It’s Los Angeles Chargers week, and what a few weeks ago looked like a going-through-the-motions game has now become a possible postseason-deciding game. The Las Vegas Raiders sit at 4-7, and the San Diego Chargers sit at 6-5. Both teams are coming off big victories. The Chargers won on a two-point conversion in the final seconds against the Arizona Cardinals, and Vegas walked off with an 86-yard walk-off run by Josh Jacobs. The matchup has picked up some much-needed buzz, and with so much on the line, here are three bold predictions for the Raiders.
Prediction No. 1: Raiders’ defense picks up four sacks
Yes, the defense gave up 34 points last week, but they were hard points; it wasn’t a collection of big play touchdowns. The defense picked up two turnovers and three sacks, which gave them back-to-back weeks with three sacks. In the first nine games, the defense had ten sacks; in the last two games, they have six. The Chargers’ offensive line isn’t great or bad, but they have done well to keep Herbert upright so far. With the momentum the defense has, though, that will change. The Raiders will pick up four sacks, with Maxx Crosby picking up two, and they will rattle the Chargers’ signal-caller en route to a victory.
Prediction No. 2: Raiders QB Derek Carr surpasses 300 yards passing
The polarizing quarterback has not passed for more than 300 yards against the Chargers since 2016. If there is a game where that is needed, it would be here. The Chargers struggle to stop the run, so one would assume that will be the focus, especially since they will face the league’s leading rusher. That should give the passing game a chance to have fun. We all know that “DC” is either loved or hated, but if he can come through with a big game, there may be some melted rage from the fanbase for at least one week. Carr will throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns and help continue the Raiders’ midseason turnaround.
Prediction No. 3: This will be a blowout
These teams have routinely been in close games over the last few years. This one will not be one of those cases. The Raiders will avoid giving the fans a heart attack by putting this one away early and not letting up. The perfect storm is brewing for this one. The offense appears to be clicking, and the defense has begun to generate pressure and stop the run, which will cause the Chargers to stumble. With the Bolts’ defense struggling against the run and pass, it seems to point to a boat race in the desert. The Raiders win 38-14, and a postseason appearance is now a possibility.
*Top Photo: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun