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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK *updated

Prediction: KC 17, SD 24

The Chiefs have lost their last two games and already are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Unfortunately, going to San Diego where the Chargers are 6-0 and peaking is just a bad sense of timing for the Chiefs who still have to face the Jaguars in the final week who will also by vying for a playoff spot. The Chiefs have lost their last two road games against Miami and Cleveland and are only 2-4 on the road this year. On the positive note for this late game Sunday, we get to watch the two most productive runners in the NFL on the same field.

The Chiefs won 30-27 when they hosted the Chargers in week seven.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)
1 10-23 CIN 10 10-13 @MIA
2 6-9 @DEN 11 17-13 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 19-10 DEN
4 41-0 SF 13 28-31 @CLE
5 23-20 @ARZ 14 10-20 BAL
6 7-45 @PIT 15 --- @SD
7 30-27 SD 16 --- @OAK
8 35-28 SEA 17 --- JAX
9 31-17 @STL - THU SAT
KCC at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 200,1
RB Larry Johnson 120,1 20 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 60,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 50 0
WR Samie Parker 0 30 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: You could draw a line and separate the two seasons that the Chiefs have had. At the midpoint they were 5-3 and coming off wins over the Chargers and Seahawks. They've only managed to go 2-3 since then with wins over a punchless Denver and the Raiders - both home games. Larry Johnson remains an effective runner, but he's not getting much help from the passing game or the defense lately.

Quarterback: Since these teams last played, Trent Green has returned but that has been a positive only once in the game in Cleveland and they still lost that match-up. Otherwise, Green has only thrown for one score in the other three games and now passed for more than 174 yards.

Huard threw for 232 yards and two scores when the Chargers came to Kansas City in week seven. Green threw for 347 yards and two scores in San Diego last year. A lot has changed since then for both teams.

Running Backs: While the rest of the offense sputters, Larry Johnson continues to rack of the yardage and leads the NFL with 1432 yards - just five yards ahead of Tomlinson but 14 touchdowns behind him. Johnson has scored 15 times this year and ranks second, albeit a distant second. Johnson has gained over 110 yards in seven of the last eight games.

Johnson ran for 132 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns against the Chargers this year. He had only 55 yards in San Diego last year but that was in the final game with Priest Holmes.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison had a freak high game with 117 yards against the Browns but otherwise he has been held to less than 40 yards in the three other games since Green returned. Samie Parker has gained 70 yards in each of the last two home games but was held to just one catch in the two road games with Green.

Kennison only had two catches for 30 yards against the Chargers this year but he caught one touchdown. He gained 115 yards on seven receptions and scored in San Diego last year.

Tight Ends: Like the other receivers, Tony Gonzalez had a big game in Cleveland but has only been good for around 30 yards last Sunday and week 12.

Gonzalez had six catches for 138 yards against the Chargers this season and turned in seven receptions for 97 yards and a score in San Diego last year.

Match Against the Defense: Johnson is a constant - the only one - in the offense and already had a big game against the Chargers. Look for another trip over 100 yards this week and one score.

Green has not been effective other than the Cleveland game and now heads to San Diego where opponents have only scored seven passing touchdowns in six games. That average of one score is possible for Green but two would be a genuine surprise. Look for Gonzalez to return to better numbers this week against a defense that is weak in only one area - against tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 24 4 30 2 18 30
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 17 12 10 31 12 2


San Diego Chargers (11-2)
1 27-0 @OAK 10 49-41 @CIN
2 40-7 TEN 11 35-27 @DEN
3 Open Bye 12 21-14 OAK
4 13-16 @BAL 13 24-21 @BUF
5 23-13 PIT 14 48-20 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 KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 0 0 190,1
RB L. Tomlinson 110,2 30 0
TE Antonio Gates 0 70,1 0
WR Keenan McCardell 0 30 0
WR Eric Parker 0 20 0
WR Vincent Jackson 0 30 0
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: After winning their last seven games, the Chargers have now assumed the #1 seed in the AFC with the Colts' loss last week. Interestingly enough, the last time the Chargers lost was in the previous game in Kansas City but they've rolled over all opponents since then as Tomlinson rewrites the record books and Gates has been making up for a slower start to the season. The Chargers have already clinched the AFC West but the specter of a #1 seed is plenty to keep the team motivated.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers threw for 266 yards and two scores in Kansas City this season and he's varied greatly in the weeks since thanks to Tomlinson rolling up the rushing yardage and touchdowns. His production is a direct function of what Tomlinson does and lately - that's been quite a bit. Rivers has thrown for scores in each of the last two games if only to pump up Gates stats.

Running Backs: To say that LaDainian Tomlinson is having a good year is like saying that winning the lottery will help you make ends meet. What he has already done this season is historic. With 29 touchdowns on the season (not counting two scoring passes that he has thrown), Tomlinson is turning in the all-time greatest fantasy season as well. And he has three more games. As if having a 15 touchdown lead on second place Larry Johnson was not enough, he has ran for 1427 yards and is just five yards shy of that league lead. With 1906 total yards on the season, he is just 94 yards shy of 2000 on the year and some 90 yards ahead of Larry "I am second" Johnson.

Tomlinson gained only 66 yards on 15 carries against the Chiefs this year but added 72 yards on six catches and scored once. In 2005, Tomlinson only gained 69 yards on 17 runs when the Chiefs came to San Diego last year and never scored in that game.

Wide Receivers: There's something about playing with the #1 running back and tight end in the NFL that has a negative impact on what the wideouts are asked to do each week. Both Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker have lost all fantasy value but the lanky Vincent Jackson is worth keeping an eye on for next season. Jackson had 95 yards on three catches last week and will undoubtedly figure in more next year. Unless Gates and Tomlinson just repeat 2006 again.

McCardell had four catches for 51 yards against the Chiefs this year and caught five passes for 73 yards in Kansas City last year. He did not score in either game.

Tight Ends: Poor old Antonio Gates has to take a backseat in the media to Tomlinson even though he is #1 among all NFL tight ends in yardage (798) and touchdowns (8). He comes off his best game of the year with 104 yards and two scores last week and that makes three straight games with at least one score.

Gates caught nine passes for 63 yards and a score against the Chiefs this year and had a monster game when they came to San Diego in 2005. Gates reeled in ten passes for 145 yards and three scores in that game.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers are just getting better every week and Tomlinson has been unstoppable. No reason to expect a down game here - Tomlinson has beaten the best already,

Rivers likely won't have much passing yardage in a game that figures to be heavy on the rushing by both sides but he'll still manage to connect with Gates for at least one score. This is one offense where match-up just don't matter much.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 18 1 25 1 2 7
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 13 14 20 17 19 15