The streaking Las Vegas Raiders (4-7) will host the worn-torn Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) in an AFC West matchup on Sunday.
Los Angeles rallied late last week to triumph over the Arizona Cardinals 25-24. Up 24-17, the Cardinals did everything in their power to give the game to the Chargers, going three-and-out on three consecutive fourth-quarter drives before LA finally scored the potential game-tying touchdown with 18 seconds left. However, the Chargers opted to go for two and the win, with QB Justin Herbert successfully finding TE Gerald Everett for the conversion. Herbert finished 35-of-47 for 274 yards and three touchdowns for LA, who desperately needed this win to stay in the thick of the AFC wildcard race.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Betting Odds
Odds Courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook
Las Vegas also won dramatically last week, besting the Seattle Seahawks 40-34 in overtime. The Raiders forced overtime thanks to a Derek Carr to Foster Moreau touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. LV started the extra period with the ball but squandered a scoring opportunity when Daniel Carlson missed a 56-yard field goal attempt on 4th down.
Seattle went three-and-out before the Raiders walked it off on a Josh Jacobs 86-yard touchdown scamper on the first play of their second drive. Jacobs set a new franchise record with 229 rushing yards. He tallied 303 yards from scrimmage, also a franchise record and the seventh-most in an NFL game in the Super Bowl era.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders Key Stats
Year Two for Los Angeles under Brandon Staley has gone a lot like the first, high expectations with underwhelming results. The franchise spent a lot of money and capital to improve off a 9-8 season, but they again found themselves floating around .500.
QB Justin Herbert leads an offense that is sixth in passing yards and touchdowns, as he has tossed for 3,004 yards and 19 touchdowns against seven picks. He suffered a rib injury earlier in the season but has continued to produce for the Chargers. Unfortunately, Herbert can't say the same for his top two wide receivers, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, who have missed a combined ten games this season. Running back Austin Ekeler has had a clean bill of health, totaling 1,051 yards from scrimmage and 12 scores. The offense is just inside the league's top half for yards and points.
The defense continues to be an eyesore for Chargers fans. They are dead-last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt and are 29th in points surrendered per game at 25.6. They have done a decent job in turning over opposing QBs but have yet to put together a dominating four quarters, even with Derwin James and Khalil Mack on the defense.
It's been a rough start for the Raiders since their move to Las Vegas in 2020. Their $100 million head coach got canned for off-the-field issues, the top wide receiver is awaiting a prison sentence for murder, and the team has taken a step back since a miraculous run to the playoffs last season. However, the common denominator in it all is QB Derek Carr, for both the good and the bad. The nine-year vet has thrown for 2,900 yards and 18 touchdowns against seven picks, all top ten rankings in the NFL. Running back Josh Jacobs is having a career year, leading the league in rushing yards with 1,159. The offense has been remarkable; it's the defense where the issues lie.
The secondary has been abysmal. Through 11 games, opposing QBs have spun 19 touchdowns against four picks for 253 yards per game. If you remove the games against Russell Wilson, the yardage goes up to 265. The run defense is a little better, but more is needed to offset the pass defense. Vegas allows 25.1 points per game, the 26th-worst mark in the league.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Los Vegas Raiders Betting Prediction
Despite having a worse point differential than Las Vegas, Los Angeles is better on paper. Now, the game isn't played on paper, but something has got to give with the star power of the Chargers' defense. A date with the rival Raiders may be all it takes for the Chargers to turn up and grab a road win as they continue their run for a playoff spot.