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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 4
September 24, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
ARZ at STL KC at BAL ATL at CAR *IND at NO Miami
TEN at PIT *NE at WAS DAL at NYJ Mon 9 PM NY Giants
CIN at CLE *PHI at BUF *DET at DEN *GB at CHI Seattle
JAX at HOU *SF at MIN *SD at OAK *updated Tampa Bay
   
San Diego vs Oakland Sun, Sep 28; 4 PM on CBS at Network Associates Coliseum
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 10 0 190
RB L. Tomlinson 110,1 40 0
TE Justin Pelle 0 20 0
WR David Boston S S S
WR Eric Parker 0 60 0
WR Kassim Osgood 0 40 0
WR Tim Dwight Q Q Q
  Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Rich Gannon 0 0 220,2
RB Tyrone Wheatley 30 0 0
RB Charlie Garner 60 30 0
RB Justin Fargas 30 0 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 30,1 0
WR Tim Brown 0 50 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 20 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 60,1 0


Game Prediction: SD 10, OAK 23

Update: David Boston was suspended this week and will not play. Tim Dwight has a sprained MCL and may not play which leaves Eric Parker and Kassim Osgood as the most likely primary receivers in this game for the Chargers. Based on the even worse look of the offense, I am downgrading their numbers and total score.

Charlie Garner was not on the injury report but did get a shot to his ribs last Monday that took him out of that game. Now the Raiders are openly wondering if a shift from their pas-heavy style of offense is needed and within that an increased use of the running game and less reliance on the pass. This game will be interesting to see how that transpires or if it does but in light of that news I am including Tyrone Wheatley in the projections and Zack Crockett could again become viable as the goalline back as he did in Denver on Monday.

The Chargers have become a standard of consistency this season in a league that hates consistency. Problem is - they are consistently bad and lose every game by two touchdowns.

While LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the most talented runners in the NFL, it doesn't matter much when his team is hopelessly behind by the fourth quarter every game. Currently Tomlinson is 11th in rushing yardage this season, right behind Stephen Davis who was on bye last week. Evidently Kansas City only needed to get rid of Schottenheimer in order to get the exact team he always wanted to build there. Tomlinson finally crested the 100 yard mark last week with his 105 yard, 1 touchdown game.

The situation in San Diego is not improving though it cannot get much worse. Some people are questioning that Schottenheimer is losing the team already and his weekly reports on their improvement are starting to sound like the Iraqi information minister has been writing his speeches. "Jamal Lewis will run no more! He has been thrown back to his devil's den and never more shall the infidels cross the line of scrimmage!"

Drew Brees comes off a 270 yard passing game against the Ravens but he logged three interceptions instead of any touchdowns. That leaves him with three touchdowns and six interceptions on the year. David Boston is currently between injuries right now and had six catches for 91 yards last week. It is easy to tell which receiver is making the most money by just watching where Brees is looking on each passing play. Problem is that the defense does this too and hence the three interceptions.

Last week's fantasy free agent darling Eric Parker only had four catches for 40 yards and as he plays behind David Boston, he has to wait until later in the game for the multiple receiver sets book to be dusted off in order to see much playing time. Tim Dwight (3-33) sprained his knee and pending news on his MRI I am considering him out.

The Raiders come off a Monday night game where they proved, conclusively, that all is not well in the land of spiked collars and spitting linebackers. Last season, Oakland debuted an offense that was a powerhouse and well beyond expectations from the veteran crew. This season they are still the same distance from expectations except now they are in the opposite direction.

The Raiders have become predictable, evidenced by the fact that one reason Gannon was having a tirade on the sideline was because the defense was calling out what the play was going to be before the ball was ever snapped.

Rich Gannon comes off a 14 of 29, 149 yard performance against the Broncos and only trash time throws made the game seem even remotely respectable. The only positive from the game was that both Jerry Rice (4-61) and Tim Brown (1-11) extended their streaks of consecutive games with a receptions. In the case of Brown, it required five throws in the second half to get that one catch.

The Broncos had evidently noticed what the rest of the world knew by focusing their defense against Charlie Garner and holding him to only four runs for nine yards and one catch for a two yard loss. Garner left the game after the 0-21 first quarter with bruised ribs so that Tyrone Wheatley could run five times for 16 yards as the designated tackling dummy.

This week will pit two teams that are reeling from their recent play and searching for answers that do not seem to be coming. Both teams are starting to strain in the lockerroom and only one team can get the much needed win.

Look for LaDainian Tomlinson to have a good showing here as should David Boston if only in sheer volume of passes. The Raiders will win the game because they are still good enough to contend with the Chargers and Charlie Garner should return to more productive ways against a defense that runners love.

SD
OAK
2003 Averages
OAK
SD
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
218
257
Pass yards
184
191
1.0
1.7
Pass TDs
0.7
1.7
2.0
1
Interceptions
0.3
0.7
7
22
Rush yards
3
4
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0
0.0
----
----- 
RB's
----- 
----
80
107
Rush yards
66
153
0.3
0.7
Rush TDs
0.7
1.3
29
23
Receive yards
59
44
0.0
0
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
----
----- 
WR's
----- 
----
151
185
Receive yards
94
102
0.7
1.3
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
----
----- 
TE's
----- 
----
38
48
Receive yards
31
44
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
0
1.0
----
----- 
PK's
----- 
----
1.0
2.3
Field Goals
2
2.0
1.3
2.7
Extra Points
1.7
3.3
----
----- 
DEF/ST
----- 
----
0.3
0.3
Fumbles
0.7
0.0
0.7
0.3
Interceptions
1
2.0
0.0
1.3
Touchdowns
0.3
0.0
1.7
1.7
Sacks
1.7
1.3
0.0
0
Safeties
0
0.0
Chargers (0-3)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 DEN
10-24 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
Raiders (1-2)
Score Opp.
20-25 @TEN
23-20 CIN
10-31 @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
(Statistics are game averages from current season )