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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Raiders
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It’s Raiders Week as the San Diego Chargers return home to host their AFC West rival at Qualcomm Stadium. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1:25pm PT
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
With Melvin Gordon day to day with a hip strain and knee sprain, undrafted rookie running back Kenneth Farrow might be counted on to carry the load. The Houston product has 36 carries on the year for 125 yards. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers is 287 for 464 (61.9%) for 3,589 yards and 27 touchdowns for a 90.0 passer rating. He’s completed 14 passes of at least 40 yards, tying his career high. Rivers’ top weapon this year has been Tyrell Williams, who leads the team in catches (55), yards (905) and touchdowns (six). Rookie Hunter Henry is tied with Williams with six touchdowns in what has been an impressive first season for the tight end.
On Offense for the Raiders
Derek Carr has emerged as a possible MVP candidate, completing 317 of 499 passes (63.5%) for 3,492 yards, 24 touchdowns and just five picks for a 96.0 passer rating. He has a pair of top notch receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as each wideout has topped 70 catches on the year. Cooper boasts 73 receptions for 1,010 yards and four TDs while Crabtree has 71 receptions for 806 yards and a seven scores. Latavius Murray powers Oakland’s ground attack, churning out 656 yards on 162 carries with 12 touchdowns.
On Defense for the Chargers
Joey Bosa took over the team lead in sacks last week as the rookie now boasts 6.5 on the season. The defensive end also has 28 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 31 QB pressures, eight QB hits and one forced fumble. Second-year linebacker Denzel Perryman leads the Bolts with 69 tackles while Casey Hayward leads the NFL with a career-high seven picks.
On Defense for the Raiders
Khalil Mack continues to evolve into one of the top defensive players in the league, ranking third in the NFL with 11.0 sacks. He’s bookended by Bruce Irvin, who is second on the team with 5.0 sacks. Meanwhile, Malcolm Smith paces Oakland with 78 tackles while Reggie Nelson has a team-high three interceptions.
The Raiders lead the season series a 62-50-2, and have won the past three meetings.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank 11th in total offense (360.8 yards per game), sixth in passing (262.8 ypg), 23rd in rushing (98.0 ypg) and fourth in points (26.9). The Raiders rank sixth total offense (380.3 ypg), fifth in passing (264.2 ypg), sixth in rushing (116.2 ypg) and second in points (27.5)
Defensively, the Bolts rank 17th in total defense (353.3 ypg), 25th in passing (261.4 ypg), seventh in rushing (91.9 ypg) and 29th in points allowed (26.7). Oakland ranks 30th in total defense (384.5 ypg), 27th in passing (264.3 ypg), 26th in rushing (120.2 ypg) and 23rd in points allowed (24.6).
Milestones on the Horizon
Antonio Gates is two touchdowns shy of tying Tony Gonzalez (111) for most by a tight end in NFL history.
Philip Rivers has already tied his career high with 14 passes of at least 40 yards. His next would establish a new personal best. He currently ranks second in the NFL next to Matt Ryan (16).
Rivers next 300-yard passing game will be the 51st of his career, which would tie Dan Fouts’ franchise record.
Melvin Gordon is the NFL’s seventh-leading rusher with 997 yards this season. He needs just three yards for the 20th 1,000-yard rushing season in franchise history and ﬁrst since Ryan Mathews had 1,255 in 2013.
Should Gordon reach 1,000 rushing yards, he’ll become just the 11th player in franchise history and ﬁrst since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2008 to rush for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in a season.
Gordon has 12 combined TDs on the year, and with three more, would mark the ninth time a Charger has 15 or more in a season. LT did it six times, while Chuck Muncie and Lance Alworth did it once.
Gordon has 1,416 total yards from scrimmage this season (997 rushing and 419 receiving), to rank ﬁfth in the NFL. With 84 more yards, Gordon would record just the 15th 1,500-yard season in franchise history.
Tyrell Williams needs 95 yards for a 1,000-yard season. Should he get there, it would mark the 36th 1,000-yard receiving season in franchise history.
Williams has six TD catches on the year. Should he reach 10 as well as 1,000 yards through the air, it would mark only the 15th time a Charger has achieved both in a single year, and the first since Gates in 2005.
Casey Hayward leads the NFL with seven interceptions, which is already a career high. Three more would tie Antonio Cromartie (10) for most by a Charger in a season, set in 2007.
Josh Lambo is two field goals shy of 50, which would tie George Blair for sixth most in franchise history.
Noteworthy vs. the Raiders
In 2013, Philip Rivers passed for 411 yards at Oakland to become the ﬁrst quarterback in Chargers history with back-to-back 400-yard games. It was his team-record third 400-yard game of the season and the sixth of his career, tying Dan Fouts for most in team history. Rivers also threw the 201st and 202nd touchdown passes of his career that same day to pass John Hadl for second in team history. Number 17 has played 21 games vs. the Raiders, completing 63.2% of his attempts for 5,194 yards and 35 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a 93.3 passer rating. The Bolts are 14-7 in those 21 games.
In 2012, Antonio Gates caught the 83rd touchdown pass of his career during a Dec. 30 game vs. Oakland, tying Lance Alworth for the second-most touchdowns in team history. Over 26 career games vs. the Raiders, Gates has 102 catches for 1,314 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy grew up in Novato, California, 30 miles across the San Francisco Bay from Oakland.
Right tackle Joe Barksdale spent his rookie season (2011) in Oakland after being selected by the Raiders that year in the third round out of LSU.
Inside linebacker Korey Toomer played in 10 games for the Raiders in 2015 and spent time on their practice squad prior to signing with the Chargers in late September.
Raiders defensive assistant Sam Anno spent the 1992-93 seasons as the Chargers’ long snapper. More recently, Anno was the assistant head coach as well as the linebackers and special teams coach at the University of San Diego from 2009-14.
Know Your Opponent
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Solomon Wilcots (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Mike Costa (reporter)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego)– Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (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 Nick Hardwick (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.
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