Oct 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Can The Oakland Raiders Spoil The Season For The San Diego Chargers?

The Oakland Raiders are limping towards to the end of their season, as they play the second of three straight division games to close out the year. The defense has surrendered more than 30 points in the last three games, including giving up 56 last week to the Kansas City Chiefs. The do not get a reprieve this week, as they face the surging San Diego Chargers. The Raiders got the best of the Chargers the last time these two met in Oakland. Can the Raiders sweep the season series and end the Chargers playoff hopes in one fell swoop?

This game is looking more and more like an uphill battle for the Raiders. They are in a downward spiral right now and they are facing a very dangerous Chargers squad. The Chargers are a good team that is gaining some momentum and they have a lot worth playing for. The Raiders should be pumped up for a rivalry, but all they have to play for is pride at this point.

A week after giving up a franchise-worst 56 points to a Chiefs’ offense that is average at best, the Raiders now must deal with the sixth-ranked Chargers’ offense. Philip Rivers is having an amazing bounce-back season after a woeful 2012 season. Rivers is fifth in the league in yards and quarterback rating and fourth in touchdowns. He has been the key to the Chargers resurgence from a third-place finish last season.

It could not be a worse time for the Raiders to be catching the Chargers. When these two teams met in Week 5 in Oakland, the Raiders defense was playing their best football and it showed, as they held the Chargers to 17 points and forcing five turnovers. It helped that the Chargers were a one-dimensional team on the day with the Raiders’ rushing defense holding them to just 36 yards.

The Chargers’ run game is on the rise and that is due to Ryan Matthews stepping up over the last two weeks. He has 230 yards combined the last two games. He has sparked the run game, as the team has ran for 321 yards during the span. It is going to be more difficult for the Raiders to take away the Chargers’ running game, as the run defense has regressed and has allowed nearly 120 rushing yards per game during their four game losing streak.

A new playmaker has emerged this season for the Chargers, as well. Rookie wideout Keenan Allen has produced an excellent rookie campaign with 63 receptions for 931 yards and seven touchdowns. The former Cal Golden Bears’ standout had his breakout game against the Raiders in their first meeting with his first 100-yard game and first touchdown and he has just exploded from that point on. His size, speed, and ball skills is going to cause problems for a much-maligned Raiders’ secondary.

The potential X-factor in the ball game is the fact that the Chargers are still playing to be included in the playoffs. If the Chargers can win, they have a potential outside shot at the sixth and final seed in the AFC portion of the bracket. They do need some help from the Ravens and Dolphins, as a single win by either team in the next two weeks could lock out the Chargers. They will not be worrying about that, because they have to take care of their own business first to even have a shot.

So, the Raiders will be getting an extremely focused Chargers’ team that is firing on all cylinders. It is going to be tough sledding, especially with the negative momentum this team is experiencing. Many people counted the Raiders out in week five and they managed to pull off the impressive win at home, but the Raiders have struggled on the road all season. Every single advantage seems to be in the favor of the Chargers, but the Raiders would love to be the ones to ruin their dreams of their rival from Southern California and that will be their mission heading into Sunday.

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Tags: Oakland Raiders

  • PJ

    Dont worry bout that DA has the Raiders loss in the bag. MM and DA going down in flames! Can we all imagine what damage Streater, Holmes and TP could do? All 6’2,3,5 ish of them together with this healthy line. Big O line, receivers and TP is scary to think about how good this O would be?! But, DA is to proud and we will all watch em go down because of it. Im not even looking forward to watching games anymore.

    • TWing27

      TP’s numbers and points scored in week 5 will probably be shattered, the Raiders are actually starting a QB this time so the outcome will be better than all the DA/MM haters would like. But us true Raider fans will cheer after the victory. Win, lose or tie; Raider til I die!!!!

      • PJ

        Raider til I die and since 75 but im not expecting anything more then what DA and Mm have been dishen up! I will go down with the ship to matey! Cuz we going to be walking the plank anyway!

  • James Schroeder

    As a lifelong raider fan I can sympathize with all of Raider Nations frustrations throughout the years…. But, these past two years have been for one thing and one thing only. Clear the books and start evaluating players for the future. They have done that. 70 million in additional spending for next year, as well as a full deck of draft picks, and despite not having any depth on the roster they have managed to stay in most of their games this season. Matt McGloin looks phenomenal at times as he leads the league and deep pass receptions, despite the rookie interceptions and believe me he will get better. Andre Holmes could be one of the best receivers in this league in a couple of years because with that one-handed catch I saw another Randy Moss. You guys with me? Picture this, Matt McGloin, Rod Streeter, Andre Holmes, denarius Moore, The running backs will be the Jennings, fullback Marcel Reece, and Lactavious Murray, We’ll probably get another running back in the draft. Great year for running backs. Through the draft and free agency we will plug the offensive line with talent, to go along with Jared Veldeer, and plug the defense with talent and add to the secondary as well as get depth on the roster. Despite having a team full of crap the Raiders managed a top-five running game (without Darren McFadden most of the time), and up until the past few weeks they were a top 10 defense, and remember, this is with the team full of one-year contracts and career backups. Imagine what they could do with $70 additional million and all the draft picks. Nick roach is the leader of our defense, last year he was Brian Urlackers backup. Get my point? Coach Alan and his staff have done a phenomenal job with what they had to work with and I could just imagine what they will do with the real football team.