One of many hottest groups within the NFL faces one of the crucial disappointing squads within the league on Sunday when the ascending Los Angeles Chargers journey to Oakland to face the descending Oakland Raiders.
After beginning 1-2, the Chargers (6-2) have received 5 in a row. Two of the wins have come on the highway, together with final week’s 25-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
“I would not outline what now we have carried out but as success,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers stated. “We have had some weekly success every Sunday that we received however I do not know that anybody within the locker room looks like, ‘Hey, we’re a profitable group.’ We all know we acquired an extended solution to go. It is a lengthy season and it really is one week at a time.”
The Chargers discover themselves only one recreation behind Kansas Metropolis within the loss column within the AFC West, and with their solely losses coming to the Chiefs and Rams, the Chargers have put themselves in place for fulfillment.
Rivers is without doubt one of the hottest quarterbacks within the league. He ranks third within the league in passer ranking and has thrown 19 landing passes with simply three interceptions for the season. Though he accomplished solely 50 p.c of his passes in opposition to Seattle, he had two landing passes with out a choose.
Rivers’ passing is complemented by the working of Melvin Gordon, who’s sixth within the league in dashing and had 113 dashing yards whereas averaging 7.1 yards per carry within the win over the Seahawks.
That has helped the Chargers rank eighth within the NFL in complete offense.
About the one shortcoming on offense was the kicking recreation, and the Chargers might have solved that. Kicker Caleb Sturgis was launched at some point after he missed two further factors and a subject objective. The Chargers introduced Michael Badgley again from the apply squad to do the kicking this week.
Los Angeles ought to have success shifting the ball in opposition to Oakland, which ranks 27th within the league in complete protection.
The Raiders have misplaced 4 in a row and are tied with the New York Giants for the worst report within the NFL at 1-7.
The Chargers beat Oakland 26-10 on Oct. 7, however this recreation will likely be on the Raiders’ house subject.
“We all know Oakland is a troublesome place to play and it’ll be a four-quarter soccer recreation,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn stated.
He emphasised that the season is barely half over.
“We really feel like issues are shifting in the appropriate route however we acquired a variety of video games left,” Lynn stated. “I like what we’re doing proper now however now we have to seek out methods to get higher, every week.”
The Raiders usually are not getting higher. They’re coming off their most embarrassing recreation of the season — a 34-Three loss to a 49ers crew that was 1-7 on the time and was beginning a quarterback (Nick Mullens) who started the season on the apply squad and was making his NFL debut in opposition to Oakland.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr accomplished 16 of 21 passes for 171 yards in that recreation, however he was sacked seven instances.
Oakland’s younger, injury-plagued offensive line has made issues tough for Carr, who has been sacked 24 instances this season. Fortunately for Carr and the Raiders, Chargers defensive finish Joey Bosa remains to be sidelined with a knee harm.
“You get an offensive line that is wholesome and taking part in nice, it makes all people’s job so much simpler,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden stated. “I am not going to make any excuses. I believe Derek is performing some good issues. It does make issues tough when you could have the quantity of accidents that now we have had. I simply acquired a pleasant name from my brother (Redskins head coach Jay Gruden), he misplaced all his linemen the opposite day, too. Received eight video games left, now we have to proceed to educate exhausting and discover a approach to enhance.”
Carr understands the state of affairs.
“We’re having an unprecedented quantity of younger gamers having to play,” he stated. “That, clearly, makes it a wrestle, makes it more durable.”
Carr is finishing 72.Three p.c of his passes this season, however it hasn’t translated into a lot offense. The Raiders rank 28th within the NFL in scoring, averaging 17.6 factors per recreation.
To make issues worse for the Raiders, working again Marshawn Lynch is on injured reserve and his backup, Doug Martin, is coming off a hip harm.
Martin rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries in opposition to the 49ers, however he was restricted in apply on Wednesday, and it is unclear how efficient he will likely be on Sunday.