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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 8, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
GB at MIN NYJ at NE     Updated

Prediction: NYJ 7, NE 31

This is a replay of the game that the Patriots won 24-17 in New York back in week two. The only thing different is that the Jets have improved their running game almost as much as their passing game has fallen apart while the Patriots are better in all phases and still pretty mad about last week's loss to the Colts. Not a good sense of timing for the Jets. The Patriots still have a two game lead in the AFC East over these Jets, so a win here not only helps ensure yet another divisional title, it would make the Pats the only team with a winning record in the division.

Update: Laurence Maroney remains listed as questionable this week with an ankle sprain and he was held out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday. But he was questionable last week and held out of practices as well so it is probably more Patriot-speak. I am not changing his projections going against the Charmin-soft Jets rush defense. Laveranues Coles and Tim Dwight are also both questionable and missing practice time but that too appears to just be a weekly ritual. None of these players are expected to not play this week.

New York Jets (4-4)
1 23-16 @TEN 10 --- @NE
2 17-24 NE 11 --- CHI
3 28-20 @BUF 12 --- HOU
4 28-31 IND 13 --- @GB
5 0-41 @JAX 14 --- BUF
6 20-17 MIA 15 --- @MIN
7 31-24 DET 16 --- @MIA
8 13-20 @CLE 17 --- OAK
9 Open Bye - - MON
NYJ at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington 0 0 160,1
RB Kevan Barlow 20 0 0
RB Leon Washington 50 20 0
TE Chris Baker 0 10 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 50,1 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 20 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 40 0
PK Mike Nugent 0 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Jets come off a loss in Cleveland and really need this game to have any hopes of reaching the division championship this year (okay, so it is only mathematical in probability). Fact is that they have to host the Bears next week but then have a rather kind schedule with HOU, GB, BUF and OAK left. The Jets could reach .500 this year or even have a winning record if they can get a little lucky with the tougher match-ups.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington threw for 306 yards and two scores when the Patriots visited in week two of this season but he's taken a swan dive in the six games since. Pennington has only once been over 200 yards since that meeting and has been struggling in the passing game since it was noted that covering Laveranues Coles pretty much ends the threat. Pennington has not thrown a score or had more than 108 yards in the last two road games.

Running Backs: The Leon Washington experience was great in week seven when he racked up 129 yards and two scores against the visiting Lions but last week he only came up with 51 yards on 15 carries against the Browns. This is no great road team and Washington may be the best yet but he is no savior. He should be great in two weeks when the Texans come to town.

Kevan Barlow was down to just five carries last week for 16 yards as the offense has turned more to Washington. Barlow gained only 42 yards on 14 carries against the Pats this year.

Wide Receivers: Laveranues Coles has 121 yards and one score while Jerricho Cotchery turned in 121 yards and a touchdown as well against the Pats in week two. That was the high point to the season. Coles has been under 50 yards in three of the last four games as has Cotchery. Since week one, neither wideout has scored in a road game this year or had over 50 yards. It was magic for two weeks but this crew went back to being a pumpkin pretty quickly.

Tight Ends: One catch per week - no relevance.

Match Against the Defense: The Patriots may be without Rodney Harrison this week and even safety Eugene Wilson has hamstring issues but that won't likely matter anyway. Expect minimal rushing yards here unless Washington can pop one long run and little chance of a touchdown. That would go to Barlow if it even happens.

Pennington on the road has been very bad as of late and the Patriots may not be able to stop Peyton Manning but there are precious few similarities between him and Pennington. Look for one late touchdown that favors Coles but even that may not happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 26 19 16 26 28 13
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 6 7 22 7 7 13


New England Patriots (6-2)
1 19-17 BUF 10 --- NYJ
2 24-17 @NYJ 11 --- @GB
3 7-17 DEN 12 --- CHI
4 38-13 @CIN 13 --- DET
5 20-10 MIA 14 --- @MIA
6 Open Bye 15 --- HOU
7 28-6 @BUF 16 --- @JAX
8 31-7 @MIN 17 --- @TEN
9 20-27 IND - - MON
NEP vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 190,2
RB Corey Dillon 70,1 0 0
RB Laurence Maroney 90,1 10 0
TE Ben Watson 0 50,1 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 50 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 30 0
WR Troy Brown 0 20,1 0
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Patriots were unable to corral the passing attack of the Colts last week and the biggest disappointment here is that the two losses have gone to division leading teams that were visitors. The Patriots are plenty good to take down a pathetic AFC East this year but still are not up to previous years when they could take on anyone. Most surprising was the lack of a dominating ground game against Indy. It should definitely show up this week.

Quarterback: Tom Brady was on a roll for four straight games when he had at least two scores in each punctuated only by the rare interception. But last week in the biggest game of the year, he had no scores and four interceptions. It was like he and Manning have finally switched places from a couple of years ago. Brady is still hurting from a lack of top receiving threats and his turnovers reflect his lack of chemistry with this new cast. But Brady had 220 passing yards and one score against the Jets earlier this year.

Running Backs: The duo of Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney are now hitting a perfect split with both runners taking 13 carries last week. Dillon ended with 48 yards and two scores while Maroney had 63 yards. When the goal line nears, the Pats prefer the veteran Dillon even though he has one fumble this year and Maroney has yet to lose the ball. In a fantasy sense, this is all a huge opportunity wasted but simply mirrors their use of multiple receivers. It's good to make defenses have to prepare for everyone equally but in big games, the Pats are missing those highly reliable players.

Dillon ran for 80 yards and one score while Maroney had 65 yards and a touchdown too when the Pats went to New York in week two.

Wide Receivers: Would have been nice last week if any wideout could have ended with more than 45 yards but it never happened. Brady spreads the ball around so much that even Doug Gabriel only had 45 yards and that came on two catches to lead the wideouts. No wideout had more than 51 yards against the Jets this year and only Chad Jackson scored.

Tight Ends: Ben Watson remains the closest to a consistent receiver for the Patriots but he only has one score on the season. He has been around 60 yards or so for the last three weeks but only had three catches for 39 yards against the Jets in week two.

Match Against the Defense: The worst rushing defense is on the road to New England - cha-ching! Expect nice games by both Dillon and Maroney here that could be monster if one of them would just get injured or benched. Look for two rushing scores in this game and maybe more.

Brady may still be smarting from last week but he won't use this game to pump up his stats because there won't be any big need. Expect about 200 or so yards and one or two scores, depending on whether the running backs get two or three. Watson could end up with his second score on the year this week but with little need, the division of passes is even harder to forecast than usual.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 10 4 19 8 26 18
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 22 32 18 27 12 12