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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
JAX at IND NYJ at NE *NYG at WAS *GB at ARZ *OAK at DEN
*KC at HOU PIT at CIN STL at SEA Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*MIN at DET *TB at ATL *BAL at SD BUF at MIA CAR, CHI
*NO at TEN Times EST CLE at SF *updated DAL, PHI
   
Baltimore vs San Diego Sun, Sep 21; 4 PM on CBS at Qualcomm Stadium
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 10 0 180,1
RB Jamal Lewis 150,1 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 50,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 60 0
WR Frank Sanders 0 30 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 20 0
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 10 0 190
RB L. Tomlinson 80,1 10 0
TE Justin Peelle 0 20 0
WR David Boston 0 40 0
WR Eric Parker 0 70 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 40 0


Game Prediction: BAL 24, SD 13

Update: Boston has practiced the past two days and appears ready to start again. With the attention that LaDainian Tomlinson will attract, Boston has the opportunity for a nice afternoon but has yet to do anything with it other than get hurt. I am including numbers for Boston this week since he seems likely to play but until he gets a couple of games under his belt, be aware that he still presents a risk. If he does play and is not 100%, he could end up being mostly a decoy that frees up Dwight and Parker.

Jamal Lewis had a decent afternoon last week as he shredded the Browns' defense for a record 295 yards rushing which actually included a 60 yard run called back on a penalty. Lewis gained 145 yards on his two touchdown runs and he opened the game by taking the second play 82 yards for a score. In retrospect, that one play was 22 more yards than what the Browns rushed for all afternoon. In retrospect, he rushed for more yards than anyone else in the history of the NFL in a single game.

The rest of the Raven's offense mainly just blocked or raced to catch up to Lewis on another long run. Kyle Boller only had 78 yards passing and did not play in the fourth quarter because his knee was bothering him and, realistically, he was only 7 of 17 for passing anyway. On a positive note for Boller, Chris Redman came into the game and looked even worse.

The Ravens defense shut down the Browns, holding them to merely 60 yards rushing and 147 yards passing including three turnovers and three sacks.

Lewis made the prediction before the game that he could gain the record if he had 30 carries. He got exactly 30 carries, though he had it done earlier than that. For whatever reason, Lewis always saves his best when he plays Cleveland and now has averaged 168 yards per game against them.

The Chargers are now 0-2 with little hope that a turn around is imminent. After two games, LaDainian Tomlinson still has not ran for over 100 yards in a game nor has he scored a touchdown. The Chargers continue to be a team that is not built for coming from behind and once Tomlinson is bottled up, Drew Brees and company are unable to keep pace with the plentiful yards and scores the defense now allows. Tomlinson averaged a hefty 5.8 yards per carry last week, but it doesn't matter much when the Chargers enter the halftime down by two touchdowns.

Last week the Broncos scored on seven of their first eight offensive series. The Chargers caught a small break when Clinton Portis did not return for the second half since he had already gained 129 yards on 12 carries. In the past two weeks, San Diego has allowed a total of 312 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns along with four passing scores. This defense has the team reeling and unable to get on track. Even when they do, they cannot keep pace with their opponents which changes their game plan to exactly opposite what they prefer to do - run the ball and control the clock.

Reche Caldwell is now out for two months with a dislocated wrist that required surgery. David Boston still is not certain if he will practice today because of his bruised heel. TE Josh Norman is out this week with a hamstring injury and TE Stephen Alexander finally got well enough to play and then aggravated his groin injury yet again. This is not a recipe for success.

Eric Parker not only played in place of David Boston, he looked better than Boston did the previous week. Parker had an impressive training camp and will be the primary receiver if Boston again does not play. If Boston gets around to playing again, Parker will still figure into multiple receiver sets and will mix with Tim Dwight to replace Reche Caldwell. The Chargers have only three touchdowns this season and Parker caught two of them.

The Ravens will again throw Jamal Lewis at the Chargers because the only team that has allowed more rushing than San Diego is the Cleveland Browns because they have already played Baltimore. Kyle Boller will start again and should have more success by the second half since the Chargers will be putting all eleven defenders on the line attempting to slow down Lewis so he does not break his own record. With the linebackers committed against the run, Todd Heap will have more room over the middle.

I like this game to have a defensive score by Baltimore as well considering the passing problems of the Chargers.

San Diego will use Tomlinson but right now, no one else on their team scares a defense. Look for Tomlinson to get the bulk of his carries in the first half but most of his yardage in the second when the defense drops back to protect the lead.

SD
BAL
2003 Averages
BAL
SD
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
192
204
Pass yards
115
237
1.5
2
Pass TDs
0.5
2
1.5
1
Interceptions
1
0.5
8
3
Rush yards
9
7
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
64
76
Rush yards
207
156
0
0.5
Rush TDs
1.5
1.5
12
12
Receive yards
10
63
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0.5
---
---
WR's
---
---
136
174
Receive yards
61
139
1
1.5
Receive TD's
0.5
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
45
19
Receive yards
45
36
0.5
0.5
Receive TD's
0
1
---
---
PK's
---
---
1
2
Field Goals
2
2.5
1.5
2.5
Extra Points
2
3.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
1.5
Fumbles
1
0
0.5
1
Interceptions
1
1.5
0
0
Touchdowns
0.5
0
2
3
Sacks
3
1.5
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Ravens (1-1)
Score Opp.
15-34 @PIT
33-13 CLE
Week 3 @SD
Week 4 KC
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 @ARZ
Week 7 @CIN
Week 8 DEN
Week 9 JAX
Week 10 @STL
Week 11 @MIA
Week 12 SEA
Week 13 SF
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT
Chargers (0-2)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 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 )