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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 2
September 10, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at JAX MIA at NYJ WAS at ATL SEA at ARZ *CHI at MIN
CLE at BAL *PIT at KC Sun 4 PM *DEN at SD Mon 9 PM
*DET at GB SF at STL CAR at TB NE at PHI DAL at NYG
*HOU at NO *TEN at IND *CIN at OAK Times EST *updated
   
Denver vs San Diego Sun, Sep 14; 4 PM on CBS at Qualcomm Stadium
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 20 0 210,1
RB Clinton Portis 120,2 30 0
TE Shannon Sharpe 0 40,1 0
WR Rod Smith 0 60 0
WR Ed McCaffrey 0 20 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 40 0
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 10 0 220,1
RB L. Tomlinson 80,1 40 0
TE S. Alexander 0 30 0
WR David Boston Q Q Q
WR Reche Caldwell 0 70,1 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 50 0


Game Prediction: DEN 24, SD 17

Update: David Boston's heel is bothering him this week and he is most likely not going to play and allow it to heal for the next week. Eric Parker will enter into the starting rotation.

Denver comes off a dominating win over the Bengals and yet with defensive stance about the performance of new QB Jake Plummer. Since "Jake the Snake" finished with only a 21.4 QB rating, the criticism was expected. Plummer threw 12 of 25 for 115 yards and three interceptions. In the fantasy football world that saw Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and Shannon Sharpe get drafted high, it is a cause for alarm.

For now, HC Mike Shanahan and fellow teammates are still behind Plummer and attributed his errant passes to playing his first game under big expectations. They expect Plummer to improve as the season wears on and he settles down though the following week will be his home opener against the Raiders which should prove far more confidence shaking when all the fans are all wearing orange and booing.

Clinton Portis was plenty to win the game in Cincinnati, cruising for 120 yards on 24 carries and scoring twice. Portis had his foot stepped on late in the game but he is fine now. Scary moments for someone in your league. Portis should continue to run well this game and that in turn may effect how the passing game is used. Ashley Lelie and Ed McCaffrey are both still waiting on their first Plummer completion.

The Chargers come off a big thumping in Kansas City - a team that they first beat by a point and then later lost by only two points in 2002. This season - wasn't even close. The Chiefs added an actual defense to their team and rendered the Chargers punchless. While the final score was 14-27, the Chargers once trailed 24-0 in the third quarter.

Ladainain Tomlinson had only 13 rushes for 34 yards (2.6 YPC) and had five catches for 27 yards. Last year in Kansas City he gained 157 total yards.

Drew Brees threw two touchdowns and gained 202 yards but had two interceptions behind poor pass protection that led to three sacks. The much anticipated debut of free agent acquisition David Boston provided nothing more than two catches for 20 yards and the wideout crew was led by Eric Parker's mere two catches for 43 yards and one score.

TE Josh Norman had one score and caught four passes for 64 yards but before you rush to the waiver wire, realize that Norman's play was largely because Stephen Alexander was inactive for the game but is expected to be back from his groin injury this week.

The defense was unable to contain Priest Holmes all afternoon and still surrendered 282 yards to Trent Green. It was an embarrassing game that the Chargers hope will soon be forgettable.

This week will be a good measurement for San Diego. The last time the Broncos came to town, Ladainian Tomlinson had 220 yards rushing, 51 yards receiving and three touchdowns as he dominated in that Charger win. This should be interesting since in that same game Portis had 159 yards rushing, 34 yards receiving and two touchdowns. It was a game that defense forgot. So far - only Denver seems to have rediscovered theirs.

The flop job that San Diego laid in Kansas City should not be discounted as merely one game - it was a divisional game that they had months to prepare to play. The Chargers losses on the defense in the offseason only further weakened a suspect unit while the Broncos are better now. Look for a big day from Clinton Portis and a better effort from Jake Plummer as the Broncos focus on the only two things that San Diego brings to the game - Ladainian Tomlinson and David Boston. While both teams will rush heavily in the first half, the Chargers will have to shift to a passing scheme to catch up in the second half while the Broncos will be able to run or pass at their discretion. That should lead to better numbers for both.

DEN
SD
2003 Averages
SD
DEN
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
168
282
Pass yards
202
264
1.7
1
Pass TDs
2
1
1
1
Interceptions
2
2
14
10
Rush yards
15
5
0.5
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
156
118
Rush yards
35
35
1.3
2
Rush TDs
0
0
26
108
Receive yards
23
10
0.3
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
119
156
Receive yards
115
157
0.3
1
Receive TD's
1
1
---
---
TE's
---
---
24
18
Receive yards
64
97
1
0
Receive TD's
1
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.3
2
Field Goals
0
1
3.7
3
Extra Points
2
1
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.7
0
Fumbles
1
0
1.3
2
Interceptions
1
3
0.3
0
Touchdowns
0
0
3
3
Sacks
3
1
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Broncos (1-0)
Score Opp.
30-10 @CIN
Week 2 @SD
Week 3 OAK
Week 4 DET
Week 5 @KC
Week 6 PIT
Week 7 @MIN
Week 8 @BAL
Week 9 NE
Week 10 BYE
Week 11 SD
Week 12 CHI
Week 13 @OAK
Week 14 KC
Week 15 CLE
Week 16 @IND
Week 17 @GB
Chargers (0-1)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
Week 2 DEN
Week 3 BAL
Week 4 @OAK
Week 5 @JAX
Week 6 BYE
Week 7 @CLE
Week 8 MIA
Week 9 @CHI
Week 10 MIN
Week 11 @DEN
Week 12 CIN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @DET
Week 15 GB
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 OAK
(Statistics are game averages from current season )