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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*updated

Prediction: DEN 17, IND 30

The Broncos got back on track with two wins and now at 8-4 are just one game behind the Chargers with no margin for error. The Broncos are 4-2 on the road. The Colts have been playing close games for over a month but just took down the Titans easy enough in a home game like this. Can this be the one? Probably not but not impossible.

Denver Broncos (8-4)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 12-7 +5 42.5
2 CLE 27-6 -3 38
3 @OAK 23-3 -1.5 35.5
4 DAL 17-10 +3 43
5 NE 20-17 +3.5 41.5
6 @SD 34-23 +3.5 44
7 BYE - - -
8 @BAL 7-30 +4.5 42.5
9 PIT 10-28 +3 49
10 @WAS 17-27 -3.5 36
11 SD 3-32 +6.5 41.5
12 NYG 26-6 +6.5 42
13 @KC 44-13 -6 39
14 @IND - +7 44
15 OAK - - -
16 @PHI - - -
17 KC - - -
DEN at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     210,1
RB Knowshon Moreno 60,1    
RB Correll Buckhalter 50 30  
TE Tony Scheffler   20  
WR Brandon Marshall   70  
WR Eddie Royal   30  
WR Brandon Stokley   20,1  
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The big win in Kansas City was mostly meaningless but it was a nice showing of the offense that needed to spread out and stretch its legs. After the four game losing streak ended, the Broncos look like they have resolved their offensive problem. The Colts will show them if that is true. Home stands against the Raiders and Chiefs should be wins so the Broncos could get into the playoffs even with a loss here and in Philly. But a win would make it so much easier.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton was better last week when he had two passing scores in Kansas City but he only had 180 yards and has been less than 200 yards in most of the games of the second half of the season. He has only scored five times in six games while also throwing six interceptions and losing two fumbles last week. What has helped the most is the return of a decent rushing attack.

The Colts have one of the best passing defenses in the league and while most visiting opponents score once, they rarely score more than once in Indy. More germane is the lesser passing numbers of Orton. Looking for more than one touchdown and low 200's yardage may be optimistic and beyond what Orton has done as of late.

Running Backs: The Broncos have gotten good results mixing in Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno in almost exactly split proportions though Moreno has been the back to score with five rushing touchdowns on the year and three in the last two games. Buckhalter has decent yardage but has not scored since week two. Buckhalter has also tended to show up more as a receiver in tough road matchups.

Moreno has been on a nice run with four straight weeks of 80+ rushing yards though his role as a receiver has been minimal. This week will be a good test since most teams fall short of 100 rushing yards in Indianapolis. I like Moreno's chance for a touchdown run though. He has been good against the Chiefs and Giants and the Colts have allowed most opponents to notch a rushing touchdown. The split will hurt both runners total yards as always.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall has always been the only wideout here that really matters - a fact not lost on opposing defenses - and he has scored seven times this year and had decent yardage in almost every game. Brandon Stokley shows up on a rare occasion for a touchdown catch but never has any yardage of note and Eddie Royal has redefined sophomore slump.

The Patriot receivers had three scores here but otherwise the Colts only allowed one other receiving touchdown to a visiting wideout this year. But no other wideout on this team stands out unless Brandon Stokley can remember what it is he did six years ago in Indy during his only noteworthy season in the NFL. I like the one passing score but not crazy about giving it to Marshall since he will be the focus of a good secondary. I will give it to Stokley but with low confidence.

Tight Ends: Neither Daniel Graham nor Tony Scheffler have figured into the passing game much. Graham just caught his first touchdown of the year and Scheffler has two but the yardage for both are below fantasy relevance. The Colts have also never allowed more than 56 yards to any tight end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 23 17 14 21 8 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 7 20 25 4 23 1


Indianapolis Colts(12-0)
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 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 35-27 -3 48
13 TEN 27-17 -6 47
14 DEN - -7 44
15 @JAC - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
IND vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     240,2
RB Joseph Addai 70,1 10  
TE Dallas Clark   50  
WR Reggie Wayne   60  
WR Austin Collie   30,1  
WR Pierre Garcon   50,1  
PK Matt Stover 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Colts finally stopped getting the hopes up of every opponent and just came out and beat the Titans last week, winning by ten points and eliminating any need for fingernail biting finally. The final four games are not going to be easy with each team in a voracious search for wins to keep them in the playoffs hunt. HC Jim Caldwell has already said that he will rest players near the end of the year but if the Colts have a shot at an unbeaten season - we could all benefit. At least those of us with Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has already thrown for 25 touchdowns but his 11 interceptions are a tad high. He still has only ten sacks so far and has been better than 250 yards in almost every game this year. His stretch of eight 300 yard games in the first nine weeks has now gone three games with lesser numbers. The only worry about Manning is about that potential rest he may get in week 15.

The Broncos have been outstanding against quarterbacks this year and allowed multiple passing scores only twice. No quarterback has thrown for more than 274 yards on them and half never score at all. But this is Manning at home so expect at least his usual 250 yards and a couple of scores that could of course go higher.

Running Backs: Donald Brown remains out with his chest injury but Joseph Addai has not really needed any help. He comes off his first game with two rushing touchdowns when the Titans visited and has scored 12 times already this season. He has never rushed for more than 79 yards but usually throws in a catch or three and has scored in nine different games.

The Broncos have been average against the run but the Colts are not likely to commit to enough carries for Addai to have a big game. Expect more of the same moderate yardage from Addai with a good chance for a touchdown.

Wide Receivers: Anthony Gonzalez remains out and it was recently revealed that he underwent another surgery after suffering a set back to his knee injury. In his place, Pierre Garcon has really stepped up when opponents have over-committed coverage to stopping Reggie Wayne. Garcon has scored twice in the last four games and racked up over 100 yards against the Ravens and Titans. Even Austin Collie scored last week for the first time since week seven.

Wayne is the ruling king here but he has been so dominant that defenses are willing to devote too much to stopping him and taking their chances with the rest. Wayne has nine touchdowns on the season and four efforts over 100 yards. These last two weeks has seen his yardage plummet as well as his targets. that is a problem this week with Champ Bailey showing up. It will be a problem in week 16 when Darrelle Revis arrives in town.

Wayne deserves to be a fantasy start every week regardless since he has so much upside and potential. But in connecting the dots, his projection takes a tumble again this week with Bailey sure to dance with him all game long. That doesn't mean that Wayne doesn't producer anything, but he will be capped. Garcon and Collie are both interesting plays this week because of the coverages.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark had fallen in yardage in recent weeks but still has scored in two of the last three games and five on the season. The Broncos are highly rated against tight ends but that is mostly from facing so few good ones. Antonio Gates had eight catches for 111 yards over the two meetings with the Broncos this season. Clark is still a decent play this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 13 3 2 12 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 2 15 6 1 21 15

The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
 
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