The Raiders have a chance to climb back into the AFC West race as they travel to Los Angeles for a key Week 5 match up with the Chargers.
Yes, the game will be Los Angeles. But the crowd will don more silver and black than Charger blue and gold. Just like pretty much every other game in the little soccer stadium called Stub Hub Center, that visitors will rule.
Last week, the Raiders (1-3) beat the Browns in an overtime shootout, 45-42. The Raiders had a 34-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but then give up two touchdowns to fall behind by eight, 42-34, late in the game. But Derek Carr hit Jared Cook with 58 seconds left and then connected with Jordy Nelson on a 2-point conversion to tie the game.
In the overtime, Matt McCrane connected on a 29-yard field goal for the win.
Carr threw for 437 yards and four touchdowns in his best effort of the season. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 130 yards while Amari Cooper caught eight balls for 128 yards and a touchdown and Cook added 110 yards on eight catches and two touchdowns.
The Chargers (2-2) will counter with a defense led by defensive lineman Melvin Ingram and linebacker Denzel Perryman. They have said the focus will be on stopping Lynch.
“When you get a change to play against a caliber of player like that, man, it’s a blessing,” said Melvin Ingram on chargers.com. “(He’s) a great guy. We had a couple conversations, and he’s a great person who loves the game of football and he plays it that way.”
Stopping the high-powered Charger offense may be a big task for the Raiders defense that had a tough enough time stopping rookie Baker Mayfield last week.
The Chargers offense starts with a strong duo of running backs in Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Phillip Rivers has a deep contingent of receivers in Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams.
The Chargers edged the San Francisco 49ers, 29-27, last week in the Stub Hub Center. Caleb Sturgis kicked a 21-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter for the win. Rivers threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns and Gordon rushed for 104 yards.
The Raiders come into the game a bit banged up with Cooper, center Rodney Hudson, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, guard Gabe Jackson, tackle Kolton Miller, Lynch and defensive end Bruce Irvin all limited in practice on Thursday. Safety Karl Joseph (hamstring) and guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) didn’t participate.
For the Chargers, wide receiver Travis Benjamin (foot), defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) and linebacker Kyzir White (knee) did not participate. Tackle Joe Barksdale and tackle Russell Okung were limited.
The Chargers opened as a 7-point favorite, but the number has been bet down to 5 points by Thursday. The over/under opened at 51.5 but was raised to 52.5 on Thursday.