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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
*updated

Prediction: OAK 3, SD 27

After the shock of week six when the Raiders beat the Eagles, all it took was a visit from the Jets to put it all back into perspective. The Chargers come into this knowing it is probably the easiest game of the year but the Eagles proved you still need to prepare.

The Chargers swept the Raiders last season, winning 28-18 in Oakland and later 34-7 in San Diego. The Charger also the season opener against the Raiders this year 24-20.

Oakland Raiders (2-5)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SD 20-24 +9.5 43
2 @KC 13-10 +4 41
3 DEN 3-23 +1.5 35.5
4 @HOU 6-29 +9.5 41
5 @NYG 7-44 +16.5 40.5
6 PHI 13-9 +14 40.5
7 NYJ 0-38 +6 34
8 @SD - +17 41.5
9 BYE - - -
10 KC - - -
11 CIN - - -
12 @DAL - - -
13 @PIT - - -
14 WAS - - -
15 @DEN - - -
16 @CLE - - -
17 BAL - - -
OAK at SD Rush Catch Pass
QB JaMarcus Russell     120
RB Michael Bush 30    
RB Justin Fargas 50 20  
TE Zach Miller   40  
WR Louis Murphy   40  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins Hi Mom!  
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey   10  
PK S. Janikowski 1 FG    
Pregame Notes: HC Tom Cable has avoided a felony charge for beating up an assistant but the NFL is looking into it and a civil suit is going to happen as well. The Raiders were in dysfunctional overdrive last week when the Jets obliterated them and finally sent JaMarcus Russell to the bench. The only time this year that the Raiders had more than one touchdown in a game was the season opener against the Chargers. There's been plenty of giving scores but the Raiders offense has remained nearly dormant.

Quarterback: The Raiders finally benched JaMarcus Russell when he had only completed 6 of 11 for 61 yards and two interceptions. And a lost fumble. And it was already mid-way through the fourth quarter of a game they lost 38-0. This is notable because Russell's version of him being benched was when he said " "I don't think it's me personally, I really don't. It's a bad combination of one guy doesn't do something right one time. Personally, I don't think so. Do you?" ... and a show of hands... yep, that's everyone else thinks you are the problem, JaMarcus.

Of course Russell has yet again been named as the starting quarterback if only for comedic relief by this point. He's a post game interview worth watching.

Russell passed for 208 yards and one score when the Chargers visited Oakland in the season opener. He only passed for 68 yards in San Diego last year.

Russell has not passed for more than 128 yards in a road game and with only two scores on the entire season, safe to say not in a road game for those either.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas ran well against the Jets and gained 67 yards on just eight carries while Michael Bush settled for 25 yards on eight runs. With McFadden still out, expect the duo to play this week and crank it down a notch or two from the mediocre showing of last week. This is not a place to look for a starter this week if you can avoid it.

McFadden ran for 68 yards on 17 carries and Bush added 55 yards on 12 runs with one score against the Chargers in week one.

Wide Receivers: Chaz Schilens still is not cleared to return and was inactive yet again last week. With Bruce Gradkowski as the quarterback for the final 8 minutes of the game last Sunday, the wideouts ended up with actual positive numbers this time. Darrius Heyward-Bey literally matched his career total when he had two catches for 28 yards and is on pace to break into the triple digit total yardage by early training camp next year. Louis Murphy had four catches for 58 yards in the biggest showing since week one. And the only one that had a quarterback other than Russell.

Louis Murphy gained 87 yards on four receptions and scored once against the Chargers this year. No other wideout had a catch.

Minimal numbers all around with a realistic shot at some negative total yardage yet again.

