Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Friday, 01:20 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event
Chargers poised for a big second half of the season
The Chargers pulled off one of the most unexpected wins of the season last week as they hammered the Packers, and they can take that momentum into this one and get right back into playoff contention. A win here would move them back to .500 and just outside of the wildcard spots.
Los Angeles are getting healthier and it is starting to show on the field. Melvin Ingram, Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon have all returned to the field in recent weeks and the Chargers have seen an upturn in form. They have now won two in a row and are favourites in this one to add another to that streak.
Henry and Gordon have added some much needed firepower to a struggling offence. Gordon had a rough couple of weeks after ending his holdout but looked faster and more decisive as he ran in two touchdowns against the Packers. He will be key for a late season push for LA.
Keenan Allen can bounce back
The one negative recently has been Keenan Allen who has been one of the most dependable pass catchers in the game in the past. He is averaging just four catches a game over the past five weeks. Not bad but a drop off from his own very high standards. The Raiders have given up over 100 yards to opposing wide receiver ones on 62.5% of games this season and rank last in pass defence. This could be the perfect game for Allen to bounce back and show that he is still among the game’s elite receivers.
Jacobs faces a tough test
Josh Jacobs has shown that he is already a star for the Raiders. The rookie running back is in the top 10 in rushing yards and has gone over 120 yards in three of his past four games. He could perhaps contribute more in the passing game but he is a game-changing back and one that can win games on his own and is running away with the Rookie of the Year award. He is going up against a good Chargers defence though. The numbers don’t necessarily show it but LA have talent throughout on that side of the ball. Ingram and Joey Bosa are about as good as it gets and they can help keep Jacobs and the entire Raiders offence under control.
Gruden proving the doubters wrong
The Raiders entered the season with little hope of putting together any sort of playoff push. But they have surprised many as they have won four games, including a huge win against the Bears in London. Jon Gruden has done a great job in coaching up his team with the likes of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow emerging as potential stars. This season may be more next year’s move to Las Vegas but they are not out of things and in a weaker AFC they still have a chance to end their time in Oakland successfully. This game could end up playing a huge role in deciding the sixth seed in the AFC.
The Chargers have been something off a disappointment but things are turning around for them. They were expected to be a contender this season and they are starting to show that form. They just have more talent on the roster than the Raiders and can win this one and continue their resurgence.
Allen can take apart this Raiders defence despite some recent struggles. He is 7/5 to score any time and that feels like a great bet. He should rack up the yards here and should add to his three touchdowns so far this season.
Waller has been the stand-out player in the Raiders passing game and has three touchdowns in as many games. He is going to be the key man for Oakland in this one against a tough pass defence, but he can get on the scoreboard again.
Source: US Sports