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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week
* Updated

Prediction: KC 17, SD 27

As bad as the Chargers can lament 2008 as being, they can at least take solace in not being the Chiefs who not only are 1-7 on the season, but they have lost their last two games by four points or less. They allowed the Buccaneers to set a franchise record for a comeback after being down 21 points. Now the Chiefs hit the road where they are 0-4 and the Chargers are 2-1 at home. And there is no way that the Chargers take the Chiefs not seriously.

Last year these teams traded road wins with the Chiefs winning 30-16 in San Diego during week four and later the Chargers winning 24-10 in Kansas City in week 13.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 10-17 +16.5 45
2 OAK 8-23 -4 34.5
3 @ATL 14-38 +5 36
4 DEN 33-19 +9.5 46.5
5 @CAR 0-34 +9.5 38.5
6 BYE - - -
7 TEN 10-34 +8 35.5
8 @NYJ 24-28 +13 38
9 TB 27-30 +8.5 37.5
10 @SD - +15 48
11 NO - - -
12 BUF - - -
13 @OAK - - -
14 @DEN - - -
15 SD - - -
16 MIA - - -
17 @CIN - - -
KC @ SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyler Thigpen     250,2
RB Jamaal Charles 50 20  
TE Tony Gonzalez   70,1  
WR Mark Bradley   60  
WR Devard Darling   10  
WR Dwayne Bowe   80,1  
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Just to make things worse, the Chiefs will be without Larry "suspended" Johnson this week and Kolby Smith is done for the season. The Chiefs are not being taken too seriously lately and for good reason - they are not that good. To the team and coaches' credit, they have not given up yet despite plenty of reasons to do exactly that. But this is just yet another lost season for the Chiefs and a continuation of the lack of offense that has plagued the team for the last few seasons. On the plus side, the Chiefs are only three games out of first place in the AFC West.

Quarterback: It could be argued that Tyler Thigpen is getting better and making a difference but the last two games have to be considered as the Jets and Bucs trying to mail in games - and they still won anyway. Still, Thigpen has been better than the nearly zero expectations that he carried and he has helped to prop up the fantasy value of Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez.

Huard passed for 284 yards and two scores in San Diego last year.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson is suspended this week and Kolby Smith is gone. That leaves Jamaal Charles who ran for 106 yards on 18 carries against the Buccaneers last Sunday and Jackie Battle. HC Herman Edwards said that Charles doesn't have the size or experience to be a 20 carry per game back but given this offense, it is probably a pipe dream to expect any back getting 20 carries in a game. Charles is good as a receiver though he was never used as such last week. For at least this week, it will be Charles as the starter.

Johnson rushed for 123 yards on 25 carries in San Diego last year.

Wide Receivers: It is a testament to Dwayne Bowe that he can retain at least some fantasy value no matter who the quarterback is. He had a season low two receptions for 29 yards last week but scored for the third time this year. Bowe had been good for around 80 yards per game for the last month.

He is even getting some help finally with Mark Bradley who was picked up by the Chiefs after being released by the Bears back in September. Bradley had five catches for 42 yards and a score in week eight and then turned in four catches for 65 yards versus the Buccaneers. In this offense, that definitely worth noting.

Bowe had eight receptions for 164 yards and one score in San Diego last season.

Tight Ends: The old man Tony Gonzalez still chugs along even with Thigpen at the helm. He has caught six or seven receptions in each game with Thigpen and ended around 70 yards in each. He only has three scores on the season but Thigpen threw him one just two weeks ago.

Gonzalez had five receptions for 71 yards and a score in San Diego in 2007.

Match Against the Defense: This is such a stripped down Chiefs team that the Chargers may actually overlook them. The Chargers defense is nothing special (along with the Chiefs offense) and it is optimistic to expect much this week from any Chiefs' player. Charles could turn in moderate yardage if they include him as a receiver again but they never threw him a pass last week in part to reduce his workload.

