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

Prediction: JAC 20, CLE 17

Update: Torry Holt and Marcedes Lewis are both out.

The Jaguars were wiped away by the Patriots last week and are only 2-5 in road games this year but looking to end on a better note. The Browns are on a three game winning streak and wrapping up the season at home which normally would be enough to get a win but the difference maker here is that the Browns are weak against the run - a strength of the Jags - and the Jaguars are good against the run - about all the Browns have.

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8)
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 31-24 +4 46.5
4 TEN 37-17 +3 41.5
5 @SEA 0-41 -3 40
6 STL 23-20 -9.5 43
7 BYE - - -
8 @TEN 13-30 +3 44
9 KC 24-21 -6.5 42
10 @NYJ 24-22 +6.5 41
11 BUF 18-15 -9 41
12 @SF 3-20 +3 42.5
13 HOU 23-18 -1 47.5
14 MIA 10-14 -3 43
15 IND 31-35 +3 42
16 @NE 7-35 +9.5 44
17 @CLE - +1.5 38.5
JAX at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     170,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 90,1 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis 30,1
WR Torry Holt 40
WR Mike Sims-Walker   60,1  
WR Mike Thomas   20  
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The season winds down and a win here would yield a .500 season - better than a losing one. David Garrard has done nothing to justify himself as the starter of the future and Torry Holt predictably was the same aging wideout with eroded skills we saw in St. Louis. But Maurice Jones-Drew has pulled his own weight even if it seems he has slowed down and Mike Sims-Walker finally had a healthy season and delivered on his promise.

Quarterback: David Garrard has looked good on occasion this year and has two games with three scores each but he's been wildly inconsistent week to week and is ending with only 13 touchdowns and 3395 passing yards. The Jaguars got him all new receivers this year and it just never made any difference. Garrard has to be concerned with the Jaguars looking for a replacement next year.

The Browns have been weak against the pass if an opponent takes that route but most teams just rely on the run against them. Only one of the last three visitors have passed for any scores in Cleveland so Garrard will do well enough with just one score.

Running Backs: There have been fair questions as to whether Maurice Jones-Drew has slowed down this year and only having one game over 100 rushing yards in the last six weeks supports the notion. He has never had any appreciable help in games since Rashad Jennings rarely has more than two carries per week. For a player taken as the first pick overall in many fantasy drafts, he was delivering early in the season but has tailed off.

The Browns have been soft against the run this year but mostly in allowing touchdowns and less yardage. Since week one, there has only been three visitors to score a rushing touchdown in Cleveland and only one had more than 74 rushing yards.

This is the final game for Jones-Drew and while the stats are less supportive, I like him to end on a higher note with a decent showing that includes a rushing score.

Wide Receivers: The season winds down with Torry Holt only gaining 722 yards on 51 catches which is right in line with the 796 yards he produced in St. Louis last year. But Holt has never scored and the Jaguars have had to rely on Mike Sims-Walker who has seven of the 13 passing scores this year. Sims-Walker has 841 yards on 61 catches and still has plenty of room to grow for next season. Mike Thomas has quietly had a good rookie season in the slot and comes off a season high six catches for 57 yards last week.

The Browns have been very good against the wide receivers so lower expectations. The passing touchdown should end up with either Sims-Walker or Lewis.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has been a consistent part of the offense with 32 catches for 518 yards and two scores. The Browns have been very weak against the position this year which makes Lewis a better risk for a score this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 16 13 17 20 29 32
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 22 30 7 29 29 23

Cleveland Browns (4-11)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIN 20-34 +3.5 40
2 @DEN 6-27 +3 37
3 @BAL 3-34 +13 38.5
4 CIN 20-23 +5.5 38
5 @BUF 6-3 +6 40
6 @PIT 14-27 +14 38
7 GB 3-31 +9.5 41.5
8 @CHI 6-30 +11.5 39.5
9 BYE - - -
10 BAL 0-16 +11 39
11 @DET 37-38 +3.5 37.5
12 @CIN 7-16 +12 39.5
13 SD 23-30 +13.5 42.5
14 PIT 13-6 +10 34
15 @KC 41-34 +1 39
16 OAK 23-9 -3 37
17 JAC - -1.5 38
CLE vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     210,1
RB Jerome Harrison 70,1 40  
WR M. Massaquoi   70,1  
WR Josh Cribs 40 30  
WR Chansi Stuckey   30  
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: It has been a tough season but ending on a three game winning streak - and potentially four depending on this game - is amazing for a team that was only 1-11. Suddenly Jerome Harrison looks like the new stud running back in the league. The defense has mostly played better. HC Eric Mangini has not been fired. This late season winning streak probably just delays the inevitable but at least the Browns fans have been rewarded.

Quarterback: Brady Quinn spent part of the year laying claim to the starting role but was trailing off and ended up injured and out for the season. There is no guarantee that Quinn remains in the lead next year or that Derek Anderson is doing anything more than wrapping up the year with the bench looming for next year. Anderson passed for 121 yards and a score last week but had not played for seven games.

This game brings in the Jaguars who are very weak against the pass - it should help Anderson look better than he really is. He should manage healthy yardage and a score here and a chance for even more. But this should be a cold game with a chance of snow that could depress passing numbers and the Browns are one of the worst teams at passing.

Running Backs: The Second Life of Jerome Harrison continued last week when he gained 148 yards and a score against the Raiders though it did require 39 carries. Harrison is certainly ending on a high note and shoved Chris Jennings out of the picture. The talk about moving Josh Cribbs to running back has also ceased. But Harrison is considered to be an undersized fourth-year player who has feasted on the poor rush defenses of the Raiders and Chiefs with 73 carries in just two weeks.

The Jaguars have been one of the best rush defenses in the league and outside of Chris Johnson has held opponents to only marginal success in rushing. They have allowed only seven rushing scores this year and only two players have topped 100 rushing yards against them. Look for Harrison to still have yardage with catches included but likely not score.

Wide Receivers: Mohamed Massaquoi is the only receiver with more than 200 receiving yards for the Browns. He has turned 33 catches into 610 yards and three scores but no other receiver has more than one touchdown. This unit also had Brian Robiskie in the wings but short of dramatis progress next year, the team has to acquire a veteran receiver that can lead the team.

The Jags are weak against the pass but the Browns are terrible at passing. Massaquoi is the only player that has any chance of fantasy relevance and that isn't all that good.

Tight Ends: Evan Moore teased with an 80 yard game but since has crawled back under the rock.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 31 30 29 28 21
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 30 7 31 16 16 19

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