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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 22, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
  CIN at CLE NYG at TEN   Updated

Prediction: OAK 10, SD 31

This match-up was the season opener that the Chargers won 27-0 in Oakland. Since that time the Chargers are better and the Raiders are... well... hey look! It's Aaron Brooks!

Oakland Raiders (2-8)
1 0-27 SD 10 13-17 DEN
2 6-28 @BAL 11 13-17 @KC
3 Open Bye 12 --- @SD
4 21-24 CLE 13 --- HOU
5 20-34 @SF 14 --- @CIN
6 3-13 @DEN 15 --- STL
7 22-9 ARZ 16 --- KC
8 20-13 PIT 17 --- @NYJ
9 0-16 @SEA - MON SAT
OAK at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Brooks 20 0 210,1
RB Justin Fargas 40 0 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
TE Randal Williams 0 40,1 0
WR Randy Moss 0 30 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 40 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 50 0
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: To remove any similarity to the limited success of the Raiders in 2005, Lamont Jordan has now been lost for the rest of the season and Aaron Brooks returns to the starting role. This game was a shutout when it played in Oakland, now it pits the lowest scoring team against the highest scoring team. The Raiders still have two home games coming up against Houston and St. Louis for possible wins. This week? Man - that would be an upset.

Quarterback: The switch to Aaron Brooks was actually a positive change last week since he threw for 179 yards and one score with just one interception. This passing game will be needed in every game, especially now that Jordan is gone but the wideouts don't seem to care or to contribute much. This will not be a resume' builder for Brooks.

Running Backs: Now that Jordan is out of the picture, the Raiders are left with starting Justin Fargas who gained 52 yards on 19 carries last week after posting a negative eight yards on nine carries over the two previous games. Unfortunately you can buy a watch on Times Square for $5 from a guy who swears he has no name with more durability than Fargas has shown. Zack Crockett should figure in more in the rare event that the Raiders are near the goal line (mostly their own though) and Reshard Lee could figure in as well. If you thought Jordan was bad, you haven't seen anything yet.

Wide Receivers: Randy Moss failed to catch a pass for the first time in 21 games and just the fourth time in his 143-game career. Jerry Porter suited up, was active and never had a single pass thrown to him. And those are the two best receivers for the Raiders. A possible break through here is with Ronald Curry who turned in 85 yards on five catches but the last time he did that (94 yards vs. SF) he had no catches in the next game. It's still a mess here until they dump Porter and Moss starts to care which neither seem likely this year.

Tight Ends: Courtney Anderson caught the first touchdown (and only) thrown by Brooks this year though he only had three catches for 15 yards. The Raiders are using two-tight end sets a lot more and opened the game in such. Randal Williams had three catches for 41 yards and that came after 61 yards in week 10. Hard to believe that Williams is one of the primary receivers but with little passing yardage, it's not a hard position to fill.

Match Against the Defense: As always, the Raiders have to hope that the Chargers looked at the schedule this week and just rolled their eyes. But this is a divisional game so it matters regardless. Look for almost no rushing yardage in this game and no rushing score though they may fumble a time or two.

Brooks faces an average to good secondary but has nothing to use. Expect no more than one passing touchdown here that should favor a tight end but even that will be a success. Brooks may have decent yardage here if only from ample trash time and no rushing game to worry about.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 27 29 16 28 16
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 17 13 17 22 16 1


San Diego Chargers (8-2)
1 27-0 @OAK 10 49-41 @CIN
2 40-7 TEN 11 35-27 @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 32-25 CLE - - MON
SDC vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 0 0 230,1
RB L. Tomlinson 100,3 20 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 60,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 50 0
WR Eric Parker 0 50 0
WR Vincent Jackson 0 40 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers may be slow starters but they are furious at the end. The win in Denver was huge and stamps San Diego as a top contender in the AFC with an offense that has been nothing short of spectacular even if it rarely uses wideouts. No need to with Tomlinson enjoying the magic year. This week is probably time for a let down game after road wins over the Bengals and Broncos but even a mail-in effort here should be plenty.

Quarterback: Phillip Rivers only bothered to throw for 108 yards and one score in Oakland for the season opener but he has been on fire in most games since. The biggest concern this week? Rivers only efforts in the last seven weeks that did not include big yardage and at least two scores were home games against the Rams and Browns.

Running Backs: Whoa.

LaDainian Tomlinson ranks #1 in the NFL for total yards (1488), rushing touchdowns (19) and total touchdowns (22). He is tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (3). Should Tomlinson manage to maintain his insane pace, he will end with 30 rushing scores and five receiving scores which would bury all records. He already has turned in back-to-back four touchdown efforts against the Bengals and Broncos - both on the road!

Tomlinson gained 131 yards and one score against the Raiders in week one. With an open door this week to boost the touchdown totals more, expect a nice game even if he only strolls on the field to run in a score.

Wide Receivers: All the action by Tomlinson and Gates (to a lesser degree) has made Eric Parker and Keenan McCardell almost worthless in fantasy terms. Neither has scored this year and since Tomlinson kicked it into third fourth fifth sixth gear, they struggle to notch even 50 yards in games.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates only had two catches for 26 yards in Oakland though he caught the lone passing touchdown. All this action by Tomlinson has been great but Gates hasn't scored in four games and hasn't topped 70 yards in a game but once all year.

Match Against the Defense: Have to figure on the Chargers winning this handily thought they should be due for a more relaxing game that they know they can win. Expect a big game from Tomlinson who is now on a quest for the history books.

Rivers will throw a score here but much more than that won't be needed. He could light it up for a big game but he won't because the need is not there and you have already enjoyed some major fantasy points lately. I like Gates to catch that touchdown because they need to keep him happy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 12 1 20 1 2 6
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 2 23 4 5 27 30