It has not been a great start to the season for the Los Angeles Chargers, and they still have some work to do to make the playoffs. That work starts with a trip to face their AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders, on Thursday Night Football. The Chargers were a short field goal away from being 2-6, but Chicago’s Eddy Piniero could not kick it through from 40 yards, giving Los Angeles its third win two weeks ago. The Chargers hosted the Packers last weekend and racked up a season-high 442 yards of offense in upsetting Green Bay. This is a group that may just be starting to get it going.
Oakland, on the other hand, has not exactly been a pushover this year, proving to be a hard out for most teams they play. Jon Gruden signed a 10-year deal last year and will have a long time to try and make the Raiders relevant again, this year a great stepping stone after a poor 2018 year. Oakland just played its first home game since Week 2 thanks to an odd schedule, and a win in this one could get them back over .500 and into the thick of the playoff race.
The Chargers are listed as one-point favorites as the road team, while the over/under is set at 49.
Going For Three
Something that finally clicked for Los Angeles after eight games was the running game actually being solid. We saw Melvin Gordon run for a season-high 80 yards against Green Bay, while Austin Ekeler was doing a nice job of racking up yards too. Something that will have to be better, though, is the Philip Rivers-to-Keenan Allen connection as Allen has been unable to put up big numbers for several weeks. He has 54 catches for 657 yards and three scores, which are great, but he has more work to do. He has to get back on track.
It has been another season of dominance for Joey Bosa, who is leading the team with 11 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. As a collective unit, the Chargers have recorded 21 sacks.
Staying On A Roll
After an impressive rally to knock off the Detroit Lions last weekend in their first home game in seven weeks, Oakland seems like a team that could sneak into the playoffs. The Raiders’ group of receivers has been getting it done, while rookie Josh Jacobs is looking like a seasoned vet in the backfield. He has rushed for 740 yards and six scores, averaging nearly five yards per carry. Tight end Darren Waller is finally showing that he can be a playmaker as well, catching 48 passes for 548 yards and three scores.
Their pass rush has been better than it was a season ago, racking up 15 sacks. Benson Mayowa is leading the way with 5.5, while quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked just nine times.
Oakland Slows Down Chargers
The Raiders will climb back over .500 by knocking off the Chargers. Carr is ready for the challenge.
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