Thigpen faces a secondary that has never allowed less than 200 passing yards in a game and that always gives up at least one score if not up to four via the pass. I like Thigpen to score twice in this game and end with solid yardage. The Chargers secondary has stopped no one this year and Thigpen is getting a little confidence, at least enough for this week. Consider those scores for Gonzalez against the #32 defense versus tight ends to be sure and the other most likely for Bowe.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 21 28 28 10 31 21
Preventing Fantasy Points    SD 29 19 21 32 20 12

San Diego Chargers (3-5)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CAR 24-26 -9 42
2 @DEN 38-39 -1.5 45.5
3 NYJ 48-29 -9 44
4 @OAK 28-18 -7 46
5 @MIA 10-17 -6.5 45.5
6 NE 30-10 -6 44.5
7 @BUF 14-23 -1 46.5
8 @NO 32-37 -3.5 47
9 BYE - - -
10 KC - -15 48
11 @PIT - - -
12 IND - - -
13 ATL - - -
14 OAK - - -
15 @KC - - -
16 @TB - - -
17 DEN - - -
SD vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     250,1
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 120,2 20  
TE Antonio Gates   70  
WR Vincent Jackson   60  
WR Craig Davis   20  
WR Chris Chambers   60,1  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Just when the Chargers appeared to be getting back on track they lose three of their last four games. But despite having a 3-5 record, they are only one game out of first place in the AFC West. Losing those first two games of the year by a combined three points continues to haunt the Chargers but the remaining schedule is not bad. Playing the Steelers and Colts will be a challenge but there is still time to end up 9-7 on the season and that might win the division. This week is a must win. The Chargers released their defensive coordinator during the bye week and that can only help this team.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers continues to enjoy a great year with 19 passing touchdowns and 2038 yards. He's already thrown for three games over 300 yards and five different games with three touchdowns. Other than road games in Oakland and Miami where he had one score and under 200 yards in each, Rivers has been outstanding this year. Playing at home he has always had three scores each time.

Rivers passed for 211 yards against the visiting Chiefs last year.

Running Backs: A down year continues for LaDainian Tomlinson who has only scored in three games this year but comes off his best game of the year when he ran for 105 yards on 19 carries and had five catches for 65 yards and one receiving touchdown. But he topped 100 rushing yards only twice and has rarely been over 25 receiving yards in a game, His success against the Saints is a positive sign and coming off a bye week means Tomlinson should be even more healthy but in week seven he only had 67 total yards in Buffalo. He's been little more than an average running back this year if that thanks at least in part to his toe.

Tomlinson gained 132 yards on 20 carries and score once against the Chiefs last season.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers finally returned to duty in week eight and had five catches for 47 yards. His presence really helps the offense that has found success in also using Vincent Jackson who is on a three game scoring streak with solid yardage in literally every game this year. Jackson only has one game over 100 yards but exceeds 50 yards each week. Neither wideout may be the first choice on a pass play but are always productive when used.

No wideout had more than 52 yards against the Chiefs last year in either game.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates has not been up to his elite standard this year but he has still be a solid fantasy tight end and likely was drafted too late in many leagues. At the mid-point to the season, Gates has 30 catches for 403 yards and five touchdowns.

Gates had six catches for 79 yards versus the visiting Chiefs last year.

Match Against the Defense: Tomlinson could use a big game and the Chiefs sport the worst defense against running backs in the NFL. Expect no less than 100 yards and a score with an excellent chance for a truly big game here.

Rivers faces a secondary that has statistically been pretty good because almost every opponent was just rushing the ball to win the game. Look for a rare single score this week since the Chargers have to be considered with their trip to Pittsburgh next week and know they can beat the Chiefs. This could be a big game for Rivers but it does not have to be so relying on more than moderate numbers is risky.

Gaining Fantasy Points SD 5 10 13 4 8 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    KC 11 32 15 9 26 21

The Huddle
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