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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DET at DAL NO at NE Sun 4 PM PIT at BAL* MIN at GB*
IND at CIN OAK at WAS* SEA at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Oakland 17, Washington 20

The Raiders are 1-3 on the road this year and travel to Washington where the Redskins are 4-0 and pretty steamed about giving up a near win in Tampa Bay last week. Oakland has no hopes for any post-season berths but the Redskins remain in the thick of the NFC East only one game back. That means no losses are acceptable for the Skins and this week will be like all others from here until the end of the season - must win.

Updated: David Patten went to team doctors on Friday and they determined he needed season-ending surgery. He was quickly placed on IR and Thrash will take his place. Taylor Jacobs should finally see some action as the slot receiver.

Oakland Raiders (3-6)
1 20-30 @NE 10 17-31 DEN
2 17-23 KCC 11 Nov 20 @WAS
3 20-23 @PHI 12 Nov 27 MIA
4 19-13 DAL 13 Dec 4 @SDC
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @NYJ
6 14-27 SDC 15 Dec 18 CLE
7 38-17 BUF 16 Dec 24 @DEN
8 34-25 @TEN 17 Dec 31 NYG
9 23-27 @KCC . THU SAT
OAK at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 200,1
RB Lamont Jordan 60,1 40 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
WR Randy Moss 0 80,1 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 30 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 30 0
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Not much worse than getting thumped by the Broncos in Oakland. The Raiders have remained at least competitive in most games this season until losing by 14 points last week. That happened largely because the worst fears have been recognized in Oakland - Kerry Collins really is just a journeyman quarterback and cannot avoid mistakes when it matters most.

Quarterback: While Kerry Collins did throw for 310 yards and two scores last Sunday, it was his three interceptions that did the team in - one going for a touchdown that sealed the game just when it appeared that Oakland was mounting a comeback bid. Collins had been turning the ball over only once a game until last week. He's still managed to throw at least one score in each of the last four games and now that Randy Moss appears more healed, he should continue to have passing success - long as he can hit players on his own team.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan comes off one of his down weeks when he had only 48 yards on 14 carries but added 60 yards on seven catches for a nice fantasy game contribution. Jordan had been scoring every week since the second game but now has done two weeks without a touchdown. The schedule has been rather kind to the Raiders so far too. The team has to play four road games in the next six weeks.

Wide Receivers: After getting injured back in week four, Randy Moss had not caught more than three passes in a game until last week when he had a season high six receptions that went for 87 yards and one score - most of that in the second half. His contribution is critical to the success of the offense, particularly with a daunting part of the schedule now approaching. Jerry Porter had a couple of weeks of good production while Moss was ailing but returned to only three catches for 27 yards against the Broncos. The offense needs Moss to assume the role he was acquired to fill and last Sunday was the first glimpse that he may be back on track.

Tight Ends: The Raiders use three of them to stand there for one incompletion each every week. Occasionally, Courtney Anderson catches one.

Match Against the Defense: Jordan has a nice chance to score here against a rushing defense that holds runners to low yardage and yet has given up 11 rushing scores this season. Combined with his receiving yardage, Jordan should remain a productive back this week though the rushing yardage will likely be lacking.

The Redskins had not allowed any team to throw for more than one passing touchdown until last week in Tampa Bay but that has to be considered a freak game. At home, the Skins have only allowed two passing scores in four games and two teams failed to even reach 200 yards. Look for the norm for Collins - about 200 yards and one score that will eventually, somehow, someway, get to Randy Moss.

Washington Redskins (5-4)
1 9-7 CHI 10 35-36 @TBB
2 14-13 @DAL 11 Nov 20 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 Nov 27 SDC
4 20-17 SEA 13 Dec 4 @STL
5 19-21 @DEN 14 Dec 11 @ARI
6 21-28 @KCC 15 Dec 18 DAL
7 52-17 SFO 16 Dec 24 NYG
8 0-36 @NYG 17 Jan 1 @PHI
9 17-10 PHI . MON SAT
WAS vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 220,1
RB Clinton Portis 110,1 10 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 60 0
WR Santana Moss 0 80,1 0
WR David Patten 0 20 0
WR Taylor Jacobs 0 20 0
WR James Thrash 0 20 0
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Redskins got a taste of what they had previously handed to the Cowboys when they lost by one point at the end of the game in Tampa Bay. That win could have kept them tied for the NFC East lead but now they trail both Dallas and the Giants with two homes games against both teams coming up back-to-back in a month. For now, they just have to keep winning.

Quarterback: After suddenly falling off the charts for two games, Mark Brunell had a nice 226 yard, two touchdown effort against the stingy Buccaneers though he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Brunell had been scoring two or three times every week until games against the Eagles and Giants left him scoreless in weeks eight and nine. Most importantly - he is connecting well with Santana Moss again.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis comes off his best game of the year when he ran for 144 yards against the Buccaneers and scored once. That makes three of the last four games with touchdowns and other than the explosion last week, he has always ran better at home this year where his other four scores have been.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss was a top wideout until week eight when the Giants held him to only 34 yards. He still has not scored since week seven but has matching games of 79 yards in the last two match-ups. Those numbers dwarf anything any other wideout has done for the Skins during that time and only Moss has scored for the Redskins from the wide receivers. The passing game is fairly limited to Moss and tight end Chris Cooley but Brunell has managed to bring Moss into the passing game even when facing a tough secondary.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley is the second choice for Brunell and while he hasn't scored since week six, his role in the passing game increases in proportion to how stiff a secondary that Moss is against. In the last two weeks, Cooley has turned in 85 and 66 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Portis has been running well at home and against the #31 defense against running backs, he should be in for another trip past 100 yards with a good chance to score.

Brunell faces a secondary that always allows at least one passing score and around 220 yards and that it's pretty well into what he likes to do anyway. Expect a moderate game here from Brunell since the rushing game should be the primary mode of attack. The Raiders have allowed seven scores to wideouts this year but no games over 100 yards so far. This should be the time that Santana Moss gets back into the endzone.