Who Needs To Shine On Raiders’ Defense In Week 18?

Chargers vs. Raiders on Sunday Night Football

That has a ring to it, doesn’t it? With it being a “win and you’re in” game, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This AFC West rivalry is a deep-rooted one, with much banter between the players and the fans alike. It’s not like anyone needs additional motivation, but still. Whether it’s the Joey Bosa and Derek Carr saga or opposing fanbases going at it on social media, there’s a lot on the line.

The Chargers hold a victory from earlier this season, but the Raiders could make that all for naught with a victory at home. Here are the three players on defense that need to shine for the Raiders to take home the victory.

The Entire Defensive Line

The entire defensive line needs to shine. Throughout the season, they have been a bright spot, applying constant pressure and doing a solid (not great) job of stuffing the run. After the bye week, the defense as a whole went on a slide, giving up too many yards and points, and when compounded with the offensive struggle, it was easy to see why the Raiders went on a 1-5 run. In these last three games, the defense has been dominant, as twice they’ve held top rushing offenses down while putting the team in a spot to win.
In their first meeting, the line had a decent game but didn’t generate enough pressure. Yet again, against a quarterback like Justin Herbert, this needs to be a priority. If the line can cause some disruption and force Herbert into some mistakes, the postseason could be waiting.

Divine Deablo

Deablo did not play much in the first meeting as he was still settling into the league, but according to ESPN, he has 35 tackles in his last five games including nine in the victory against the Colts. Deablo seems to have settled in now and can be key in helping to slow down the Chargers. He has the size and speed to hang with the tight ends and can come to help in run support as well. If he can cause issues with his play and force Herbert to second guess possibly it would go a long way in setting things up for the defense.

Trevon Moehrig

Moehrig has been everything the Raiders could’ve asked for. He is one of the highest graded safeties in the league and has been consistently in the right place all season. The only possible issue to bring up is the lack of interceptions. He has only one. He has made many attempts but has dropped a handful, including one in the first matchup when the Raiders had worked themselves back into the game. Moehrig is going to get opportunities with the Chargers as they like to throw and go deep. A big or timely interception can make Herbert second-guess his passing and help the Raiders get that postseason berth.

*Top Photo: Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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