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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL *JAC at NYG *MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI

Prediction: SD 23, IND 24

Update: Gates has tried to practice without much success because of the pain in his foot. He is likely to miss this week again. Ryan Mathews has a high ankle sprain is is not expected to play this week. Legedu Naanee has returned to some practice but is not a lock to play yet. Malcom Floyd has missed practice to rest his hamstring and the team is still hopeful that he can play but he would be limited if he does. Randy McMichael is also nursing a hamstring strain but he may still play though too he would not be completely healthy.

Joseph Addai is still not practicing with any contact and is considered to be a game time decision on Sunday night. Austin Collie has already been called as out this week because of his lingering effects of the concussion.

Update #2: Legedu Naanee is likely to play this week though his role is not certain as he will be behind Vincent Jackson. Malcom Floyd still is expected to play but he will be limited from his hamstring.

This is the battle of the beaten-up. The Chargers have lost so many players this year that the returning starters don't even recognize the current starters. The Chargers are only 1-4 in road games but playing incredibly well considering their personnel plight. The Colts are trying to keep up with the Jaguars in the AFC South and are 4-0 at home with injury problems of their own. This is the late game on Sunday and should be a great one to watch.

San Diego Chargers (5-5)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN W 35-14
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND --
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK --
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC --
6 @STL L 17-20 15 SF --
7 NE L 20-23 16 @CIN --
8 TEN W 33-25 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU W 29-23 - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 250,2
RB Darren Sproles 10 50,1 -
RB Mike Tolbert 60 20 -
TE Randy McMichael - 30 -
WR Malcom Floyd - 40 -
WR Vincent Jackson   80,1 -
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Chargers have a shot at retaking the AFC West since the Chiefs are only one game ahead and the rematch comes in week 14 in San Diego. With three straight wins, the Chargers are in contention again and after this week have a challenging but winnable final stretch of the season. The injury situation has forced the Chargers to constantly turn over their roster at a historically high rate.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers already has 23 touchdowns this year and has seven games right at or above 300 passing yards. He has thrown exactly one interception per game but tossed multiple scores in all but two matchups. He gets Vincent Jackson back this week and none too early with Antonio Gates likely out again.

The Colts have never allowed more than two passing scores to any opponent and almost all have ended with moderate pass yards though for some it was because they were running so well - not a likelihood for the Chargers. Rivers is an elite player now and anything below a couple scores and 250 yards is a surprise.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathew is expected to be out again this week with his high ankle sprain and Mike Tolbert has been more than adequate as a replacement. Tolbert had a season best 111 yards on 25 carries versus the Broncos last week and scored in seven of the last nine games. Darren Sproles continues to be the receiving option in the backfield which should come into play this week with the Colts cornerbacks being good at covering wide receivers.

The Colts have been very soft against the run but improved in recent weeks and only allowed one rushing score at home this year to a running back. Tolbert's yardage will rely on game situation but regardless he should be no worse than a moderate play this week. Sproles has about an even chance of scoring and he has caught a touchdown in two of the last three weeks. WIth Gates out, Sproles is asked to do more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Each week it is hard to gather all the info on this group. It is like taking roll call at a hospital. Patrick Crayton injured his wrist and will miss probably two weeks. Malcom Floyd has tweaked his hamstring again but is going to take it easy in practice and see if he can play. I will assume a limited Floyd can go. Legedu Naanee remains out with his hamstring and since he was doubtful last week, I will assume he needs yet another week to recover at least. Oh yes, and Vincent Jackson is slated to return and will be looked to carry a very full load. Legedu Naanee may return this week from his hamstring injury but by this point, believe it when you see him on the field.

