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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 30,, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at MIA* HOU at BAL TEN at IND* DEN at KC Mon 9 PM
CIN at PIT JAC at CLE* Sun 4 PM NYJ at NE SEA at PHI
DAL at NYG MIN at DET* ARI at SF* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Oakland 14, San Diego 30

The Raiders are like a poster child for the 2005 NFL season. They never quite seem to realize their potential, they win where they should lose and then lose when they should win. Mostly they lose, but their wins include games over the Cowboys and Redskins. The Chargers are 7-4 and starting to fall hopelessly behind the 9-2 Broncos, but they're in solid contention for a wild card and have won their last four games. The Chargers already won 27-14 in week six in Oakland this year.

Oakland Raiders (4-7)
1 20-30 @NE 10 17-31 DEN
2 17-23 KCC 11 16-13 @WAS
3 20-23 @PHI 12 21-33 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 SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins 0 0 260,1
RB Lamont Jordan 40,1 50 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 50 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 80,1 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 40 0
PK S. Janikowski 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Raiders went to Washington and pulled off an upset but that could only last for one week because the Dolphins came to town and turned the tables back on the Raiders. This is a rematch of a previous game that did not go well and these Raiders seem no better than they were in week six when they played.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins threw for 292 yards and no scores against the Chargers back in week six but he has scored in every game since until last week although he did score on a rare run. He's also turned the ball over at least once in every game as well. Collins has been turning in his best games when on the road this season.

Running Backs: The Raiders are getting their money's worth out of Lamont Jordan even if it means wasting it on other players. Jordan has been getting over 30 touches a game in the past few weeks and that's more like 35 if you count incomplete passes. All other players pale in comparison to his workload. But even with all that work, Jordan has only rushed for over 100 yards once this season and relies on a very active role in the passing game to total good yardage every week. Jordan did score twice last week but had gone four games without a score.

Jordan ran for only 36 yards on 12 carries against the Chargers in week six but he scored twice and had 58 receiving yards.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss either was a bad investment or the Raiders are just not using him like the Vikings (or any other team) would have. Moss has not had a 100 yard game since his original injury in week five and has scored three times while only once turning in more than 43 yards in a game. Moss only had five passes last week that resulted in three catches for 28 yards. He turned seven throws into only three receptions and 28 yards the previous week. Judging by his production, he is actually getting worse not better.

Jerry Porter had been hot but only had 57 yards last week and he only managed 63 yards in the previous match-up with the Chargers this season. Moss did not play in that game and there are those who say he is still not playing with such meager numbers.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson turned in 50 yards on five catches last week but that is about twice what he managed in the previous six games.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders are not playing any better than they were when the Chargers beat them in Oakland so expecting more in San Diego when the Chargers need the win is overly optimistic. The offense has evolved into little more than Jordan rushing and catching but the Chargers have a solid run defense that has already held Jordan in check.

Collins threw for some nice yardage last time but he never scored. That is likely to repeat in this game with the Chargers playing at an even higher level than they had in week six though Collins could manage at least one score. By match-up it favors Porter the most for the touchdown.

San Diego Chargers (7-4)
1 24-28 DAL 10 Open Bye
2 17-20 @DEN 11 48-10 BUF
3 45-23 NYG 12 23-17 @WAS
4 41-17 @NE 13 Dec 4 OAK
5 22-24 PIT 14 Dec 11 MIA
6 27-14 @OAK 15 Dec 18 @IND
7 17-20 @PHI 16 Dec 24 @KCC
8 28-20 KCC 17 Dec 31 DEN
9 31-26 @NYJ . MON SAT
SDC vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 0 0 220,1
RB L. Tomlinson 120,2 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 50 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 70,1 0
WR Eric Parker 0 50 0
WR Reche Caldwell 0 20 0
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers have won their last four games and they'll need to collect all the wins they can for a wildcard drive because their season ends on three tough notes - at Indianapolis, at Kansas City and finally home against Denver. Both Tomlinson and Brees have been outstanding in the recent weeks but the defense has quietly been very good as well.

Quarterback: Drew Brees only had 164 yards and one score against the Raiders earlier this year because the running game was doing plenty enough damage. He's been on fire in the games since then scoring 10 times in only a span of four games before last week when he had no scores but did a magnificent job handing the ball to Tomlinson to take the win.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson gained 140 yards and one touchdown rushing, and added 39 yards and a touchdown receiving and threw a score as well in the last meeting against the Raiders. Tomlinson comes off a 184 yard game with three scores against the Redskins and that wasn't even his best effort of the year.

Wide Receivers: Keenan McCardell only had 45 yards last week against a stingy Redskins defense but he's been the only wideout of note for the Chargers this year. Eric Parker has been making some noise lately with a 98 yard game last week and two scores in the previous games but those were his best three efforts of the year. He could be developing late in the season but won't likely be needed this week.

No wideout had more than 32 yards in the previous meeting in Oakland.

Tight Ends: After injuring his foot in week 11, Antonio Gates still was able to play last week and ended with only 39 yards on three catches. He still is not 100% and the only game with fewer yards this season was when he only had 17 yards and no score in the previous match-up with the Raiders.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson ran all over the Raiders in the previous match-up and the Raiders rushing defense has allowed seven running back scores in the last six games. Expect the normal 100 yards and a score from Tomlinson to be the least he can do. The most? Scary to think of.

With the running game likely to succeed, Brees won't have to throw as much but like almost every other opponent, he's thrown for a least one score that favors McCardell if Gates doesn't end up stealing it.