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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 7, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CLE at CIN* OAK at NYJ SF at SEA MIA at SD* Mon 9 PM
IND at JAC TB at CAR BAL at DEN Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Oakland 13, NY Jets 17

The Raiders come off their second spanking of the year by the Chargers to remind them that after 12 games the Raider offense is no better than when it started. The Jets, on the other hand, are definitely changing every week but the direction never varies. The Jets have lost their last seven games and are due for a win, but it may be 2006 before they realize that change in direction. Both of these teams are demoralized and ravaged by injuries, but the Jets are actually a little worse off.

Update: Curtis Martin is hampered with a sore knee and has not practiced. He will be a game time decision this week but regardless, it looks like Cedric Houston is getting some playing time if not an actual start.

Oakland Raiders (4-8)
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 10-34 @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 NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Marques Tuiasosopo 0 0 160
RB Lamont Jordan 50,1 30 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 50 0
WR Jerry Porter 0 50 0
WR Doug Gabriel 0 10 0
PK S. Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes:

Quarterback: After taking every snap by a Raider quarterback this season, Kerry Collins is slated to be benched this week for Marques Tuiasosopo who will now replace Ben Roethlisberger and T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the name sports writers most hate to type. Tuiasosopo has been with Oakland for three years and has completed only 25 passes for 324 yards and two interceptions in his time in the NFL. His only start was in 2003 when he had 224 yards and one interception against the Chiefs. An unknown to be sure.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan has bee tailing off as the season progresses and other than his nice game against the Dolphins (that they lost), he has three games of less than 60 rushing yards in the last four weeks. His role in the passing game has also declined and with Tuiasosopo, he could end up with much more as a quick outlet or have even less.

Wide Receivers: The effect of a new quarterback could derail what has been a moderately successful year for Jerry Porter and a continuing disappointment for Randy Moss. Going against a decent secondary this week won't help matters here.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson scored in week one but not again until last week. If he waits another 12 games to matter it will be mid-season 2006 before he scores again.

Match Against the Defense: Lamont Jordan faces a soft rushing defense but one that plays much better at home. Since the Jets still have an above average secondary, a change in quarterback will likely just stack the line more against Jordan who was already starting to wear down.

In almost half the games this year, the Jets have held opposing quarterbacks scoreless and most end up below 200 passing yards. With at least cold weather on top, shifting quarterbacks spells risk and uncertainty in the passing game here with an impossible to read matchup. Safest bet here - low passing and likely no scoring.

New York Jets (2-10)
1 7-27 @KCC 10 3-30 @CAR
2 17-7 MIA 11 0-27 @DEN
3 20-26 JAC 12 19-21 NOR
4 3-13 @BAL 13 3-16 @NE
5 14-12 TBB 14 Dec 11 OAK
6 17-27 @BUF 15 Dec 18 @MIA
7 14-27 @ATL 16 Dec 26 NE
8 Open Bye 17 Jan 1 BUF
9 26-31 SDC . . MON
NYJ vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Brooks Bollinger 0 0 180,1
RB Curtis Martin 40 10 0
RB Cedric Houston 30,1 10 0
TE Doug Jolley 0 40,1 0
WR Laveranues Coles 0 50 0
WR Justin McCareins 0 40 0
WR Jerricho Cotchery 0 30 0
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jets may get shut out (week 12) or they may just lose by one point (week 13) or they may just be bettered progressively throughout the game (week 14) but central in all of this is that they lose. Seven times in a row now. There is no chance that the Jets can win on the road (0-7) but at home this will be the best shot at winning a game for the rest of the year. in the last three road games, the Jets only managed a total of six points but they have always played better at home and the quarterback change by the Raiders should be just enough to gain the rare win.

Quarterback: Brooks Bollinger at home had 251 yards and a score against the Saints but on the road in New England last Sunday, he could only produce 135 yards and an interception. Working against him is that Bollinger has now played in two straight games without being injured. There is tempting fate.

Running Backs: Curtis Martin has not fared well since Testaverde left though he did manage to gain 91 yards on 24 carries two weeks ago in his last home game. Martin has not scored since week nine but had been on a four game streak before the quarterback situation fell apart again.

Wide Receivers: Both Laveranues Coles and Justin McCareins have suffered the entire year with all the quarterback changes and Coles only has one score on the year and never more than 91 yards in any game. Since week seven, he has topped out at 64 yards and could not even gain more than 35 yards against the soft Patriots secondary last week. McCareins only has one score this year but he has one game over the 100 yard mark back in week six. Just not much happening here.

Tight Ends: Bollinger has been connecting with Doug Jolley the last two weeks with games of 62 and 26 yards. That's actually pretty high for this offense.

Match Against the Defense: Martin won't likely have a big game here but the Raiders on the road should be just soft enough to allow him to rack up some moderate yardage with a very good shot at scoring once.

Bollinger faces a secondary that has allowed almost every opponent to score at least once and about half have managed two passing scores. Look for one touchdown pass that will favor McCareins or Jolley the most. Since Jolley has extra incentive (he was traded from OAK to NYJ last spring), I'll credit him but it could go to almost any wideout.