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

Prediction: IND 27, SD 17

Update: Marvin Harrison still looks risky to play this week and has been limited in practice. He could be a game time decision but I am not adding him into the projections. Dallas Clark was held out of practice on both days because of his concussion but he is still likely to play at this point. Problem here is that this is the late game on Sunday and his final status won't be certain until then. I am lowering his projections because of this but he is just being rested to clear up his concussion.

Last week proved that the Colts could be mortal when missing players and that the Chargers maybe are not back to 2006 form though they are in the NFL record books now next to Adrian Peterson's name. The Colts could be due for a letdown after the big game last week but the Chargers are not the Patriots and they still have to be shell-shocked after their trip to Minnesota.

Indianapolis Colts (7-1)
Homefield: RCA Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NO 41-10 -6 51.5
2 @TEN 22-20 -7 46
3 @HOU 30-24 -6 47.5
4 DEN 38-20 -10 46.5
5 TB 33-14 -9 45
6 BYE - - -
7 @JAC 29-7 -3.5 45
8 @CAR 31-7 -6.5 45
9 NE 20-24 +5.5 56.5
10 @SD   -3.5 49
11 KC 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @ATL 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 JAC 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BAL 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @OAK 16-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
16 HOU 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 TEN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
IND at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     250,2
RB Joseph Addai 90,1 30  
TE Dallas Clark   40  
TE Ben Utecht   40,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   80,1  
WR Aaron Moorehead   30  
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Colts led the Pats in the fourth quarter on Sunday but could not hang on for the win, thereby setting up the rematch in New England in the AFC Championship game. Gonzalez has been lost for a couple of weeks which doesn't help the receivers but at least Joseph Addai has more than carried his weight in the offense. The Colts now have their first loss and judging by the schedule, it may be their last of the calendar year.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning has thrown for at least one score in every game this year and after half the season is gone, he is on the same pace as most years - about 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns. That looks small compared to Tom Brady this year but Manning is right where he was last year. On the road, he has yet to have less than 250 passing yards though that could be challenged if Harrison misses another week.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai comes off the first time in franchise history where a player turned in over 100 rushing yards (112) and over 100 receiving (114) yards in the same game. Addai has become the focal point of the offense and has nine touchdowns already and is on a pace to gain over 1600 rushing yards this year. He has four games with over 100 rushing yards but three were in home games and the one road effort was exactly 100 yards in Carolina.

With Addai healthy, Kenton Keith has been almost unused in the last four games.

Wide Receivers: Even without the two missed games, Marvin Harrison's production this year has fallen off the map with only one touchdown and just 247 yards on the season. His balky bruised knee has been slow to heal so I will not add him into the projections until he has been cleared. Reggie Wayne has taken up the torch that realistically may have already been passed to him. Wayne is averaging 90 yards per game and has scored five times already.

Unfortunately, Anthony Gonzalez dislocated his thumb on the first play against the Pats and only had one catch in the game before leaving. He will miss a couple of weeks and Aaron Moorehead will replace him. Unless Harrison returns this week, the Colts are very short of wideouts. No other Colts wideout has recorded a single catch this year beyond Harrison, Wayne, Moorehead and Gonzalez. Craphonso Thorpe could be pressed into duty or more likely the Colts would just turn to two tight end sets to make up the difference.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark was on a roll with scores in five straight games and always 50 yards or so every week but the last two games have only seen him with two catches in each for around 20 yards. He needs to step up with the injury woes that the Colts are having with receivers.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers rush defense was ripped apart by Adrian Peterson last week and that wasn't the first runner with decent success against them - Larry Johnson gained 123 yards in week four in San Diego as well. Addai has been running very well and will be relied on to keep the wins coming. Look for a nice yardage game both from the run and with a few receptions. He should score once as well.

Manning faces a defense that has always allowed a score to any decent passing team and often more than one. Look for a good yardage game here that will favor Dallas Clark strongly against one of the weaker teams against tight ends and another score to end up with either Wayne or Moorehead.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 2 17 4 2 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 18 20 21 29 8 15


San Diego Chargers (4-4)
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 35-10 -11 45
9 @MIN 17-35 -7 41
10 IND   +3.5 49
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 IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     200,1
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 80,1 40  
TE Antonio Gates   60,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   30  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   50  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Just when the Chargers were on a three game winning streak with great offense, they travel to Minnesota and get plowed over and over and over and over by Adrian Peterson. Oh look, he just broke off another run. All of the positives of the last three weeks went out the window with Rivers returning to his struggling persona and Tomlinson bottled up. Worse yet was a defense that had held three opponents to just 27 total points gave up 35 to an offense that no one knew to exist. Trying to get back on track against the Colts coming off a loss is probably not the ideal week for a quick turnaround here.

Quarterback: With Tomlinson running well, Philip Rivers had not thrown for many yards for three wins though he was very effective and efficient with what he did. Against Houston, he scored three times on just seven completions but in Minnesota, Rivers was back to his slump completing only 19 of 42 passes for 197 yards and one interception. Rivers is back to his inconsistent ways that apparently need a healthy game from Tomlinson in order to shine.

Running Backs: While LaDainian Tomlinson only gained 40 yards on 16 carries on Sunday, he did add a rushing touchdown and had six catches for 37 yards, He only has two games over 100 rushing yards this year but both came in home games while on the road he has never been better than 67 rushing yards and the rushing score last week was his first away from San Diego. He's always better at home this year but this week will be a big test.

Wide Receivers: The impact of Chris Chambers is still hard to gauge given that Rivers barely threw against the Texans and was swamped by the Vikings last week. But Chambers was targeted 10 times and caught five for 59 yards in Minnesota. That was four more passes than Gates was thrown.

In the loss, the Chargers rolled out two little used wide receivers in Kassim Osgood (2-23) and rookie Legedu Naanee (2-39) since Craig Davis remains sidelined a sprained ankle. He is expected to return to practice this week but his role was already minimal before the addition of Chambers. Vincent Jackson has fallen in a big way with only two catches over the last three games. The Chargers wideouts still have yet to produce a 100 yard game by any player.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates comes off his worst game ever with only one catch for ten yards. That was just one week though and Gates remains the most productive tight end in the league.

Match Against the Defense: The Colts rushing defense has been outstanding this year and has only allowed four rushing scores to running backs and only once more than 64 rushing yards but on the road is where they have been slightly softer and Tomlinson has to take the team on his shoulders this week since the Colts passing defense is even better. Expect a decent showing here by Tomlinson with one rushing score and good receiving yardage as well.

Rivers faces a tough secondary that won't help his struggles. Expect lower yardage yet again but a good shot at one passing score that favors Gates who needs to get back on track. Chambers will help draw attention from him.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 23 5 31 2 29 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 6 10 1 14 3 1

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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