Gridiron Grid: Monday Night Football

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 10, 2006

The Cold, Hard Football Facts new "Gridiron Grid" is 6-1 picking NFL games in the first week of action.
Back on Thursday, we debunked the Miami hype and picked the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers to win the 2006 NFL kickoff game. In Sunday action, our Friday Beer Run of data accurately picked 5 of 6 games.
Here's how our Gridiron Grid sees the two Monday Night Football matches unfolding:
Overall Record
75.2 (10)
70.1 (3)
15.04 YPPA (20)
16.27 YPPA (10)
15.08 YPPS (14)
14.73 YPPS (10)
24.0 (30)
7.0 (3)
6.76 (15)
6.96 (13)
In the first game of tonight's double feature, the two men on the sidelines could not be more different. Washington's Joe Gibbs has coached in 216 regular-season games, won three Super Bowls and been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Minnesota's Brad Childress has never served as a head coach at any level.
The Redskins led the conference in quality wins last year and ranked in the top 10 in many of our other "Stats That Matter." The Vikings, meanwhile, were only the best in nautical sex acts. Their offensive line, which rated third-worst according to our Hog Index, will be much better with the addition of guard Steve Hutchinson and the return of center Matt Birk, who missed last season with a hip injury.
Washington running back Clinton Portis will be limited tonight because of his separated shoulder. Look for a conservative game plan from both coaches, with the first team to 20 winning.
Prediction: Redskins 20, Vikings 13
San Diego
Overall Record
84.7 (24)
90.7 (29)
15.86 YPPA (14)
13.82 YPPA (25)
13.32 YPPS (5)
17.07 YPPS (26)
8.3 (5)
23.0 (28)
7.11 (11)
6.57 (18)
Both teams enter this AFC West rivalry game with new starting quarterbacks. San Diego has turned the offense over to third-year man Philip Rivers, a first-round pick who will be making his starting debut tonight. Oakland hopes that former Saints QB Aaron Brooks, coming off the worst of his five seasons as a starter, is better able to exploit the talents of Randy Moss in the vertical passing game.
The Chargers had the highest Scoreability number of any non-playoff team last season, ranking fifth overall, but that was with Drew Brees running the show. The Raiders finished near the bottom in many key categories. Their defensive passer rating was third-worst in the league, and their secondary is now without departed cornerback Charles Woodson.
By nearly every statistical measure, San Diego is a superior team. If Rivers limits turnovers, he should walk out of the Coliseum with his fist victory.
Prediction: Chargers 26, Raiders 14

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