Raiders Football Preview Week 9 – Raiders vs Chargers

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The Oakland Raiders welcome the Los Angeles Chargers to the Black Hole on Thursday.

Photo Credit: The BigLead

The Raiders returned home for the first time since September 15th this past Sunday and beat the Detroit Lions 31-24. They currently sit in second place in the AFC West with a record of 4-4. The Silver and Black are poised to make a playoff run and have the strength schedule going forward to do it.

The Los Angeles Chargers are off to a 4-5 start after whooping the Green Bay Packers, and they currently sit in third place in the AFC West. The Chargers are getting healthy, welcoming back offensive tackle Russell Okung last week, and possibly safety Derwin James this week.

If you want to get to know your enemy, Nick Hamilton, a host for the “Silver & Black Hole Podcast,” had Chargers insider Chris Hayre on to preview the game. Listen by clicking here.

For the Raiders to come away with a win, they need to do two simple things:

 

Run the ball and control the clock.

Running the ball is going to be a theme for the rest of the year. The Raiders need to control the clock and keep feeding Josh Jacobs. The rookie running back from Alabama broke the Raiders rookie rushing record last week with 740 yards on the season and counting. The mark eclipsed Marcus Allen’s rookie record of 697 yards. Since taking him in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Jacobs has been everything the Raiders had hoped he’d be and more. Jon Gruden’s offense has been extremely productive over the past few weeks, largely due to Jacobs and the Raiders’ rushing attack.

Raiders vs Bears Game balls
Photo courtesy of Silver and Black Pride

The Chargers rank 20th against the run, giving up 114.1 yards per game. The Raiders are ranked 6th in the NFL, rushing the ball to the tune of 136.4 yards per game.

The Chargers defense is starting to get healthy with James potentially coming back this week. They also have one of the better pass rush duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and a top corner in Casey Heyward. The Chargers currently rank 8th in points allowed (18.7), 8th in yards allowed (322.8), and 5th in passing yards allowed (208.7)

The Raiders offense has a lot of play-action, and for that to work, they need to run the ball effectively and early. While the Raiders wide receivers aren’t big names, they are doing an excellent job of getting open and making plays when given the opportunity. I also fully expect receiver Tyrell Williams to have a big game against his former team after a few quiet weeks.

 

The defense has to stop the run.

Photo Credit:
sharp football analysis

Melvin Gordon looks to be back to his old self after running through the Packers defense last week. With a new offensive coordinator who wants to run the ball and help put Phillip Rivers in short-yardage situations on later downs, it’s essential for the Raider defense to stop the run and force the Chargers to pass. It sounds like a lousy recipe since the Raiders pass defense hasn’t been good, but it has to happen for Raider Nation to come out with a victory.

The Raiders are using a “bend but don’t break” defense, and it has worked in recent weeks. They also have been able to come up with stops when needed (see Worley’s interception and Joseph’s pass break up to end the Lions game), they will need to do that again this week. Keenen Allen will cause huge problems if the Raider secondary can’t do what they’ve been doing recently.

Stopping the run and being able to run the ball themselves, while limiting the amount of time the defense is on the field, gives the Raiders the best chance to come out victorious Thursday night.

 

Do you want to be on TV?

Lastly, if you’re in Oakland and not busy Thursday between the hours of 1 pm – 3 pm, put on your favorite Raiders jersey, paint your face, pull out your best-spiked shoulder pads, and head down to The Athletic Club Oakland for a chance to appear on the NFL on FOX Thursday pre-game show!

 

Las Vegas! If you want a place to watch the game, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. The game begins at 5:00 PM PST on Thursday, November 7th, 2019.

 

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