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

Prediction: JAC 17, HOU 24

Saturday Update: Jones-Drew returned to full practice on Friday and is good to go.

Walter was limited in practice this week and remains listed as questionable on the injury report. I will leave his projections as is with the moderate numbers but he is worth a watch to make sure he plays. Word is that he is improved and should play but he never did have a full practice.

Friday Update: Kevin Walter remains limited in practice this week as has Andre Davis. I am not changing the projections until after tomorrow's practice if Walter remains limited and becomes a game time decision. Davis still seems less likely to play with his concussion still an issue.

Maurice Jones-Drew was a surprise addition to the injury report with a knee problem that limited him in practice but he's not known to have any issue and this so far is a non-event but tomorrow will be a better gauge.

The Jaguars are 0-2 and after nearly playing the Colts even lost in big fashion to the visiting Cards last week. The Texans were thumped by the Jets in the season opener but then had their own surprise when they won in Tennessee. These divisional rivals traded home wins in 2008. The Jaguars won 30-27 in Jacksonville while the Texans took their home stand 30-17. So far, Texans appear to be the only improved team.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 12-14 +6.5 44.5
2 ARI 17-31 -3 43
3 @HOU - +4 46.5
4 TEN - - -
5 @SEA - - -
6 STL - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 @TEN - - -
9 KC - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 BUF - - -
12 @SF - - -
13 HOU - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 IND - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 @CLE - - -
JAX at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     240,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 90,1 50  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Torry Holt   60  
WR Mike Walker   70,1  
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Tough times so far for the Jags who still have yet to get Maurice Jones-Drew the sort of game we all want to see. Losing to the Colts was reasonable but last week the Cardinals spanked the Jaguars and even a freakishly good game from David Garrard could bring the team within two touchdowns. A couple more losses - which could easily be in the next two weeks - and the Jaguars already will too far behind in the AFC South. They went into this year without replacing departing starters other than adding Torry Holt. This is what happens.

Quarterback: David Garrard enjoyed a big effort of 282 yards and two scores against the Cardinals but he was sacked four times and had two turnovers. He had a big game statistically but only because the Cardinals led 24-3 at halftime and Garrard had 197 yards during slop time in the second half. The Cardinals led 31-3 near the end of the third quarter when Garrard finally started to get scores and yards.

Garrard passed for 236 and 287 yards during his two meetings with the Texans last season. He threw for one touchdown in each game and also ran one in during the road game.

Running Backs: Maurice Jones-Drew had a decent game against the Colts but once the beating was on last week, he only had 13 carries for 66 yards and four receptions for 17 yards. On a team with few offensive weapons, that's all too likely to happen again if the Jaguars fall behind big by halftime. Rashad Jennings had two runs last week but only netted one yard. This is the Jones-Drew show, the only question is what he has to face each week.

The Jaguars only gained 98 rushing yards in Houston last season and 41 of those yards came from a single run by Montell Owens. Jones-Drew gained 32 yards on seven rushes in that game and later had 49 yards on 12 carries in the home matchup.

After last week's fiasco, Jones-Drew owners are reasonably gun shy and he wasn't successful in Houston last time. But the Texans rank #32 against running backs so far thanks to Thomas Jones and Chris Johnson. Have faith this week because this should be one of his better matchups of the year. If the Jets and Titans can both have two rushing scores and major yardage, Jones-Drew should manage at least a good game with a score here unless it gets out of hand early. If he stumbles here, it is a very bad sign.

Wide Receivers: The Jaguars lost Troy Williamson for the year with a torn labrum and now will look to move either Mike Thomas or Jarrett Diliard into the slot that is almost never used anyway. Williamson only had three catches for 34 yards on the season so hold no expectations for either rookie.

Mike Sims-Walker had a big game with six catches for 106 yards and one score but before you get happy feet about using your waiver wire pick on him, realize that his big game came mostly in the fourth quarter with his team being blown out. The previous week Walker had no catches. Torry Holt remains a possession receiver with no more than six catches for 65 yards. His low yards per catch reflects the diminished skills and his yards after catch is even worse.

