Game Preview: Chargers at Raiders, Chargers on Offense

Look for lots of this. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Chargers Running the Ball

  • 10th in Yards/Game (132.2), up from 12th last week.
  • 9th in Yards/Carry (4.5), up from 11th last week.
  • 4th in Rush TDs (4), up from 10th last week.
  • 16th in Runs for 1st downs (21.2%), up from 18th last week.
  • 3rd in Runs for 20+ Yards (5), up from 8th last week.
  • 28th in Fumbles (4), down from 26th last week.

Outside of the fumbles, that is one heck of a running game the Chargers built in one offseason. Think about this for a second, the team released one of the great RBs of all time have replaced him with a rookie and a guy who essentially started last season as the team's backup Fullback. Somehow, production is not only up but it's way up and seems to be getting better each week.

 

Raiders Stopping the Run

  • 31st in Yards/Game allowed (162.0)
  • 32nd in Yards/Carry allowed (5.3)
  • 26th in Rush TDs allowed (5)
  • 26th in Runs for 1st downs against (24.6%)
  • 32nd in Runs for 20+ Yards allowed (7)
  • 27th in Fumbles recovered (0)

Hmmm....how do I put this? Wait, I know...... YIIPPPPIIIEEEE!!!!!! Hey, remember that Cardinals run defense that the Chargers embarrassed last week? They were better than this Raiders run defense, almost significantly better. Heck, I don't even need to re-write the "Advantage" part of this post.....I'll just make some small changes.

Advantage: Chargers. For the first second time in a long time two weeks, the Bolts have a strong running game and are going against a weak running defense. Could we see a game where the team's not riding on Philip Rivers' shoulders? Possibly Probably.

 

Chargers Throwing the Ball

  • 3rd in Yards/Game (318.5), down from 2nd last week.
  • 1st in Yards/Attempt (9.4), up from 2nd last week.
  • 2nd in TDs (9), up from 3rd last week.
  • 1st in Passes for 1st down (45.8%), up from 2nd last week.
  • 1st in Passes for 20+ yards (24), same as last week.
  • 14th in Sacks taken (8), up from 19th last week.
  • 14th in Interceptions thrown (4), up from 19th last week.

There's no denying it, the San Diego Chargers once again have the most explosive passing offense in the league. The only thing that's going to slow down Rivers, Gates and Co. is a top-flight defensive secondary and a good pass-rush as well.

 

Raiders Defending the Pass

  • 3rd in Yards/Game allowed (143.8)
  • 10th in Yards/Attempt (6.5)
  • 25th in TDs allowed (8)
  • 19th in Passes for 1st downs allowed (34.0%)
  • 6th in Passes for 20+ yards allowed (9)
  • 18th in Sacks (7)
  • 26th in Interceptions (2)

It's probably not the worst passing defense in the world, but it's certainly nothing to be proud of. They don't get to the Quarterback, they don't create turnovers and they give up TDs through the air pretty easily. 

Advantage: Chargers. Again, this defensive group is worse than the Cardinals defensive group. If the Chargers can come out, run all over the Raiders and use the play-action pass the way they did this last Sunday they will put themselves in the driver's seat and take the crowd out of the game. If they keep it close, struggle with turnovers and make it a close game, this reputation of being a "bad road team" will be stuck to them for the rest of the season.

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