VOTED #1 FANTASY FOOTBALL SITE
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002
PRIORITY NEWS   MESSAGE BOARDS JOIN   
HOME ARTICLES STATISTICS WEEKLY FEATURES TEAM LINKS NFL RESOURCES  
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
   
Oakland vs Denver Mon, Sep 22; 9 PM on ABC at Invesco Field
  Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Rich Gannon 10 0 190,1
RB Charlie Garner 50 60 0
RB Justin Fargas 30 0 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 20 0
WR Tim Brown 0 40 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 10 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 50,1 0
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 10 0 170,1
RB Clinton Portis 110,2 20 0
TE Shannon Sharpe 0 30 0
WR Rod Smith 0 50 0
WR Ed McCaffrey 0 20 0
WR Ashley Lelie 0 40,1 0


Game Prediction: OAK 16, DEN 24

Update: I am not changing the numbers on this game since so far, the week has played out as anticipated. Gannon had back spasms last week but appears okay to play. Jake Plummer has still been limited in practice and is a less certain factor, but has shown improvement and has until Monday night to heal in what would be a whopper of a first game in Denver for Plummer. Clinton Portis has practiced but not taken hits because HC Mike Shanahan is taking no chances. Portis is listed as probable and is expected to play with little or no effects of the chest bruise from last week.

The Raiders come off a home scare when they needed an 86 yard pass interception return in the fourth quarter to make the winning difference against the Bengals.

The good news was that Charlie Garner gained 63 yards on 13 carries and Justin Fargas gained 53 yards on a reverse which led to a Tyrone Wheatley two yard touchdown run. The Raiders won the game. This concludes our good news.

Rich Gannon only threw for 103 yards against the Bengals, going 13 of 28 for a 46% completion ratio. Jerry Rice had two catches for 40 yards and Tim Brown had one catch for seven yards. Other than Garner catching out of the backfield (5-39), there was little working in the passing game that obviously misses Jerry Porter. Ronald Curry took Porter's place in the game but he not only had no catches, he did not even have a single throw to him.

The Raiders defense allowed Corey Dillon to rush for one score and 84 yards even though Dillon was limited by a hyper-extended knee for much of the game. They allowed Jon Kitna to throw for 303 yards and a score and it was only the Phillip Buchanon interception return for a touchdown that provided the winning margin.

When the Raiders lost to the Titans, they relied heavily on Garner in the passing game then as well. This offense without Porter looks oddly old and out of synch this season and only Garner has been able to make any difference. Heading into Denver, the Broncos will welcome a struggling Raiders team as only the Broncos can.

Rod Woodson is still a week away from returning to action and Rich Gannon battled back spasms last week but did not miss any playing time. Gannon is expected to be fine this week.

Denver is now 2-0, coming off a solid, somewhat easy win over the Chargers and the week before that beating the same Bengals 30-10 that the Raiders barely clipped in Oakland 23-20. Clinton Portis only played for one half last week and still gained 129 yards on only 12 carries. Portis was given a solid shot to the chest which left him in pain and short of breath but he is expected to play this week with only a bruised chest. Clinton Portis also had x-rays that showed no damage and he told Shanahan on Monday that he felt close to 100% and would practice full speed today. He could already lift his arms over his head and breathe without discomfort.

Jake Plummer rectified his poor showing in week one by rushing for one score and throwing three touchdowns off play action to tackle-eligble Cooper Carlisle, Shannon Sharpe and fullback Reuben Droughns. He too missed the second half but since Denver already led 24-10, neither Plummer or Portis was needed to win the game. If defenses stack up against Portis (and they should) and bite on play action, Plummer's ability to take advantage will be key to the Denver fortunes this season. If they respect Plummer's throwing, Portis just gets even better.

Plummer suffered a first degree separation of his shoulder but an MRI showed no ligament damage. Some fluid remained on his shoulder as of Tuesday, but his swelling had gone down and HC Mike Shanahan expected Plummer to practice today and play on Monday night.

On paper considering this season, it looks like a Denver blowout. Games between these hated rivals typically throw out past records but it is undeniable that the Raiders are struggling much more than last year when they swept the Broncos.

So far this year, Charlie Garner has been almost the only weapon for the Raiders and last year he had limited success rushing against Denver. The Broncos have already stuffed Corey Dillon and held LaDainian Tomlinson at bay this season in away games while limiting the passing yards from opponents that have been far behind in much of the game.

Anything can happen in a Raider-Bronco game and you can be sure that Romanowski will be aiming for Portis' chest and Plummer's shoulder. If either team can do it, they will roll up the score on the other team. Until the Raiders show more than passing to Garner and relying on lucky interceptions, Denver has the inside track on this win.

Look for Portis and Garner to be the main focus of everyone on the field but for the Raiders to lose the game by allowing the passing game to hurt them and if they switch their attention away from Portis, he will kill them. Garner is good but alone is not good enough here. A definite must see game.

OAK
DEN
2003 Averages
DEN
OAK
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
184
223
Pass yards
154
286
1
1
Pass TDs
1.5
1.5
0
1.5
Interceptions
1.5
1.5
4
3
Rush yards
5
10
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
81
64
Rush yards
165
92
0.5
0
Rush TDs
1.5
0.5
79
5
Receive yards
29
25
0.5
0
Receive TD's
0.5
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
80
157
Receive yards
99
199
0.5
1
Receive TD's
0
1.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
62
Receive yards
27
63
0
0
Receive TD's
1
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.5
1.5
Field Goals
3
3
2
1
Extra Points
3.5
2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0
Fumbles
1
0.5
1.5
1.5
Interceptions
1.5
0
0.5
0
Touchdowns
0.5
2
1.5
1
Sacks
2
0
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Raiders (1-1)
Score Opp.
20-25 @TEN
23-20 CIN
Week 3 @DEN
Week 4 SD
Week 5 @CHI
Week 6 @CLE
Week 7 KC
Week 8 BYE
Week 9 @DET
Week 10 NYJ
Week 11 MIN
Week 12 @KC
Week 13 DEN
Week 14 @PIT
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @SD
Broncos (2-0)
Score Opp.
30-10 @CIN
37-13 @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
(Statistics are game averages from current season )