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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 17
2010
*MIA at NE OAK at KC *CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
*TB at NO TEN at IND *MIN at DET *SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS *STL at SEA
*Updated *DAL at PHI *CIN at BAL *PIT at CLE ARI at SF

Prediction: SD 24, DEN 23

Update: Knowshon Moreno is questionable to play but he had some limited work. I am not adding him into the projections since his situation is not clear and he would not be 100% regardless. He is too big of a risk to rely on this week. If his ribs get a really good shot in the game he'd be back on the sidelines in the best case.

This is a rematch from week 11 when the Chargers won 35-14 in San Diego. Both teams have experienced bitter disappointment this year though the Chargers problem was mounting a comeback a little too late in the season. That and losing to the Bengals. The Broncos have only won two of their last 11 games. This is going to be a very cold game with a chance of snow.

San Diego Chargers (8-7)
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC L 14-21 10 Bye -
2 JAC W 38-13 11 DEN W 35-14
3 @SEA L 20-27 12 @IND W 36-14
4 ARI W 41-10 13 OAK L 13-28
5 @OAK L 27-35 14 KC W 31-0
6 @STL L 17-20 15 SF W 34-7
7 NE L 20-23 16 @CIN L 20-34
8 TEN W 33-25 17 @DEN --
9 @HOU W 29-23 - - -
Chargers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN DIEGO at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers - - 240,2
RB Ryan Mathews 100,1 20 -
TE Randy McMichael - 30 -
WR Malcolm Floyd - 40 -
WR Vincent Jackson - 60,1 -
WR Legedu Naanee - 50,1 -
PK Nate Kaeding 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chargers won six of seven games until last week overlooking the Bengals who had lost their star wideouts and yet still throttled the Chargers. This has been a year of impressive play by Philip Rivers but the loss of Antonio Gates has been felt and Vincent Jackson has done nothing besides missing out on a lot of paychecks and now ensuring that he will be franchised and screw up everything. This should be a big win for the Chargers if they can resist the big let down.

Owner Dean Spanos has already confirmed that HC Norv Turner is coming back for 2011.

QUARTERBACK: Philip Rivers has turned in a career year even though he started the year without Vincent Jackson or his starting left tackle. No matter - he has thrown for a score in all but one game and had multiple scores in ten games. Rivers passed for 233 yards and four touchdowns in the first meeting with the Broncos but will likely come down a bit this week in the bitter cold weather. Still - Rivers in the cold is better than most quarterbacks playing in warm weather.

RUNNING BACKS: Mike Tolbert has been ruled out this week with his neck and shoulder injuries from the Cincy game. That leaves Ryan Mathews to tote more of the full load against the #32 defense against running backs. In the previous meeting, Tolbert rushed for 111 yards and one score with 42 yards on two catches. Both Darren Sproles and Jacob Hester scored via receptions that week and Sproles even added 60 yards on five catches.

Ryan Mathews gets the start in a wonderful venue for success. The Broncos have already allowed 23 touchdowns to running backs this year. Every single back offense has produced a 100 yard runner against them.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Malcolm Floyd may play this week after missing two games with a bad hamstring but I'll project only minimal stats for him because of the risk. In the previous meeting with the Broncos, Floyd scored once on his two catches for 21 yards and Patrick Crayton had 105 yards and a touchdown on just three catches. Crayton is definitely out this week. I like both passing scores to end up with this unit but the breakout could be almost anything. Floyd's numbers will be down if he even plays but the others should be decent risks for at least a good game.

TIGHT ENDS: Antonio Gates is expected to miss this meaningless week and that leaves Randy McMichael behind to start. The Broncos are weak against the position and Gates could have a nice game here but McMichael is most just a blocker.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 4 12 2 8 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 25 32 14 30 27 16
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SD 19 28 2 28 19 1


Denver Broncos (4-11)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC L 17-24 10 KC W 49-29
2 SEA W 31-14 11 @SD L 14-35
3 IND L 13-27 12 STL L 33-36
4 @TEN W 26-20 13 @KC L 6-10
5 @BAL L 17-31 14 @ARI L 13-43
6 NYJ L 20-24 15 @OAK L 23-39
7 OAK L 14-59 16 HOU W 24-23
8 @SF L 16-24 17 SD --
9 Bye - - - -
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 50,1 - 150,1
RB Correll Buckhalter 60 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 60 -
WR Eddie Royal - 40 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 60,1 -
PK Matt Prater 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Broncos have finally won a game and it came with Tim Tebow at the helm no less. Facing the worst secondary in the league was a plus that cannot be understated and now going against the #2 defense against both quarterbacks and wide receivers will make it tougher. Much tougher. Chances are the Chargers are just mad about last week.

QUARTERBACK: Tim Tebow passed for 308 yards last week which was far better than the 138 yards in Oakland. And he has scored a rushing touchdown in each of the last five games he has played in. Now he faces a much better defense that limited Kyle Orton to only 217 yards and one score. This will be a far bigger challenge for Tebow and one that yields a more realistic picture of how good he is. If Tebow can pass for a score this week it will be impressive enough.

RUNNING BACKS: Knowshon Moreno missed Broncos practice Wednesday because of his ribs and may not play this week. Correll Buckhalter was effective in relief last week. Moreno ran for 58 yards on 13 carries and scored once plus added seven catches for 62 yards against the Chargers in week 11. I will project for Buckhalter to play and update as needed.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Back in week 11, Brandon Lloyd turned in 78 yards and a score on six catches versus the Chargers but no other wideout had more than 33 yards in that game. And that was with Orton as the starting quarterback. In the two games started by Tebow, he has connected with Lloyd for 79 and four catches and a score in Oakland and then 111 yards on five receptions at home against the Texans. Jabbar Gaffney turned in 90 yards last week but again - horrible defense.

I like the one passing score to end up here and Lloyd has always been the most likely. This is a cold game which will impact being able to hold into the ball.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 4 24 3 32 21 32
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 2 11 2 22 3 25
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DEN -2 -13 -1 -10 -18 -7

WEEK 17
2010
MIA at NE OAK at KC CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
TB at NO TEN at IND MIN at DET SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS STL at SEA
  DAL at PHI CIN at BAL PIT at CLE ARI at SF
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