The NFL kicks off their week 15 action on Thursday night with a good divisional game. The Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders will meet up on December 17 as the season gets closer to an end. The Raiders are still fighting for their playoff hopes, while Los Angeles is trying to play spoilers. This game will kick off at around 8:20 PM Eastern time on Fox and NFL Network.
The Chargers have earned a record of 4-9 so far this season, which has them sitting in last place of the AFC West. Los Angeles has struggled to find consistency and close out games, but are coming off a win last week. The Chargers will look to build upon the momentum as they enter this week and look to earn their first divisional win since 2018.
Las Vegas has put up a record of 7-6 throughout this season, which has them in second place of the AFC West. The Raiders still have their playoff hopes alive as they are one game back in the AFC Wild Card race. Las Vegas has lost three of their last four games entering this matchup and will need to turn the ship before it is too late.
These two teams are in opposite positions right now, but I expect Los Angeles to come out with a fight as they try and ruin the Raiders playoff hopes. Las Vegas has not been able to put together a complete performance recently, with their only win coming against the New York Jets on a gift of a last play. The Raiders need to come out quickly in this one if they want to knock off their division rival.
The Chargers and the Raiders last met up on Week 9 of this season. Justin Herbert had two touchdown passes, while Kalen Ballage rushed for a touchdown in the losing effort. Devontae Booker and Josh Jacobs both had rushing touchdowns early in the game for Las Vegas. Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes to open up the second half to help lead the Raiders to a nice 31-26 victory over Los Angeles.
Los Angeles met up with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14. Russell Gage and Matt Ryan both had passing touchdowns to help Atlanta jump out to a 17-10 lead in the first half. Justin Herbert threw two touchdown passes as well as the Chargers were able to come back. Michael Badgley went 2-2 on field goal attempts to help lead Los Angeles to a 20-17 win as time expired.
Las Vegas faced off against the Indianapolis Colts last week. Derek Carr passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another, but it was not enough for the Raiders. Philip Rivers had two passing touchdowns of his own in the win. Jonathan Taylor had two rushing touchdowns and Khari Willis iced the game with in interception returned for a touchdown. The Colts held on to win 44-27.
The Chargers are coming off a win last week, while Las Vegas took a tough loss to the Colts. Los Angeles was not able to complete a comeback in Week 9 against the Raiders, even thought the Chargers were leading at halftime. Los Angeles will look to come out stronger in this one as they try to keep pace with the Raiders, who have struggled since their three game winning streak in early November.
Los Angeles has Justin Herbert in at starting Quarterback after drafting him in this last offseason. Herbert has put up a phenomenal rookie season so far. He has thrown for 3467 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Herbert has also rushed for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last week he went 36-44 for 243 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception in the win.
Derek Carr is the starting Quarterback for the Raiders once again this season. Carr has had a solid season so far. He has thrown for 3343 yards, 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Carr has also rushed for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns this season. He went 31-45 for 316 yards, 3 total touchdowns and 2 interceptions in last week’s loss to the Colts.
These two Quarterbacks have put up similar numbers throughout this season in every category. Carr has had a better overall team around him. Both QB’s have struggled a bit over the last few weeks and will look to clean up their play coming into this one. The Raiders have not been able to find any consistency on either side of the ball in their last few games and will need to switch a lot of things up on the short week.
The Chargers have not been great at putting up points throughout this season. Los Angeles has scored 297 points, but have gained 4979 yards of offense. Those numbers are 22nd and 8th in the NFL respectively this season. The Chargers have allowed 362 points, which is 26th in the league. Los Angeles has only given up 4382 yards of offense to opposing teams, which is 9th in the NFL.
Las Vegas has been solid on the offensive side of the ball, but have struggled quite a bit on defense. The Raiders have scored 350 points, which is 11th in the league this season. Las Vegas has also gained 4801 yards on offense, which is 14th in the NFL. The Raiders have given up 391 points and 4994 yards to opposing teams, which is 30th and 25th in the league.
Both teams have earned negative point differentials this season, but Los Angeles has gained more yards than they have given up. The Chargers have been able to move the ball well, but turnovers and special teams mistakes have hurt them this season. Los Angeles forced three interceptions in last week’s win but cannot rely on that again this week. Both teams will need their defense to step up, especially in the redzone.
Los Angeles has not been able to win back to back games this season, but I believe they have a chance on the short week. The Chargers have not won a divisional game since Week 17 of 2018 and I believe they will come out hot in this one to turn that around. The Raiders have been in a bit of a slump and I am not sure they will be able to figure it out on the short week.
BetOnline has Las Vegas listed as a -3 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to the Raiders at home. I believe that this line is right, but with Los Angeles coming off a game where they finally finished strong, I think they will carry momentum over. Las Vegas has not looked good the last few weeks and I think the Chargers will be able to take advantage of that on Thursday night.