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Rain Man
07-02-2006, 09:41 AM
The more I see of this Harmon guy, the more I like him. He's got a good head on his shoulders.

http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/5691320

Passing yard projections: Green's first

Michael Harmon / FOXSports.com
Posted: 8 days ago

Category Leader projections: Passing Yards | Passing TD | Rushing Yards | Rushing TD

Over the past several weeks, I've spent considerable time breaking down the component part of each NFL team and put them back together again.

In this edition of the FOXSports.com off-season NFL coverage, I begin a new series of articles that forces me to combine analytics with a deep gaze into a crystal ball.

I begin the series with a preview of NFL quarterbacks and project the top 15 finishers in passing yardage. A cagey veteran leads the rankings with a number of familiar faces in line behind him. Of course, it wouldn't be a Harmon list without a curveball or two.

1. Trent Green, Kansas City Chiefs
Regardless of the amount of ink used to write about the Kansas City backfield duo of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson, Trent Green's stability as the leader of the Chiefs offense cannot be denied. Green has topped 4,000 passing yards in three consecutive seasons. The Chiefs continue to rely on tight end Tony Gonzalez, but have a solid veteran receiver in Eddie Kennison and a fast rising speed receiver in Samie Parker.
2005 Stats: 2nd in NFL with 4,014 yards
2006 Projections: 4,232 yards

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Expectations were sky-high for Manning last year after his pinball-like 2004 season. He responded with another tremendous season of 3,747 passing yards and 28 touchdowns, but it wasn't enough for some. The Colts' remarkable run to clinching their playoff berth early that allowed Manning to sit out virtually all of the final two games of the year cost him a shot at his seventh consecutive 4,000-yard season. The loss of Edgerrin James to Arizona off-season portends to big things for Manning and the passing game this year. The running back combination of Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes will no doubt shoulder their share of the load, but the offense continues to make its mark on the right arm of Manning and his talented trio of receivers.
2005 Stats: 7th in NFL with 3,747 yards
2006 Projections: 4,177 yards

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady has ranked among the top 10 passing yardage leaders in four consecutive seasons. Some question his status as a top fantasy option, but his ability to distribute the ball (61.9 percent completion percentage) makes him a perennial leader in this category. Brady has topped 3,600 passing yards in four straight seasons. The Patriots added several new receivers to work alongside Deion Branch (currently a contract issue to watch) and Troy Brown. Most notably, New England selected Chad Jackson in this year's draft.
2005 Stats: 1st in NFL with 4,110 yards
2006 Projections: 4,076 yards

4. Drew Bledsoe, Dallas Cowboys

With the addition of Terrell Owens, Drew Bledsoe will likely see more single coverage downfield on Terry Glenn. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

The Cowboys made perhaps the biggest splash this off-season by bringing Terrell Owens in from Philadelphia. With Owens onboard and Terry Glenn and Jason Witten returning in the receiving corps, Bledsoe expects to be among the league's top passers once again. Bledsoe posted his best average yardage per pass play total since 1999 in New England at 7.3 yards. He'll enjoy throwing the short and intermediate routes to Owens and watching him make plays. Meanwhile, Terry Glenn will be lining up teams' second defensive backs in single coverage. I like those odds.
2005 Stats: 8th in NFL with 3,639 yards
2006 Projections: 3,825 yards


5. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks
It was a charmed year for the Seahawks in 2005, until the Super Bowl anyway. Hasselbeck and the offense rolled to ridiculous point totals and controlled the action every Sunday. The Seahawks did so despite having lead receiver Darrell Jackson in the lineup for only six games. He'll return to lead the receiving corps, followed by emerging star Jerramy Stevens, possession receiver Bobby Engram and off-season acquisition and former 1,000-yard receiver Nate Burleson. Seattle remains among the NFC's top teams heading into 2006, and Hasselbeck continues to grow as a leader. His 65.5 percent completion rate marked a new career high.
2005 Stats: 10th in NFL with 3,459 yards
2006 Projections: 3,801 yards

6. Jake Delhomme, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers welcomed back Steve Smith from injury and watched him and Delhomme become one of the top quarterback-receiver tandems in the game. Delhomme completed a career-best 60.2 percent of his passes and 7.9 yards per attempt. He will welcome the addition of longtime NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, whose presence will help to boost his completion percentage even higher. Additionally, the Panthers will look to work the short passing game even more to keep starting tailback DeShaun Foster on the field.
2005 Stats: 11th in NFL with 3,421 yards
2006 Projections: 3,776 yards

