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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
October 4, 2006
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MIA at NE WAS at NYG DAL at PHI   updated

Prediction: OAK 10, SF 24

Here's the weekly "someone has to win this" game that pits the win-less Raiders who squandered an 18 point lead last week against the 49ers who just were trashed 41-0 by the Chiefs. The Raiders are scoring finally but the 49ers are back at home where they have played much better and already have one win. Someone has to win here and that should be the 49ers despite last week's fiasco.

Oakland Raiders (0-3)
1 0-27 SD 10 --- DEN
2 6-28 @BAL 11 --- @KC
3 Open Bye 12 --- @SD
4 21-24 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 SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Walter 10 0 150,1
RB Lamont Jordan 70 10 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 20 0
TE Randal Williams 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 40,1 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 20 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 40 0
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: With two weeks to prepare to host a team like the Browns, the Raiders had perhaps their best shot at a win until week 13 when they host the Texans. And while they led at one point 21-3, they could do nothing to stop Charlie Frye from leading his team back for a win. Any benefit that the offensive showing might have had was erased in the second half collapse and eventual loss. This team is still clearly on the ropes and likely has lost some players motivation to play hard.

Quarterback: Aaron Brooks remains out with a strained pectoral muscle and while HC Art Shell has not called him out, Brooks himself has said that he is not expecting to play (or is it willing?). Andrew Walter will get the start again this week and he comes off a rather horrific showing last week when he completed 9 of 23 passes for only 68 yards and yet scored the first Oakland passing touchdown of the year on a pass to Randy Moss. Walter is not improving though it may be no fault of his own with poor blocking and a set of players around him growing more indifferent.

Running Backs: Hopefully every Lamont Jordan owner started him last week when he had 128 rushing yards and one touchdown. Hopefully every Lamont Jordan owner is not expecting that again any time soon. Jordan had several nice runs against the Browns but his claimed re-introduction as a receiver only came up with two catches for 13 yards - his only receptions on the year. As an indicator of how unrealistic Jordan's showing is to expect again, consider that Justin Fargas ran for 54 yards on only three carries. And yet the Raiders still lost the game.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss collected his first touchdown of the season when he snared a five-yard end zone pass last week. It was truly a beautiful catch and truly the only one he made in the game. He was criticized for not trying hard enough on his other six passes to which he said "I'm not concerned about football right now." He also said that he wasn't concerned about the state of the Raiders because he didn't see anyone else caring. With 68 yards of passing last week, you'd think the receivers would have some time on their hands to think about things.

Tight Ends: One catch per game which is pretty impressive considering how few completions there are.

Match Against the Defense: What to expect from the Raiders is as much a psychological guessing game as it is matching strengths and weaknesses. Jordan could have a very nice game here but relying on it seems optimistic and there won't be a lot of passing to worry the defense. Look for moderate yardage here but he could have a big game if only the offense worked together and cared.

Ditto for Andrew Walter who faces a secondary that could be exploited but nothing so far says Walter is up to the task thanks to the entire offense. I will project one passing score since all teams manage at least that much and Moss could have a huge game here but he likely won't.

San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
1 27-34 @ARZ 10 --- @DET
2 20-13 STL 11 --- SEA
3 24-38 PHI 12 --- @STL
4 0-41 @KC 13 --- @NO
5 --- OAK 14 --- GB
6 --- SD 15 --- @SEA
7 Open Bye 16 --- ARZ
8 --- @CHI 17 --- @DEN
9 --- MIN - - THU
SFO vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 0 0 250,2
RB Frank Gore 90,1 40 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 40,1 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 80,1 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 30 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 40 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers offense was starting to take shape this year with nice passing from Alex Smith and a surprisingly effective runner in Frank Gore. And then they went to Kansas City where everything unwrapped faster than a Christmas present in an orphanage. The coaches will undoubtedly tag that little event as a "forget" game and look to return to more productive ways - Oh look, here come the Raiders!

Quarterback: After throwing for one score and about 250 yards in each of his first three games, Alex Smith landed hard last week with a 92 yard effort with two interceptions and no scores. The loss of Vernon Davis was not to blame as much as the 49ers hitting the road to Kansas City who had been preparing for two weeks. Nothing like the visiting Raiders to ease a man's woes.

Running Backs: Frank Gore only had 65 yards last week but that came on just 14 carries for a four yard rushing average - still not bad. Where Gore whiffed was in the passing game when he only had two catches for 14 yards and, of course, lost a fumble for the fourth game in a row. Despite his growing list of fumbles, Gore did not lose much time to Michael Robinson who had just four carries for 13 yards in the game.

Wide Receivers: After topping 100 yards in each of his first two games, Antonio Bryant has been held to just 36 and 29 yards in the last two weeks. Arnaz Battle turns in three catches for around 30 yards no matter what Smith is doing in the game while Bryan Gilmore is solid at one catch each week. It either happens with Bryant or it doesn't happen at all.

Tight Ends: With Vernon Davis out, Eric Johnson took the start but only had three catches for 14 yards last week - that was a third of all catches in the game though. And Johnson had seven receptions for 87 yards and a score the previous week.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders just allowed Reuben Droughns to gain 100 yards so expect Gore to have a nice game here and to regain his role in the passing game. Gore should score once in this match-up and could have a very nice game if the Raiders show up unmotivated and dis-spirited.

Smith goes against a secondary that just gave up three scores to Charlie Frye and the 49ers could really use a nice bounce back game after the humiliating loss in Kansas City. Chalk this one up as the first two score game ever for Smith that should see both Eric Johnson and Bryant with touchdowns this week. Maybe the Raiders are or are not motivated but the 49ers at home have every reason to post every point that they can.