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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
September 18, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at TBB NE at CAR Sun 4 PM MIA at NYJ Mon 9 PM
JAC at IND* PIT at HOU* STL at ARI *Update Times ET

Prediction: Kansas City 27, Oakland 23

Here's an always entertaining matchup that pits two teams that have already looked better than last year - not hard to do when both had the worst defenses in the world in 2004. Both squads have stepped up the defensive side of the ball and in particular, the Chiefs at home almost recorded a shutout over the Jets last week. The Raiders lost to the Patriots but made a much better game of it than they would have nine months ago. The Chiefs swept Oakland last year 34-27 and 31-30 but both matchups were close and chock full of fantasy points. Be a shame if their defenses ruin such a great thing.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
1 27-7 NYJ 10 Nov 13 @BUF
2 Sep 18 @OAK 11 Nov 20 @HOU
3 Sep 26 @DEN 12 Nov 27 NE
4 Oct 2 PHI 13 Dec 4 DEN
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @DAL
6 Oct 16 WAS 15 Dec 17 @NYG
7 Oct 23 @MIA 16 Dec 24 SDC
8 Oct 30 @SDC 17 Jan 1 CIN
9 Nov 6 OAK . MON SAT
KCC Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 230,1
RB Priest Holmes 90,1 30 0
RB Larry Johnson 40,1 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 50 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 80,1 0
WR Samie Parker 0 30 0
WR Chris Horn 0 20 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Is it possible that the Chiefs, after years of trying, actually have made a great defense overnight? The 27-7 spanking they gave to the Jets last week seems to suggest that perhaps magic and free agent dollars can make a difference. The rushing game still looks scary good and the defense doesn't look scary bad. Going against a well known rival now on the road will be a good test for how far they actually have come this season.

Quarterback: Trent Green was nothing special last week - he didn't need to be. He completed 15 of 26 for 200 yards and no scores against one interception. Consider that Green threw for 340 and 358 yards in the last two meetings against the Raiders and it is clear to see that an improved defense with an already great rushing game may end up really depressing Green's output this season. We can only hope Randy Moss keeps the shootouts alive.

Running Backs: The Chiefs faced a top ten rushing defense last week and probably could barely call plays in the huddle for all the giggling going on. Priest Holmes ran for 85 yards and one score while Larry Johnson kept popping into the game and then popping long runs. He ended with 110 yards and two scores on only 11 carries.

Last season Holmes was already gone by the time the Raider games came around and Johnson still ran for 184 and 122 yards in those games, with two scores in each. If the Raiders fix their rushing defense, the fantasy football world will be just a little darker.

Wide Receivers: There was minimal passing last week but Eddie Kennison still managed to snag four catches for 76 yards while no other wideout had more than 23 yards. Last season Kennison had 149 yards and one score against the Raiders in the first meeting and later 79 yards and no score. The Chiefs still have not replaced Johnnie Morton really - Samie Parker started but only had two catches for 23 yards and Chris Horn ended with only one reception for 11 yards. On the road this week, we will see more use of the position.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez comes off a four catch, 51 yard game against the Jets - about average other than he needed half a touchdown that will tended to this week. Gonzo had only 32 yards and no score in Oakland last year but 124 yards and two scores back in Kansas City later in the year.

Match Against the Defense: Which Oakland do we get this week? The one that could guarantee a monster game for both Holmes and Johnson or the one that only last week held Corey Dillon to only 63 yards on 23 carries? Expect that the Raider defense has improved but not that much. The Chiefs rushing attack is looking no less formidable than ever. The rushing game will likely be missing LT Willie Roaf which doesn't help though.

Green's production, and therefore Gonzalez and Kennison, rely on the game situation. If the Chiefs can hold the score down like last week then lower numbers. Expect that on the road in Oakland will be a different world than Kansas City (having been to both I can attest to that) and that the Raiders are looking for their first win of the year. This should be a great game and one still closer to the higher scoring affairs we have come to know and love.

Kennison gets the better matchup that was exploited by Deion Branch last week though the two passing attacks are so dissimilar that you cannot truly compare the results.

Oakland Raiders (0-1)
1 20-30 @NE 10 Nov 13 DEN
2 Sep 18 KCC 11 Nov 20 @WAS
3 Sep 25 @PHI 12 Nov 27 MIA
4 Oct 2 DAL 13 Dec 4 @SDC
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @NYJ
6 Oct 16 SDC 15 Dec 18 CLE
7 Oct 23 BUF 16 Dec 24 @DEN
8 Oct 30 @TEN 17 Dec 31 NYG
9 Nov 6 @KCC . THU SAT
OAK Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 260,2
RB Lamont Jordan 70 30 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 40 0
WR Randy Moss 0 110,2 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 50 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 30 0
PK S. Janikowski 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Raiders lost their opener in New England but the news was far from all bad. They actually led 14-10 in the second quarter and the rushing defense looked great holding Dillon to only 63 yards. Randy Moss opened his career as a Raider with 130 yards and one score while Collins showed he listened in meetings by throwing every other pass to Moss. The team looks genuinely improved this season so far and the Chiefs will present a good test.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins had 265 yards and three scores last week against the Patriot secondary on the road - pretty impressive. His completion rate was low with only 18 of 40 passes being caught but he mixed in Porter and Whitted enough to make Moss not see like he was going to get every pass. Collins had a monster 343 yard and three score game in Oakland last year thanks to the shootouts that always happened and with Moss and a healthier set of receivers this season, he has the tools to do it again if needed - as long as that KC defense has not improved as much as it seemed last week.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan's debut produced 70 yards on 18 carries - about average for a tailback but considering the Raiders had the #31 rank for rushing in 2004, Jordan already is a major upgrade (from almost nothing). He added 40 yards on five catches as well.

Zack Crockett only had three carries in the game. He doesn't yet seem a threat to infringe on whatever Jordan can do in games.

Wide Receivers: The Randy Ratio follows Moss where ever he goes - as it should. He ended with 130 yards and one score on a 73 yard play which should be surprising since everyone knows he is getting the ball. And yet it wasn't surprising. With so many passes thrown to him, he;s bound to do something every week through sheer volume. Jerry Porter (3-48) should continue to grow in importance as the season progresses and the weaker opponents shift too much against Moss.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson only had three catches last week but two came while he was standing in the endzone. He won't do that every weekend but with Moss attracting so much attention, you can be sure Anderson is not finished being a red zone target.

Match Against the Defense: Hmmm... now which Chiefs show up? Even taking into consideration the week one surprises that happen every season, the Chiefs defense looked much improved across the board. This week can stamp "legit" or not, but most reasonable is to assume that the superhighway of the KC defense has at least shut down a few lanes this season. DT Ryan Sims is likely out this week which helps Jordan.

Expect the Raiders at home with a new toy in Moss to present new problems to the Chiefs as well. Jordan doesn't see likely to enjoy a monster game here as he could have last season but he should still offer at least moderate output. The addition of CB Patrick Surtain by the Chiefs could keep Porter down as he did against Laveranues Coles last week, but Surtain has a concussion and is not a lock to play. If he doesn't, then Porter's stock should go up sharply this week. It should be an equation this week that we need to get used to - all the Moss they can handle and all the Jordan they can get away with.