7. Eli Manning, New York Giants
The best is yet to come for Manning and the Giants offense. He grew leaps and bounds in the second half of the 2006 season. Though Manning still overshoots his receivers on occasion, he projects to be among the league leaders in all passing categories for years to come. Manning completed only 52.8 percent of his attempts last season, so there's most certainly room for improvement in that capacity. To reach his full potential, the Giants will need a full season of health from Jeremy Shockey and consistent efforts from Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. I expect 2006 to be a better year on the field for Manning, but more so in efficiency than in raw numbers.
2005 Stats: 5th in NFL with 3,762 yards
2006 Projections: 3,739 yards

8. Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
The future Hall of Famer struggled last season with a makeshift supporting cast in 2005. Favre completed 61.3 percent of his passes last season, which was actually only .2 percent lower than his career mark. But more of those passes off the mark found the arms of defenders (career-high 29 interceptions). The Packers have re-tooled the receiving corps for 2006 with the departure of Javon Walker. Dependable receiver Donald Driver returns to man the No. 1 slot, and the Packers are hoping that one of a group of receivers emerges as a top complement. Oft-injured Robert Ferguson is the favored player for the role with former threats Marc Boerigter and Rod Gardner in contention for a third receiver role alongside rookie Greg Jennings.
2005 Stats: 3rd in NFL with 3,881 yards
2006 Projections: 3,715 yards

9. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

Carson Palmer, recovering from knee injuries, is expected to be ready by the season opener. (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

According to all reports, Palmer will be ready to roll with the first team as early as Week 1 of the preseason. The knee injury limits his activity in mini-camp, but the team expects him to be ready six weeks from now in training camp. Palmer will certainly return to a stocked lineup with one of the best receiving duos of Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh and a running back to keep the chains moving in Rudi Johnson. The big question for Palmer, other than the knee of course, will be who lines up at third receiver. Chris Henry showed great promise as a rookie, but there's still some potential for disciplinary action. The Bengals also have Kelley Washington and former Packers receiver Antonio Chatman on the roster to compete for reps at the No. 3 slot. Assuming that he's healthy, all signs point to Palmer returning to post numbers alongside the game's elite.
2005 Stats: 4th in NFL with 3,836 yards
2006 Projections: 3,694 yards


10. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles watched the season unravel because of injuries and in-fighting during the 2005 season, and nothing caused a bigger issue than the sports hernia injury sustained by McNabb. He returns to the field in 2006 with a young receiving corps and without the huge weapon in Owens. He had thrown for more than 3,200 yards in three of four seasons as the starting quarterback in Philadelphia before the arrival of Owens. McNabb will continue to utilize Brian Westbrook as a receiver out of the backfield and will count on tight end L.J. Smith and second-year receiver Reggie Brown to fill the void left by Owens.
2005 Stats: 18th in NFL with 2,507 yards
2006 Projections: 3,613 yards

11. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams
Bulger's ill-fated tackling attempt against the Colts stands as one of the big moments of 2005. He finished the year with 2,297 yards and 14 scores in eight games. The St. Louis offense figures to run differently under Scott Linehan. Running back Steven Jackson will become a larger factor in the play-calling with the departure of Mike Martz, but don't think that the passing game will be ground down. After all, Gus Frerotte nearly reached 3,000 yards in Miami in 2005. I'm expecting a dip from his career-high mark of 3,964 yards, but that his career 65 percent completion rate keeps him among the league leaders.
2005 Stats: 23rd in NFL with 2,297 yards
2006 Projections: 3,584 yards

12. Daunte Culpepper, Miami Dolphins
The storybook season of 2004 was followed by a Stephen King-like horror tale in 2005 for Culpepper. He appeared in only seven games before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. Culpepper also threw one more interception in those seven games than he had in the full 2003 and '04 seasons. He moves to Miami this season and is moving and throwing well, according to all reports from Dolphins mini-camp. Nick Saban will rely heavily on Ronnie Brown and the ground game, but the loss of Ricky Williams to suspension swings the play-calling pendulum back to Culpepper's arm. He will certainly have capable targets in the passing game with Chris Chambers looking to build on a huge 2005 season, reliable No. 2 Marty Booker, tight end Randy McMichael and rookie Derek Hagan.
2005 Stats: 32nd in NFL with 1,564 yards
2006 Projections: 3,537 yards

