What do the Las Vegas Raiders need to do to beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football? Well, here are three keys to the game for the Silver and Black.
Las Vegas is looking to maintain its perfect record heading into Los Angeles. It surely won’t be easy as both teams have played above expectations so far. If the Raiders want a chance at victory, here are three things they have to do.
Take advantage of the run game early
No matter who is leading the backfield, the Raiders need to exploit one of the Chargers’ weaknesses. Their running defense has allowed 5.8 yards per carry, which is last in the league. The timing might be just right as well for Vegas. The Raiders had their first game with over 100 rushing yards against Miami last week.
If Josh Jacobs returns this week, we can expect the run game to receive another boost. Of course, much of that production would have to fall on the offensive line, which has been lackluster. An improved rushing game would open the field more for Derek Carr and the passing offense.
Neutralize Herbert on third down
One thing that the Raiders defense has improved on so far has been their third down play. The defense has only been charged with a 33.3 third-down conversion rate (6th). That has been part of the Raiders winning recipe so far. On the other hand, Justin Herbert has a completion percentage of 70.6 on third down, averaging 9.4 yards per attempt. These points of the game might be the deciding factor for who wins. It will be a great challenge to prove how legit the Raiders defense is.
Don’t take your foot off the gas
Head coach Jon Gruden has made plenty of decisions that have received mixed feedback. One common mistake, however, has been the way that he handles leads. Last week, while playing the Dolphins, the Raiders had an 11 point lead with six minutes remaining in regulation. The offense had two more drives to either increase their lead or take plenty of time off the clock. They did neither of those things, going three and out both times and only taking two minutes off the clock, which led to the Dolphins forcing overtime. It doesn’t help that their play-calling became predictable. If the Raiders get any leads in the second half, Gruden has to improve the game plan and let Carr air it out and hold the lead. The Chargers will be much less forgiving than the Dolphins.
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