VOTED #1 FANTASY FOOTBALL SITE
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002
PRIORITY NEWS   MESSAGE BOARDS JOIN   
HOME ARTICLES STATISTICS WEEKLY FEATURES TEAM LINKS NFL RESOURCES  
Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 10 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at IND HOU at TB SF at CIN CLE at DEN NYG at NO
BUF at TEN JAX at NE SEA at STL CAR at ARZ Mon 9 PM
DAL at WAS MIN at CHI Sun 4 PM GB at SD PHI at MIA
DET at KC PIT at NYJ BAL at OAK *updated Times EST
   
Baltimore vs Oakland Sun, Dec 14; 4 PM on CBS at Network Associates Coliseum
  Baltimore Rush Catch Pass
QB Anthony Wright 20 0 200,1
RB Jamal Lewis 110,2 0 0
RB Chester Taylor 50 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 40,1 0
WR Travis Taylor 0 50 0
WR Frank Sanders 0 30 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 60 0
  Oakland Rush Catch Pass
QB Rick Mirer 10 0 130
RB Charlie Garner 40 10 0
RB Tyrone Wheatley 50 0 0
TE Teyo Johnson 0 20 0
WR Tim Brown 0 30 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 30 0
WR Jerry Rice 0 20 0

Game Prediction: BAL 26, OAK 6

The Raiders are back home and the Raider Nation will show up even if the actual Raiders may not. Anthony Wright has enjoyed three straight home games but now hits the road where the going will less likely continue his 30+ point games. Then again, the Raiders are now showing all signs of quitting so anything is possible.

If Mirer can throw for only 68 yards last week against a terrible Steeler secondary, what will he do against one that shut down Chad Johnson?

Baltimore Notes

The Ravens rise to 8-5 and take a one game lead over the Bengals in the AFC North.

Quarterbacks:: Anthony Wright was less impressive last week, only completing 8 of 19 for 145 yards and two interceptions, but he did score on one more pass to Marcus Robinson. Six of his seven scores have gone to Robinson and Wright now has the same amount of touchdowns (7) in the past three games that Boller had in nine games.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis had his second best game of the year last week when he gained 180 yards on 30 carries and scored a season-high three times. Since week six of the season, Lewis has exceeded 100 yards in every other game. He is now suffering from a sprained wrist but is expected to play this week.

Receivers: As noted, Marcus Robinson continues to shine with his ex-college quarterback and has scored in each of the last three games. Last week even Travis Taylor had 77 yards on only two catches but the one player that has been clearly hurt with Wright in the pocket has been Todd Heap.

Heap has only had six total catches and never more than 38 yards over the course of the last three games. Wright has been throwing him the ball seven or eight times a game, but the results have been far less than Heap produced before Wright took over.

Match against the Defense: Oakland is currently the worst team against the running backs which should bode well for Jamal Lewis. The only mitigating factor here is if his wrist bothers him and if the game gets out of hand and the Ravens elect to use Chester Taylor more to save Lewis for the playoffs.

The Raiders have allowed at least one passing score in each of their last six games though never more than two all year. Teams have been able to throw against them but most are willing to let their running back mow the Raiders over.

Both tight ends and wideouts do well when they are the focus and Robinson's left alignment is the most common for a score though Oakland has not allowed many wideouts to score this year. Teams are able to move the ball with the run so well that there is little consistency as to what receiver catches the scoring pass. Since Heap has been held to so little lately, the Ravens will either just find Robinson yet again or make a concerted effort to get Heap the ball. It would be in Baltimore's favor to find a player outside of Robinson that can catch in the endzone.

I like Heap to catch the score here but by trends it would more likely be Robinson.

Oakland Notes

The Raiders fall to 3-10 and now share the worst record in the NFL with three other teams. There is an excellent chance that they can be all alone in the cellar by week 17. If they were the dumbest team in week 13, they became slack-jawed, drooling idiots in week 14.

Quarterbacks:: Rick Mirer comes off a 10 of 25 for 68 yard effort against one of the worst secondaries in the league. He threw two interceptions and lost one fumble. If he was a horse, even the Humane Society would say "Ah - pull the trigger". Mirer was roughed up in Pittsburgh and sprained his ankle but is expected to continue the futility this week.

Running Backs: Tyrone Wheatley gained 65 yards and scored once last week but only had 13 carries in a game that got out of hand. Charlie Garner had nine carries for 57 yards and the duo looked good until rushing the ball became a moot point.

The Raiders need an opponent who does not score much in order to keep the game close enough for continued handoffs to Wheatley and Garner. This does not likely describe the Ravens.

Receivers: As expected, Jerry Rice was the best receiver and as expected, he only managed 27 yards on two catches. Rice has now officially entered the "whimper" phase of his career. Long ball specialist Jerry Porter had two catches for 12 yards and by this point, six yards per catch is pretty long. With Mirer throwing, any pass that nets a first down is considered a bomb.

Match against the Defense: The Ravens have allowed two runners to crest 100 yards this season, but Wheatley is not exactly Tomlinson or Ricky Williams. The problem here is that the Ravens can control the ball with their own run, get a lead and then force the Raiders to throw which is akin to leading a cruise ship into a minefield.

Expect that Wheatley and even Garner can have some success rushing, but that it will not be something that the Raiders can focus on the entire game. Oakland has continuing offensive line woes and facing the Ravens is not a great way to mask that.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
BAL Scores
30
6
29
4
3
2
OAK Allows
19
32
2
19
26
12
BAL AP
-11
26
-27
15
23
10
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
OAK Scores
28
13
27
16
22
19
BAL Allows
7
9
13
15
27
23
OAK AP
-21
-4
-14
-1
5
4
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.
BAL
OAK
2003 Game Averages
OAK
BAL
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
166
207
Pass yards
198
201
1.2
1.0
Pass TDs
0.5
1.2
2.3
0.9
Interceptions
1.0
1.6
8
16
Rush yards
8
8
0.0
0.3
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
134
135
Rush yards
108
93
1.0
1.3
Rush TDs
1.0
0.4
28
53
Receive yards
29
40
0.0
0.2
Receive TD's
0.0
0.1
---
---
WR's
---
---
84
124
Receive yards
136
128
0.7
0.5
Receive TD's
0.4
0.8
---
---
TE's
---
---
55
30
Receive yards
33
33
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.2
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.4
1.6
Field Goals
1.4
1.9
2.6
2.6
Extra Points
1.8
1.8
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
0.9
Fumbles
0.7
1.2
1.6
1.1
Interceptions
0.9
1.3
0.4
0.0
Touchdowns
0.2
0.1
2.9
2.4
Sacks
1.4
2.5
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.1
0.0
Ravens (8-5)
Score Opp.
15-34 @PIT
33-13 CLE
24-10 @SD
10-17 KC
Week 5 BYE
26-18 @ARZ
26-34 @CIN
26-6 DEN
24-17 JAX
22-33 @STL
6-9 @MIA
44-41 SEA
44-6 SF
31-13 CIN
Week 15 @OAK
Week 16 @CLE
Week 17 PIT
Raiders (3-10)
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
13-23 @DET
24-27 NYJ
28-18 MIN
24-27 @KC
8-22 DEN
7-27 @PIT
Week 15 BAL
Week 16 GB
Week 17 @SD

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points