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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: BAL 16, SD 24

Update: Demetrius Williams is already listed as "out" this week because of his high ankle sprain. He will be replaced by Devard Darling this week as he was last Sunday. Todd Heap also has not practiced but has not been officially ruled out. At this point, he is not a safe start and will not be added to the projections.

Two teams that have fallen on hard times meet up here with the Ravens on a four game losing streak and a 1-4 road mark and the Chargers are only 5-5 and yet lead in the AFC West. They also have a 4-1 home record and need this win to maintain playoff aspirations. The wheels have just fallen off the Ravens offense and the defense is no longer good enough to win games by themselves.

The Ravens won 16-13 when the Chargers came to Baltimore last year.

Baltimore Ravens (4-6)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CIN 20-27 +3 40.5
2 NYJ 20-13 -9.5 33
3 ARI 26-23 -7 35.5
4 @CLE 13-27 -4 40
5 @SF 9-7 -3.5 34.5
6 STL 22-3 -9 36.5
7 @BUF 14-19 -3 35
8 BYE - - -
9 @PIT 7-38 +4 48
10 CIN 7-21 -4.5 44.5
11 CLE 30-33 +2.5 43.5
12 @SD   +9.5 38.5
13 NE 3-Dec MON 8:30 PM
14 IND 9-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
15 @MIA 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @SEA 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 PIT 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
BAL at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller 10   210,1
RB Willis McGahee 70 10  
TE Quinn Sypniewski   30,1  
WR Mark Clayton   30  
WR Demetrius Williams 30
WR Devard Darling   40  
WR Derrick Mason   70  
PK Matt Stover 3 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Ravens switched to Kyle Boller last week and the result was still a loss - but the stats were far higher and the 30 points posted were the most this year. Granted, one score came on an interception return and Stover had to kick three field goals, but the Ravens showed that they can move the ball - they just had to give up on old man McNabb. This will be a bigger challenge this week since the last four road games never produced more than 14 points and went against far lesser defenses than in San Diego. The math says the season is not over but a four game losing streak certainly does.

Quarterback: While Kyle Boller was a definite upgrade at quarterback last week when he threw for 278 yards and a score, the reality was that came in a home game against the worst defense in the league and he had one interception and two lost fumbles while getting sacked six times. By this point, the Ravens are happy to take what they get because under McNair it had half the positives and all the negatives.

McNair threw for 158 yards and two scores against the Chargers last year.

Running Backs: Nothing like facing the Browns to get the stats going and Willis McGahee ended with 126 total yards and a score. That was his fifth consecutive game with a touchdown though his yardage has varied greatly this year. The Ravens have enjoyed a very light schedule which only cloaks just how bad this offense has been. McGahee had gone a month with never more than 21 carries in any game - the Ravens just do not have the ball enough for McGahee to do much damage.

Wide Receivers: Not much has happened in this unit for 2007 other than Derrick Mason catching an obscene amount of passes for almost no yardage but even that has declined in recent weeks with only around six catches per game and still the low yardage amounts. Mark Clayton had one good game to remind people of last year and then followed that up with only two catches for nine yards against the Browns which is actually kind of hard to do. Even hot dog vendors at the stadium pull in around 50 receiving yards against the Browns.

Last week Devard Darling was the surprise player with four catches for 107 yards and a score that almost entirely came late in the game. He only had two catches in his first three years with the Ravens, so it is hardly a trend.

Tight Ends: Todd Heap remained out last week because of the hamstring that has bothered him for a month and Quinn Sypniewski stepped up to six catches for 53 yards. The rookie has been a decent replacement for Heap though he only has one score on the year. Then again, so does Heap. I will assume Heap is out this week and update if needed. There is a chance he could return (just as there was last week).

Heap had 60 yards on four catches against the Chargers last year. He scored once.

Match Against the Defense: Willis McGahee does not run as well on the road and the Chargers at home have not allowed any opposing runner to score. Expect decent yardage here but not enough to give him a big game.

Boller faces a defense that has done better at home as well but this is the area of most weakness for the Chargers in most games. Expect at least one passing score here that should favor a tight end the most but a second could happen for a wideout. The Chargers usually only allow one passing score to a team like the Ravens though.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 29 17 24 17 11 17
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 20 20 23 29 6 16


San Diego Chargers (5-5)
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 23-21 +3.5 49
11 @JAC 17-24 +3 41
12 BAL   - 9.5 38.5
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 BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     200,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 70,1 50  
TE Antonio Gates   50,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   20  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   60,1  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: For the last five weeks, the Chargers have settled down to winning all their home games and losing all their road trips. But at 5-5, the Chargers are tied with the Broncos for first place in the AFC West that no one really deserves. The remaining schedule won't make it easy with road trips to KC and TEN remaining and that home game against the Broncos in week 16 could be for the division. This is likely the easiest remaining game other than the Lions in week 15 - the Chargers have to win here.

Quarterback: After two weeks without a score, Philip Rivers turned in a season high 309 yards and one touchdown against the Jaguars but it was in a losing effort and he had two interceptions. It was also the first time that he had just one score. In four games, he had two or three touchdowns and in five games he had no score. Last week was also the first time Rivers had been over 200 passing yards since week five.

Rivers threw for only 145 yards and one score in Baltimore last year.

Running Backs: Amazingly, LaDainian Tomlinson has only notched two games over 100 rushing yards and even with receptions included, he was under the century mark for three straight weeks until he had a season high 93 yards on five receptions in Jacksonville. He has scored once in each of the last three games though and in this season where everyone is injured, he remains on of the best scoring running backs in the league.

Tomlinson gained 98 yards on 27 carries in Baltimore last season.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts still have not had a truly big game this year though Chris Chambers is an upgrade and comes off his best game as a Charger when he gained 93 yards on four receptions last week. Both Buster Davis and Legedu Naanee figure in but not enough to warrant any fantasy consideration. Vincent Jackson continues his free fall with never more than 28 yards in any of the last five games. Chambers has already squeezed out all other wide receivers here.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates remains the premier tight end in the league but he's been far less effective over the last three games against great defenses. He currently has six scores on the year but only one game over 60 yards in the last five weeks.

Gates only had four receptions for 41 yards and no score against the Ravens last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Ravens defense is not nearly as good as seasons past and giving up 92 points over the last three games is ample proof. But the rushing defense remains better than most and outstanding in most games. They have only allowed three touchdowns by running backs this year and no one has managed to top 100 rushing yards against them. Tomlinson isn't much doing that lately anyway so look for a decent game here with enough receiving yardage to warrant Tomlinson to be a no-brainer start. He should also score once but anything more than that would be breaking all new ground against the Ravens.

The Ravens had been without Chris McAlister who returned last week but still gave up 85 yards to Braylon Edwards. Samari Rolle has been out for three games but could come back this week but the Chargers are always about LT, Gates and the wideouts last. Chambers would get the better matchup if Rolle is out or limited and he's the only wideout that matters now anyway. Rivers has been just too inconsistent to rely on him turning in a big game here. Expect the usual average yardage and two scores because it is a home game.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 25 4 32 2 30 3
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 12 2 26 3 31 25

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
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