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

Prediction: TEN 20, IND 24

Friday Update: Donald Brown is already ruled ut this week because of his chest injury. Justin Gage has finally made it back to practice but is still listed as questionable because of his back. He may have a minor role this week but he is not worth considering for a fantasy start in any case.

Here's another chance for the Colts to finally lose a game. Each week for the last month they fall behind, look tired and flat and then turn it on to win the game sometime between halftime to the final play of the game. The Titans are on a five game winning streak on the heels of a six week losing streak and are setting NFL records with every win. Notable is that the only road wins during this streak came in San Francisco and Houston - not the 11-0 Colts. But the Colts are bound to lose a game soon... right?

The Colts won 31-9 when they visited the Titans back in week five.

Tennessee Titans (5 -6)
Homefield: LP Field
  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 9-31 +3.5 46.5
6 @NE 0-59 +9.5 43
7 BYE - - -
8 JAC 30-13 -3 44
9 @SF 34-27 +4 41
10 BUF 41-17 -9 41
11 @HOU 20-17 +4 48.5-
12 ARI 20-17 -3.5 44.5
13 @IND - +7 47
14 STL - - -
15 MIA - - -
16 SD - - -
17 @SEA - - -
TEN at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 40   180,1
RB Chris Johnson 130,1 30  
TE Bo Scaife   30  
WR Lavelle Hawkins   20  
WR Nate Washington   30,1  
WR Kenny Britt   50  
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The post-bye week Titans continue their incredible roll with a five game winning streak and a recreation of the 2006 Rose Bowl with Matt Leinart once again playing the part of the vanquished. As remarkable as it seems, the Titans can still pull something positive from this season with three home games left and only a road trip to Seattle after this week. There's five games remaining and the Titans would probably need to win out to have any hope of a wild card. They can lose only one more and still end up with a winning record but the turnaround itself and the "new" Vince Young have already made this season a positive one.

Quarterback: Vince Young continues to chug along winning games and scoring once every week but at least against the Cardinals he had a career best 387 passing yards and produced a wide receiver that had over 100 yards. Young had long been knocked for only throwing to tight ends and running backs but has shown maturation in his ability to read defenses and spread the ball around. He still can run when the need arises but he's actually staying put now and connecting on deep throws with wideouts - a much needed and exciting change from the past.

In the previous meeting with the Colts, Kerry Collins had his final start of the year and only produced 164 passing yards with no scores and one interception.

Young's norm fits in well here with visitors usually limited to one touchdown and moderate passing yards.

Running Backs: Lendale White was not only inactive last week for being late to the Saturday's walk-through but you and everyone else never noticed. There's a sign of the times when Chris Johnson has become the "IT" player of the year and has racked up six straight games of over 125 rushing yards to tie with Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell. Johnson is on a pace to eclipse 2000 rushing yards and score 15 touchdowns.

This week Johnson faces the Colts who not only held him to a season low 34 rushing yards on nine carries in week five, but they were the last team to hold him below 125 rushing yards in a game. The Colts have not allowed any runner more than 91 yards in Indianapolis this year but with Johnson all it takes is breaking off that one long run.

Expect a good game here by Johnson who is a no-brainer start now.

Wide Receivers: Justin Gage has missed three games with a bad back but the rookie Kenny Britt has filled in admirably, even turning in a career best 128 yards on seven receptions with a score last week. That was his second consecutive game with a touchdown and Young is getting more comfortable with Britt who led the team with 11 targets last week. Nate Washington still has the scoring lead with five touchdowns but only two came from Young. Lavelle Hawkins has been filling in while Gage is out and after two weeks without a catch, he ended with four receptions for 44 yards.

No wideout had more than 37 yards against the Colts back in week five.

Young has been better connecting with wide receivers but the Colts are a far better secondary than the recent Texans and Cardinals.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife turned in a season best 68 yards on five catches last Sunday but has never scored this year - no Titans tight end has. Scaife turned in 45 yards on four receptions against the Colts earlier this year. Expect his normal mediocre showing at best against one of the best defenses at stopping tight ends.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 25 6 27 19 10 17
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 8 19 26 2 25 1

Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  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 31-9 -3.5 46.5
6 BYE - - -
7 @STL 42-6 -14 45
8 SF 18-14 -13 45
9 HOU 20-17 -9 48
10 NE 35-34 -1 48
11 @BAL 17-15 -1 44
12 @HOU - -7 47
13 TEN - - -
14 DEN - - -
15 @JAC - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
IND at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     300,2
RB Joseph Addai 50,1 20  
TE Dallas Clark   60  
WR Reggie Wayne   80,1  
WR Austin Collie   60,1  
WR Pierre Garcon   50  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Be Afraid. Be very, very afraid. If you are holding players like Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, the only question is how much they will rest in games and when that will start. HC Jim Caldwell has already confirmed that he will be resting the team stars once home-field advantage is locked up. Assuming that the Colts continue to win and remain three games ahead of the Bengals and Chargers, that means they will have nothing to win starting in week 15 in Jacksonville. Fantasy championships in week 16 are all but guaranteed to be hit by the reality that what got you there ain't gonna be getting you past your opponent.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has gone two whole games without a 300 yard effort but at least he threw for four scores over those weeks. What is more pertinent here is that Manning has played in five home games so far and never had less than 301 passing yards. Manning passed for 309 yards and three scores in Tennessee back in week five.

The Titans have been allowing multiple touchdowns to every road opponent already and four have thrown for more than 300 yards against them. Manning should cruise here as long as he doesn't lose interest.

Running Backs: The good news for you Donald Brown owners is that while he has failed to dislodge Joseph Addai as the primary back, Brown may be the man for the final weeks of the season. The Colts will rest Addai at least some and that will all go directly to Brown. The sweetest of all - playing the Addai owner and using Brown against him in week 16.

Back in week five against the Titans, Brown only had 22 yards on six runs while Addai had 27 yards on 14 runs with one touchdown and added ten catches for 53 yards.

Too early to expect much change - look for a moderately good game by Addai with a good chance for one rushing score.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne comes off his worst showing of the season with only three catches for 19 yards in Houston though he scored once. After a six week dry spell, Pierre Garcon reached the endzone in Houston but remains mostly a 50 yard per game possession receiver. Austin Collie has not scored in five games but had his best game in as many weeks when he caught four passes for 70 yards last week.

Back in week four, Wayne had six receptions for 60 yards and a score against the Titans while Austin Collie had his career best eight catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee.

The same scoring makes sense since Wayne at home has meant a touchdown four of five times and the Titans have been weaker against speedy slot players like Collie.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark continues to never have a bad game, If he doesn't gain at least 65 yards he will score a touchdown. In Tennessee this year, he had nine receptions for 77 yards. He should have another solid showing this week against a defense that he's already handled this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 14 4 1 12 10
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 31 18 32 23 23 6

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