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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 9
September 3, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
CAR at HOU NYG at NYJ CIN at ARZ GB at MIN Buffalo
IND at MIA OAK at DET PIT at SEA Mon 9 PM Cleveland
JAX at BAL SD at CHI PHI at ATL NE at DEN Kansas City
NO at TB WAS at DAL STL at SF *updated Tennessee
   
Oakland vs Detroit Sun, Nov 2; 1 PM on CBS at Ford Field
  Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB M Tuiasosopo 0 0 250,2
RB Charlie Garner 80,1 30 0
RB Justin Fargas 20 0 0
TE Teyo Johnson 0 20 0
WR Tim Brown 0 60 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 80,1 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 50,1 0
  Detroit Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington 0 0 160,1
RB Shawn Bryson 70 10 0
RB Olandis Gary 40 10 0
TE Mikhael Ricks 0 20 0
WR Bill Schroeder 0 40 0
WR Az-Zahir Hakim 0 50 0
WR Shawn Jefferson 0 10 0

Game Prediction: OAK 24, DET 10

Update: Mikhael Ricks is still questionable to play due to his sprained ankle and while I expect him to play, he would be limited. This is unfortunate since he has been the best scorer since Charles Rogers left. I do believe that there will be a passing score by the Lions which would normally benefit Ricks most likely but now will go elsewhere. On this offense, it could go to anyone since every receiver has been dropping passes.

With a sense of excitement from Tuiasosopo and Porter back, the Raiders should be able to handle this win in a game that almost resembles last season. The Raiders come off a bye week rested and visiting the site where Jeff Blake looked all-world.

Oakland Notes

The Raiders are 2-5 and are coming off a bye week.

Quarterbacks: Rich Gannon was crunched during the Chiefs game and left the contest having completed only 10 of 19 passes for 58 yards and one interception. Marquez Tuiasosopo entered the game and added an actual spark. He completed 16 of 28 for 224 yards on two scoring drives and if you squinted real hard, he looked just like Gannon (the last year's model). Gannon received an MRI on his shoulder and will miss at least this week.

Running backs: While he only had five carries, Tyrone Wheatley gained 32 yards unlike Charlie Garner who had the same yardage but twice the carries. Justin Fargas only had three runs for three yards and never was able to reach the line of scrimmage without a defender draped on him. Other than Charlie Garner popping the occasional long run, the rushing game has been ineffective even though the Raiders have faced some very soft rushing defenses (CHI, CLE).

Wide Receivers: The Raiders passing game was nothing more than dump offs to Garner until Tuiasosopo entered the game. Jerry Rice did not have a catch until the fourth quarter but ended with five catches for 71 yards. The most exciting development was the return of Jerry Porter who had ten passes and managed to catch four for 69 yards. His speed is noticeably better than any other receiver.

Tight Ends: The Raiders have gone to splitting duty between Doug Jolley and Teyo Johnson and neither has really mattered in the past several weeks other than Johnson's one touchdown in week six. Johnson was just named as the starting tight end.

Match against the defense: Does it get any better than this? The same defense that lost in Chicago to a team with more rookies than veterans?

While Detroit can give up yardage in many ways, passing is the easiest and Tuiasosopo needs the work. Look for Garner to turn in decent rushing yardage but lesser receiving yards since the dump-offs will not be needed as much. This is a definite must-start game for Jerry Porter and a big win here could do much to make the Raiders feel young again, at least for a week.

Detroit Notes

The Lions come off a loss to the Bears in a game that Chicago was using entirely different players at all skill positions from the start of the season other than Dez White. They are, of course, 1-6 and on a six game skid.

Quarterbacks: It was only the Bears but Joey Harrington still only posted 180 yards and one score against two interceptions. This now extends to three weeks that he has thrown two interceptions. The Lions are all about streaks but none of them are good. In the event Harrington delivers a good pass, the receivers have now taken to dropping about every other one.

Running backs: Against the marshmallow defense of Chicago, Shawn Bryson only gained 67 yards on 14 carries but with a four yard average should have carried more. Olandis Gary had eight runs for only 18 yards. Winters seem colder in Detroit

Wide Receivers: Not pretty here either. Last week no wideout had over 39 yards and surprisingly, the one-time speedster of Az-Zahir Hakim is gaining around seven yards per catch. Most tight ends do better than that.

Tight Ends: So maybe these tight ends do not do better than that, but Mikhael Ricks did score the lone touchdown. In the past three weeks since Rogers is gone, Ricks two touchdowns are the only ones thrown by the Lions.

Match against the defense: This is exactly like when the Rams play the Buccaneers, only without any talented players. A terrible offense meets a very bad defense. The only real hope is that Gary or Bryson gets a decent day - and Mariucci changes their roles without notice, and that Ricks can catch a touchdown. There is not much else to hope for from this group.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
OAK Scores
25
17
24
14
10
22
DET Allows
32
14
29
28
13
19
OAK AP
7
-3
5
14
3
-3
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
DET Scores
29
27
28
15
32
13
OAK Allows
20
27
13
24
27
22
DET AP
-9
0
-15
9
-5
9
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.
OAK
DET
2003 Game Averages
DET
OAK
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
218
236
Pass yards
183
207
0.9
2.1
Pass TDs
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.4
Interceptions
1.9
1.0
6
18
Rush yards
7
18
0.0
0.4
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
---
---
RB's
---
---
80
105
Rush yards
76
135
0.7
0.4
Rush TDs
0.3
1.0
48
32
Receive yards
43
27
0.1
0.1
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
135
161
Receive yards
104
141
0.4
1.4
Receive TD's
0.7
0.7
---
---
TE's
---
---
36
42
Receive yards
36
39
0.3
0.4
Receive TD's
0.3
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.0
1.1
Field Goals
0.9
2.0
1.7
3.3
Extra Points
2.1
2.4
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.1
Fumbles
0.6
0.4
1.0
1.9
Interceptions
0.7
0.9
0.1
0.4
Touchdowns
0.6
0.6
1.6
0.9
Sacks
1.7
2.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Raiders (2-5)
Score Opp.
20-25 @TEN
23-20 CIN
10-31 @DEN
34-31 SD
21-24 @CHI
7-13 @CLE
10-17 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
Lions(1-6)
Score Opp.
42-24 ARZ
6-31 @GB
13-23 MIN
16-20 @DEN
17-24 @SF
Week 6 BYE
7-38 DAL
16-24 @CHI
Week 9 OAK
Week 10 CHI
Week 11 @SEA
Week 12 @MIN
Week 13 GB
Week 14 SD
Week 15 @KC
Week 16 @CAR
Week 17 STL

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points