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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
September 25, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at MIA NOR at MIN Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM

Prediction: Oakland 17, Philadelphia 26

No wonder owner Al Davis complains about the schedule. The Raiders pick up their second straight road game to hell by visiting the Eagles that just beat the 49ers by 39 points without breaking a sweat. This game gives you one channel to watch two of the best wideouts in the NFL play - Owens and Moss. That is, as long as Owens groin doesn't get in the way...

Update: David Akers is practicing and still may play. This depends on what distance he can get on kickoffs for the next two games. I am changing the projections to say that Akers is the kicker, but it still may not happen. Best to stay away from this situation this week.

Donovan McNabb is listed as questionable again this week but after five scores last Sunday, no one is buying it anymore. Owens was listed as questionable but is now probable with his abdominal strain and will play.

Oakland Raiders (0-2)
1 20-30 @NE 10 Nov 13 DEN
2 17-23 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 0 240,1
RB Lamont Jordan 50,1 30 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 80,1 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 80 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 20 0
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Raiders have now dropped their first two games and are quick to point out that they've made the playoffs before with a 0-2 start. Someone go check what happens with an 0-3 start.

Quarterback: The equation so far has been exactly the same the last two weeks. Kerry Collins throws for about 265 yards with Moss getting half the production and a touchdown. Collins has only thrown one interception so far and had three on the road in New England. The loss of Ronald Curry for the season doesn't help, but let's be serious - this team is half Randy Moss, half all other receivers.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan has yet to rush for more than 70 yards, but he's a bigger factor in the passing game than initially expected. He's managed five or six catches a game so far which ranks him as the #1 receiving running back in the NFL - one more than Westbrook. Jordan has yet to get more than 18 carries in a game so he has not been the workhorse back yet and this week won't likely change that trend.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss currently leads the league with 257 yards on only ten catches with one score in each of his games. Hard to believe he can continue that since both scores were on long passes but then again, he is Randy Moss.

Jerry Porter has 48 and 68 yards in the two games so far and while he has not been a major factor yet, he is giving the Raiders a legitimate #2 threat which they never had last year. Ronald Curry has torn his Achilles again and will be lost for the season... yet again. Alvis Whitted should see more playing time because of Curry's exit.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson sent everyone scurrying to the waiver wire after scoring twice in week one but what you should have done was pick up John Paul Foschi since he was the only Raider tight end with a pass last week (and no, he did not catch it).

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles at home are never a good opponent to face and the rushing game of Oakland will be challenged to top 60 yards if only from a lack of carries. Lamont Jordan as a pass receiver makes him still a worthwhile start but limit expectations obviously.

Collins goes against a secondary that has been stellar so far but has only faced Vick and Rattay. It's hard to bet against Randy Moss scoring once since he'll get up to 15 passes if needed but the Eagles will not only focus on Moss but bring enough help to likely hold him below the 100 yard mark. The Eagles just have not been tested by an even average passing attack yet and there is always the chance for trash time yards as well. With the attention that Moss will be getting, this could end up as the first time that Porter has bigger numbers.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
1 10-14 @ATL 10 Nov 14 DAL
2 42-3 SFO 11 Nov 20 @NYG
3 Sep 25 OAK 12 Nov 27 GBP
4 Oct 2 @KCC 13 Dec 5 SEA
5 Oct 9 @DAL 14 Dec 11 NYG
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @STL
7 Oct 23 SDC 16 Dec 24 @ARI
8 Oct 30 @DEN 17 Jan 1 WAS
9 Nov 6 @WAS . MON SAT
PHI Projections Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 10 0 280,2
RB Brian Westbrook 50 40 0
RB Lamar Gordon 30,1 10 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 50,1 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 110,1 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 30 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 20 0
PK David Akers (maybe) 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: After losing to the Falcons, the Eagles went back to the home nest and almost playfully dismantled the 49ers. With one loss already on record, the Eagles won't be taking anyone lightly quite yet.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb had a bruised chest last week but played anyway and ended with a mere 342 yards and five touchdowns. Then Koy Detmer came in and went 9 for 9 with 94 yards. Then Mike McMahon came in and went 1 for 1 with 22 yards. Then they ran out of quarterbacks.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook turned in a nice 89 yards on 15 carries and added 31 more with three catches and a touchdown. The Eagles used Lamar Gordon on 12 carries and he had 40 yards and one score as well. It remains to be seen if Gordon's use was more related to not needing Westbrook than integrating Gordon but this week should offer a better hint.

Gordon only had one run in the tougher match-up with the Falcons though he was new to the team.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens is only one yard behind Randy Moss for the NFL lead in receiving yardage and had two scores last week while gaining 143 yards and being pulled later in the game against his wishes. Not unlike Moss in Oakland, it all starts with Owens and then bleeds to other wideouts only once Owens is finished or completely covered.

Owens is bothered again by a abdominal strain that has existed since training camp and is related to the groin problems he's had the last couple of years. I am assuming that Owens plays this week but will update if needed. I am lowering his number slightly on the assumption that he won't be 100%.

Greg Lewis remains the only other wideout of any note here and he scored once last week (hey - who didn't). He's still never had more than 44 yards in a game and until Owens is out for the week, he won't likely do much more.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith comes off a career best game when he had nine catches for 119 yards and one score against the 49ers. He's more likely to remain closer to week one (3-29) but he's obviously capable of stepping up whenever McNabb needs him.

Match Against the Defense: While the Raider rush defense has upgraded from being horrible, it still is only average on a good day and playing on the road in Philly is not likely a good day. Look for Westbrook and Gordon to combine for some decent yardage here but as always, the value of Westbrook also comes from receiving.

McNabb could carve this secondary up if Owens is healthy and likely even if he is not. Brady managed 300 yards against the Raiders in week one and McNabb has at least as much talent and options now that the Owens is there and L.J. Smith has stepped up. This is the same defense that was gouged by both Gonzalez and Ben Watson this season, so expect at least moderate numbers from Smith.

Note - David Akers is still suffering from a hamstring strain and may not play. The Eagles are bringing in other kickers just in case.