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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
Sunday Late
DET at CHI OAK at BAL STL at SF   updated

Prediction: OAK 0, BAL 31

It's not enough to call these two teams mere ships passing in the night, this is like a speed boat in one direction and the space shuttle in the other. The Ravens come off a thorough dismantling of the NFC South champs as a road team and have not allowed a point yet. The Raiders come off being completely dismantled by the Chargers in Oakland and have not scored a point yet. This could be so ugly it will be fun to watch. It's like seeing a young punk trash Ray Lewis' car. Sure, you know what is going to happen when Lewis shows up but you just have to see how it goes down. The only hope here is that the entire viewing audience is not called into court as a witness to the mass mugging of the Raiders.

Update: Todd Heap is listed as questionable on the injury report because of his back but he practiced on Thursday and is expected to still play. I am not changing his projections unless more information comes out that it has worsened.

Oakland Raiders (0-1)
1 0-27 SD 10 --- DEN
2 --- @BAL 11 --- @KC
3 Open Bye 12 --- @SD
4 --- CLE 13 --- HOU
5 --- @SF 14 --- @CIN
6 --- @DEN 15 --- STL
7 --- ARZ 16 --- KC
8 --- PIT 17 --- @NYJ
9 --- @SEA - MON SAT
OAK at BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 0 0 100
RB Lamont Jordan 30 0 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
TE Randal Williams 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 40 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 20 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 10 0
PK S. Janikowski 0 FG 0 XP -

Pregame Notes: Let's not dress up a dog in a tuxedo here. The Raiders under Art Shell came out in a home opener and looked possibly as bad as any team has ever looked, let alone on Monday Night football. That's a strong statement but one that is hard to deny. It doesn't look like Shell has lost the team, it appears that he never had it in the first place. The offensive line (note - Shell is a Hall of Fame lineman and was an O-line coach) could not stop the San Diego defensive rush armed with baseball bats and shotguns. It will get better in Oakland only because it cannot get worse. And even a lot better would be quite a distance below being merely bad. This team is one of the most jaw-dropping things I have personally witnessed in my 30+ years following the NFL. It is just not fair to Raider fans but it is going to be one hell of a great thing for opponents in fantasy football.

Not to pile on unduly, but this is important. The players did not seem to particularly care that they were being humiliated on national TV, as if they have already divorced themselves from what is happening. There were no fits of anger or disgust other than Warren Sapp. Shell looked like he was hanging out in an operating room when someone handed him a scalpel and asked him to do brain surgery.

Quarterback: Aaron Brooks only had six completions on 14 passes for 68 yards and seven sacks. He spent more time on the turf than the grounds crew did all of the previous week. Andrew Walter fared a little better because he completed two passes and was sacked only twice, avoiding that pesky negative ratio of sacks to completions. It will get better but it may not be this week.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan owners are coming to the realization that 2005 is over and done. While it was expected to be a downturn from last year since most of his fantasy value came from passes, him gaining only 20 yards on 10 carries and recording not one reception was well below even the lowest expectations.

Wide Receivers: In an almost inexplicable showing, Brooks rarely threw to Randy Moss until one series where three of four plays went to Moss for a gain of 47 yards (roughly half of all passing yardage) and then nothing more. Moss only had six passes thrown to him. He was pulled from the game in the fourth quarter. Jerry Porter was made inactive for the game but he did not miss much and he may never play again for the Raiders. Alvis Whitted took the start and had one catch in the game.

Tight Ends: Randal Williams had one catch but that's better than most receivers here.

Match Against the Defense: I'm not aware of the actual record, but it's entirely reasonable to expect the Ravens to record their second straight shutout this week. While I am projecting players, it's ill-advised to start any Raider at this point. Randy Moss could possibly have a moderate game but there is no guarantee and will rely on just one or two passes connecting.

Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
1 27-0 @TB 10 --- @TEN
2 --- OAK 11 --- ATL
3 --- @CLE 12 --- PIT
4 --- SD 13 --- @CIN
5 --- @DEN 14 --- @KC
6 --- CAR 15 --- CLE
7 Open Bye 16 --- @PIT
8 --- @NO 17 --- BUF
9 --- CIN - THU MON
BAL vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 0 0 180,1
RB Jamal Lewis 100,1 10 0
TE Todd Heap 0 50,1 0
WR Derrick Mason 0 60 0
WR Mark Clayton 0 30 0
WR Demetrius Williams 0 20 0
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Ravens kicked it into high gear in Tampa Bay and started the season with a shutout domination over the NFC South champs. Lewis ran fairly well and McNair had a nice showing, but the Ravens defense is playing like they spent the summer strapped to a chair while people insulted their mother. This week could make the Bucs match-up look like it was a fair fight.

Quarterback: Steve McNair started his Raven career with a solid 181 yard game with one score and no turnovers. There was no need to throw much last week and may not be this week as well.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis ran better than he did last year when he gained 78 yards on 18 carries and scored once in Tampa Bay. Mike Anderson was given seven carries but only covered 25 yards. Musa Smith had been the more impressive player in camp but only had two carries and one reception in the game. This week as it was in last, Lewis will be the primary carrier with a bit of help from Anderson and should the lead get large, Anderson and Smith could end up with some moderate yardage to drain the clock.

Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason only had four catches for 50 yards last week in the blowout and Mark Clayton was only used for two catches. Until this squad has to throw, the numbers here will be naturally low. That means week three in Cleveland. At the earliest anyway.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap was the preferred target for McNair in the abbreviated passing attack and had nine passes for five receptions and 46 yards. Daniel Wilcox actually caught the lone touchdown last week.

Match Against the Defense: Expect a solid game here from Jamal Lewis but the Raider rushing defense is actually not all that bad and made adjustments to slow Tomlinson last week. Sheer volume alone should get Lewis to the 100 yard mark though and at least one score.

Look for much the same from McNair here in a game that may need even less passing. I do really love the idea of defensive scores in this game.