Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over San Diego Chargers

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Oct 12, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) breaks the huddle during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Limit the Damage

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is having a remarkable season, there is no question about it. Over his last three games, he’s thrown for 358, 365, and 503 yards and is on pace to shatter some pretty lofty passing records this season.

With the array of weapons he has at his disposal, Rivers is going to put up some numbers against a creaky Raiders secondary.

The key here though, is to limit the amount of damage he can do. Peyton Manning has been a Raiders killer for a long time. Yet in their last game, Oakland managed to take him out of the game. He threw for 254 yards and Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders went off for 111 receiving yards, but much of that damage was done in the middle of the field and the Denver offense never sniffed the endzone.

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  • Now obviously, Rivers is playing at a much higher level than Manning at this point, but the theory is the same – give him all of the yards in the middle of the field he wants, but stiffen and hold when it counts. Don’t give up the big plays and keep them out of the endzone.

    Easier said than done, of course. But it’s possible.

    The lack of a running game means that the offensive load is pretty much on Rivers’ shoulders. The Raiders have done an excellent job against the run so far this season, but with Rivers throwing on average, around 50 times a game, the Raiders – while still being wary of a running attack – will be able to focus more on clogging the passing lanes and defending against the pass.

    The secondary is going to have to be on point against a passing attack as lethal as San Diego’s, but they may be able to devote more resources to help if they don’t have to worry so much about a largely impotent running game.

    Rivers will get his yards, but if the Raiders can limit the amount of actual damage he does – ie: keeping him out of the endzone – they’ll be in good shape.

    Next: Gotta Be On Point