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

Prediction: IND 28, OAK 13

The Colts look to extend their four game winning streak with a trip to Oakland and the Colts are 6-1 on the road this year. The Raiders are only 2-4 at home but most recently beat the visiting Broncos two weeks ago. This is still a game that the Colts need to maintain their #2 seeding for now.

Indianapolis Colts (11-2)
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 21-23 -3.5 49
11 KC 13-10 -15 44
12 @ATL 31-13 -12 45
13 JAC 28-25 -7 44.5
14 @BAL 44-20 -9.5 44
15 @OAK   -10.5 45
16 HOU 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 TEN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
IND at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     240,2
RB Joseph Addai 90,1 30,1  
RB Kenton Keith 30,1 10  
TE Dallas Clark   50,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   70  
WR Anthony Gonzalez   50  
PK Adam Vinatieri   4 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Colts come off their biggest win of the year whipping the Ravens in Baltimore and setting themselves up to make the final couple of games of the regular season likely to be meaningless. At 11-2, the Colts cannot possibly catch the Patriots if they win this week (against the Jets - man, that is just highly probable). The Colts already have the AFC South and one more win means that not even the Steelers can possibly dislodge them from the #2 seed. Reason enough to play this week hard and it is too early for any cruise control anyway.

Quarterback: No matter that Marvin Harrison has become little more than a legend in Indy, Peyton Manning has been in top form for the last three weeks with a total of 11 scores in that time and never less than 250 passing yards. Last week in Baltimore, he took the bench midway through the third quarter after his fourth touchdown pass in a rather un-Brady like gesture. He's tuning the passing game for the playoffs now and that's beautiful music to fantasy owners. The fact the Ravens were missing both cornerbacks sort of helped.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai is tied with LaDainian Tomlinson with 14 total touchdowns on the season but he;s been a rather ineffective runner since week nine when he had a monster game against the Patriots. Since then he has not rushed for more than 74 yards in a game and never had more than 49 receiving yards. He still scores, pretty much all the time, but the yardage is just not there as it was earlier in the season. Over the last five games, he has topped 80 total yards only once.

Addai has revealed that he has been nursing a cracked bone on the left side of his chest .

Wide Receivers: Marvin Harrison was considered a gametime decision last week but by this point, no one is even sure he still plays for the Colts. He has been either out or extremely ineffective since week three and the Colts have just moved on without him. Reggie Wayne has turned into a scoring machine with nine touchdowns on the season and four over the last five games. He also has four efforts over 100 yards in the last seven games.

Most encouraging was Anthony Gonzalez scoring his first and second NFL touchdowns last week against the injury depleted Ravens. He had a career best six catches for 134 yards which gives him two 100 yard efforts in the last two road games.

Harrison could show up this week but I won't project for him now and if an update calls for him to play, I still would not expect much. Let the Colts clinch the #2 and rest Harrison until the playoffs. Then see if defenses remember him.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark's nine scores are tied with Gates for best among all NFL tight ends but he comes off a one catch game and has been much less consistent over the last six weeks with only two decent showings. Granted he had three scores and 109 yards in those two games but he only had 67 yards and no scores in the other four.

Match Against the Defense: Once again, the Raiders have a top ranked defense against the pass and once again, they are worst against the run. Which is why few teams bother to pass much against them - why bother really? Look for a solid effort here from Addai and for Kenton Keith to get some slop as well. Both players are likely to score and as long as Addai's ribs are okay, there is no reason why he won't have a big game here. The Raiders have already allowed seven different runners to turn in over 125 rushing yards. And they have never played against Adrian Peterson.

Manning will have a decent game here but nothing too big. Figure Favre threw for 266 and two scores last week and that should be high side of what to expect from Manning this week. Dallas Clark should show up again though and even Addai and Keith as receivers should have better games.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 4 3 12 2 11 8
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 1 32 2 12 13 21


Oakland Raiders (4-9)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 21-36 -1 39
2 @DEN 20-23 +10 37.5
3 CLE 26-24 +3 40.5
4 @MIA 35-17 +3.5 40
5 BYE - - -
6 @SD 14-28 +9.5 44
7 KC 10-12 -3 37.5
8 @TEN 9-13 +7 41
9 HOU 17-24 -3 41.5
10 CHI 6-17 +3 38.5
11 @MIN 22-29 +5.5 35.5
12 @KC 20-17 +5.5 34.5
13 DEN 34-20 +3 41.5
14 @GB 7-38 +10.5 42
15 IND   +10.5 45
16 @JAC 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SD 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
OAK vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown     160,1
RB Justin Fargas 60 20  
TE Zach Miller   40,1  
WR Jerry Porter   40  
WR Ronald Curry   40  
WR Tim Dwight   20  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Raiders had their big win over the visiting Broncos in week 13 but that better hold them for the rest of the year. The Packers trounced them and now they have to face the Colts, Jaguars and the Chargers. The move to seeing what next year will be like has started with JaMarcus Russell finally taking one series last week while Justin Fargas reminded the team that he is not the solution for next year. This is not the final home game nor will it be the final loss the fans get to see.

Quarterback: The Raiders have already said that JaMarcus Russell will get more playing time this week though he will not start. Josh McCown will give way to Russell for at least a portion of the game but it only serves to make the game less easy to predict in yardage but easier in terms of winning and losing. Russell only threw seven passes against Denver but completed four for 56 yards while displaying an arm that can apparently hurl a football through a brick wall. This game is only worth watching to see what Russell looks like and for how long he plays. After suffering through Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown all year, Russell will be a treat for the fans.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas only rushed for 57 yards on 15 carries before leaving in the third quarter with a rib injury on Sunday but he vows to play this week and says it will not be an issue. For the offense to have any hopes of being competitive in this game, a healthy Fargas is mandatory since Lamont Jordan only gained 21 yards on 11 carries in relief of Fargas last week. Since week six, Jordan has only gained 125 yards on 60 carries for that lofty 2.1 yard rushing average.

I will assume that a healthy Fargas can play and update if needed.

Wide Receivers: Jerry Porter has scored in each of the last two games after his seven game drought but still only had 45 and 49 yards in those games. That's still better than Ronald Curry who has not scored since week seven and who struggles to top 40 yards in most games. The only worthy thing to watch here is how well Russell connects with either wideout. He completed a pass to each in his first game of 16 (Porter) and 20 yards (Curry).

Tight Ends: Zach Miller only had one catch in the pasting in Green Bay but he has been on a streak of 30+ yard games for the four previous match-ups. He remains a future hopeful in the Raiders offense. His best effort of the year was the previous week when he caught three passes for 58 yards and a score against the Broncos.

Match Against the Defense: The potential switching of quarterbacks plus the undetermined status of Fargas' ribs makes the match-up a challenge here. None of these players are worthy of a fantasy start this week other than Fargas if he is healthy and even then he likely will settle for just moderate yardage since the Colts have held all but two running backs to less than 80 rushing yards and only have allowed six rushing scores on the year. I like the Raiders to score once in this game via the pass during trash time when no one cares.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 11 24 27 22 28
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 3 5 1 7 1 9

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
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