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

Prediction: SD 24, TEN 20

Interesting game with the Chargers only 2-4 on the road and the Titans 4-2 at home. The Titans are at home but just ended a three game losing streak and the Chargers are atop the AFC West and looking much better. For either squad, the question can be asked, "which team shows up? The good one or the bad one?"

The Chargers won 40-7 when the Titans visited San Diego in week two of last year.

San Diego Chargers (7-5)
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 24-10 -3.5 43
14 @TEN   -1 41
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 TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     220,2
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 80,1 40  
TE Antonio Gates   60,1  
WR Vincent Jackson   50  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   40,1  
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Chargers have struggled at times this year but in retrospect, even their losses do not look as bad. They almost beat the Colts, they got routed by the Vikings who have surprised many more teams and playing in Jacksonville is no treat. Tomlinson looks like he is running downhill again and the defense is proving just good enough in most games. On the road is never easy for this team but this is a game that can be won. After this week, a home win over the Lions leads to hosting the Broncos in what could be the final nail in the Denver coffin. The Chargers are not going far in the playoffs but they should reach it with a division title and host one game.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers' production has been all over the map this year and about the only certainty is that whatever he does one week will not be repeated the following one. He has a tendency to either throw for two or more scores (5) or none at all (5). It just depends on which Rivers you get that week and how well Tomlinson is running. Rivers is on a three game scoring streak against some formidable secondaries is JAX, BAL and KC and the success of Tomlinson helps free up the passing game - if it doesn't reduce the need to throw.

Rivers passed for 235 yards and one score against the Titans last year.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson passed Walter Payton in career rushing touchdowns after scoring twice Sunday. He now has 111, the third-highest total in NFL history. His 11 rushing scores this year is #1 in the NFL and he ranks #3 with 1049 rushing yards to date. But he still only has three efforts that have exceeded 100 yards this year and his numbers are a bit inflated from those three efforts. He has returned to being a bigger cog in the passing machine though and has been at or above 100 total yards for the past month.

Tomlinson only gained 71 yards on 19 carries but scored two touchdowns and had 51 receiving yards in the game. Michael Turner also turned in 13 carries for 138 yards.

Wide Receivers: The addition of Chris Chambers has not proven to be a major addition so far thanks in part to Tomlinson and Gates taking their share each week. Chambers has only one game over 60 yards and just two scores on the season. Vincent Jackson scored last week but on his only catch in the game. The wideouts here are only marginally more productive than last season.

No wideout had more than 58 yards against the Titans last year but Vincent Jackson scored once.

Tight Ends: Every so often a player turns in a game that just makes you say "wow". Antonio Gates only had two passes thrown to him last week, caught only one and ran for a one yard loss. Wow. And yet he is still the most productive tight end this year in most every league. And last week followed a 105 yard, two touchdown game against the Ravens.

Gates caught four passes for 55 yards against the Titans.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans rush defense has taken a major step backwards in the last month when it allowed seven rushing scores to opposing running backs in the span of just four weeks. Look for a solid game here by Tomlinson that should approach the century mark in just rushing yards alone and at least one rushing score if not two.

Rivers production will depend on Tomlinson but he faces a secondary that has allowed at least one passing score in each of the last five games. The Titans rank great against tight ends but have hardly faced any truly decent ones this year. The best so far was Dallas Clark and he had 69 yards and a score so do not lower expectations too much on Gates. I like Rivers to notch two passing scores in this game since the Titans secondary has been really beaten up lately by DEN, CIN and even HOU.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 23 5 32 3 26 2
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 7 13 19 4 9 16


Tennessee Titans (7-5)
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 20-22 +7 46
3 @NO 31-14 +4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 ATL 20-13 -8 41
6 @TB 10-13 +2.5 37
7 @HOU 38-36 +2 37.5
8 OAK 13-9 -7 41
9 CAR 20-7 -4 40
10 JAC 13-28 -4 35
11 @DEN 20-34 +2.5 38
12 @CIN 6-35 -1.5 42
13 HOU 28-20 -3.5 43
14 SD   +1 41
15 @KC 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 NYJ 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @IND 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TEN vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 30,1   220,1
RB Chris Brown 70 10  
RB Lendale White 40 10  
TE Bo Scaife   50,1  
WR Justin Gage   70  
WR Eric Moulds   40  
WR Roydell Williams   30  
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Titans have the look of a team that peaked too early (say at 6-2) and have lost three of their last four games. The defense has grown much softer against the run and the pass and yet the offense has taken a nosedive until last week against the Texans. The Titans have no shot at the AFC South title but are still alive for a wildcard. With the Chiefs and Jets up after this week, a winning record is likely even without hoping that the week 17 trip to indianapolis involves facing a team that is resting starters for the playoffs.

Quarterback: The oddest part of Vince Young becoming a better passer is that the better he throws, the more likely the Titans are to lose to the game. He has been at or above 250 yards for the last month and yet lost three of those four games. He only has four scores in those contests against six interceptions though. but regardless of record, for the first time in his brief career, Young is consistently hitting wide receivers and not tight ends. The addition of Justin Gage seems to have made a difference here.

Young only passed for 106 yards but scored once in San Diego last season.

Running Backs: Lendale White dislocated and cut his middle finger against the Texans and was replaced by Chris Brown. White had been effective with 12 carries for 60 yards and one score but Chris Brown was also solid with 46 yards on 11 carries and a score for him as well. White is expected to return this week but HC Jeff Fisher indicated that both would play this week and that Brown as been more impressive. Look for a split of carries this week that reduces what either could do alone.

The Titans as a team only had 31 rushing yards against the Chargers last year.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Jones had already been phased out of the passing game in deference to special teams work and a groin injury is now expected to keep him out "for a while". I am dropping him from the projections. Justin Gage has been instrumental in sparking the recent success of Young by turning in over 60 yards in each of the last four games with two scores along the way. He is now the only consistent receiver for the Titans with some moderate fantasy value each week. Roydell Williams scored against the Texans as well had had 74 yards on five catches but had remained below 50 yards in each of the four previous weeks. Gage is the spark here and the rest are occasional contributors.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife has also turned up this performances with a season high of 57 yards last week. He usually comes in around 40 yards per game but has only one score on the season.

Scaife caught three passes for 53 yards in San Diego last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Chargers rushing defense has been much less effective in road games this season but the Titans will be splitting carries. There's a chance of one rushing score here that could go either way but likely the yardage for either Brown or White will not exceed a moderate level.

Young goes against a secondary that has been very good though almost every opponent scores at least one passing touchdown. Expect a moderate game here from Young with one passing score. The Chargers have been very weak against the tight ends so Scaife has a good shot at a score this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 21 17 23 25 4 16
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 12 19 15 28 3 10

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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