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

Prediction: SDC 20, KCC 17

Update: Brodie Croyle has not practiced this week because of his sore back and could miss this week. If he can practice on Friday there is still a chance that he will play but I am leaving Damon Huard as the starter which is most likely.

Ah yes, time for some payback. The Chiefs won a 30-16 upset over the Chargers in San Diego during week four. But the Chiefs have lost their last four games and the Chargers are now sitting atop the AFC West (though not by a large margin). This is a divisional and a revenge game and one that the Chiefs will play using Croyle and Kolby, not LJ and Huard. That will make a difference. But - the Chargers are only 1-4 on the road.

San Diego Chargers (6-5)
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 32-14 -9.5 38.5
13 @KC   -3.5 43
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 at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     220,1
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 90,1 50  
TE Antonio Gates   90,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   30  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   30  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Thanks to the Broncos yo-yo nature this year, the Chargers have climbed up to claim sole possession of the AFC West by one game and have this game and a road trip to Tennessee to get through before home stands against the Lions and finally the Broncos can determine the division winner. The Chargers were swamped by the Chiefs in the first meeting and that marked the low point of the year. They have gone 5-2 from that point with losses on the road to JAX and MIN.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and no scores in the first meeting with the Chiefs but has been more effective since - if only every other week or so. But the offense has been installed and is familiar by now and the addition of Chris Chambers has only improved the targets for Rivers. The last two weeks has seen Rivers throw for 250+ yards but he came off a four game stretch of sub-200 yard games. This is a chance to show some comparative improvement.

Running Backs: While LaDainian Tomlinson has only topped 100 rushing yards twice this year, he gained 132 yards on 20 carries and scored once against the Chiefs in week four. He added 22 yards on five receptions. His rushing numbers in almost every other game have been far less impressive with only around 70 rushing yards per game for the last five weeks but has has been doing more as a receiver again. He is averaging around five catches per game now but his touchdown pace of 2007 is a distant memory. He is tied for the lead among running backs with nine rushing scores but four came in one game and it is like he is mortal again.

Wide Receivers: The addition of Chris Chambers has been a positive to the offense but less so to Chamber's personal stats. He has scored twice as a Charger in his five games played but only once has exceeded 59 yards in any game. He's added a scoring threat but mostly just decreased what Vincent Jackson once would do.

The best wideout against the Chiefs in the first meeting was Vincent Jackson with only 52 yards on three catches.

Tight Ends: Going as strong as ever. Antonio Gates comes off his four 100 yard game of the year and has scored eight times already this season. He is on a pace for a career best 1210 receiving yards and 12 scores.

Gates had six receptions for 79 yards against the visiting Chiefs.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson had a big game last time against the Chiefs but in Arrowhead should be much closer to his more sedate numbers in recent weeks. Expect one rushing score and possibly two with enough receiving yards to merit a good game.

Rivers had a bad game in the first meeting but he is more comfortable with the offense now and should have more success. CB Patrick Surtain left his game last week with a shoulder contusion and it would be a plus for Chambers if he would miss this week as well. But the Chiefs have only allowed nine passing scores this year so anything beyond one score to Gates would be a surprise. This game should be closer than it may seem with the Chiefs at home and the Chargers on the road. It may be a revenge game, but so far the Chargers have been much less effective away from San Diego.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 19 5 32 2 25 4
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 6 15 7 7 20 28


Kansas City Chiefs (4-7)
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 30-16 +13 38.5
5 JAC 7-17 +2 35
6 CIN 27-20 +3 42
7 @OAK 12-10 +3 37.5
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 22-33 -2.5 38.5
10 DEN 11-27 -3 37.5
11 @IND 10-13 +15 44
12 OAK 17-20 -5.5 34.5
13 SD   +3.5 43
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 vs SDC Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard     190,1
RB Kolby Smith 80,1 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   50  
WR Eddie Kennison   20  
WR Samie Parker   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   60,1  
PK John Carney 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs are on a slide with their running back depth stripped and starting Brodie Croyle over Huard as a sign that the future is now, even if it is not a pretty sight. The Chiefs come off a home loss to the Raiders and have added kicking woes to their lengthy list of disappointments since Dave Rayner missed a chance to tie the game last week and has missed three of his last four attempts in the last two games - both losses by three points. They released Rayner and just signed John Carney.

A road trip to Denver next week is likely to be a huge challenge as well so the Chiefs have likely already seen the best that 2007 has to offer. Now it is making do with what it left and determining what next year will be line.

Quarterback: In two starts, Brodie Croyle has only produced 169 and 145 yards though those came against good secondaries of the Colts and Raiders and last week it was more about letting Kolby Smith shine. Croyle is still in his learning curve and will be for the rest of the year but last least he has yet to have more than one turnover per game and still makes use of Dwayne Bowe even if it is to the exclusion of all others - including Tony Gonzalez.

Huard threw for 284 yards and two scores in San Diego.

Running Backs: With Priest Holmes suddenly retired and Larry Johnson still layed up, the Chiefs discovered they were down to their last running back last week when Kolby Smith was given the start over the Raiders. Gilbert Harris was quickly signed onto the active roster as well but for at least one week, Smith looked very much up to the task. He gained 150 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns as the week's biggest - and most delightful - surprise starter. Prior to that start, Smith had only gained 23 yards on 12 carries during the season. He had almost no role as a receiver last week but then again - he did more than his share in the loss to the Raiders.

Larry Johnson ran for 123 yards on 25 carries in the first meeting with the Chargers.

Wide Receivers: Two starts by Croyle and Dwayne Bowe has turned in back-to-back games of 63 and 64 yards with a score against the Colts. He's currently the most productive rookie wideout by a large margin and has seen little drop-off with the shift to Croyle even though the mediocre other wideouts here have almost disappeared.

Dwayne Bowe had his career best game in the first meeting in San Diego when he reeled in eight catches for 164 yards and one score.

Tight Ends: Just when Tony Gonzalez was turning it up this year with three 100+ yard games in a four week span, the Chiefs change the quarterback and Gonzo has only averaged around 35 yards per game for the last three weeks and no scores.

Gonzalez caught five passes for 71 yards and a score in San Diego this season.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rush defense has generally been solid this year but had that record setting game where Adrian Peterson absolutely violated them. Smith has a chance for a decent game here but topping 100 yards again would be yet another big surprise. Expect moderate yardage with a decent shot at one score.

Croyle goes against a secondary that can be beaten though it would require Dwayne Bowe to get it done. Look for just one score this week with only moderate yardage. This game smacks of a lower scoring affair with the Chargers on the road and the Chiefs still adjusting to Croyle.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 27 30 28 5 28 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 17 23 18 29 4 11

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night

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