NFL Football Preview: San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

NFL Football Preview:  San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

One of the longest running rivalries in pro football is renewed this weekend as the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders go at it. These teams have been hated enemies since the 60’s and although they’ve both fallen on hard times lately this matchup shouldn’t be lacking in intensity. The Chargers have been something of a surprise this year–nothing was expected of the team but instead they’ve gone 2-2 SU with an even better 3-0-1 ATS run. The Raiders are lucky to have a win in the books–more specifically, they’re lucky to have had the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars scheduled so early in the season. Were it not for the hapless Jags the Raiders would be 0-3 SU/1-1-1 ATS.

Mike McCoy’s San Diego Chargers have definitely come out ready to play this season. Even their two losses were relatively respectable–they lost to the Houston Texans by 3 at home and the Tennessee Titans by 3 in Nashville. Phillip Rivers is showing flashes of his old brilliance despite some of the Chargers’ long running problems. Their defense is still less than formidable and on offense Rivers isn’t getting good pass protection. The Chargers’ running game is also pretty much non existent.

Terrelle Pryor added some spark to the long suffering Raiders’ offense but there are serious questions about his ability to pass the ball accurately and to make good decisions with the football. In all fairness, he is the best of several bad options. The once proud ‘silver and black’ have now endured a decade of under .500 finishes and haven’t had a sniff of the playoffs during that stretch. They were 4-12 last year and it’s hard to see a scenario in which they’ll improve upon that this year. The franchise is in the process of trying to right the wrongs of previous regimes but it’ll be at least another season or two before that monumental task is complete. The team has lost 11 or more games in eight of the past 10 years and it’ll be a shock if they avoid that fate this season. Their defense is one huge question mark with a rag tag combination of over the hill veterans and unproven youngsters. The offense isn’t quite as bad, if only for the presence of talented running back Darren McFadden. The problem with McFadden is that he’s been injury prone and has never made it through a full season. McFadden could miss this game and Pryor is listed as ‘questionable’ as well.

Chargers just the better team and they’ve been dominant in head to head play at Oakland. San Diego is 16-5 ATS in their last 21 at Oakland and we think it’ll continue here.