The Oakland Raiders look to get back on track as they host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The Raiders have struggled over the last three weeks, losing all three match-ups and falling to a 2-3 record.
After missing last week, starting quarterback Derek Carr is slated to return after not appearing on the injury report on Friday for the first time. Getting Carr back is important as Todd Downing looks to get the Raiders offense back on track after struggling.
Much of the offense’s struggles come from the offensive line’s inability to protect the quarterback. Things won’t get any easier for them this week as they are set to line up across from one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the league, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Ingram leads the AFC with 7.5 sacks, while Bosa is close behind with 4.5.
Should the Raiders give Carr some time, he is slated to go up a defense that is better against the pass than they are the run. The Chargers are allowing just 190 pass yards per game, whereas they rank dead last in the NFL by allowing 161 yards on the ground. Running back Marshawn Lynch needs to get back on track to help out the offense and will have his best opportunity this Sunday.
On defense, the Raiders will face a familiar face in quarterback Philip Rivers who is now in his 14th season in the NFL, all with the Chargers. Rivers hasn’t skipped a beat, ranking 5th in the NFL in passing yards with 1,365 yards and nine passing touchdowns. Ken Norton, Jr.’s defense will need to keep an eye on Cal alum Keenan Allen, who is Rivers’ top target this season.
The Chargers also bring back Melvin Gordon, who is fourth in the league with 5 total touchdowns (2 rushing and 3 receiving). Slowing Gordon down is necessary to limit Rivers’ play-action ability.
The Raiders continue their homestand by hosting the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs in a big match-up on Thursday Night Football.