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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: OAK 10, DEN 27

Update: Javon Walker has been ruled out of this game because of his ankle and Chaz Schilens is questionable. This is a passing attack you want to stay very, very far away from. Tony Scheffler has gone through full practices and should play this week without limitations.

The Raiders are on a four game losing streak and if duties are stripped from any more coaches it will be Al Davis calling all the plays... or was it all along? Regardless, the Raiders are just 1-4 on the road this year and have lost most of their offensive punch so far. The Broncos come off a fortuitous win over the Falcons and at 6-4 remain atop the AFC West by two games over the Chargers. The only positive in this game is that it is unlikely that the Broncos take pity on the Raiders ever.

The Broncos won the season opener 41-14 in Oakland this year.

Oakland Raiders (2-8)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DEN 14-41 +3 41.5
2 @KC 23-8 +4 34.5
3 @BUF 23-24 +9.5 36.5
4 SD 18-28 +7 46
5 BYE - - -
6 @NO 3-34 +7.5 47.5
7 NYJ 16-13 +3 42.5
8 @BAL 10-29 +7 36
9 ATL 0-24 +3 41
10 CAR 6-17 +9 38
11 @MIA 15-17


12 @DEN - +9.5 42.5
13 KC - - -
14 @SD - - -
15 NE - - -
16 HOU - - -
17 @TB - - -
OAK @ DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell     140,1
RB Darren McFadden 20 10  
RB Justin Fargas 60    
TE Zach Miller   60,1  
WR Javon Walker 10
WR Ronald Curry   30  
WR Chaz Schilens   20  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The offensive explosion that rung up 15 points last week was really just a returned punt for a touchdown. Otherwise these remain the Raiders that haven't seen 20 points in a game for nine weeks now. The season is in a shambles and the offense that has been the focus of every draft seems to get worse with every new millionaire rookie. Add in some coaching changes and this team is hard not to ridicule.

Quarterback: JaMarcus Russell rebounded from his horrible showing in Atlanta when he passed for 156 yards in Miami and had no turnovers. Russell only has six passing touchdowns on the season and needs plentiful slop time in games to break 200 passing yards. That's not likely this week.

Russell opened the season with 180 passing yards and two scores against the Broncos.

Running Backs: Darren McFadden returned from his turf toe and only had three carries for 13 yards. Sure, he is healthy now. He even complained of being sore after the game. He's been a colossal bust so far and unable to play through or even with injuries. Justin Fargas plods along as the primary ball carrier but still has not scored or had over 100 yards in any game. This is a sad rushing attack despite being largely the same as last year.

The team is also trying to push Michael Bush into being a fullback but he has so far resisted knowing it would spell the end of his career as a running back.

Fargas gained 97 yards on 18 carries and McFadden added 46 yards on nine runs when Denver came to Oakland this year.

Wide Receivers: Ronald Curry easily led all wideouts when he had six catches for 73 yards but will remain a backup to both Chaz Schilens and Ashley Lelie who neither had a catch last week because this is Oakland and nothing is supposed to make sense. Any projection for a wideout for the Raiders should be taken with very low confidence and this unit has to be entirely made over, again, for next year.

No wideout had more than 37 yards against the Broncos this year.

Tight Ends: Always the lone flicker of optimism in the passing game, Zach Miller remains consistent around 50 yards in most games this year and that's remarkable given how utterly devoid of reason the wideout usage is. Miller is a solid yardage tight end and could be more if the rest of the offense could ever get the ball near the goal line.

Miller had four catches for 34 yards against the Broncos this season.

Match Against the Defense: No reason to expect the Raiders to play even as well as they did in the season opener when they were waxed. in Oakland. Expect moderate numbers from Fargas but not enough carries for it to matter and of course no touchdown,.

I like Russell to somehow end up with a passing score here that favors Miller the most but that comes with low confidence of course. As bad as the Denver defense has played, the Oakland offense has been much worse.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 27 32 19 25 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 23 30 13 29 27 15

Denver Broncos (6-4)
Homefield: Invesco Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 41-14 -3 41.5
2 SD 39-38 +1.5 45.5
3 NO 34-32 -5.5 51.5
4 @KC 19-33 -9.5 46.5
5 TB 16-13 -3 48
6 JAX 17-24 -3.5 48
7 @NE 7-41 +3 46.5
8 BYE - - -
9 MIA 17-26 -3 49
10 @CLE 34-30 +3 46
11 @ATL 24-20 +5.5 51
12 OAK - -9.5 42.5
13 @NYJ - - -
14 KC - - -
15 @CAR - - -
16 BUF - - -
17 @SD - - -
DEN vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     260,2
RB Tatum Bell 70 10  
RB Peyton Hillis 40,1 30  
TE Tony Scheffler   40  
WR Eddie Royal   60,1  
WR Brandon Stokley   30  
WR Brandon Marshall   80,1  
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Two road wins in a row helped the Broncos get over their previous three game losing streak. The rushing game continues to change almost weekly but Cutler has managed to bail them out in most games. The most amazing of all is that the Denver running backs now rank #28 in the league in fantasy terms and with no end in sight.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler only had 216 yards and one score last Sunday but had been over 300 yards for the two previous weeks and has never failed to throw for at least one score in each game. Cutler started the year out by passing for 300 yards and two touchdowns in Oakland. He remains the only consistent feature to this offense.

Running Backs: In the musical chairs of the Denver backfield, now recently re-signed Tatum Bell and Peyton Hillis are the tandem rushing attack at least until Selvin Young returns in week thirteen to erase any shred of predictability from this backfield. Bell ran for 34 yards on seven carries in Atlanta while Hillis had ten rushes for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Hillis also injured his shoulder during the game and had it x-rayed but the injury was not considered serious and currently he is expected to play this week. If a Denver back gets to play in any game all year, it should be when the Raiders come to town.

The Broncos rushed for 123 yards and two scores in Oakland this year using four different running backs.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall remains the only consistent receiver for the Broncos mainly because Cutler averages around 12 passes per game thrown to him. Marshall has scored only once in the last six games but remains solid around 80 yards every week.

Eddie Royal has been far more up and down with only 34 yards last week but a career best 164 yards the previous week. Royal is tied with Marshall with four touchdown receptions.

Marshall was suspended in week one when these teams met but Royal caught nine passes for 146 yards and a touchdown and even Darrell Jackson had a score as well.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler was a surprise when he played in week ten and had 92 yards on four catches but last week on had no receptions despite being listed as probable from his groin injury. Scheffler will play this week but his health continues to be an issue.

Scheffler only had one catch but gained 72 yards against the Raiders this year.

Match Against the Defense: The running game should take center stage in this great matchup and the split in carries will mean that no runner has a monster game here but both should have some fantasy value. Look for at least one rushing score and well over 100 rushing yards to share.

Cutler already had a big game against the Raiders this year and that was in Oakland without Marshall. Look for solid passing numbers here and two scores since the rushing game is not up to par.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 3 22 2 2 14 30
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 16 28 11 17 12 17

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