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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 8
October 22, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM *DET at CHI Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at NO NYG at MIN HOU at IND BUF at KC Atlanta
*CLE at NE SEA at CIN *NYJ at PHI Mon 9 PM Green Bay
DAL at TB *STL at PIT *SF at ARZ *MIA at SD Oakland
*DEN at BAL TEN at JAX   *updated Washington
   
Miami vs San Diego Mon, Oct 27; 9 PM on ABC at Qualcomm Stadium
  Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese 10 0 170,1
RB Ricky Williams 120,2 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 40,1 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 60 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 30 0
WR James McKnight 0 20 0
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 210,1
RB L. Tomlinson 60 20 0
TE Josh Norman 0 10 0
WR David Boston 0 80,1 0
WR Eric Parker 0 40 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 40 0


Game Prediction: Miami 24, SD 10

Update: I am leaving Brian Griese as the starter but there still exists a chance that Jay Fiedler would play. The Dolphins are being intentionally vague about the QB situation but against the Chargers I would expect that either QB would end up with similar numbers. The actual decision may not be made until game time.

It is now official. The schedule makers for the Monday Night Football games needs to be tested for drugs. MNF is intent on either giving cardiac-arrest inducing games that keep the country up until all hours of the night or they want everyone to check their local listings to see what else is on after 8 PM.

Here we have the best rushing defense showcased on Monday night against a team that has nothing beyond a running back. The Dolphins are still steamed over losing, again, at home while the Chargers are still giggling like a band of girl scouts at a sleepover after they experienced an actual win last week in spite of only passing for 74 yards in the game.

The country will be on time for work on Tuesday morning.

Miami Notes

The Dolphins fall to 4-2 after their loss to the Patriots and are now one game back in the AFC East.

Quarterbacks: Jay Fiedler suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the New England game and may not be available this week. He had an MRI on Monday but the results will not be released until Wednesday. If he cannot go, then Brian Griese will receive his first start as a Dolphin and have the chance to throw for the 25, 093rd passing yard by a Griese.

At this point I am assuming that Griese will start.

Running Backs: Ricky Williams ended with 97 yards rushing against the Patriots, but it marked the third consecutive game that he failed to hit the 100 yard mark. What he needs is a soft rushing defense to face like, oh, say the Chargers.

Wide Receivers: The biggest news here was that Derrius Thompson had three catches for 65 yards last week which was about the same as his last three games combined. Chris Chambers only had 30 yards on his three receptions but scored once.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael comes off his best game of the season with an eight catch, 102 yard effort against the Patriots. If Brian Griese does play, he is equally comfortable throwing to tight ends.

Match against the defense: The only question here is how many carries will Ricky Williams be given? The Chargers have arguably the worst rushing defense in the league and Ricky is in need of a big game. With either a hobbled Fiedler or a still green Griese at the helm, there is no need to pass any more than necessary. With the Chargers giving up monster games to Portis, Lewis and Holmes, look for Williams to get back into the century club this week.

The San Diego pass defense is nothing special either, but Miami is unlikely to need to throw much nor want to push their luck if they do not need to do so in order to win.

San Diego Notes

The Chargers 'whew' shoot up the rankings to 1-5 on the season with the Tomlinson show last week.

Quarterbacks: Drew Brees went from having a 296 yard, three touchdown effort against the Jaguars to only managing a 9 of 18 for 74 yard game against the Browns. The funny thing - he lost the first game and won the second one.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson has had some big games and some stinkers this season, but never had he literally taken the entire team on his back and won a game single-handedly. He rushed for 200 yards and a score while adding 21 yards receiving which is pretty huge when there was only 74 passing yards in the first place.

The Chargers have probably lost their center Jason Ball this week with a sprained ankle.

Wide Receivers: Yeah - 74 yards. Big game last week. David Boston went from 181 yards and two scores against the Jaguars to only one catch for ten yards last week. The funny thing - he lost the first game and won the second one.

Tight Ends: Josh Norman blocked pretty well. Will need to repeat this week.

Match against the defense: The Dolphin defense is currently the #1 defense against the run. This does not bode well for the Chargers. This is more like "Yo Bob, you want my tickets this week? Okay, what if I give them to you?".

The Dolphins have been giving away big passing yardage on the road like Kerry Collins (276) and Byron Leftwich (256) but neither of them scored through the air. This game should be decent outing by both Drew Brees and even David Boston because that is the only way they are going to be moving the ball. Junior Seau has a slight hamstring problem but will be looking forward to this game back in San Diego.

Team Comparisons Current team rankings (1-32) by position for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Miami Scores
23
11
28
12
25
11
SD Allows
27
31
19
31
29
7
Miami AP 4 20 -9 21 4 -4
Rank (1-32) QB RB WR TE PK DEF
SD Scores
24
16
18
17
24
21
Miami Allows
17
1
27
8
8
13
SD AP -7 -15 9 -9 -16 -8
Offensive ranks - lower = gains more points, Defensive Ranks lower = allows less points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.

Miami SD 2003 Game Averages SD Miami
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
186
241
Pass yards
202
259
1.0
2.0
Pass TDs
1.2
0.7
1.2
0.8
Interceptions
1.3
1.5
12
3
Rush yards
5
8
0.2
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
102
130
Rush yards
117
63
0.7
1.0
Rush TDs
0.7
0.2
43
47
Receive yards
29
37
0.2
0.5
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
96
158
Receive yards
148
186
0.7
0.7
Receive TD's
0.8
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
47
36
Receive yards
25
35
0.2
0.8
Receive TD's
0.3
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.2
2.0
Field Goals
1.3
1.7
2.3
3.2
Extra Points
2.0
1.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.8
0.5
Fumbles
0.5
1.0
1.7
1.3
Interceptions
0.8
1.2
0.2
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.2
1.8
1.5
Sacks
2.3
1.3
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Chargers (1-5)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 DEN
10-24 BAL
31-34 @OAK
21-27 @JAX
Week 6 BYE
26-20 @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
Dolphins (4-2)
Score Opp.
20-21 HOU
21-10 @NYJ
17-7 BUF
Week 4 BYE
23-10 @NYG
24-10 @JAX
13-19 NE
Week 8 @SD
Week 9 IND
Week 10 @TEN
Week 11 BAL
Week 12 WAS
Week 13 @DAL
Week 14 @NE
Week 15 PHI
Week 16 @BUF
Week 17 NYJ

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points