We get to see which Houston defense shows up this week. The one that let Cotchery and Stuckey open the season with 154 yards and a score or the one that held all Titans wideouts to only 85 yards on eight catches and one touchdown. Chances are the latter applies here. A passing score almost has to favor Walker but the notion he could score in two consecutive games is hard to accept.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis had the other score last week and his three catches for 62 yards were much higher than the norm. he will figure in again this week but look for more moderate gains.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 22 25 20 18 26 22
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 18 32 20 15 16 4

Houston Texans (1-1)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 7-24 -4.5 44
2 @TEN 34-31 +7 40.5
3 JAC - -4 46.5
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 vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     250,2
RB Steve Slaton 80,1 30  
TE Owen Daniels   30  
WR Andre' Johnson   80,1  
WR Kevin Walter   50  
WR Jacoby Jones   40,1  
PK Kris Brown 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The loss in the season opener was very troublesome until the Jets proved that they happen to possess a bad-ass defense this year and that the Texans are still an offensive force. One that could beat the Titans in Tennessee in a big shootout. The schedule was already tougher this season than last and now several future opponents seem better than we expected like the Bengals and 49ers. If Houston is to ever get over the 8-8 hump, a division win here takes a much needed step forward.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub was bushwhacked in week one when the Jets limited him to only 166 passing yards and one interception but he came roaring back in Tennessee with a 357 yard, four touchdown effort that included no turnovers or sacks. So far it has been night and day with Schaub but he passed for 307 yards and three scores in Jacksonville last season in his only meeting with the Jaguars. Take that as a positive this week which would net solid yardage and one score if not two. If Slaton continues to struggle on the ground, Schaub makes up the difference with more passing.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton is stuck in second gear so far and for the second week in a row, only gained around two yards per carry. He's been horrible on the ground and only had three catches in either game. One dose of reality - the Titans and Jets are both outstanding rushing defenses and no one else has had any success against them either. Slaton just pulled the short straw with the schedule.

Slaton only had 33 rushing yards last year in Jacksonville but he added eight catches for 83 yards and a score. Later at home, he totaled 130 rushing yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns and 52 more yards coming on two receptions. But the Jaguars rush defense has been better this year and no opposing runner has rushed for more than 72 yards so far. This is where Slaton has to improve and can. He still won't likely have a big game but there is an excellent shot at a touchdown and no less than moderate rushing yards plus work as a receiver.

it is far too early to give up on Slaton after facing literally the #1 and #2 defenses against running backs this year.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson recovered nicely from his Jets game when he had ten receptions for 149 yards and two scores in Tennessee. Kevin Walter was held out as was Andre Davis but Jacoby Jones stepped in and had a score on two catches for 73 yards. Jones has a key 44-yard catch on the winning field goal drive. Walter's hamstring is hoped to improve this week and allow him to play. I will assume him ready to play in the projections with only minor limitations and update as warranted. He's already considered just day-to-day. Unless Davis is cleared from his concussion, I will assume he sits. Jones big performance last week likely bought him some playing time anyway.

Johnson only managed three catches for 38 yards in Jacksonville but Kevin Walter scored twice and had eight receptions for 76 yards. In the later home matchup, he had seven catches for 75 yards while Walter only came up with 38 yards on two catches. For this year, it is the same secondary that gave Reggie Wayne 162 yards and 212 yards to the Cardinals wideouts.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels stepped up when the Texans were missing two starting wideouts last Sunday. He had six receptions for 72 yards and a score and became an integral part of why the Texans won. Daniels recorded seven receptions for 87 yards in Jacksonville last season but later only totaled 25 yards on two catches in the home meeting with the Jaguars. Look for Daniels to have a more quiet week since the Jags have held opposing tight ends to no more than 39 yards - and that was Dallas Clark.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 9 31 7 8 23 25
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 21 21 27 7 5 17

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