Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers: Preview


Perhaps the most heated AFC West rivalry continues as the Oakland Raiders (0-9) travel to SoCal to take on the San Diego Chargers (5-4).

It’s been four weeks since the Raiders and the Chargers met in Oakland in week six, and neither team has won a game since.  The Raiders, on one hand, are still looking for their first win of the season, while the Chargers have dropped three straight games and are coming off of a bye week.

In that week six matchup, the Raiders arguably played their best game of the season.  Derek Carr threw for four touchdowns in that contest, as the Raiders nearly grabbed the win but ultimately fell 31-28.

In the rematch, Oakland needs to build off of the successes they had in the previous game.  This will be the first time this season that the Raiders are playing a team twice so it will be interesting to see what Oakland can do with recent film on an opponent.

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This is particularly important to Carr, who had his best game against San Diego.  If Carr can review what he did well and duplicate that same success, Oakland will have a legitimate shot at grabbing their first victory of the season.

The same can be said for offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who drew up a decent game plan the first time around.  It’s been a talking point nearly every week but since it needs to be said every week, here we go – Carr has to be allowed to throw the ball downfield.  Short throws do nothing but make the offense predictable and unproductive.

Oakland may still be winless, but a few things have improved since the last time they played San Diego.  Most notably, the defense is much improved.  The Raiders have climbed out of the bottom spot in rush defense, moving up to 27th overall.  Over the last four games, the Raiders have given up an average of 107.25 yards per game.  That number would be good for 11th overall if that were the team’s average for the season.

This is important to note, because the Chargers are expecting to have Ryan Mathews suit up for the first time since week two and Branden Oliver will be there as well to help carry the workload.  San Diego’s rush offense is only ranked 30th, so this is an area that might actually favor the Raiders.  Philip Rivers will be tough enough to stop on his own, so if Oakland’s rush defense can hold up strong, they can make San Diego’s offense somewhat one-dimensional, which of course will increase their chances of success.

The Chargers are struggling in just about every area of the game in their current slump.  The team is averaging only 245 yards per game over their three losses and has a total of seven turnovers over that stretch.  Their most recent loss was a 37-0 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins.

San Diego is traditionally bad in November, and a Raiders victory would make this tradition so much sweeter.

On Sunday, it’ll mark 364 days since the Raiders won their last regular season game.  Let’s hope we don’t make it to 365.

Game Info

When: Sunday, November 16th at 4:05PM (ET)

Where: Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, CA


Odds: Chargers favored by 10.5

Over/Under: 45 points

Injury Reports:

Addae, JahleelSConcussionDNPFPFPQuestionable
Ajirotutu, SeyiWRNon-injury relatedDNPFPFPProbable
Attaochu, JeremiahOLBHamstringFPFPFPProbable
Freeney, DwightOLBNon-injury relatedDNPFPFPProbable
Lissemore, SeanNTQuadDNPDNPDNPDoubtful
Mathews, RyanRBKneeFPFPFPProbable
Ohrnberger, RichC-GBackLPFPDNPProbable
Te’o, MantiILBFootFPFPFPProbable
Verrett, JasonCBShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
Ausberry, DavidTEFootDNPDNPDNPOut
Barnes, KhalifOLQuadLPLPFPProbable
Carrie, T.J.CBAnkleLPDNPLPQuestionable
Chekwa, ChimdiCBHamstringLPFPFPProbable
Dowling, JonathanSBackDNPDNPDNPOut
Hayden, DJCBGroinDNPLPFPProbable
Jackson, GabeGKneeDNPDNPDNPOut
Olawale, JamizeFBShoulder/HamstringDNPLPFPProbable
Rogers, CarlosCBKneeDNPDNPDNPOut
Tuck, JustinDENeckDNPDNPLPQuestionable
Watson, MenelikTConcussionDNPLPFPProbable