Tight Ends: Zach MIller remains the lone hope that any receiver here could do something notable. Miller caught six passes for 96 yards as the leading receiver in week one versus the Chargers. He caught eight passes for 64 yards in San Diego last year. The Chargers are weaker against tight ends but Miller remains a risk to rely on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 27 32 20 29 29
Preventing Fantasy Points    SD 9 29 7 19 19 18


San Diego Chargers (3-3)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @OAK 24-20 -9.5 43
2 BAL 26-31 -5 40.5
3 MIA 23-13 -6 42
4 @PIT 28-38 +6.5 43
5 BYE - - -
6 DEN 23-34 -3.5 44
7 @KC 37-7 -5.5 44
8 OAK - -17 41.5
9 @NYG - - -
10 PHI - - -
11 @DEN - - -
12 KC - - -
13 @CLE - - -
14 @DAL - - -
15 CIN - - -
16 @TEN - - -
17 WAS - - -
SD vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers     250,2
RB Ladainian Tomlinson 80,1 30  
RB Darren Sproles 30 20,1  
TE Antonio Gates   60  
WR Chris Chambers   10  
WR Vincent Jackson   80,1  
WR Malcolm Floyd   40  
PK Nate Kaeding 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The big win in Kansas City was needed after losing to the Steelers and Broncos in the most recent games. Now behind the Broncos by three games, the Chargers need to take this win here and then head out on a very tough three week stretch of @NYG, PHI and @DEN that will define the season for them. The Raiders played surprisingly close in the season opener but this game in San Diego is a win and all depends on how committed the Chargers are to running up the score.

Quarterback: Philip Rivers has scored at least once in every game and had multiple scores in the recent road efforts. He has not passed for less than 250 yards this year and at home he's remained above 275 yards each week. Rivers passed for 252 yards and one score in Oakland this year. He had 214 passing yards and three scores when they hosted the Raiders last year.

The Raiders have allowed at least one passing score in all but one game this season and most teams that have a decent passing game end up around 250 yards. Consider Rivers safe for slightly less than that but for two passing scores. The Chargers need this win but do not need to expend too much energy doing it with a hard three game stretch looming.

Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson faced a weaker Chiefs defense and only posted 71 yards on 23 carries and failed to score despite a couple of goal line efforts. And that has been his high yardage game so far. He has only one touchdown on the season but is playing in only his second home game of the year thanks to missing a couple of games earlier. His one home effort was his best showing and only game with more than one catch when the Broncos came to town.

Both Darren Sproles and Tomlinson scored in the season opener and Tomlinson as had a touchdown via a catch but they totaled only 78 rushing yards on 22 carries in Oakland. Tomlinson ran for 91 yards and one score when the Raiders visited last year.

At this point you cannot rely on Tomlinson for more than moderate yardage and even that is getting hard to justify. This is a home game against a bad rush defense for the firs time this year and the Raiders have allowed nine rushing touchdowns and four efforts over 100 rushing yards. This game will probably be as good as it gets for Tomlinson this year but you cannot rely on that being much.

Wide Receivers: Vincent Jackson comes off his best game of the year when he had 142 yards against the Chiefs and he's topped the century mark three times already this season. He has scored four times and and completely overshadowed all other receivers on this team including Antonio Gates. Malcolm Floyd had his first score of the season last Sunday in Kansas City and he's starting to take over for Chris Chambers who had no catches for the third game this year. Chambers decline has been rapid and even the 28-year old Floyd is making a better option now.

Jackson caught five passes for 56 yards and a score in the season opener in Oakland and last year turned in 148 yards on five receptions and scored once when the Raiders visited in 2008.

Jackson has to be considered the default for a score each week and you have to find a reason not to expect a lot of yardage which probably does not exist this week at home against the Raiders.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates has apparently been replaced by a robot that is programmed to catch five passes each week. And that is what has happened in five of six games. He scored twice in Pittsburgh but not before or since. He has never had less than 55 yards but is overdue for a touchdown.

Gates led the Chargers with five receptions for 83 yards in the season opener versus the Raiders. Last year he did not have a catch when the Raiders visited.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 20 18 6 2 8
Preventing Fantasy Points    OAK 15 31 11 6 31 28

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
Monday
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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