week one but that was on the road. Look for a near repeat of the previous time the Texans went to Tennessee. The Titans are at home and need a win.

Running Backs: The Jets clearly had a plan for Steve Slaton who had 17 yards on nine carries and three catches for 35 yards and one fumble. Not a pretty day but not his worse effort (only 7 rushing yards against Ravens last year). It is still impossible to determine the exact ratio that the Texans want to employ with Slaton and Chris Brown (3-15) since last week was just a beatdown.

Slaton rumbled for 116 yards and a score in Tennessee last year and tacked on 100 rushing yards in the home meeting. He had almost no role as a receiver in those games. That seems very high side since the Titans just held Willie Parker to only 19 yards on 13 carries in Pittsburgh.

Wide Receivers: Part of the problem last week was Kevin Walter who was inactive with a hamstring stain but he is expected to play this week. It would be a boon both for the passing game and blocking for the rushing game. With Walter out, the secondary focused successfully on containing Andre Johnson who had to settle for only 35 yards on four catches which was tops among all team wideouts. Andre Davis subbed for Walter but was ineffective and had a concussion that forced him from the game.

Johnson only had 29 yards on two catches on the road against the Titans while Kevin Walter was even worse with just 15 yards on four catches. But back at home in week 15, Johnson had a monster game of 11 catches for 207 yards and one score. Walter only had eight yards on two catches in that game. Have to believe that Johnson will end up much closer to 15 yards than 207 this time around. Look for lower numbers from all the wideouts but they should improve from last week if Walter can be healthy enough to play. No way the Texans light up the Titans secondary like the Steelers did but there should be at least minimal fantasy points here.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels led the Texans with four catches for 44 yards last week and he turned in four catches for 71 yards on the road against the Titans and at home only managed 41 yards on four catches. Expect Daniels to play a role again this week since even Heath Miller managed 64 yards on eight catches against these Steelers.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 30 27 32 23 29 29
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 27 2 30 16 19 9

Tennessee Titans (0-1)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 10-13 +5 37
2 HOU - -7 40.5
3 @NYJ - - -
4 @JAC - - -
5 IND - - -
6 @NE - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 JAC - - -
9 @SF - - -
10 BUF - - -
11 @HOU - - -
12 ARI - - -
13 @IND - - -
14 STL - - -
15 MIA - - -
16 SD - - -
17 @SEA - - -
TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     190,1
RB Chris Johnson 90,1 10  
RB LenDale White 50,1    
TE Alge Crumpler   20  
WR Justin Gage   60  
WR Nate Washington   30  
WR Kenny Britt   60,1  
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Tough loss for the Titans last Thursday night but at least they clearly showed the defense was as good as it has ever been and the loss of Albert Haynesworth apparently was no loss at all. The rushing game was off but Kerry Collins threw better thanks to improved play from the wideouts. The Titans must win here because the next stretch leading up to the bye will be brutal - HOU, @NYJ, @JAC, IND and @NE.

Quarterback: The NFL season opener wasn't a thing of offensive beauty and Kerry Collins was maybe slightly better than his usual average when he passed for 244 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers put up the stout defense as always but Collins showed a better ability to hit the wide receivers even though Nate Washington was playing at least than 100% health. Collins connected very well with Justin Gage and the rookie Kenny Britt. That gives some optimism to future games when the Titans need to pass against lesser defenses than the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Collins passed for 185 yards and one score when the Texans visited last year. Unlikely he will need to do any more than that to win the game.

Running Backs: No major surprise when Chris Johnson only gained 57 yards on 15 rushes but it was a slight disappointment that he only caught one pass when the Titans had indicated they were going to use Johnson more as a receiver this year. Lendale White had eight runs for 28 yards and it was a consistent 2:1 ratio that favored Johnson.

Johnson only gained 74 yards against the visiting Texans last season and Lendale White had 49 yards but scored twice. With improved defensive play, chances are both runners will get more carries this year than last. Expect slightly better performances. Thomas Jones just scored twice and had 107 yards on these Texans.

Wide Receivers: Nate Washington played last week because it was against his old team but he only had the one catch and his hamstring wasn't completely healed. Justin Gage had 11 passes thrown to him and caught seven for 78 yards and the one touchdown. It was particularly favorable to see Collins hook up so well with Gage as the pair enters their second season together.

The rookie Kenny Britt also factored in by catching four of the six passes he was thrown and gaining 85 yards. Britt was impressive considering he was facing the #1 pass defense on their turf.

Gage did not play in the home meeting with the Texans last year but had 74 yards in Houston. Playing at home in a game where the run should factor in heavily, I like Britt to score a long touchdown.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife was having a good game last week with five catches for 48 yards before having his knee bashed by a defender but a later MRI showed there was no structural damage and Scaife is considered day-to-day. He dodged a bullet.

I am assuming he is out until he practices and will add him back in if warranted.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 20 25 8 20 25 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 21 30 24 21 16 14

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