13. Jake Plummer, Denver Broncos

Jake Plummer isn't ready to relinquish control of Denver's offense to Jay Cutler yet. (Donald Miralle / Getty Images)

The heat is on in Denver for Plummer after the team selected Jay Cutler in April's draft. Plummer has responded well to the challenge early, earning praise from coach Mike Shanahan following the most recent mini-camp. He has averaged 3,728 yards over the last two seasons with a marked drop this past season of 45 yards per game. The addition of Javon Walker to run opposite veteran Rod Smith should put Plummer in a position to post solid numbers in 2006.
2005 Stats: 12th in NFL with 3,366 yards
2006 Projections: 3,379 yards


14. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals
Warner has two of the game's best young weapons in receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. He averaged 271.3 yards per game for Arizona last season in 10 games played. The obvious issue related to Warner and the heights he can reach statistically concerns his health. In each of the last four seasons, he's missed time because of injuries. While Warner won't reach the heights of his MVP days in St. Louis (two seasons over 4,300 passing yards), he remains a fantasy contender with these receivers in tow, particularly with the addition of Edgerrin James to keep defenses honest.
2005 Stats: 17th in NFL with 2,713 yards
2006 Projections: 3,316 yards

15. David Carr, Houston Texans
The Texans worked to build the skill positions this off-season. Andre Johnson and Domanick Davis will retain their roles in the offense, but will find additional support from off-season additions Eric Moulds and Jeb Putzier. There are still questions surrounding the ability of the offensive line to protect Carr, but Kubiak is convinced that the installation of his offensive scheme will serve to elevate Carr's game.
2005 Stats: 19th in NFL with 2,488 yards
2006 Projections: 3,184 yards
In the next edition of this series, I'll post my top 15 projections for passing touchdowns. The usual suspects of Manning, Brady and McNabb will be presented, but we'll see if we can't spark some debate down the list.

rad
07-02-2006, 09:46 AM
2005 Stats: 2nd in NFL with 4,014 yards
2006 Projections: 4,232 yards


That goes against what Hermie plans on doing this season, doesn't it?

Rain Man
07-02-2006, 09:50 AM
Well, LJ will still get his yards, according to Albert Harmonstein.

4th and Long
07-02-2006, 09:50 AM
2005 Stats: 2nd in NFL with 4,014 yards
2006 Projections: 4,232 yards


That goes against what Hermie plans on doing this season, doesn't it?
Only if you believe what you hear. I highly doubt Edwards is going to tip his hand on his true plans for the offense until the first snap of the regular season.

milkman
07-02-2006, 09:50 AM
2005 Stats: 2nd in NFL with 4,014 yards
2006 Projections: 4,232 yards


That goes against what Hermie plans on doing this season, doesn't it?

Not necessarily.

With more play action, a (hopefully) healthy TG, and a hopefully more consistent Parker, it's possible that Trent could throw for more yards.

Count Zarth
07-02-2006, 09:52 AM
Don't forget Crap thorpe!

Bowser
07-02-2006, 09:55 AM
Don't forget Crap thorpe!

Are you going to take him with a second round fantasy pick?

rad
07-02-2006, 09:56 AM
Not necessarily.

With more play action, a (hopefully) healthy TG, and a hopefully more consistent Parker, it's possible that Trent could throw for more yards.


Yeah I guess that makes sense.

But if the D improves(which it should), I don't see Trent throwing for all those yards.

I guess it would have to improve alot though. Like, 2005 Bears improve.

morphius
07-02-2006, 09:56 AM
Rad - It may be that we dump some of the screen passes to WR's and TE's and use that passes to go down field a bit more. If Parker shows the hands that he had at the ending of the season at the beginning of this season an extra couple hundred yards is very possible.

Heck, we all know what it really comes down to is Roaf, if the guy is healthy for the entire year Green has the chance to hit that mark, if Roaf goes down, the numbers drop dramatically.

FAX
07-02-2006, 10:00 AM
I'm with you, Mr. Rain Man.

This Harmon guy is the engineer of the homer train.

May he reach the station on time.

FAX

rad
07-02-2006, 10:01 AM
Heck, we all know what it really comes down to is Roaf, if the guy is healthy for the entire year Green has the chance to hit that mark, if Roaf goes down, the numbers drop dramatically.


Right on. If that happens, we can only hope Svitek's NFLEL success translates.

