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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 8, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
GB at MIN NYJ at NE     Updated

Prediction: DEN 17, OAK 6

Here is an equation that should mean this game is likely to be a snooze-fest. No other NFL team has allowed fewer points than the Broncos (98). And no NFL team has scored as few as the Raiders (92), making Oakland worse than the best defense. After two wins, the Raiders crept right back under their rock in the Monday night shutout against the Seahawks. That means the only national games played by the Raiders this year have been shutouts. Maybe most people find that the Raiders have scored 92 points as really hard to believe. If the Raiders were frustrated with Jerramy Stevens last week, imagine what a little Bronco leg whipping will prompt on Sunday.

The Broncos won 13-3 when the Raiders came to Denver in week six.

Update: Tatum Bell has returned to practice this week but is still listed as questionable. I am not adding him back into the projections though he could still play. With the Chargers coming to Denver next week, it seems unlikely that the Broncos will risk further injury to his toe with only the Raiders on tap this week. Tatum was questionable last week and attended all practices and yet did not play in Pittsburgh.

Denver Broncos (6-2)
1 10-18 @STL 10 --- @OAK
2 9-6 KC 11 --- SD
3 17-7 @NE 12 --- @KC
4 Open Bye 13 --- SEA
5 13-3 BAL 14 --- @SD
6 13-3 OAK 15 --- @ARZ
7 17-7 @CLE 16 --- CIN
8 34-31 IND 17 --- SF
9 31-20 @PIT - MON THU
DEN at OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 20 0 170,1
RB Mike Bell 100,1 10 0
TE Tony Scheffler 0 10 0
WR Rod Smith 0 40 0
WR David Kircus 0 20 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
PK Jason Elam 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Broncos could not stop the Colts in week 8 but the big win in Pittsburgh against the team that kicked them out of the playoffs had to spark more confidence again. After demonstrating surprising ineptness on offense, the Broncos have scored over 30 points against the last two opponents and the defense doesn't have to carry all the weight now. With the Chargers due to visit Denver in week 11, it will be tempting for the Broncos to want to look past this game.

Quarterback: Jake Plummer comes off his best game of the season when he had 227 passing yards and three scores in Pittsburgh. He's still not spreading the ball around much but at least he's making the acquisition of Javon Walker look like a genius move. Plummer threw for just 102 yards against the Raiders this year and did not score.

Running Backs: Tatum Bell is suffering from turf toe in both feet and was made inactive against the Steelers. He says that he should return this week but the need is likely not great and with the Chargers and Chiefs waiting next in the queue, it would be prudent to let him heal more rather than risk further injury. Problem is that HC Mike Shanahan has already said that the job is not automatically Tatum's when he is healthy and that Mike Bell could steal the start away from him. Mike ran for 136 yards and scored twice against the Colts though he only had 28 yards on 17 carries in Pittsburgh.

I am projecting for Mike Bell to play this week and Tatum Bell to not play. As this is Denver, there is no guarantee but reason says at least this week Mike Bell is the better play. As for the gamesmanship of Shanahan inferring that Mike Bell may become the starter from now on, you are on your own. This will be a week to week thing because Shanahan likes it that way. Remember - Shanahan made the fast shift to Tatum Bell after week one saying he knew what he had in Tatum. Reason enough to avoid Denver backs in the future, though we always say that.

Tatum Bell ran for 83 yards on 23 carries and scored once when the Raiders came to Denver in week six.

Wide Receivers: Rod Smith caught an actual touchdown last week and that makes two on the season. But he still has rarely gone above 50 yards in any game and his time has passed. Javon Walker is not only the future, he's making the most out of the present. Last week he led all Broncos with six catches for 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns and then also was the leading rusher with a 72 yard jaunt up the middle that ended with his third touchdown. Walker is a safe bet to gain at least 60 or 70 yards every week with the obvious upside for far more. The entire Denver passing game, such as it is, now revolves around Walker.

Javon Walker had 75 yards against the Raiders this year - almost all the receiving yardage in the game.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler had a big four catch game for 51 yards against the Colts and in case you thought that meant anything, he ended last week without a single catch. He did not even have any passes thrown to him.

Match Against the Defense: Mike Bell is in a good spot to turn in a nice game here against a weaker defense. Mike is playing for a starting job and to keep Tatum on the sideline. That may not last into next week, but he should take most or even all the carries this week and produce nice yardage and at least one score.

Plummer faces a statistically great defense but only because opponents do not need to throw much to beat the Raiders. Look for one passing score here that goes to 'gasp'! Javon Walker even though Smith has the better match-up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 24 20 17 32 22 21
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 3 24 4 8 29 32


Oakland Raiders (2-6)
1 0-27 SD 10 --- DEN
2 6-28 @BAL 11 --- @KC
3 Open Bye 12 --- @SD
4 21-24 CLE 13 --- HOU
5 20-34 @SF 14 --- @CIN
6 3-13 @DEN 15 --- STL
7 22-9 ARZ 16 --- KC
8 20-13 PIT 17 --- @NYJ
9 0-16 @SEA - MON SAT
OAK vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Walter 0 0 180
RB Lamont Jordan 70 10 0
TE Courtney Anderson 0 10 0
TE Randal Williams 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 70 0
WR Alvis Whitted 0 30 0
WR Ronald Curry 0 20 0
PK S. Janikowski 2 FG 0 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Raiders won two games in a row and both by decent margins but hitting the road last week just made every bad element in this year come to life all over again as the Raiders suffered their second shut out of the year. While the defense may be decent (hard to say), there is no escaping that the offensive line is just completely ineffective on passing downs and even when they somehow give Walter time to throw, the wideouts drop the pass almost as often as catch it. It's becoming rather hard to watch and even the media is just lobbing softball questions in post-game interviews with Art Shell.

Quarterback: Seven weeks as the starter and Andrew Walter really has not made any progress other than trying to challenge the NFL record for getting sacked. Walter has thrown one touchdown in the last four weeks and other than the one game against the Cardinals, he's been safely tucked under 200 passing yards every week. He doesn't have time to throw and the receivers often drop the pass if it ends up remotely close to them (which does not happen all the time). Walter doesn't a chance to learn with this offense in such a shambles.

Walter threw for 189 yards and no score in Denver this year.

Running Backs: Lamont Jordan actually was running well in Seattle last week when he had 63 yards on only nine carries but the Raiders mysteriously abandoned the only thing that was working. On the plus side. Jordan did not have to share with another runner but then again - he only had nine carries.

Jordan gained only 60 yards on 23 carries in Denver in week six.

Wide Receivers: Jerry Porter has been back for two weeks now and was unable to catch his only pass last week. Randy Moss turned in 76 yards on six catches but the only guarantee is that he will get a lot of passes thrown in his direction, They may not be catchable and he might not catch them when they are. This is just a mess - plain and simple. Outside of Moss, there is no fantasy value here.

Moss had five catches for 86 yards against the Broncos earlier this year.

Tight Ends: Nope. One catch per week.

Match Against the Defense: The Raiders are at home this week but after yet another emotionally draining loss in Seattle, it's impossible to tell who on this team will be too frustrated to play well and who just doesn't care. The bottom line - I like the Raiders to somehow avoid a shut out but this will be a boring, low scoring game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 32 26 27 20 30 10
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 4 12 3 18 16 5