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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 11
November 12, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARZ at CLE JAX at TEN WAS at CAR NYJ at IND DAL at NE
ATL at NO KC at CIN Sun 4 PM GB at TB Mon 9 PM
BAL at MIA NYG at PHI DET at SEA MIN at OAK PIT at SF
HOU at BUF STL at CHI SD at DEN Updated Times EST
   
San Diego vs Denver Sun, Nov 16; 4 PM on CBS at Invesco Field
  San Diego Rush Catch Pass
QB Doug Flutie 20 0 240,1
RB L. Tomlinson 130,2 30 0
TE Justin Peelle 0 20 0
WR David Boston 0 90,1 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 30 0
WR Tim Dwight 0 40 0
  Denver Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 0 0 230,2
RB Clinton Portis 140,2 20 0
TE Shannon Sharpe 0 50,1 0
WR Rod Smith 0 60 0
WR Ed McCaffrey Q Q Q
WR Ashley Lelie 0 80,1 0

Game Prediction: SD 20, DEN 28

These two teams played in week two when the Broncos routed the Chargers 37-13 but the game will take a different slant this week with Flutie and Boston new to the matchup. The Broncos will take on a new look with Plummer back again and Flutie offered a spark last week but will be more tested in Denver than against the Vikings.

This game should have tons of rushing in it and the occasional bomb.

San Diego Notes

The Chargers rise to 2-7 with their big win over the Vikings.

Quarterbacks: Doug Flutie wasted no time in becoming a San Diego hero. He threw for 248 yards and two scores while rushing for 18 yards and scoring two more times. He was a Flutie Machine. Granted, he faced one of the less than stellar defenses in the league, but this was a team that had not seen the quarterback actually score at all in the past four games. Flutie did it four times.

While the starter has not been announced yet, Schottenheimer will certainly select Flutie. When the Chargers played the Broncos back in week two, Brees only had 182 yards, one score and one interception.

Running backs: LaDainian Tomlinson not only gained 162 yards and two touchdowns, he did that with only 16 carries in the game. He added on 45 more yards on six catches and the rout was on. When Tomlinson played the Broncos in week two, he had 93 yards on 16 carries.

Wide Receivers: With all the offense happening, even David Boston (7-82, 1 TD) had a big game and his best showing since his one week wonder back in the fifth week of the season. Flutie threw 11 passes to Boston, almost half of all passes in the game. Only Tim Dwight (3-48) had more than one catch as a wideout outside of Boston.

Boston did not play in week two, so he will have his first game as a Charger against Denver this week.

Tight Ends: Stephen Alexander will be activated this week but Justin Peelle and Antonio Gates will continue to start ahead of him even in the unlikely event Alexander ever is healthy enough to play.

Match against the defense: This time around the Chargers will be different than back in week two. Doug Flutie will be throwing to David Boston - neither were there in week two.

The Broncos had been very tough against the pass but in the past three games they allowed Culpepper (277-2) and Brady (350-3) to take the wins away. Denver has a slight advantage over the Vikings of last week - they have at least one game film to review to see how changes are happening to the offense.

LaDainian Tomlinson is a force to fear and if the Chargers are able to mount a passing attack, then Tomlinson finds more room to run against a defense that is not stacking the line like the last time these teams played. He had 220 yards and three scores last year against Denver in one game.

The Chargers will be able to get a spark from Flutie and post better numbers than in week two, but playing in Denver is different than hosting the Vikings.

Denver Notes

The Broncos come off a bye week and last lost to the Patriots. They are 5-4 and watching the Chiefs sail away with the title.

Quarterbacks: The big news here is that Jake Plummer is back. He practiced on Monday and tested his shoulder and foot with no setbacks. He will still be listed as questionable but is expected to play. After the Beuerlein and Kanell fiasco's, Plummer is welcomed back with open arms.

Running backs: Mike Anderson was suspended by the NFL on Monday for substance abuse because evidently he has been to parties at William Green's house. Quentin Griffin and Reuben Droughns will take up the slack if needed but this does signal even more reliance on Clinton Portis.

Wide Receivers: Ed McCaffrey did not practice on Monday and will be doubtful to play this week with his slight tear to the quadriceps tendon. The return of Plummer should help the wideouts since Ashley Lelie has done little since Jake was out. Lelie had games of 108 and 76 yards just prior to Plummer's injury and scored in both. Rod Smith should also get an uptick in the box scores with Plummer back.

Tight Ends: Shannon Sharpe had three touchdowns in the five games Plummer had played.

Match against the defense: Clinton Portis ran for 129 yards on only 12 runs in week two against the Chargers before suffering from a bruised chest that was further injured the next week against Oakland. He is a lock for a nice game.

Plummer only had 94 yards passing and nine completions in week two, but since he already had three touchdowns they took him from the game and allowed Beuerlein to play. Plummer will need to go sixty minutes this week and with a lack of mobility from his foot, he is more likely to pass than run.

This should be the Portis show, but Plummer will look for Rod Smith and Lelie long and find them both at least once.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
SD Scores
19
4
22
21
28
15
DEN Allows
9
14
11
23
21
20
SD AP
-10
10
-11
-2
-7
5
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
DEN Scores
18
15
28
5
11
22
SD Allows
30
26
24
30
19
12
DEN AP
12
11
-4
25
8
-10
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
SD
DEN
2003 Game Averages
DEN
SD
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
198
201
Pass yards
195
251
0.9
1.4
Pass TDs
1.3
2.1
1.3
2.0
Interceptions
1.1
0.9
11
3
Rush yards
18
8
0.3
0
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
----- 
RB's
----- 
---
124
88
Rush yards
100
103
1.1
0.6
Rush TDs
0.6
0.7
45
38
Receive yards
41
47
0.0
0.1
Receive TD's
0.3
0.6
---
----- 
WR's
----- 
---
132
126
Receive yards
103
167
0.6
0.9
Receive TD's
0.4
1.0
---
----- 
TE's
----- 
---
21
37
Receive yards
51
37
0.3
0.4
Receive TD's
0.6
0.6
---
----- 
PK's
----- 
---
1.0
1.7
Field Goals
1.7
1.4
2.4
2.3
Extra Points
2.1
3.0
---
----- 
DEF/ST
----- 
---
0.6
0.6
Fumbles
0.3
0.4
0.9
1.1
Interceptions
0.4
1.3
0.1
0.3
Touchdowns
0.1
0.0
2.3
2.0
Sacks
2.4
2.0
0.0
0
Safeties
0.1
0.1
Chargers (2-7)
Score Opp.
14-27 @KC
13-37 DEN
10-24 BAL
31-34 @OAK
21-27 @JAX
Week 6 BYE
26-20 @CLE
10-26 MIA
7-20 @CHI
42-28 MIN
Week 11 @DEN
Week 12 CIN
Week 13 KC
Week 14 @DET
Week 15 GB
Week 16 @PIT
Week 17 OAK
Broncos (5-4)
Score Opp.
30-10 @CIN
37-13 @SD
31-10 OAK
20-16 DET
23-24 @KC
17-14 PIT
20-28 @MIN
6-26 @BAL
26-30 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

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points