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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 8
2011
* ARI at BAL * DET at DEN * MIN at CAR * SD at KC (mon)
* CIN at SEA IND at TEN * NE at PIT Bye Week
* CLE at SF * JAC at HOU * NO at STL ATL, CHI, GB
* Updated DAL at PHI * MIA at NYG WAS at BUF NYJ, OAK, TB

Prediction: SD 20, KC 23

Update: Mike Tolbert is not expected to play and has been held out of practice because of his hamstring. Malcolm Floyd did not practice on Thursday but had some work on Friday and will probably play but be limited in the game.

This is our first rematch of the year. The Chiefs lost 17-20 in San Diego just five weeks ago but have since been on a three game winning streak and are just one game behind these Chargers in the AFC West. The Chargers are fresh off their loss in New York to the Jets and are only 1-2 in road games. This should be a good game that could go either way.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK -
2 @NE 21-35 11 @CHI -
3 KC 20-17 12 DEN -
4 MIA 26-16 13 @JAC -
5 @DEN 29-24 14 BUF -
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ 21-27 16 @DET -
8 @KC - 17 @OAK -
9 GB -      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 270,1
RB Ryan Mathews 80,1 30 -
RB Mike Tolbert 20,1 20 -
TE Antonio Gates - 50,1 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 40 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 80 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 20 -
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The passing stats have been waning in San Diego for the last month though all but last Sunday were without Antonio Gates. The Chargers have managed to have a winning record but have faced MIN, KC and MIA at home and even then did not have big wins over them. This is a defining game of sorts for the Chargers - win it and they keep a lead in the AFC West they may not have to relinquish. Lose here and the division may be up for grabs until the end of the season.

QUARTERBACK: After a hot start to the year, Philip Rivers has cooled down and only thrown three touchdowns over the last four games played. He currently has seven passing touchdowns against nine interceptions and two lost fumbles. Rivers obviously missed Gates in those weeks but his return in New York did not change much. The Chargers wanted to reintegrate Gates in a little slowly to avoid any issues with his foot again. Make no mistake though - Rivers has been off his game this year and some question if he is not hiding an injury.

Rivers passed for just 266 yards and no scores when the Chiefs came to San Diego in week three. He was helped out that week by a good rushing effort that scored twice. Rivers will should score at least one this week and have a shot at two touchdowns.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathews had his best game of the year when he rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and added 51 more yards on four catches against the Chiefs. But he has not scored since and his significant role as a receiver has really waned in the last two games. The return of Gates will have some impact there and Mike Tolbert remains the goal line vulture who scored just last week in New York.

The Chiefs have been weaker against the run though are improved from earlier in the season and allowed just one score in the last three games. I still like the chance of a rushing touchdown here though it would more likely end up with Tolbert.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is where the passing struggles have been most evident. Vincent Jackson had three scores and two efforts over 100 yards in his first four games but only produced four catches for 49 yards total in the last two games. Granted - Darrell Revis shut him down last week but the only two truly good games so far for Jackson were against the horrible defenses of the Patriots and Dolphins. Malcolm Floyd chugs along with 30 or 40 yards every week aside form his one decent showing in Denver thanks to the one long catch.

Jackson caught five passes for 63 yards against the visiting Chiefs in week three. I like a passing score here and it should end up with either Gates or Jackson. But there is more risk this time around from Rivers who is not playing well.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates finally returned and had a touchdown on his five receptions for 54 yards versus the Jets. For what it is worth, Gates gained 76 yards and scored once in Kansas City last season. He remains a risk because of his foot but claims to have not had a setback of any kind from playing. He's a must start even if he does not play all snaps.

Gates was out five weeks ago and Randy McMichael only had one catch for six yards.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 12 2 24 18 10 26
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 16 24 23 16 14 9


Kansas City Chiefs
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 7-41 10 DEN -
2 @DET 3-48 11 @NE -
3 @SD 17-20 12 PIT -
4 MIN 22-17 13 @CHI -
5 @IND 28-24 14 @NYJ -
6 Bye - 15 GB -
7 @OAK 28-0 16 OAK -
8 SD - 17 @DEN -
9 MIA -      
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 220,2
RB Dexter McCluster 20 10 -
RB Jackie Battle 70 - -
RB Thomas Jones 30 - -
TE Leonard Pope - 10 -
WR Jonathan Baldwin - 30 -
WR Steve Breaston - 60,1 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 90,1 -
PK Ryan Succop 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: After starting the season by losing Jamaal Charles and getting demolished in the first two games, The Chiefs have bounced back nicely with a close loss in San Diego and then three straight wins. While the rushing effort is still well short of Charles-quality, it is adequate at the worst and usually good enough lately. Cassel has been better in recent games too though the quality of opponent has not been too high. This week is a big one. A win here puts the Chiefs in the thick of the playoff race with two very winnable home games coming up next.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel passed for 176 yards and two scores in San Diego during week three. He reeled off two 250+ efforts against the Vikings and Colts before settling down and letting the Raiders kill themselves last week. The offense is back to being more balanced than it was in week three when the Charles injury was still fresh.

The Chargers secondary has been their weaker link and allowed ten passing scores this season and that includes facing the Vikings, Dolphins and Rams. Back at home, I like Cassel to keep those two passing touchdowns and add a bit more to his yardage totals.

RUNNING BACKS: The Chiefs are committed to giving Thomas Jones about ten carries per game even though he never scores or does anything with the opportunity. The Dexter McCluster experiment continues with him still a factor for a handful of carries but he has settled down to only a single catch in the most recent games and remains well below fantasy relevance.

Jackie Battle has emerged as a serviceable fall back after gaining 119 yards on 19 runs in Indianapolis and then 76 yards on 16 carries in Oakland. He has no real role as a receiver but is clearly best of the bunch as a runner.

All combined the Chiefs only gained 80 yards on 26 carries in San Diego this season.

The Chargers have allowed over 110 yards to the primary runner in the last two games though only two running backs have scored on them. The Chiefs only have one rushing touchdown this year and that was just last week. Expect the moderate yardage to be split out again and so far a touchdown is less likely.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jonathan Baldwin finally had his first NFL catch against the Raiders but it was his only in the game. He has little chance of supplanting Steve Breaston as the #2 in the offense since Breaston has been rock solid with at least 50 yards per week and as high as 91. Breaston finally scored for the first time this season when he doubled up in Indianapolis. Dwayne Bowe has been remarkably consistent and productive. He has scored four times over the last four games and turned in 100+ yards in three matchups. With Charles out of the picture, Breaston and Bowe are the two most involved in moving the offense.

Bowe turned in 67 yards and one score on four receptions in San Diego. Breaston accounted for 55 yards on three catches.

The Chargers have only allowed five touchdowns to wideouts this year though three just went to Plaxico Burress. I like both passing scores to end up here since it is a road game and the Chiefs are getting better every week.

TIGHT ENDS: Leonard Pope scored once on his three receptions for 32 yards against the Chargers. It was his only touchdown this year and only game with any yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 29 20 15 31 27 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 8 13 6 25 13 26

WEEK 8
2011
ARI at BAL DET at DEN MIN at CAR SD at KC (mon)
CIN at SEA IND at TEN NE at PIT Bye Week
CLE at SF JAC at HOU NO at STL ATL, CHI, GB
  DAL at PHI MIA at NYG WAS at BUF NYJ, OAK, TB

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