With Raider Nation reserved to the fact the Raiders are again rebuilding, not many people are giving them a chance to win against their rivals the Chargers.
The Oakland Raiders are in the midst of the four-game long losing streak but are coming off a mini-bye (following a road game last Thursday all the way in Santa Clara against the San Francisco 49ers).
So if they’re in a position to win a game, it would be this week in Oakland. Unfortunately, the team they’re hosting is one of the hottest teams in the league in the Los Angeles Chargers.
Yes, it’s true. The Chargers have won five straight games, including a 26-10 win over the Raiders on Oct. 7 in Los Angeles.
One way to look at the five straight wins is the Chargers haven’t played a very strong schedule in that run as none of the teams they’ve beaten currently has a winning record. However, that list also includes that win over the Raiders – and that was when Amari Cooper and Bruce Irvin still wore silver and black.
As in the past, the Chargers have a high-powered offense led by quarterback Philip Rivers. With Melvin Gordon behind him and Keenan Allen out wide, the Chargers have a pretty balanced attack. This will be a tough matchup for the Raiders, who have been pretty soft against the run.
The Chargers defense has shown it can give up a lot of points against the better offenses in the league (38 to the Chiefs and 35 to the Rams). Unfortunately, the Raiders aren’t one of the better offenses in the league.
Derek Carr will need time behind his ever-shuffling offensive line for the Raiders to expose the Chargers defense. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will have to be effective in keeping the Chargers offense off the field.
Melvin Ingram provides a strong pass rush for the Chargers and linebacker Denzel Perryman and rookie safety Derwin James are both very active. The Chargers are still without stud edge rusher Joey Bosa.
The Raiders are relatively healthy with only linemen Jon Feliciano and Rodney Hudson limited in practice on Wednesday. For the Chargers, cornerback Trevor Williams didn’t practice on Thursday and defensive ends Chris Landrum and Darius Philon were limited.
The Chargers opened as a 10-point road favorite and the line hasn’t moved as of Thursday. The total opened at 50.5 but has dropped to 50. Game time is 1:05 p.m.