You actually have to like Jackson this week. He has been practicing for three weeks and the Chargers are down to almost no one but him. The Colts have allowed four scores at home to wideouts and always the opponent's #1 guy. Floyd is a risk with his hamstring issue but Jackson may make a small splash on his return. After all, he has very little time to show any prospective teams what he can do for them next year. Plus he needs to show that his success is not just because of Philip Rivers - which is a leading theory by now.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates foot remains an issue and he is no lock to play this week. Randy McMichael had a sore hamstring from last week but should be able to play and he had two scores back in week nine in Houston when Gates was first out.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 2 3 13 1 24 17
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 13 27 16 2 19 1
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 11 24 3 1 -5 -16


Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU L 24-34 10 CIN W 23-17
2 NYG W 38-14 11 @NE L 28-31
3 @DEN W 27-13 12 SD --
4 @JAC L 28-31 13 DAL --
5 KC W 19-9 14 @TEN --
6 @WAS W 27-24 15 JAC --
7 Bye - 16 @OAK --
8 HOU W 30-17 17 TEN --
9 @PHI L 24-26 - - -
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
INDIANAPOLIS vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning - - 250,2
RB Donald Brown 60,1 10 -
TE Jacob Tamme - 70,1 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 80 -
WR Blair White - 30,1 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 50 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Colts have lost two of their last three games and both were by three points or less. The Patriots tilt went off as they always do except for the part where Manning saves the day and throws the winning touchdown. Not unlike the Chargers, the Colts have been hit with injuries and are still trying to contend with an ever changing set of starters. The good news at least in theory is that the Colts will likely be favored in all remaining games and could win out.

QUARTERBACK: The oddity about Peyton Manning this year is not that he has 20 touchdowns, it is that he has only thrown for two scores total in the last three home games. That was two games without a passing score (KC and CIN) and then two against the Texans. Manning has been as productive as ever in most of his games but this year when he drops a clunker it is at home and makes for a tough week in fantasy football.

The Chargers have only allowed one quarterback to pass for more than one score and that was Vince Young throwing just two. And yet the Chargers have faced a long list of less than average quarterbacks this year. Manning has been less effective at home for whatever reason and the Chargers have been statistically great against the pass. Figure on just a moderate game but with two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Joseph Addai remains out with his shoulder and neck problems though he is started to get limited work at practice. Barring unexpected practice news, expect him to miss yet another week.

Donald Brown has been much improved in recent weeks with games of 12-50 and 17-68 most recently but he still has not scored since back in week two. The Chargers have allowed five rushing touchdowns to running backs in away games along with 100+ yards for the last three opponents. Expect a decent show by Brown this week with a chance for a score. The Colts would love to ride the running game and keep Rivers off the field if they can but the more that happens, the less that Manning can post notable stats.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Austin Collie is back out this week after he experienced symptoms from his previous concussion in the game last week and was pulled to protect him. Collie did not suffer another concussion but apparently was not over the one he already had. That leaves Blair White to fill in and he had two scores on five catches for 42 yards in relief of Collie against the Patriots. Pierre Garcon has not stepped up his play or even remotely reminded anyone what he accomplished in 2009. Garcon has scored only once this year and struggled to exceed 60 yards in most games.

Fortunately last week Reggie Wayne finally was able to breakout and catch eight passes for 107 yards and a score. That was his first 100 yard effort since week four and just his fourth touchdown on the season. Wayne has really suffered with the injuries to Dallas Clark and Austin Collie since it left him rather alone with the secondary.

The Chargers only allowed three touchdowns to any wideout this year and most players end with very marginal stats. I like one score to this position though with White the most likely. The yardage should be lower for everyone here this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Jacob Tamme faces the weakest part of the Chargers defense and still they have given up just four scores and only one game over 70 yards to a tight end. With the Chargers corners busy with the wide receivers, Tamme should have his fifth straight game with over 60 yards and have a very good shot at one touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 7 21 2 6 6 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 12 2 26 17 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) IND -5 -9 0 20 11 15

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ CAR at CLE GB at ATL SD at IND
  TEN at HOU PIT at BUF KC at SEA SF at ARI
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