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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
*Updated

Prediction: OAK 10, TB 27

Update: Nnamdi Asomugha has not practiced this week with a stiff neck and is listed as questionable. If he cannot play, then Antonio Bryant is much more attractive to start. Check pregame to see if Asomugha is active and if not, start Bryant with a lot more confidence.

All the Buccaneers need to do in order to get a wildcard is to beat these Raiders and then have the Cowboys lose in Philadelphia. The Raiders are merely playing out their bad season and looking forwards to the spring when Al Davis hires a leather sofa to act as head coach and then spends his first round pick on another kicker to compete with Sebastian Janikowski.

Oakland Raiders (4-11)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  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

+10.5

38.5
12 @DEN 31-10 +9.5 42.5
13 KC 13-20 -3 41.5
14 @SD 7-34 +10 43
15 NE 26-49 +7 40
16 HOU 27-16 +7 43.5
17 @TB - +13 39
OAK @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell     170,1
RB Darren McFadden 30 20  
RB Justin Fargas 40 10  
TE Zach Miller   70,1  
WR Chaz Schilens   30  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins   40  
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Raiders are hard to get a handle on other than they are bad much more than good and lose much more than win. But last week they took down the Texans in a surprisingly easy manner. And yet this same team had lost six of their prior seven games. Tom Cable wants to remain as head coach but he'll likely join the lengthy cast of ex-interim Raiders coaches. The Raiders are 2-5 on the road and this is not an interdivisional matchup which are the only ones that the Raiders have won.

Quarterback: Jamarcus Russell may be a good quarterback. He may become a great one. He could be complete bust. One year as a starter and there is no way to know. He has only passed for 11 touchdowns and only five games went over 200 passing yards. He has no wide receivers beyond those who only only be practice squad players on other teams. The rushing game has been mediocre at best. After a full season as a starter, we really don't know much more about Russell than we did back last summer.

Except that the won't likely be drafted in many leagues next year.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas has hung on all year so that he could run for around 70 yards in every game and yet score only once and rarely have any receiving yards. The Oakland running backs combined for only seven touchdowns this year.

Darren McFadden may be a huge bust or could be the next great running back - we cannot be sure about him either. His toe has been an issue almost the entire year. He had one monster game and that is it. So far - bust.

Wide Receivers: This entire unit could be released in the offseason and all it would do would be to bring down other NFL teams that signed them to their practice squad. Hard to say there is a keeper anywhere in here. The signing of Javon Walker proved to be one of the bigger boondoggles in Raiders' history which says a lot. What this unit may look like in 12 months is anyone's guess.

But it probably won't be pretty.

Tight Ends: The lone bright spot in the passing game - actually the only part that was not dark and cold and laughable - was the play of Zach Miller. The second year player only scored once this season but was the lead receiver for the team. His 744 yards are 6th best among all NFL tight ends.

Match Against the Defense: The Buccaneers have fallen on tougher times with their defense but these are the Raiders on the road and the Buccaneers have to win this game. Expect a good effort by them that limits the Raiders to one passing score - like most weeks. No opponent has scored a rushing touchdown in Tampa Bay.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 31 22 32 18 28 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    TB 11 14 8 9 17 17


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NO 20-24 +3.5

42.5

2 ATL 24-9 -8 38.5
3 @CHI 27-24 +3 35.5
4 GB 30-21 -1.5 43
5 @DEN 13-16 +3 48
6 CAR 27-3 -1.5 36.5
7 SEA 20-10 -11 39
8 @DAL 9-13 +2 42
9 @KC 30-27 -8.5 37.5
10 BYE - - -
11 MIN 19-13 -4 39.5
12 @DET 38-20 -8.5 41
13 NO 23-20 -3.5 48
14 @CAR 23-38 +3 40
15 @ATL 10-13 +2.5 42
16 SD 24-41 -3.5 42.5
17 OAK - -13 39
TB vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Jeff Garcia     190,1
RB Warrick Dunn 80 10  
RB Carnell Williams 40,1 10  
TE Alex Smith   30  
WR Michael Clayton   40  
WR Ike Hilliard   50,1  
WR Antonio Bryant   50  
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers are on a three game losing streak that has denied them the AFC South and risks them missing the playoffs completely. The defense has suffered a let down in the last month but at home this week should be all that is needed. These Buccaneers always play better at home and have lost only once here - last week against the Chargers.

Quarterback: One of the problems that the Buccaneers have this year is that Jeff Garcia is a great game manager when the rushing game works, the defense holds and the Buccaneers get an early lead. But when they cannot run and are playing from behind, the offense is just not set up for it. Antonio Bryant has enjoyed a rejuvenation of his NFL career but the Buccaneers have merely made him the new Joey Galloway and still have no other supporting players in the passing scheme. Garcia has scored 11 times in 11 games and usually ends in the low 200's for passing. Chances are good he is playing his final games in Tampa Bay.

Running Backs: Since Earnest Graham left, the Buccaneers have never had a credible ground game and even Carnell Williams returning has not made much difference since he has not gained more than 59 yards in a game and only once had more than 30 yards.

Warrick Dunn was a great complement for Graham but has never been that productive as the primary runner. With Williams in the mix, it only ensures that Dunn won't produce big numbers in any game. Some offenses are good enough to plug in almost any running back and they will be successful. That does not exist in Tampa Bay.

Wide Receivers: This is the year of Antonio Bryant who has gained 1171 receiving yards to rank 7th best in the NFL and he's only been getting better and better each week. He has also replaced Joey Galloway who has slowly faded away until no one even remembers he started the season as the #1 wideout.

Ike Hilliard and Michael Clayton have proven to be nothing more than possession receivers at most. This offense has become one dimensional - throw the ball to Bryant. Anything else is just setting up his next pass.

Tight Ends: Very minor relevance for fantasy purposes with five touchdowns scored between Jeremy Stevens and Alex Smith. Expecting more than around 20 yards from either was usually a disappointment.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders always give up the rushing yards even if the Buccaneers are hardly a e premier backfield. The split between Dunn and Williams means neither will offer enough fantasy value to warrant starting even with the Raiders coming to visit.

There is no doubt who Asomugha will be covering this week and that should keep Bryant's numbers at bay this week while perking up Hilliard and the tight ends. I like one passing score here that could go anywhere though less likely to Hilliard. I like one defensive score here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 18 18 10 5 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    OAK 15 29 11 15 13 16

The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
Other Features
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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