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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: KC 7, SD 34

While the weather is delightful and there are many attractions to see, this is not a good time for the Chiefs to be visiting San Diego who at 1-2 on the season really wants a statement game (like one that says "see, we do not suck"). The Chiefs come off their first win of the year and yet still have never scored more than 13 points in any game. The Chargers need a big win and the Chiefs should be just the team to get them one.

These teams traded home games with the Chiefs winning 30-27 in Kansas City and the Chargers taking their homestand 20-9.

Update: Larry Johnson has missed practice this week because of a hamstring strain but has not been ruled out by HC Herman Edwards. Michael Bennett should be seeing some playing time this week regardless and if Johnson cannot play, then Bennett and Kolby Smith will share the load. The bigger problem is that the Chargers are at home with a sound rush defense and even a healthy Johnson has done little this year. Stay away from this situation this week and if you have no choice, at least check on the inactives about Johnson's status at game time.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @HOU 3-20 +3 38
2 @CHI 10-20 +12 34.5
3 MIN 13-10 -3 33.5
4 @SD   +12 39.5
5 JAC 7-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
6 CIN 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @OAK 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 DEN 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @IND 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 OAK 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 SD 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @DEN 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 TEN 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @DET 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @NYJ 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
KCC at SDC Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard     200,1
RB Larry Johnson 40 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Jeff Webb   10  
WR Samie Parker   20  
WR Dwayne Bowe   70  
PK Dave Rayner 1 XP    
Pregame Notes: While the win helped, the Chiefs still can take no solace from beating the visiting Vikings last week. The passing game is only marginally better and the pricey rushing attack with Larry Johnson looks like money wasted so far. This is the third road game in the first four weeks for the Chiefs who are getting tired of traveling - and losing.

Quarterback: Damon Huard has been slowly getting better and had a mediocre showing of 206 yards and one score last week - better than the other two games. A difference maker as well was that Huard had been sacked three times in the first two games - both on the road - but only had one take down on Sunday. Huard is supposed to be a game manager and so far he looks like he is managing a McDonalds on the final day of summer before most of the workers all return to school.

Huard threw for 232 yards and two scored when he faced the Chargers in Kansas City. Trent Green played in the road game of week 16 but only had 185 yards and one interception in San Diego.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson finally was given a full load last week and his 24 carries produced a mere 42 rushing yards. They've even stopped using him as a receiver for a bit of double fantasy jeopardy. Johnson only had one catch for a five yard loss against the Vikings. So far this year, Johnson has a total of 140 rushing yards on 50 carries for a paltry 2.8 yard average. The lack of a passing game coupled with both poor blocking and a surprisingly unmotivated Johnson has spelled doom to the rush attack so far. Not likely to improve this week.

Larry Johnson ran for 132 yards on 28 carries and scored twice when the Chargers came to town in 2006 but only had 84 yards on 19 carries in San Diego.

Wide Receivers: The lone bright spot has been the rookie Dwayne Bowe who could develop into a very nice receiver in the future once this offense gets on track (assuming that it does). Bowe only has 10 catches on the year but has scored in each of the last two games. Those are the only scores by the Chiefs offense this year. The only ones. Imagine if Bowe and Anthony Gonzalez traded places.

Tight Ends: With the lack of production anywhere in the offense, at least Tony Gonzalez has stepped up with a season high seven catches for 96 yards against the Vikings. He's the only notable target for Huard and gets more coverage than any other receiver for the team.

Gonzalez caught six passes for 138 yards against the Chargers in Kansas City last year but only came up with six grabs for 53 yards in San Diego with Green as the quarterback.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers rush defenses has been good even during this opening stretch of bad games. No runner has gained more than 77 rushing yards against them and this is hardly the same rushing attack by Johnson as last year. Have to expected smaller numbers this week as well against a motivated if not frustrated Chargers team.

Huard faces a secondary that was whipped on the road by Brett Favre and Tom Brady but Huard's hardly in their company. Look for one passing score at most that should favor Gonzalez this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 26 32 26 10 28 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 24 8 26 29 13 23


San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 14-3 -5.5 42.5
2 @NE 14-38 +3 47
3 @GB 24-31 -5 43
4 KC   -12 39.5
5 @DEN 7-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
6 OAK 14-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
7 BYE - - -
8 HOU 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 @MIN 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 IND 11-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
11 @JAC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 BAL 25-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
13 @KC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @TEN 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 DET 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 DEN 24-Dec MON 8:00 PM
17 @OAK 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
SDC vs KCC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     230,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 140,2 20  
TE Antonio Gates   80,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   60  
WR Craig Davis   50,1  
WR Malcolm Floyd   10  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: That Packers loss cut the deepest. The offense has struggled under new OC Clarence Selmon and the best rushing game of 2006 still has yet to look even average yet. Philip Rivers came to life last week but it wasn't enough and the defensive collapse in the fourth quarter sent the Chargers searching for answers this week. Luckily the visiting Chiefs should be exactly that they need to get back on track before heading to Denver the following week.

Quarterback: After two sub-200 yard efforts this season, Philip Rivers finally delivered a 306 yard, three score game in Green Bay but it still wasn't enough to secure the win with a rushing game that remains oddly stalled. Rivers looks like he is back to form, now if he can just get Tomlinson to do the same.

Rivers only threw for 97 yards in week 15 against the visiting Chiefs since Tomlinson was going nuts that week but in week seven in Kansas City, he had 266 passing yards and two scores.

Running Backs: After three weeks, LaDainian Tomlinson only has 130 rushing yards on 57 carries for an astounding 2.3 yard average. He only has one rushing score and one receiving touchdown. Finally back at home against a very familiar defense, this should be the week that Tomlinson reasserts himself as one of the premier runners in the game. The schedule won't get much better than this week.

Tomlinson was held to only 66 yards on 15 carries in week 7 against the Chiefs but later had 199 yards and two scores at home.

Wide Receivers: After struggling the first two games against top defenses, this unit came to life in Green Bay with Vincent Jackson gained 98 yards on six receptions with one score and even Craig "Now call me Buster" Davis turning in his first NFL touchdown. In one game the starting wideouts had more scores than the starters from last season had in total. A nice development but also a sign that Tomlinson has not been tearing up opponents. Last year there was no need for big games from wideouts.

Tight Ends: Gates has been the top tight end every week so far and already has two scores, 27 catches and 297 yards. That's pace for 144 catches and almost 1600 receiving yards. That won't happen of course but if Tomlinson doesn't turn it on soon, Gates could end up all too close. Gates injured his wrist in the first half last week but returned to have his best game of the season. It doesn't appear to be an issue.

Gates managed to catch nine passes for 63 yards and one score in Kansas City last year but only had one catch when he met them at home since it was Tomlinson's show.

Match Against the Defense: While I am largely tied to using past numbers to predict future stats, that cannot be considered this week because Tomlinson is overdue for a big game and the visiting Chiefs look like just the team to let him shine. Peterson gained 102 yards and a score in Kansas City last week and he didn't even have a passing game to worry about. Look for Tomlinson's first big game of the year - and maybe the frustrated Chargers roll it up too.

Look for a decent game from Rivers here but the Chiefs offense isn't scaring anyone and the game should be about running Tomlinson. Expect decent numbers here but nothing as big as last week.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 16 16 27 2 30 19
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 2 15 3 6 16 29

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