The Las Vegas Raiders head west to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in what should be a fabulous Monday Night Football matchup. The Raiders are a perfect 3-0 on the year and Jon Gruden has this team firing on all cylinders. The Chargers are also off to a nice start as they come into this game with a 2-1 record.
Which team will have the upper hand in tonight’s Monday Night massacre? Let’s dig into some of the key matchups on both sides of the ball to find out! We’ll also provide a Best Bet for those that want some action on this game.
Raiders Offense vs. Chargers Defense
You have to feel good for a guy like Derek Carr. After several up and down seasons with the Raiders, the former Fresno State star looks to be coming into his own. The 30-year old has thrown for 1,203 yards and six touchdowns so far this season (Pro-Football-Reference.com).
The Raiders’ passing offense has lit up the skies by averaging 401 yards per game. The running game hasn’t produced that well (91.3 yards per game), mainly due to Josh Jacobs being banged up. Former Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs is quieting the haters by producing much better than he did last year.
The Chargers’ defense has done an excellent job through the first three games. This unit has only given up 20 points per contest and they did an admirable job of slowing down the Chiefs’ potent offense last week en route to a 30-24 win. Rookie corner Asante Samuel Jr has started his career off with a bang by being named Defensive Rookie of the Month.
Chargers Offense vs. Raiders Defense
Justin Herbert already looks like an NFL veteran QB, even though it’s only his second season. The former Oregon standout has racked up 956 passing yards and six touchdowns while carving up defenses like a surgeon.
Herbert’s favorite target this season has been Mike Williams, who has 295 receiving yards and four touchdowns. At 6-4 and 218 pounds, Williams is a nightmare to defend. Expect offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi to call plenty of fade routes to Williams, especially if the Raiders decide to play any type of man coverage.
The Raiders’ defense looks to be a bit improved over last year’s squad. They rank 15th in the league in points per game allowed. The secondary has played better also, as they’ve only given up two passing touchdowns.
Our Pick: Raiders +3
Our numbers say this game should come right down to the wire so we’ll take the Raiders plus the points. SoFi Stadium will be rocking and rowdy tonight but we don’t see that deterring Derek Carr and the Raiders passing game.
Though Josh Jacobs probably won’t play, Kenyan Drake and Peyton Barber should be able to find plenty of rushing lanes against a Charger defense that ranks dead last in yards per carry allowed. We think the Raiders pull the upset in this one. Good luck!