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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Raiders
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A Look Back At Last Week
The Bolts paid a Thursday night primetime visit to Denver and left the Mile High City with a 27-20 victory over the Broncos. Keenan Allen continued to bolster his Rookie of the Year candidacy with a two-touchdown effort, including an athletic opening touchdown that made waves nationwide. Ryan Mathews rushed for 127 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries while the defense played Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense tougher than any other team in the NFL this season. Corey Liuget and Thomas Keiser combined for a big-time interception late in the fourth quarter. That, coupled with Nick Novak’s second field goal of the game, clinched the victory for the Chargers.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
While Philip Rivers has strung together a phenomenal season through the air, and continues to do so, the Bolts ground attack has come into its own recently. Against the Broncos, San Diego posted a season-high 177-yard effort on the ground, the most allowed by Denver all season. Leading the way was Ryan Mathews, whose big day brought his season total to 1,012 yards rushing, which ranks ninth in the league. Through the air Keenan Allen has recorded four touchdowns on his last five catches while tight end Antonio Gates paces the club with 70 receptions.
On Offense for the Raiders
Since taking over as starting quarterback in Week 11, Matt McGloin has elevated the Raiders into one of the premier teams in the league in terms of downfield passing. Since Week 11, McGloin has completed 15 passes of 25-or-more yards which is more than any other quarterback in the league. He also leads the league in completions of 20-or-more yards with 25. Meanwhile, running back Rashad Jennings has had a career-year, surpassing his career-high for rushing yards with 679 as well as total yards with 936.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Chargers also beat the Broncos by playing suffocating defense. John Pagano’s unit held Denver to a season-low 295 yards of total offense, including a season-low 18 yards on the ground. The Broncos’ total yardage was 102 yards fewer than their second-lowest output of the season, which also came against the Bolts. The Chargers allowed the NFL’s number-one third down offense coming into the game to convert just two of nine third down opportunities. And five days after intercepting two passes and breaking up 11 against the Giants, the Chargers turned in another big effort against Peyton Manning and the Broncos with an interception and six passes defended. For the second straight game, Shareece Wright led the team in passes defensed with two and in the last two games combined, Wright has an interception, the first of his career, and five passes defensed.
On Defense for the Raiders
The Oakland defense specializes in stuffing the run, ranking ninth in the NFL and fifth in the AFC by allowing just 103.9 yards per game. They also have been proficient sacking the quarterback, coming into the game with 34 after recording just 25 a year ago. Nick Roach leads the way with 5.5 while Lamarr Houston has 5.0. Furthermore, Oakland has had quite a deal of success forcing three-and-outs, ranking third in the NFL with 46, just three shy of the league leading Baltimore Ravens who have 39.
Oakland won this season’s first meeting, 27-17 in Week 5 and they lead the all-time series, 59-47-2. The Chargers though have won three of the last four in the series and 16 of the last 20.
By the Numbers
For the year, the Chargers rank sixth in total offense (396.0 yards per game), fourth in passing (279.5 ypg), 15th in rushing (116.5 ypg) and 14th in points (24.5). The Raiders rank 15thin total offense (344.3ypg), 25th in passing (210.2 ypg), sixth in rushing (134.1 ypg) and 26th in points (21.1)
Defensively, the Bolts rank 25th in total defense (378.2 ypg), 29th in passing (267.4 ypg), 14th in rushing (108.8 ypg) and 10th in points allowed (22.2). Oakland ranks 18th in total defense (358.4 ypg), 24th in passing (254.4 ypg), ninth in rushing (103.9 ypg) and 29th in points allowed (28.1).
Milestones on the Horizon
Keenan Allen needs just 71 yards to set the team mark for rookie receiving yards. John Jefferson had 1,001 in 1978.
Allen needs 69 receiving yards to record the 35th 1,000-yard season in franchise history.
Antonio Gates is third on the team’s all-time receiving list with 9,120 yards. He needs 84 to pass Hall of Fame wide receiver Charlie Joiner (9,203) for second.
Philip Rivers needs 452 yards for his third-career 4,500-yard season. It would mark his third in the last four seasons. It would also set a new team mark for career 4,500-yard seasons as he and Dan Fouts are currently tied with two apiece.
Rivers has thrown a touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games. If he throws one on Sunday against the Raiders it will mark his 19th straight game with a TD pass, tying John Hadl for the third-most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Rivers holds the team record of 23 consecutive games with a scoring strike during the 2009-10 seasons.
Rivers has 28 touchdown passes and needs two more to record his third-career 30-touchdown season. Already this season, Rivers extended his franchise-record streak of 25-touchdown seasons to six.
Ryan Mathews is tied with Tim Spencer for seventh on the team’s career rushing touchdowns list with 19. Mathews needs one to break the tie with Spencer and two to pass Mike Tolbert, who is currently sixth with 20.
Eric Weddle needs four tackles for a second-straight and third-career 100-tackle season.
Nick Novak has 330 career points, good for ninth on the team’s all-time scoring list. He needs 19 more to move past Gary Garrison (348) for eighth.
Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy was born in San Francisco and grew up in Novato, Calif.
Special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer was a Raiders assistant coach from 1995-97, serving as special teams coach, assistant linebackers coach and defensive assistant.
Defensive line coach Don Johnson coached the Raiders’ defensive tackles from 2007-08.
Tight ends coach Jason Michael was a quality control coach in Oakland in 2005.
Director of player personnel JoJo Wooden’s older brother, Terry, was an NFL linebacker who played one season for the Raiders in 1998.
Chargers linebacker Donald Butler is from Fair Oaks, Calif. and his mom, Janet Rice, works for the Oakland (Calif.) Housing Authority.
Tackle Willie Smith played in nine games for the Raiders in 2012.
Raiders linebacker Nick Roach started his career in San Diego in 2007and spent the first half of the season on the team’s practice squad.
Fellow linebacker Kevin Burnett played for the Bolts from 2009-10.
Wide receiver Brice Butler attended San Diego State.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Bill Macatee (play-by-play), Steve Tasker (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst), Mike Costa (sidelines)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.
For a unique, one-of-a-kind look at the Chargers, be sure to tune in each week to Chargers Insider on Fox Sports San Diego. The half-hour program will be the go-to destination for fans that want behind-the-scenes coverage and unique features on the team. Chargers Insider airs each week throughout the season on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. PT as well as Saturday’s at 11:35pm on KFMB, Channel 8.