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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 1, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
GB at BUF NO at TB CLE at SD *updated NYJ, PHI

Prediction: CLE 7, SD 30

Here's a breather game for the 5-2 Chargers before they set off on a critical two game road stretch. The Browns come off their second win of the season and going against the second highest scoring offense doesn't make "back-to-back" seem like an option here.

Cleveland Browns (2-5)
1 14-19 NO 10 --- @ATL
2 17-34 @CIN 11 --- PIT
3 14-15 BAL 12 --- CIN
4 24-21 @OAK 13 --- KC
5 12-20 @CAR 14 --- @PIT
6 Open Bye 15 --- @BAL
7 7-17 DEN 16 --- TB
8 20-13 NYJ 17 --- @HOU
9 --- @SD - - THU
CLE at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Frye 10 0 150,1
RB Reuben Droughns 50 0 0
TE Kellen Winslow 0 70,1 0
WR Joe Jurevicius 0 30 0
WR Braylon Edwards 0 30 0
WR Dennis Northcutt 0 20 0
PK Phil Dawson 0 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Browns released offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon and Jeff Davidson debuted as the play caller last week. And with only their second win this season, the results are encouraging if you can forget they were playing against the visiting Jets and their terrible rush defense. It was great that the team could get the victory because the rest of the season is going to be one long horror show - @SD, @ATL, PIT, CIN, KC, @PIT and @BAL. By the time the Browns reach week 16 with a softer ending to their year, hard to say what coaches will still be there.

Quarterback: When the season began, Charlie Frye was running in a score every week and throwing a score in most games. Then the rushing went away and since his peak of 298 passing yards against the Ravens in week three, Frye has declined in numbers every week. By last week he had just 141 passing yards and one score. That was his fourth consecutive game under 200 yards and by now they only consistency that he offers is a sub 200 yard game with possibly one passing score and at least one or two interceptions. On the road, he had his best game of the year in Oakland but failed to score in the other two away games in CIN and CAR.

Running Backs: Strike up the band, Reuben Droughns is back! He comes off a season best 125 yards and one touchdown against the Jets much like every other runner has done this year (if not better). But even that required 33 carries for a 3.8 YPC. His progress is easy enough to track. His best two games came in the only winning games and otherwise he has been over 40 rushing yards in every other game. The Browns cannot run without a soft opponent and that is not what is on the slate this week. Or any other week for the next seven weeks. This might be a good time to trade Droughns away. He simply will not look any better this year than he does right now.

Wide Receivers: The minimal passing numbers by Frye has naturally hit the wideouts hard the last month. Braylon Edwards started the season with two big games but has only seven catches for 54 yards combined over the last three games. Joe Jurevicius has scored twice but hasn't yet gone over 40 yards in any game and didn't even have a catch in week eight. What little passing is going on is not targeting the wideouts, at least none individually enough to prompt any fantasy relevance.

Tight Ends: Like Heap with the Ravens, Kellen Winslow is the only part of this offense that has any fantasy value. Winslow had a team high three scores on the year including one just last week. He has never been worse than 30 yards a week and usually turns in 50 or more. With the change in offensive coordinators, Winslow's role only increased even more at the expense of all other receivers.

Match Against the Defense: Hopefully you enjoyed last week for Droughns because on the road this week he'll be lucky to get more than 50 yards if only from a lack of carries.

Fry has been reduced to little more than pitch and catch with Kellen Winslow but the Chargers biggest weakness is with tight ends. Look for him to score and have the only fantasy value in this game. Other than Winslow, there may not be a worthy fantasy start from any of this offense for the rest of the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 17 31 30 3 27 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 8 12 6 22 1 1


San Diego Chargers (5-2)
1 27-0 @OAK 10 --- @CIN
2 40-7 TEN 11 --- @DEN
3 Open Bye 12 --- OAK
4 13-16 @BAL 13 --- @BUF
5 23-13 PIT 14 --- DEN
6 48-19 @SF 15 --- KC
7 27-30 @KC 16 --- @SEA
8 38-24 STL 17 --- ARZ
9 --- CLE - - MON
SDC vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 0 0 220,1
RB L. Tomlinson 110,1 40 0
RB Michael Turner 40,1 0 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 60,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 40 0
WR Eric Parker 0 50 0
WR Vincent Jackson 0 20 0
PK Nate Kaeding 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers made up for the loss in Kansas City by hosting the Rams last week and easily taking the win. That makes the Chargers 3-0 at home with around 33 points scored in each. For the want of a field goal on the road in BAL and KC, the Chargers could be 7-0 now. The chore this week will be taking the Browns seriously enough to win (should require at least 15 minutes of preparation) because the next two games come on the road in Cincinnati and Denver. After those games, the rest of the season becomes easier with only a home game against Denver and a road game in Seattle to likely be a big challenge.

Quarterback: Swapping out Drew Brees for Philip Rivers hasn't hurt the team any, particularly since week four when Rivers started throwing more. In the last four games, he has always remained above 200 yards and scored twice in almost every game. He had been very consistent at the 250 yards and two scores until last week when Tomlinson was more than enough to handle the Rams. That could happen again this week.

Running Backs: In case you were waiting for LaDainian Tomlinson to turn in a monster game, you can stop now. Against the visiting Rams, Tomlinson ran for 183 yards and two scores and added 57 yards and another touchdown on three receptions. That's a total of 240 yards and yet still only the third highest game of his career. This should be another very big week for Tomlinson with the Browns showing up unless Michael Turner again is used to finish the game.

Wide Receivers: With Tomlinson and Gates on the team, the wideouts have never been that productive this year and none have exceeded 90 yards in any game. The least used wideouts are Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd who have neither had more than about 30 yards in any game though both have two touchdowns on the year. Eric Parker and Keenan McCardell are the starters and yet neither has scored. Parker actually fares slightly better than McCardell in most weeks but the duo rarely posts more than moderate yardage in any game.

Tight Ends: Now that Alge Crumpler turned in one monster game, Antonio Gates is not the highest scoring tight end currently but there's no contest on who is the most consistently good. Gates has scored in three of the last four games and never fallen below 55 yards in any week since Rivers took the kid gloves off.

Match Against the Defense: Expect a very solid game here from Tomlinson that should spill over to Turner before it is over. They won't pull Tomlinson until he has his 100 yards and a score but that could come by early third quarter.

Rivers has been hot lately and the Browns have an apparently good secondary but much of that is related to opponents winning games by just running the ball. No reason for Rivers to push it this week, look for one score at least that favors, of course, Gates.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 15 1 23 1 2 10
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 2 16 12 15 26 31