Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: Los Angeles Chargers At Oakland Raiders

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass during the second quarter against the New York Giants during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 08: Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders catches a 41-yard touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 8, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    The Chargers can breathe a huge sigh of relief after finally getting their first win of the season at the expense of the New York Giants. Philip Rivers is one of the game’s streakiest passers, and when he gets on a roll, he can light up the scoreboard. Rivers has completed just under 60 percent of his passes, and nine have been for touchdowns. However, he has thrown five interceptions, and that’s an issue.
    The Raiders were dealt a painful blow when they lost star QB Derek Carr in Week Four with a broken bone in his back. While Carr is extremely tough and wants to get back into the lineup, it’s not likely to happen here. EJ Manuel is a willing backup with a strong arm, but he is not adept at reading defenses and will make risky throws.
  • Offense
    The Chargers want to take some of the pressure off Rivers by establishing the running game with Melvin Gordon, who can produce big plays with his speed and ability to get to the outside. Keenan Allen is a big-play wide out who has caught 28 passes for 401 yards with one TD. Rivers has targeted him 51 times. Tyrell Williams is a solid No. 2 receiver.
    The Raiders have the weapons to cause big problems for the Chargers, but the absence of Carr has hurt this unit’s cohesiveness. Marshawn Lynch is a power back who can punish the defense, while Jalen Richard has the speed to get into the secondary. Michael Crabtree is a solid receiver who can make the tough catch in traffic, but Amari Cooper has been disappointing to this point in the season.
  • Defense
    The Chargers have had some issues on defense this season, and their inability to stop the run is a big part of the reason they lost their first four game. The Chargers rank 32nd against the run, but are much better against the pass. Pass rushers Melvin Ingram (7.5 sacks) and Joey Bosa (4.5 sacks) are a powerful duo and they should be able to cause big problems for Manuel in this game.
    The Raiders figured to have issues on defense coming into the season, and they have not exceeded those expectations through their first five games. While DE Khalil Mack is an excellent pass rusher who has 4.0 sacks and 31 tackles, the Raiders have not been able to make enough big plays. SS Karl Joseph has a team-high 36 tackles, and that’s an indication that the front seven is having issues.
  • Special Teams
    The Chargers have had major issues with their special teams to this point in the season, and that has hurt them significantly this year. In addition to missing game-winning FG attempts in the first two games of the season, they have been badly outgained in punt and kickoff return differential.
    The Raiders have a chance to gain a big advantage in special teams as Richard has the quickness to do damage on punt returns and Cordarrelle Patterson can do the same on kickoff returns. P Marquette King is averaging 52.0 yards per punt, while Giorgio Tavecchio has made 8-of-8 FG attempts.
The Chargers have been hurt badly special-teams issues, poor run defense and interceptions. If they can overcome those issues as they did in Week Five vs. the Giants, they could take down the Raiders.

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