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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 1, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *TEN at NE Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*ARZ at DAL *MIN at ATL DET at SF *CLE at PIT Ravens
CIN at BUF *NO at CAR WAS at PHI Mon 9 PM Texans
*DEN at KC OAK at CHI *SD at JAX *IND at TB Jets
MIA at NYG SEA at GB   *updated Rams
   
San Diego vs Jacksonville Sun, Oct 5; 4 PM on CBS at ALLTEL Stadium
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 200,1
RB L. Tomlinson 100,1 20 0
TE Justin Peelle 0 30 0
WR David Boston 0 70,1 0
WR Eric Parker 0 30 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 30 0
  Jacksonville Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich 0 0 190,2
RB Fred Taylor 120,1 20,1 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 20,1 0
WR J.J. Stokes 0 40 0
WR Matthew Hatchette 0 30 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 60 0


Game Prediction: SD 14, JAX 21

Update: Eric Parker missed some practice this week due to a problem with his equilibrium which is either related to a mild concussion or a virus. If he cannot play, Dondre Gillam would replace him. Tim Dwight is still questionable to play but probably will. His knee is not 100% yet which will affect his speed. I am assuming that both Parker and Dwight can play but have slightly lowered their numbers. Recognize that there is risk in starting either.

Byron Leftwich has been named as the starting quarterback over Mark Brunell who feels he is healthy enough to play. HC Jack Del Rio, however, feels that Leftwich gives them the best chance to win.

Ah yes, the battle of the perfect teams. This will be the final matching of winless teams this season unless the SD-CHI meeting in week 9 contains the unimagineable.

The Chargers are winless and already hopeless for a playoff run, but give the guys some well earned respect. When $47 million David Boston acted up and openly defied the team rules of conduct, Marty Schottenheimer called him into his office and told him he was wrong, he would get with the program or else, he would take the next week off to think about it - MISTER - and that he had already called Boston's mother to come pick him up.

He did that even though Reche Caldwell was already out injured and Tim Dwight would be a scratch for the game. A big salute from the working class that could never get away for such behavior with a fraction as much pay. Boston is back this week and has read a public apology to the media but took no questions. He also never actually apologized to his teammates but heck - they watch TV too. It was as "tail between the legs" as one can expect from Boston.

The Chargers came very close to beating the Raiders anyway, surprisingly enough. Were it not for running out of gas in the fourth quarter just when the Raiders finally found second gear, San Diego would have been the winner.

Drew Brees completed 21 of 31 for 187 yards and had one touchdown thrown to TE Justin Peelle (3-24) while also catching a 21 yard touchdown himself on a halfback pass from Tomlinson. You know the receivers are banged up when the QB has to go out for a pass.

LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 187 yards on 28 carries, had seven catches for 24 yards plus the TD throw. A very nice day at the office though not enough to win the game. Tomlinson's rushing score came on a 55 yard run.

Eric Parker (1-10) did nothing all day since he was the lone Charger receiver that the secondary thought had a chance to catch a pass. With Stephen Alexander still hopelessly injured, Justin Peelle (3-24) and Antonio Gates (2-30) will again fill in.

While the offense gave a near heroic effort in the loss, the defense once again proved the undoing, allowing Gannon to regain his 2002 form and throw for 348 yards and three touchdowns while allowing 120 yards rushing to Garner, Wheatley and the rest. This week? Probably more of the same.

The Jaguars latest version of "close don't count" came against the Texans in a game they had won until the Texans final, and now fabled, drive to win the game as time expired.

Byron Leftwich set the team record with an 84 yard touchdown completion to Troy Edwards (3-111). Otherwise, the rookie was less than stellar. Leftwich completed 17 of 36 passes for 231 yards (including the bomb to Edwards), had three interceptions and a very critical fumble late in the fourth quarter.

The details of that game matter little now, since Mark Brunell is expected to be back as well as the much anticipated Jimmy Smith who has spent the past four weeks learning to NOT breath through his nose on all occasions. Smith will take over for Matthew Hatchette who almost seemed serviceable at times. His presence should help the passing game which in turn opens the running game up.

Fred Taylor needs the help. Other than the one 126 yard effort against the Colts that came primarily on a long run, Taylor has been stuck at around 70 yards rushing a game. Since San Diego usually allows about twice that much, this is a good week to start Taylor.

Look for Taylor and Tomlinson to both challenge the 100 yard mark this week and for both Boston and Smith to reappear with good results. In the end, the lack of an actual defense for San Diego will again get in the way.

SD
JAX
2003 Averages
JAX
SD
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
210
226
Pass yards
210
230
1.0
2.0
Pass TDs
1.3
2.0
1.8
1.3
Interceptions
0.8
0.8
5
4
Rush yards
8
5
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.3
0.0
----
----
RB's
----
----
111
84
Rush yards
91
139
0.8
1.0
Rush TDs
0.5
1.3
30
27
Receive yards
47
36
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.3
----
----
WR's
----
----
146
170
Receive yards
145
148
0.5
2.0
Receive TD's
1.3
0.8
----
----
TE's
----
----
35
30
Receive yards
18
47
0.5
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
1.0
----
----
PK's
----
----
1.0
1.5
Field Goals
1.5
2.0
2.0
3.3
Extra Points
1.8
3.5
----
----
DEF/ST
----
----
0.5
1.0
Fumbles
0.5
0.0
0.8
0.8
Interceptions
1.3
1.8
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.0
2.0
2.3
Sacks
1.3
1.0
0.0
0.3
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chargers (0-4)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 DEN
10-24 BAL
31-34 @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
Jaguars (0-4)
Score Opp.
23-24 @CAR
17-38 BUF
13-23 @IND
20-24 @HOU
Week 5 SD
Week 6 MIA
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 TEN
Week 9 @BAL
Week 10 IND
Week 11 @TEN
Week 12 @NYJ
Week 13 TB
Week 14 HOU
Week 15 @NE
Week 16 NO
Week 17 @ATL
(Statistics are game averages from current season )