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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Late Sunday

Prediction: BAL 24, OAK 13

This is easy enough. If the Ravens win, they get a wildcard. If they lose, they stay home. This may be a challenge for a franchise that was only 2-5 on the road this year but the Raiders are only 2-5 at home.

Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 38-24 -12.5 36
2 @SD 31-26 +4 41
3 CLE 34-3 -13 38.5
4 @NE 21-27 +2 44.5
5 CIN 14-17 -8.5 42
6 @MIN 31-33 +3 44.5
7 BYE - - -
8 DEN 30-7 +4.5 42.5
9 @CIN 7-17 -3 43.5
10 @CLE 16-0 -11 39
11 IND 15-17 +1 44
12 PIT 20-17 -6 20
13 @GB 14-27 +3 44
14 DET 48-3 -14 40.5
15 CHI 31-7 -10.5 39.5
16 @PIT 20-23 +3 43
17 @OAK - -10 38
BAL at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco     210,1
RB Ray Rice 80,1 50  
TE Todd Heap   40  
WR Mark Clayton   30  
WR Kelley Washington   30,1  
WR Derrick Mason   40  
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Ravens have only one once in the last six trips away from Baltimore but these Raiders are much like those Browns that they beat. The defense remains solid with only two opponents in the last nine since the bye week able to score more than 17 points against them. The Ravens nearly beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh last week. No question they should be better than the Raiders this week.

I like a defensive score in this game.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco has turned in a tremendous sophomore season with a total of 21 touchdowns and 3511 passing yards so far despite having no receivers. Derrick Mason is likely to retire this year (again) and the Ravens know that they need new talent. Flacco has been above average this year with sub-par receivers but at least the ground game has been good support.

The Raiders secondary has been very good at home and only allowed a total of five passing scores by opponents. No reason to expect more than one touchdown pass by Flacco.

Running Backs: Ray Rice is ending his first season as "the man" and he's a lock to exceed 2000 total yards for the season. Rice has rushed for 1269 yards and seven scores and added 74 receptions for 683 yards and a score as a receiver. All he needs is 48 yards for the 2000 total yards. Willis McGahee was back as a goal line back but has been little used for the last two weeks.

Virtually all opponents in Oakland rush for at least one score and several have two touchdowns. Rice should total a healthy amount of yards this week with a great shot at a touchdown if McGahee doesn't come in and steal it.

Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason returned from his temporary retirement this year and a good thing he did. His 1005 yards and seven scores is more than all other wideouts combined. Wide receiver has to be a high priority for the Ravens in free agency and in the NFL draft.

Playing the Raiders means that Mason will be blanketed since he is the only wideout of any note or concern. I am awarding a touchdown to Washington as the slightly more likely but it could go to any receiver for the Ravens - except probably for Mason.

Tight Ends: It took 14 weeks, but Flacco has suddenly fallen in love with Todd Heap who has scored twice in each of the last two games. But the Raiders have only allowed one tight end to score this year so it's a stretch to expect Heap to continue his hot hand.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 14 2 21 22 13 6
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 14 27 13 2 31 24

Oakland Raiders (5-10)
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  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 16-24 +16 41.5
9 BYE - - -
10 KC 10-16 -1 37
11 CIN 20-17 +9 36
12 @DAL 7-24 +13.5 40.5
13 @PIT 27-24 +14.5 37
14 WAS 13-34 +1 37.5
15 @DEN 20-19 +13.5 37
16 @CLE 9-23 +3 37
17 BAL - +10 38
OAK vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Charlie Frye     190,1
RB Darren McFadden 30 50  
RB Michael Bush 50 10  
TE Zach Miller   60,1  
WR Louis Murphy   30  
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins   20  
WR Chaz Schilens   30  
PK S. Janikowski 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Raiders glory was beating the Broncos in Denver two weeks ago. Did not last long either since the Browns handled them last Sunday. So far the only thing that the Raiders season has proven is that none of the last three first round selections have made any positive impact on the team outside of single drive in Denver by JaMarcus Russell. It is preferable that you spend a season finding what works though, not proving what doesn't.

Quarterback: Charlie Frye threw for a freakish 333 yards last week but never scored and there is nothing happening here that has any bearing on next season. Assumedly JaMarcus Russell gets yet another chance but winding down the year with Charlie Frye is meaningless in the big picture. It also has not included any touchdowns.

The Ravens need this game and have been at least good against the pass this year. I can see one passing score eventually here since it is in Oakland but anything more than low 200's for yardage would be a major accomplishment.

Running Backs: Justin Fargas was inactive last week with a sore knee and I will count him out for the finale as well unless he can practice. The season that was supposed to showcase Darren McFadden has only seen him run for 348 yards on 99 carries and never produce more than 74 yards in any game. Michael Bush is the leading rusher with 571 yards and a score even though he is the least preferred runner by HC Tom Cable.

This week against the Ravens is unlikely to produce a rushing score since they have only allowed six all year. The split in workload ensures there is minimal fantasy value here.

Wide Receivers: Frye passed for 333 yards last week and the best wideout was Chaz Schilens with only 64 yards on four catches. The Raiders end the season with Darrius Heyward-Bey totaling only 124 yards and one score for his rookie season. Unless Louis Murphy can gain more than 38 yards, no wideout will have over 500 yards.

The one passing score could end up here but none of the receivers have any fantasy value this week. Or this year for that matter.

Tight Ends: Charlie Frye had a big game last week because Zach Miller caught a season best nine passes for 110 yards. He is ending the season as the team's leading receiver with only 59 catches for 767 yards going into this week. He is the best bet to catch a score and have any appreciable yardage.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 31 25 32 16 25 29
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 6 4 9 4 11 5

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