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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

JAC at ATL (thu) * CIN at STL * MIA at BUF SEA at CHI
DAL at TB (sat) * CLE at ARI NE at DEN * TEN at IND
BAL at SD * DET at OAK * NO at MIN WAS at NYG
* UPDATED CAR at HOU GB at KC * NYJ at PHI * PIT at SF (mon)

Prediction: BAL 17, SD 20

The Ravens are 10-3 and tied for the #1 seed in the AFC with three other teams but are only 3-3 on the road. The Chargers are just 6-7 and 4-3 at home but have been playing far better in recent games. This is a coin flip game but the Ravens are just not a good road team and the Chargers could be just good enough to pull off the upset here. This is the final home game for the Chargers and as close to a playoff game as they are going to get.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA 17-22
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN 31-24
3 @STL 37-7 12 SF 16-6
4 NYJ 34-17 13 @CLE 24-10
5 Bye - 14 IND 24-10
6 HOU 29-14 15 @SD -
7 @JAC 7-9 16 CLE -
8 ARI 30-27 17 @CIN -
9 @PIT 23-20   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 270,1
RB Ray Rice 50,1 50 -
TE Ed Dickson - 40 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 60 -
WR Lee Evans - 20 -
WR Torrey Smith - 70,1 -
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Ray Lewis is expected back after missing four games with a bad toe. On the other side of this matchup are just games against the Browns and in Cincinnati which should be wins so the Ravens are likely to end up no worse than 12-4 if not 13-3. At home they are undefeated but away from Baltimore they have been surprised by the Titans, Jaguars and Seahawks. Basically all the road opponents who are not in their division.

QUARTERBACK: Aside from the one game in St. Louis, Joe Flacco has not thrown more than one touchdown in a road game and been little more than a game manager. Flacco currently has thrown for 15 touchdowns with nine interceptions and six lost fumbles. He's taken no step forward this year and while the Raven's defense means passing is not always that important, it has been in every loss so far. Flacco has not been a liability, but it is hard to prove where he has been of any advantage.

The Chargers have been better at home where seven opponents have only totaled ten touchdowns and four of those went to Aaron Rodgers. I like the chance for Flacco to get higher yardage, but he has been stuck at the one score on the road.

RUNNING BACKS: Ray Rice is having a monster year right when his current contract is expiring so he is making himself a ton of cash with every big game. But he's been just as sensitive to venue with nine touchdowns in Baltimore and only three in road games. Two of those scores went to divisional rivals as well. Rice plowed the Browns for 204 yards in Cleveland but against all others he has been far less productive on the road with less than 50 rush yards in all but the Rams win. He makes up for it as a receiver and is almost always close to 100 total yards but Rice has been a less effective runner away from home.

Only two running backs have scored in San Diego but Rice could make that three. Even with reduced stats in most away games, he is always a must start.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The often pedestrian passing stats translate into a mediocre group of wide receivers and only Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin have been worthy of any fantasy consideration. Both have turned in two 130+ yardage games and yet all others have been far less productive. Smith is the leader with six scores while Boldin still only has three touchdowns. I like the one touchdown pass to end up here but that should favor Smith the most. The Chargers secondary at home has been very solid outside of playing against Aaron Rodgers.

TIGHT ENDS: There is no real fantasy value here with Ed Dickson rarely topping 30 yards and only scoring three times this year. Dennis Pitta is even less productive though he has scored twice over the last three games. Still not enough production to merit a fantasy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 23 5 25 13 5 4
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 15 13 10 9 16 25

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN 24-17 10 OAK 17-24
2 @NE 21-35 11 @CHI 20-31
3 KC 20-17 12 DEN 13-16
4 MIA 26-16 13 @JAC 38-14
5 @DEN 29-24 14 BUF 37-10
6 Bye - 15 BAL -
7 @NYJ 21-27 16 @DET -
8 @KC 20-23 17 @OAK -
9 GB 38-45      
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 290,2
RB Ryan Mathews 50 30 -
RB Mike Tolbert 20 20 -
TE Antonio Gates - 50,1 -
WR Vincent Brown - 50 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 20 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 70,1 -
WR Patrick Crayton - 30 -
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers have finally strung together two nice efforts in a row and both scored 37+ points. The coaches and players are all working on keeping jobs after a six game losing streak sunk the season. This is the final home game before heading out to Detroit and Oakland. The Chargers are looking healthier again and coming together better. Sadly - too little and too late.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers has been on a roll with the last six games scoring a total of 15 touchdowns and 270+ yards in most matchups. But Rivers is not above a bad game and he only managed one score and and fewer than 200 passing yards against the Broncos and Jets. Yet he has been on a hot streak lately and the team is healthier.

Rivers had been much better but now goes against the #1 defense against quarterbacks. No team has passed for more than one touchdown on the Ravens though in fairness, the Ravens have not played any team with a decent passing game. Literally - no teams that can pass that well. So I like Rivers to do the shocking thing here and toss for two scores and decent to big yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: Ryan Mathews is on a three game streak with over 100 rushing yards but he only has scored in one game since week three. He's a safe bet for decent yardage because he can double as a receiver if needed in a game like this one should be. Mike Tolbert has scored eight times this season but rarely has any yardage of note and goes against a defense that has only given up six touchdowns to running backs all year.

'Matthews is still a decent play since he is at home and will add in receiving yardage but Tolbert should remain on your bench.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This is where it has to happen and at home the Chargers are better and the Ravens are inexplicably worse though against wideouts they have been very good. Vincent Jackson is usually feast or famine but at least all of his big games have been at home or in New England. Vincent Brown gets the benefit of single coverage and does more in home games but rarely enough to merit any fantasy consideration. Malcolm Floyd and Patrick Crayton show up almost randomly in a few games every year.

Again - the Ravens have not faced many decent passing teams and players like Kenny Britt (9-135, TD) and Mike Wallace (4-68, TD) have done okay against them. Hard to push either wideouts against likely better options on fantasy teams but either player could score and have moderate yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates claims the foot has never been better and has two scores and around 70 yards in each of the recent two matchups. The Ravens are outstanding against the position but have played virtually no top tight ends this year. I like Gates to end up with the second passing score but his yardage will remain moderate.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 10 4 14 9 10 26
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 1 2 6 2 5 17

JAC at ATL (thu) CIN at STL MIA at BUF SEA at CHI
DAL at TB (sat) CLE at ARI NE at DEN TEN at IND
  CAR at HOU GB at KC NYJ at PHI PIT at SF (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t