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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CHI
Monday
SD
GB
*updated
NO

Prediction: IND 27, TEN 17

Saturday Update: Joseph Addai injured his hand on Thursday but had a full day on Friday despite being listed as questionable on the injury report. He is expected to play though the matchup is going to be very tough and if his hand bothers him at all during the game there is the chance that Brown takes the greater share of carries.

This is the late game on Sunday. Here are two teams that split games in 2008 and yet could not be more different this year. Literally. The 4-0 Colts visit the 0-4 Titans. The Titans won 31-21 when the Colts visited in week eight of last year but the final game of the regular season had the Colts winning 23-0 when the Titans were the visitors. This time around the Titans are only 3.5 point underdogs because it is so hard to believe that the Titans could be 0-5 when they 13-3 and won the AFC South last year.

Believe.

Indianapolis Colts(4-0)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAC 14-12 -6.5 44.5
2 @MIA 27-23 -3 42
3 @ARI 31-10 +2.5 48
4 SEA 34-17 -10 43.5
5 @TEN - -3.5 46.5
6 BYE - - -
7 @STL - - -
8 SF - - -
9 HOU - - -
10 NE - - -
11 @BAL - - -
12 @HOU - - -
13 TEN - - -
14 DEN - - -
15 @JAC - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
IND at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     310,3
RB Joseph Addai 40 20  
RB Donald Brown 30 10  
TE Dallas Clark   70,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   100,1  
WR Austin Collie   50  
WR Pierre Garcon   60,1  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Colts have that magic look about them again. Like it's going to fall into place this year and even injuries are not going to slow them down. The schedule is proving to be a cakewalk and Manning is playing as well as he ever has. The obligatory game against the Patriots is played at Indy. The only bad road game in the entire season is going to Baltimore in week 11. This could be the start of another Championship season.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning leads the league with 1336 passing yards and is tied with Drew Brees with nine passing scores. He has yet to not throw for 300+ yards. Four weeks - every game - 300+ yards. Maybe he doesn't miss Anthony Gonzalez that much after all. He's only been sacked twice this year.

Manning passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee last year. This time the Titans may be playing without starting cornerbacks. This could be really fun to watch unless you are facing Manning in your league this week.

Manning's prolific production dovetails nicely into the Titans having already allowed three quarterbacks to pass for 320+ yards. The only one who did not pass for 320+ yards was the rookie Mark Sanchez who only had 171 yards and scored three touchdowns. Yeah - give the Manning guy a start this week.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai continues to hold his own against the rookie Donald Brown. Addai had scored three times this season and maintains a rushing lead over Brown who has been worthy of a fantasy start anyway with two scores and decent yardage himself. Put just one guy in charge and do not share and he would be one of the top backs in the league. We have to settle for just two good ones instead of one great one.

Dominic Rhodes rushed for 70 yards on 17 carries in Tennessee last year. Joseph Addai had only one carry that came in the meaningless week 17 matchup against the Titans.

The Titans have been outstanding against the rush and only one runner has scored against them and no one has gained more than 53 yards. Addai is the more attractive start this week because he will be used more as a receiver than Brown does.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne is currently #2 in the league with 399 receiving yards and were it not for the red hot Steve Smith, Wayne would be #1. He has two games over 100 yards and his lone bad game came on the road to Miami. Pierre Garcon is playing as well as Anthony Gonzalez ever has. Garcon has scored twice and had 71 yards last week. He's becoming a strong WR3 for a fantasy team. Austin Collie even got into the act last week with six catches for 65 yards and his first touchdown in the NFL. Now they get to meet the worst secondary in the league.

The Titans have give up seven touchdowns to wideouts including two each for Andre Johnson and Mike Sims-Walker. Five wideouts have turned in 90+ yards against them. So yeah, start Wayne and Garcon.

Tight Ends: As if being the worst against wideouts was not enough, the Titans also are one of the worst at stopping tight ends. Clark cleaned up in Tennessee last season when he led the team with seven receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He should have yet another fine game this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 2 10 2 1 14 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 32 2 32 31 32 17


Tennessee Titans (0-4)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 10-13 +5 37
2 HOU 31-34 -7 40.5
3 @NYJ 17-24 +2.5 37
4 @JAC 17-37 -3 41.5
5 IND - +3.5 46.5
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 vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     240,1
RB Chris Johnson 90,1 20  
TE Bo Scaife   20  
WR Justin Gage   40  
WR Nate Washington   60  
WR Kenny Britt   70,1  
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: A bad year just gets worse. The Texans not only are 0-4 but they are losing games by larger margins as the season progresses. This week they face the 4-0 Colts and then travel to New England before hitting their bye week 0-6. What is amazing is the lack of changes that would suggest this would happen. The season is realistically already over and may be the way that Jeff Fisher gives up being the longest tenured head coach in the league. This is an ugly year where it just all is going wrong.

Quarterback: HC Jeff Fisher has squarely supported Kerry Collins as the starting quarterback but he has thrown a score in every game including two against the Texans and 284 yards last week in Jacksonville. But Collins has already thrown six interceptions against those five touchdowns and the offense was never designed to perpetually play catch up with the opponent. The rapid demise of the pass defense has shut down almost every other part of this team. There are calls for Vince Young now and that alone says volumes about how bad things are getting.

Collins passed for 193 yards and no score when the Colts visited in 2008.

The Colts have allowed only two passing scores this season and decent yardage if an opponent will abandon the rushing game which the Titans will not. Expect one passing score at home and decent yardage only thanks to trash time.

Running Backs: Chris Johnson ranks #1 in the NFL currently with 434 rushing yards and his 117 yards as a receiver is third best among running backs. He remains the only part of the offense that produces at least moderate stats every week. LenDale White has fallen off the map with the scoring drought of the Titans and has just one touchdown on the season. He has yet to gain more than 28 yards in a game.

Johnson rushed for 77 yards and one score against the visiting Colts last season. White only had 13 yards on ten carries but scored twice.

The Colts rushing defense had been very good but mostly because opponents cannot rush as much as they want thanks to the Colts getting a lead. Look for a decent game from Johnson this week and one score. He could tack on more as a receiver but the Titans are inconsistent how they use him.

Wide Receivers: The Titans have needed to throw each game but since week one, Nate Washington has been the only Titans wideout with a touchdown and he has now strung three straight games with a score even though his yardage has remained well below 70 yards each week. Kenny Britt comes off his first big game with 105 yards on seven catches last week. The trio have potential but haven't put it together well enough for even one game so far. Justin Gage has almost disappeared since week one.

The Colts have allowed several decent showings by wideouts this year but this group doesn't do well against bad secondaries let alone the Colts. Washington is a low-end play this week only because he catches the touchdown every week. Britt is developing but is still too inconsistent.

No wide receiver had more than 30 yards against the Colts last year.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife returned from his knee sprain that forced him out for two games but he only managed 25 yards on three catches last week. The tight ends still have not scored a touchdown this year and Crumpler's minor production for two weeks now is cut with Scaife returning.

Scaife led the team with five receptions for 44 yards versus the visiting Colts last season. The Colts are currently #1 against tight ends - no reason to use Scaife this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 19 7 14 27 27 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    IND 6 20 17 1 15 1

The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CHI
Monday
SD
GB
NO
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
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