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

Prediction: IND 17, BUF 20

Update: Josh Reed will miss the season finale with a bad ankle. No changes for the Colts other than they remain big risks to play at all. Matt Stover will kick this week as Adam Vinatieri is already deemed out this week.

At 14-1, the Colts have clinched homefield throughout the playoffs and have nothing to play for this week. The Bills have not had an actual offense in the last month. This is a very tough game to call since the Colts will definitely rest players now that they have thrown away the chance for a perfect season in their move to preserve team health and destroy team morale.

Indianapolis Colts (14-1)
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 35-27 -3 48
13 TEN 27-17 -6 47
14 DEN 28-16 -6.5 43.5
15 @JAC 35-31 -3 42
16 NYJ 15-29 -3 40.5
17 @BUF - OFF -
IND at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     60,1
RB Joseph Addai 30    
RB Donald Brown 100,1 10  
TE Dallas Clark   20,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   30  
WR Austin Collie   50  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 2 XP  
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 2 XP
Pregame Notes: The Colts threw in the towel last week to the dismay of most fans and even players. With a realistic shot at the perfect 19-0 season, the coaching staff (AKA Bill Polian) opted to yank starters in the second half. Now this week has zero meaning and will feature players probably for the first series and then start draining the field of starters. And even with such a reduced squad, the Colts still could win this game.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning looked pained to stand and watch the loss last week and he gave a decent rendition of the company line in the post game interview but you knew he wanted to play. This week he'll line up for the first series to continue his "games started" streak but he has nothing more to play for and if he is yanked for the second half last week, anything beyond the first series would be a surprise this week.

Curtis Painter gets to face the #2 defense against quarterbacks after being roughed up by the #1 defense last week. He has a really crappy sense of timing for his first games played.

Running Backs: With Donald Brown running well again, expect Joseph Addai to take an early exit from this game despite the Bills having the worst rushing defense in the league. Brown could be yanked at some point as well but with him missing so much time, this could be a nice spot for him to get some work in and get his rhythm against the softest rush defense in the league. Brown took over for Addai last week and had all the workload.

Playing any Colt this week is a risk but Brown actually may be a decent start for a team in a bind.

Wide Receivers: Pierre Garcon was held out last week so there is zero chance you will see him in this game regardless of his health. Reggie Wayne will probably just accompany Manning and leave when he does so that should be earlier than later. The Bills have a very good secondary anyway. Austin Collie had six catches for 94 yards last week though most of that came from when Manning was still in the game.

There is no safe play for wideout here since Curtis Painter is all but certain to be the starter and the Bills play the pass well.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark may leave with Manning as well and there is even less reason to leave him in the game to be a blocker. Tom Santi had a rare catch last week and would likely replace Clark. I am awarding Clark a score on the premise that Manning marches down the field on the first drive and then throws a score to a non-wideout and that means Clark. Then they all sit down and play poker on the sidelines for the rest of the game.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 15 5 1 16 15
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 2 32 2 10 15 27

Buffalo Bills (5-10)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 24-25 +10.5 47
2 TB 33-20 -4 41
3 NO 7-27 +5.5 52.5
4 @MIA 10-38 -2.5 37
5 CLE 3-6 -6 40.5
6 @NYJ 16-13 +9.5 37
7 @CAR 20-9 +7 37
8 HOU 10-31 -3.5 42
9 BYE - - -
10 @TEN 17-41 +9 41
11 @JAC 15-18 +9 41
12 MIA 31-14 +3.5 38
13 NYJ 13-19 +3.5 37
14 @KC 16-10 -1 38
15 NE 10-17 +6.5 41.5
16 @ATL 3-31 +9 40.5
17 IND - OFF -
BUF vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick     200,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 50 10  
RB Fred Jackson 80,1 30  
WR Lee Evans   60  
WR Terrell Owens   60,1  
WR Josh Reed 30
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Bills had that look like "is the season over yet?" last week when they were waxed by an injury-depleted Falcons team. The only focus by the organization is on who the next head coach will be. This team has not scored more than one offensive touchdown for the last four games but could catch a break here against a Colts team that will be featuring ball boys and equipment managers as offensive and defensive starters. The Bills look like they have already quit and many likely have. Terrell Owens is probably already packed. That means a risk in relying on the good luck of the schedule facing the Colts now.

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to return this week from his ankle injury and Brian Brohm's 146 yards in Atlanta impressed no one. Fitzpatrick has yet to score more than one touchdown per game and has languished below 200 yards in most weeks. The Bills are certain to explore other options at the position for next year but closing out the season will be Fitzpatrick.

He could have a decent showing here. The Colts will be resting players and the secondary has been weaker this year anyway. But relying on anything more than one score and marginal yardage is hard even with the Colts using mannequins on defense.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has taken a definite backseat to Fred Jackson and last week had his second game with only three carries this year. Jackson has only scored in one game but that was in a home stand. Were this a game played normally, it would be nothing but another non-scoring game with mediocre yardage but with the Colts not caring it could end up to be a decent showing for Jackson.

I am projecting a good game for him but the Bills might want to give Lynch a full run just to help make offseason decisions. Opportunity is here but so is risk.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens passed the 1000 receptions mark for his career but his season in Buffalo is ending with a whimper. He has only produced 51 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns while Lee Evans has six scores to lead the team. There have only been 12 passing touchdowns this year and 11 ended up with the wide receivers but the yardage is rarely much more than 40 yards per player in most games.

With Fitzpatrick back and the Colts resting players, there is a chance for a decent game here by Owens or Evans but too much risk in relying on. I will credit Owens with a score but that has low confidence. The biggest success factor in this game will be the mind set of the Bills and recently that has been poor.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 28 29 25 31 18 16
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 8 19 28 1 22 1

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