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Scouting Report: Raiders vs. Chargers
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The Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) look to end the regular season with a winning record and even a playoff berth when they host the Oakland Raiders (6-9) Sunday at StubHub Center. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
It’s easy to see why Philip Rivers was just selected to his seventh Pro Bowl as the quarterback continues to put up elite numbers. Rivers is 322-for-538 (61.7-percent) on the season for 4,128 yards, 25 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions for a 93.2 passer rating. He’s spread the ball around all year, but Keenan Allen has been his top target as the wideout’s 93 receptions are already the second-most in a single season in Chargers history. KA13 has gained 1,290 yards on those receptions with five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon is fresh off cementing his first 1,000-yard season after another impressive performance a week ago against the New York Jets. It marks only the 20th time a Charger has gone over the 1,000-yard mark, and he’s the first to do so since Ryan Mathews in 2013.
On Offense for the Raiders
Derek Carr leads the Raiders into StubHub Center having completed 304 of 487 passes (62.4-percent) on the year for 3,253 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for an 86.0 passer rating. His top weapon has been Michael Crabtree, who has caught 56 passes for 601 yards and eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, Amari Cooper has recorded 45 receptions for 565 yards and six TDs. In addition, Jared Cook has been one of the league’s most dangerous tight ends, snaring 51 passes for 653 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, Marshawn Lynch has only gotten better as the year’s progressed, currently sitting at 188 carries for 790 yards (4.3 ypc) and seven TDs.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Bolts enter Week 17 allowing the third fewest points in the NFL, surrendering only 17.5 per game. They’re led by Casey Hayward, who leads the AFC with 24 passes defensed and is tied for sixth with four interceptions. Overall, the Bolts enter the final week of the season having not allowed a single 100-yard receiver all year. Meanwhile, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have combined for 21.0 sacks, which is the second-most for a pair of teammates in the NFL this season.
On Defense for the Raiders
Former Chargers Defensive Coordinator John Pagano was promoted to the same position for the Raiders midway through the season, so Rivers will face many of the same schemes he saw on the practice field for half a decade. Leading the way is Khalil Mack, who is heading to his third Pro Bowl. As one of the game’s most feared pass rushers, Mack has 10.5 sacks and 72 tackles on the season.
The Raiders hold a 63-51-2 all-time advantage in the season series, although the Chargers won the most recent meeting earlier this year, 17-16, on a last second field goal as time expired. The Raiders are 32-25-1 on the road against the Chargers, including wins in the most recent pair of meetings.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank eighth in total offense (364.4 yards per game), third in passing (270.1 ypg), 24th in rushing (98.7 ypg) and 16th in points (21.7). The Raiders rank 19th in total offense (323.3 ypg), 17th in passing (226.7 ypg), 25th in rushing (86.6 ypg) and 23rd in points (19.4).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 14th in total defense (327.9 ypg), third in passing (195.0 ypg), 32nd in rushing (132.9 ypg) and third in points allowed (17.5). Oakland ranks 19th in total defense (340.4 ypg), 21st in passing (231.9 ypg), 13th in rushing (108.5 ypg) and 18th in points allowed (22.9).
Milestones on the Horizon
Philip Rivers needs 39 more passing yards to become the ninth player in league history to reach 50,000 for his career. He also needs four more passing touchdowns to reach 343 for his career, which would pass Fran Tarkenton for sixth in league history.
Keenan Allen is seven catches away from tying LaDainian Tomlinson (100) for the most receptions in a single season in Chargers history. Eight would set a new mark while tying Malcom Floyd for 10th-most in Chargers history (321).
Melvin Gordon needs 49 more rushing yards to reach 2,699, which would pass Keith Lincoln (2,698) for eighth in team history. He also needs one more rushing touchdown to reach 19 for his career, which would tie with Tim Spencer (19) for No. 8 in team history.
Noteworthy vs. the Raiders
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. In 28 career games vs. the Raiders, Gates has 104 catches for 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns. It’s the second-most receptions, yards and touchdown catches against any single opponent (KC) in his career.
In 2006, Rivers made his first-career start at Oakland on ESPN’s Monday Night Football and he led the Chargers to a 27-0 win. In 23 career games vs. Oakland, Rivers has completed 472 of 746 (63.3-percent) for 5,668 yards with 38 touchdowns and 18 interceptions for a 93.4 career rating vs. the Raiders. The Chargers are 15-8 in those 23 games.
Joey Bosa made his NFL debut against the Raiders on Oct. 9, 2016. He recorded two sacks and had three TFLs in his inaugural pro game.
Brandon Mebane recorded his first career interception in the Oct. 9, 2016 game.
Melvin Gordon hauled in a then career-high nine receptions and made the sixth TD catch of his career (fourth of the season) in the first meeting of 2017. His 67 receiving yards on the day were also a career high at the time of the game. He also added two scores for the fifth time in his career.
Raiders Defensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano spent 15 seasons with the Chargers from 2002-16, including the last five years as the Chargers defensive coordinator.
Raiders Defensive Assistant Sam Anno spent the 1992-93 seasons as the Chargers’ long snapper.
Chargers T Joe Barksdale spent his rookie season (2011) in Oakland after being selected by the Raiders that year in the third round out of LSU.
ILB Korey Toomer played in 10 games for the Raiders in 2015 and spent time on their practice squad prior to signing with the Chargers.
CBS – Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Rich Gannon (analyst) and Amanda Balionis (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).