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

Prediction: HOU 14, SD 34

The Texans hit the road where they are only 1-2 this year and the Chargers come off their bye week. This game may end up played at a different stadium since the Southern Californian fires have pressed Qualcomm Stadium into use as an evacuation and gathering point. The Texans are on the heels of a two game losing streak while the Chargers have won their two most recent. But the Texans are also without Andre Johnson and even Matt Schaub is nursing a hip injury that could force him to miss this game.

Update: Matt Schaub has been sharing work with the first team with Sage Rosenfels and looks like a game-time decision because of his hip injury. What could well happen is for both quarterbacks to play this week since the Chargers will pressure the quarterback and at some point it may seem prudent to take Schaub out of the game and go with Rosenfels again. Check the Sunday inactives if you need him but this will be a later afternoon game if that matters. They are expressing very guarded optimism that Schaub may start but regardless be prepared for him to perhaps not finish the game anyway. Because of the risk, I am splitting the projections between the two players.

Ahman Green has also been limited this week but is expected to play.

In other news, it appears that they game may end up remaining at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego despite the problems by the Southern Californian fires.

Houston Texans (3-4)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 20-3 +3 38
2 @CAR 34-21 +6.5 39
3 IND 24-30 + 6 47.5
4 @ATL 16-26 -2.5 39.5
5 MIA 22-19 -5.5 43
6 @JAC 17-37 +7 37
7 TEN 36-38 OFF OFF
8 @SD   +11 45
9 @OAK 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 NO 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CLE 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @TEN 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 TB 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 DEN 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @IND 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 JAC 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
HOU at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Sage Rosenfels     130,1
QB Matt Schaub     130,1
RB Ahman Green 50 10  
TE Owen Daniels   80,1  
WR Andre Davis   70,1  
WR Jacoby Jones   30  
WR Kevin Walter   60  
PK Kris Brown   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Losing Matt Schaub last week allowed Sage Rosenfels to set a franchise record with 29 points scored in the fourth quarter but the Titans still marched down and kicked the winning field goal. Make no mistake - Rosenfels is just a back-up that had a magical fourth quarter when the Titans thought the game was already well in hand. The rushing game that is pointed at each week with a "we're gonna work on that" still has done little this year and is not getting any better. Even worse is a defense that has given up at least 37 points in the last two weeks when facing above average opponents. If the Texans could ever get healthy, they'd make some noise but for now they need to face below-average teams to remain competitive.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub left the game last week with ankle, hip and lower back injuries suffered on two different plays against the Titans but the hip is the most severe of the three. Sage Rosenfels stepped in and did little until exploding in the fourth quarter for four touchdowns against the stunned Titans who then just marched down and won the game. He's done as much for the four years he has been in the league - comes in for one game and throws multiple scores while looking good because defenses are not concerned about him. This week Rosenfels may need to play depending on the health of Schaub. I will project for Rosenfels and update as warranted.

Running Backs: The Texans have faced two good defenses in the last couple of weeks in the Jaguars and Titans, but that still doesn't explain why Ahman Green has been so ineffective this year. Returning last week after missing two games, he has rushed 27 times for 83 yards in that time and the Texans are not finding answers as to why they cannot run (I know! I know! You bought an over the hill injury-prone running back and put him behind an offensive line that is barely average at best). Without the run support, the Texans are forced to throw too much in games.

Wide Receivers: Jacoby Jones returned last week but fumbled his second catch in the game and looked too tentative so HC Gary Kubiak took him out of the game after just three catches for 11 yards. Andre Davis may not be first string by choice, but he's been the most effective wideout for the Texans while Andre Johnson is out. Paired with Kevin Walter who has also stepped up the last few weeks means the wideouts still contribute well even if the rushing game does little. I will project for a limited Jones to play this week and update if needed. Andre Johnson is also the rumor to start each week but won't be added until the situation is clearer. He likely will sit this out and come back after the bye week.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels has been outstanding this year though he has never scored. He comes off a game with only 20 yards last week but has been around 60 yards or better for the five previous games.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers sport one of the best rushing defenses so pencil Green in for yet another minimal game this week without a score.

Rosenfels or Schaub will face a secondary that usually allows a score each week and often more than one. It is the weakness of this defense particularly against tight end ends. Expect a very nice game here from Daniels with a good chance for his first score of the year. Davis gets the most abused match-up but both sides of the secondary have had bad games this year. I like the Texans to throw for two scores here because the second comes during trash time.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 9 24 6 11 6 5
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 21 5 24 29 11 24


San Diego Chargers (3-3)
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 16-30 -13 38.5
5 @DEN 41-3 -1 43
6 OAK 28-14 -9.5 44
7 BYE - - -
8 HOU   -11 45
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 HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     250,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 120,2 30  
TE Antonio Gates   80,2  
WR Vincent Jackson   80  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   30  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: Is it safe to like the Chargers yet? After decimating the Broncos who have their own problems, the Chargers just sat back and allowed LaDainian Tomlinson to destroy the Raiders single-handedly. During the bye week they traded to obtain Chris Chambers to add to a wideout crew that they've never much used in recent years and that already had Vincent Jackson and the rookie Buster Davis. That three week string of losses while giving up at least 30 points in each game is hard to forget though and tougher games are on the horizon.

Quarterback: The oddity in Philip Rivers is not so much that he has only thrown for more than 210 yards twice in six games, it's that he has seven scores on the year and all of them came during the three road games that all had at least two scores in each. At home for three games, he has no scores and only produces around 185 yards per game. On the road, he is averaging 250 passing yards and two scores. And he is home this week.

Running Backs: Much of River's pattern of production stems from LaDainian Tomlinson who has rushed in six scores this year - all at home. He's had two huge yardage games - both at home. In week five on the road in Denver, he only gained 67 yards on 21 carries thought he did add 73 yards on just three receptions. His success at home is a sign that the Chargers are getting back on track but his next two road games will be in Minnesota and Jacksonville so this trend may not be over quite yet.

Wide Receivers: The addition of Chris Chambers is a positive for the Chargers and Philip Rivers in particular but will not prove that advantageous for Chambers who has spent the last six years being the #1 receiver in Miami. Now he'll be lucky to be #3 behind Tomlinson and Gates - there is no way that Chargers have that many passes to distribute. Remember last year when they had the highest scoring offense in the NFL and did it with almost no use of the wideout position. Chambers has played the flanker role in Miami where Vincent Jackson now resides.

He'll take that over and Jackson moves to the split end. That would keep Buster Davis in the slot. The Chargers placed Eric Parker on injured reserve last week which was some of the impetus to add a veteran wideout.

I'll add in Chambers for minimal work this week since it will take him time to get on board with the playbook and offense.

Tight Ends: No change here to the #1 tight end in the NFL. Antonio Gates comes off his worst game of the year with only 58 yards but that is still better than most tight ends best game of the year. He has scored three times this season and topped 100 yards three times.

Match Against the Defense: Facing good teams in the most recent weeks, the Texans have allowed each of the last three opponents to have a 100+ yard runner who has scored at least once. Expect a big game here by Tomlinson.

Rivers faces a secondary that has given up at least two scores to each of the three teams they have faced on the road this year. This game will feature plenty of Tomlinson but Rivers should follow the trend and toss two touchdowns that will favor Gates of course but could involve a wide out as well. This is the week to see what, if any difference that Chambers can make without having spent much time with the team.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 20 1 30 4 25 15
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 16 24 18 14 32 13

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
On Bye

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