Winning on the road period is important for the Oakland Raiders. Winning on the road in the division is vital.
Subplot: Dennis Allen vs. Mike McCoy
One of the big ironies of the NFL is that when teams play each other more than once in a season, the spotlight shifts from the players to the coaches. When the Oakland Raiders visit the San Diego Chargers for their rematch in week 11, it will be on head coach Dennis Allen to have his team ready for whatever adjustments Chargers head coach Mike McCoy will prepare, regardless if he won or loss the first meeting.
As with every road game, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in the crowd noise. The Chargers may not have the largest stadium but they have a spirited fan base that can create plenty of noise. In order to keep them under control, the Raiders have to function on offense. Turnovers and three-and-outs won’t help. A great way to do that is to “shorten the game” as Bill Parcells put it. That means running the football. Look for McFadden and Jones-Drew to be featured here.
Don’t let Philip Rivers get hot early
Another byproduct of playing a team at home is the quarterback. Rivers will not have to deal with any crowd noise, which means the Raiders’ defense will have his full attention for 60 minutes. The worst thing that can happen is letting the five-time Pro Bowler find a rhythm early. Too often that has led to runaways in divisional matchups like this. The good news is the Raiders have a talented enough pass rush to where they can harass him, provided injuries aren’t a problem.
Prediction: Chargers win 23-14