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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 23, 2005
Season Ticket
Thanksgiving Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DEN at DAL CHI at TB* SF at TEN* MIA at OAK Mon 9 PM
Sun 1 PM CLE at MIN STL at HOU GB at PHI* PIT at IND
BAL at CIN NE at KC   NYG at SEA Times ET

Prediction: Miami 10, Oakland 20

Bad enough to have two road games in a row, but to start out getting shutout by the Browns makes this second leg even worse. The Raiders are feeling much better about themselves now that they just beat the Skins in Washington and return home to host a team that hasn't seen the endzone for a while now.

Miami Dolphins (3-7)
1 34-10 DEN 10 16-23 NE
2 7-17 @NYJ 11 0-22 @CLE
3 27-24 CAR 12 Nov 27 @OAK
4 Open Bye 13 Dec 4 BUF
5 14-20 @BUF 14 Dec 11 @SDC
6 13-27 @TBB 15 Dec 18 NYJ
7 20-30 KCC 16 Dec 24 TEN
8 21-6 @NOR 17 Jan 1 @NE
9 10-17 ATL . . SAT
MIA at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Gus Frerotte 0 0 180
RB Ronnie Brown 60,1 20 0
RB Ricky Williams 40 0 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 60 0
WR Marty Booker 0 30 0
WR Wes Welker 0 20 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The shutout last week highlighted the passing problem that the Patriot game seemed to have fixed. The Dolphins cannot throw the ball well enough to win games. They cannot even throw well enough to win first downs. While the defense has flirted with being average and the running game has been adequate to even good, the passing game has just deteriorated over the course of the season - except when the Patriots visit.

Quarterback: Gus Frerotte only had one score in four weeks before playing the Patriots and throwing for 360 yards and two scores but he was back to his old ineffective self last week when he only managed to complete 4 of 18 for 53 yards against the Browns. While that was clearly his worst of the year, Frerotte had been on a string of sub-200 games with no scores until he played the Patriots. Opponents have figured out how to defend this passing attack.

Running Backs: One of the biggest committee backfields continues with Miami opting for equal time between Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and last week Williams actually did the most with 83 yards on 13 yards compared to only 56 yards on 12 carries for Brown. It was the best game for Williams since returning to the NFL. It was the worst showing by Brown in over a month. These two will continue to split what could be a productive fantasy position into only two moderately effective runners.

Wide Receivers: Just to re-emphasize how much of a freak game the Patriot match-up was, Chris Chambers went from 69 yards and two scores down to only 12 yards last week and Marty Booker dropped from 102 yards to zero. He had five passes. He caught none of them. The best any of these wideouts can manage is a moderate yardage game but the offense has only produced four passing scores to wideouts this season in the non-Patriot games.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael had been stuck at around 20 yards per week until he had 81 yards against New England. He balanced that out by having no catches last week.

Match Against the Defense: Playing at home, the Raiders have been generally good against the run as long as Tomlinson doesn't show up and no other runner has topped 75 yards there (and that was Priest Holmes). Expect moderate games from the dynamic duo with a shift back to Brown as the better runner. There is a chance for one rushing score here though since the Raiders average one per opponent.

Look for more struggles by the Dolphin passing game against the Raiders that have never allowed more than 230 yards to a visitor. Expect more of the normal ineffective passing here with only a moderate game by Chambers.

Oakland Raiders (4-6)
1 20-30 @NE 10 17-31 DEN
2 17-23 KCC 11 16-13 @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 vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 200,1
RB Lamont Jordan 100,1 40 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
WR Randy Moss 0 60,1 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 60 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 20 0
PK S. Janikowski 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Raiders win in Washington last week could not have come at a better time. They ended a three game losing skid and took a second road win for the year. The Raiders even won a close game for once. The biggest difference is Jerry Porter is not becoming just the second fiddle to Randy Moss. He's turning into a symphony all his own.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins is on a nice stretch of five straight games with at least one score and most recently he had 310 yards against the Broncos and 289 yards last week in Washington. Those are two good defenses that Collins is finally figuring out how to attack without relying solely on Moss. Collins continues to throw at least one interception a game but he's evolving into making use of all the offense.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan now has gone four games without a rushing score after logging seven touchdowns in the first seven weeks. Last week he only gained 52 yards on 27 carries and defenses have learned to key on him which has only helped open up the rest of the offense. Jordan remains good for five or more receptions a game and the last two weeks has had almost even yardage between rushing and receiving.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss had been much less effective after his injury in week five until finally turning in 87 yards and one score against the Broncos. But last week he was back to his minimalistic ways with only three catches for 40 yards. Jerry Porter happily stepped up as the rest of the secondary played "chase the Randy" and had a season high 142 yards and a touchdown. His big game should only serve to slightly lessen the attention that Moss is getting. Porter only had 27 yards against Denver - his three good games and all his scores have come on the road this season.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value here and rarely more than 10 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Miami rush defense has been surprisingly soft recently, giving up 166 to Droughns and even127 yards to Michael Pittman. Expect that Jordan returns to the scoring column once again and turns in a nice yardage game as well. The Dolphins have likely lost Zach Thomas this week and that only makes the running easier.

The Dolphin secondary has been solid though most teams score at least once. On the road, opponents have been running more and no team has thrown for over 200 yards against the visiting Dolphins (and yet every team has more than 200 in Miami). When a wideout scores against Miami, it is always the primary - look for Moss to get a touchdown here.