Bowser
07-02-2006, 10:03 AM
Does anyone really believe Edwards is going to tinker with the offense that much?

FringeNC
07-02-2006, 10:03 AM
Not necessarily.

With more play action, a (hopefully) healthy TG, and a hopefully more consistent Parker, it's possible that Trent could throw for more yards.

How can you run any more play-action than we did the last few years? Also, Green and the Chiefs are always near the top of the league in yards per attempt. It really can't go up without it being ridiculously high.

If the Chiefs throw the ball less, they will have fewer passing yards.

Edwards says we will throw less, but that doesn't mean too much right now. We were a running team / mix in the pass team already last year (by current NFL standards), and would only go into passing mode if the other team was stacking the line -- like the Denver game at Arrowhead where Green had about 30 pass attempts in the first half, which loosened it up in the 2nd half.

milkman
07-02-2006, 10:05 AM
Yeah I guess that makes sense.

But if the D improves(which it should), I don't see Trent throwing for all those yards.

I guess it would have to improve alot though. Like, 2005 Bears improve.

I think what Hermie has implied is that this offense is going to continue to be aggressive at the outset of games in the hopes of building a lead.

I think what we can expect is for Trent to put up big numbers in the first half, anf LJ to be a second half workhorse.

FAX
07-02-2006, 10:06 AM
Most thoughtful and intelligent Chiefs fans have stated that someone should "gag me with a friggin' spoon" if Hermiliar pulls the reins in on Trent.

FAX

milkman
07-02-2006, 10:07 AM
Right on. If that happens, we can only hope Svitek's NFLEL success translates.

I hope that Roaf is good to go for one more season, as I believe that Svitek needs at laest that long for further growth and polish.

rad
07-02-2006, 10:11 AM
I hope that Roaf is good to go for one more season, as I believe that Svitek needs at laest that long for further growth and polish.


Herm should definately put Svitek in if we're on the giving end of a blowout, that would also preserve Big Willie a little.

Rain Man
07-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Most thoughtful and intelligent Chiefs fans have stated that someone should "gag me with a friggin' spoon" if Hermiliar pulls the reins in on Trent.

FAX

Don't forget me. I've also said that.

FAX
07-02-2006, 10:21 AM
Don't forget me. I've also said that.

Actually, I think that might make a good cheer/chant thing, Mr. Rain Man.

Along the lines of the chopping song.

FAX

Wile_E_Coyote
07-02-2006, 10:22 AM
If Trent in deed gets to call plays in the huddle or at the line. He should only get better

FAX
07-02-2006, 10:24 AM
If Trent in deed gets to call plays in the huddle, he should only get better

Agreed on the "better", Mr. Wile_E_Coyote. But, I'm not certain that will lead to more passing yards for TG.

He's not a stat padder like "some people we know".

FAX

Wile_E_Coyote
07-02-2006, 10:32 AM
Agreed on the "better", Mr. Wile_E_Coyote. But, I'm not certain that will lead to more passing yards for TG.

He's not a stat padder like "some people we know".

FAX

better decisions should lead to bigger gains, Mr Fax

FAX
07-02-2006, 10:50 AM
better decisions should lead to bigger gains, Mr Fax

Excellent point, Mr. Wile_E_Coyote. Yet, I am operating under the premise that TG will call running plays when the conditions warrant unlike "some people we know".

FAX

StcChief
07-02-2006, 10:53 AM
I think Trent will be allowed to do more now that AS is gone.

LJ will get the carries but Trent will be audibling as needed.

Hydrae
07-02-2006, 02:45 PM
I hope that Roaf is good to go for one more season, as I believe that Svitek needs at laest that long for further growth and polish.

Don't forget that he did play in NFLE this year and that makes it tough to play a large portion of the season for anyone. A simple matter of stamina and how much punishment a body can take.

NewChief
07-02-2006, 04:01 PM
I think Trent will be allowed to do more now that AS is gone.

LJ will get the carries but Trent will be audibling as needed.

I'm afraid that the "new" audible dimension has been overhyped.

My prediction: the average fan isn't even going to realize that we're doing more audibles than in the past. Trent will not be doing a Peyton Manning impression at the line. What we'll probably see are preselected "options" in certain situations where he's able to go to a secondary play via an audible/codeword in the snapcount if the defense exposes something. Probably also see him being able to audible a run to go either right or left depending on what the defense shows, but he was doing that some last year as well.