A west coast battle between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers highlights my second NFL pick for Sunday. The Chargers have gone into turmoil mode after losing another one last week, this time to the Packers on the road. A loss to the Raiders today would send heads spinning, as the Chargers look to get this season back on track. They had a nice come from behind win against the Detroit Lions in week 1 but other than that they haven’t had too much to be excited about. They did beat the Browns, if you want to count that as an accomplishment. In other words, this season hasn’t gone so well for the Chargers. Philip Rivers has been getting pressured more than he should be thanks to a porous offensive line and there is no running game. San Diego drafted running back Melvin Gordon this past draft, but he hasn’t been the dynamic player they wanted. Gordon has a 49.8 average on the ground. He isn’t running behind the best offensive line in the world, so I do wonder how he’d run behind a decent line.
This may be a loss that shakes things up for the Charger organization. On the contrary, this could be a staple win for the Oakland Raiders. I have heard in the offseason that they were going to be the sleeper team of the AFC West, and with a 2-3 record, they are still in a position to be that team. A win over a rival like the San Diego Chargers would be even more special. The Raiders have been a stepbrother to the Chargers the last decade, we’ll see if there can be a transfer of power. A win for the Raiders here today would be a nice start at doing that.
They seem to have their quarterback of the future, Derek Carr. That opinion with fans can change so quickly, but he has been the best they’ve had the last decade. The ghost of Jemarcus Russell is almost exhumed from the Raider organization. Russell is of course one of the biggest draft busts of all time, the Chargers may have the honor for the biggest bust, Ryan Leaf. Imagine the Raiders could have had Calvin Johnson in that draft, who was off the board a pick later to the Lions. The Raiders seem to be getting things together and are a much more competitive team. Go and win today and people will stop treating the like a doormat.
Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers NFL
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Raiders vs. Chargers Pick:
The Chargers need a big win to keep their season alive. A win would send them to 3-4. Plenty of time to come back this season for the Chargers, but the makeup of their team doesn’t do it for me. So, I see the rest of the season being pretty frustrating for them, just like the first stretch of games. Something is wrong when you are 1st in the NFL in total yardage but have a 2-4 record. They are also 1st passing the football, surpassing the Patriots on both measures. However, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not putting the ball in the end zone. The Chargers are averaging only 22.7 points per game while putting up all those yards. They’re 1st in yards gained but 15th in points. The Raiders are just behind the Chargers, averaging 21.4 points per game.
The San Diego offensive line is 27th in the NFL, allowing Philip Rivers to get sacked 17 times already in 2015. I think the Raiders have been looking forward to this game while the Chargers had the Packers circled on their calendars last week. However, is the Raiders secondary going to be able to contain Philip Rivers. I know the protection issues the Chargers have had, but the Raiders don’t have the talent to counteract it. After giving so much about the Packers and coming up short, are the Chargers going to come out slow this week? I at least think there will be points in this game. The Chargers should find the end zone this week after frustration, moving the ball, yet repeatedly having nothing to show for it. Note that the Raiders are dead less in the NFL defending the pass, with 300 yards allowed on average. This should be a good game that goes OVER the total of 46.5
PICK: OVER 46.5 POINTS (-110)