Lets break down how the Chargers will beat the Raiders on Sunday Night. Right now the Chargers are favored -3, which I think is a little low. The Raiders had a fantastic comeback win against the Colts, but this was largely due to Carson Wentz throwing the game with his improvisational jazz-style shovel passes and general tendency to play hero-ball. This is the same Raiders team that barely beat a Covid-savaged Browns squad in December and hasn’t looked right on offense since the Thanksgiving game against Dallas. In fact since Ruggs’ DUI in November, the team has had only 2 games with more than 2 touchdowns. They are a different offense without him.
The Chargers offense however is firing on all cylinders and doesn’t look to be running out of gas anytime soon. They regularly put up 30+ points and rarely turn the ball over. Herbert has fumbled once all season and always makes up for his picks with touchdown drives. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both have 1000+ yards this season and these big, quick receivers are very hard to keep out of the endzone.
The Chargers match the Raiders on their strength at running back and the defensive line. Austin Ekeler and Josh Jacobs are strong runners who break tackles and score regularly for their team. Max Crosby and Nate Bosa both get to the QB and have help from talented teammates in the trenches. The difference in this game will be in the QB and defensive back play. Derrick Carr is very fumble prone, and the Raiders just lost their young CB Nate Hobbs to a DUI. He was playing excellent this season, on par with Pro-Bowler Derwin James. Derwin James has a QB rating of 63 against him and has created 5 turnovers this season, and Hobbs was that similar critical piece on the defense that could shut down his receiver. Without Hobbs, Herbert will be able to sling the rock down the progression much easier and get 2-3 touchdowns himself.
Herbert and the Chargers might throw a couple picks but their offense will shine through and win by seven to ten points.