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coleryan
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San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: Preview and Pick

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On 10/01/2013 05:19 PM in NFL
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: Preview and Pick

The Major League Baseball Playoff is going to affect the week five schedule in the National Football League. The Oakland Athletics will be hosting a playoff game this weekend and that will push the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to a later time. The two AFC West opponents will push their game to a late night game to accommodate for the A’s.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Chargers listed as (-5) point favorites in this night game. The Chargers look good after an impressive win over the Dallas Cowboys and the public took notice. The early wagering is flooding in on the road team as up to 90 percent of the early action is on the Bolts. The Raiders are not getting any love, but the line is actually moving in their favor. This line can now be found at (-2.5) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks found at Bang the Book.com.

The Chargers are looking like a playoff team. Philip Rivers continued his deep success against the Cowboys, completing 9-of-11 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns on throws traveling more than 10 yards downfield. Coming into the game, he had completed 62% of such passes, 2nd-best among qualified quarterbacks. When he does well, the rest of the team does well and they will have their sight sets on the Raiders this weekend.

The Raiders hope that they have Terrelle Pryor back in the lineup for this game after Matt Flynn failed to execute under center. Matt Flynn was sacked on 7-of-40 drop backs Sunday (18%), the second-highest sack percentage in a game this season (Eli Manning, 23% in Week 3). By comparison, Terrelle Pryor was sacked on 7-of-99 drop backs this season (7%). Pryor’s mobility could give the Raiders a chance to win this game against an AFC West rival.

The latest NFL betting trends in this game actually favor the Silver and Black. The Raiders are 4-0-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 against the AFC, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in October. The Chargers are 2-5 ATS against the spread when playing a team with a losing record, 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a win against the number and 0-5 ATS in the last five games in October.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Pick

With plenty of time to go before kickoff so, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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10/02/2013 02:56 PM
Oakland was without its three best playmakers on offense Sunday, and Raiders coach Dennis Allen is hopeful to get at least one of them back Sunday night against the Chargers (the game is now officially at 8:35 after the baseball playoff TV schedule was announced.)


Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is still recovering from a concussion but is expected by teammates to be back Sunday. Running back Darren McFadden (hamstring), fullback Marcel Reece (sprained knee) and center Stefen Wisniewski (sprained knee) were all injured in the Redskins game and Allen said Monday it was too soon to determine their status for this week.

The team prepared all day Friday and Saturday as if Pryor was going to start against the Redskins Sunday. But, when Allen visited with Pryor Saturday night, Pryor asked to wear a tinted visor. And sensitivity to light is a symptom from concussions. Red flag.

”We wanted to make sure that we exercised extreme caution in this situation,” Allen said. ”We probably went a little bit above and beyond what typical protocol would be. We just deemed that it wasn’t worth the risk.”
Reece underwent an MRI on Monday and does not need surgery on his knee. Allen wasn’t going into any details on Reece, McFadden or Wisniewski. We’re one day out, so I really don’t know,” he said.
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10/02/2013 02:58 PM
The Bolts earned their first home win of the season and evened their record at 2-2 with a big 30-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. With three touchdown passes, Philip Rivers now has thrown for 200 over his career. Two of those passes went to Danny Woodhead, which marked a career-high for the running back, and one to Antonio Gates, who with 10 catches passed Ozzie Newsome for fourth all-time for a tight end. Defensively, the team pitched a shutout in the second-half, highlighted by a game-clinching forced fumble at the goal-line by Crezdon Butler.

What to Watch For…

- On Offense for the Chargers

Philip Rivers has been lights out to start the season. Through four games this season, Rivers is the NFL’s second-leading passer with a rating of 118.8, more than 23 points above his career rating of (95.5). He’s completed 73.9% of his passes (second in the NFL) for 1,199 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Antonio Gates has also impressed early on, leading the team with 25 catches and 364-yards. That puts him on pace for a 100-catch, 1,456-yard season.

- On Offense for the Raiders

Terrelle Pryor started the first three games of the season before missing last week’s match against the Washington Redskins due to a concussion. Matt Flynn started the game, and it’s unclear at the moment which signal caller will be under center Sunday night. Pryor has been the Raiders’ main offensive weapon this season as he’s completed 65.4%of his passes for 624 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also rushed 26 times for 198 yards. Former first-round draft pick Darren McFadden, who left last week’s game with a hamstring injury, is the Raiders’ primary ball carrier with 53 carries for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Danarius Moore is Oakland’s leading receiver with 15 catches for 233 yards and a pair of TDs.

- On Defense for the Chargers

San Diego’s defense will go into Sunday’s game in Oakland with a shot of confidence after holding Dallas to 317 total yards and just 3-of-9 on third downs. Eric Weddle leads the team with 31 tackles, including 24 solo stops. Jarret Johnson has a team-high two sacks out of the Bolts nine quarterback takedowns. Manti Te’o made his NFL debut last week finishing with three tackles .

- On Defense for the Raiders

The Raiders’ defense has limited opponents to less than 350 yards per game and has three takeaways (all fumble recoveries). Jason Hunter and Lamarr Houston lead the Raider defense with two sacks apiece while former Charger Kevin Burnett and Charles Woodson pace the club with 20 tackles each.

- Series History

The Chargers are 47-58-2 all-time against Oakland and have won three straight and 16 of the last 19 against their rivals from Northern California.

- By the Numbers

For the year, the Chargers rank eighth in total offense (396.2 yards per game), sixth in passing (291.2 ypg), 18th in rushing (105.0 ypg) and seventh in points (27.0). The Raiders rank 20th in total offense (338.0 ypg), 26th in passing (200.5 ypg), sixth in rushing (137.5 ypg) and 24th in points (17.8)

Defensively, the Bolts rank 30th in total defense (432.2 ypg), 29th in passing (311.8 ypg), 25th in rushing (120.5 ypg) and 22nd in points allowed (25.5). Oakland ranks 17th in total defense (349.2 ypg), 14th in passing (237.5 ypg), 21st in rushing (111.8 ypg) and 16th in points allowed (22.8).
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10/02/2013 02:59 PM
The Oakland Raiders are scheduled to face the San Diego Chargers for Week 5 of the NFL season on Sunday afternoon. The battle of the California AFC West will be hosted by the Raiders at the O.co Coliseum. This game will be their 107th meeting with the Raiders, having the upper hand with an all time record of 57-47-2.

The San Diego Chargers, however, have leverage on the Raiders since the Chargers won the last three meetings. Also, with the Raiders going through a major overhaul, the Chargers are expected to win, even though the game will be played in Oakland.

San Diego’s Record

The San Diego Chargers have a 500 record (2-2) and are struggling in certain areas for this NFL season. Their two victories were against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, two NFC East teams.

Against the Eagles, the Charges won in a high scoring game with field goal in Philadelphia. Since then, Philadelphia has not amounted to much, but they are still a strong team. With Dallas, the Chargers hosted the Cowboys and beat them. The Cowboys have problems of their own, but the Chargers still took care of a game that was to be taken care of.

The Chargers did lose one at home against the Titans in Week 3. Tennessee kept the Chargers from scoring high and the Titans came out with a 20-7 vicotry. In the end, the Chargers have shown that they are a dangerous team, but consistency has yet to be established this season.

Chargers Offensive and Defensive Strategies

The offensive strategy for the Chargers is the passing game. Philip Rivers’s passing has improved this season compared to last year. So far this season, San Diego ranks in second place with passing completion percentage, at 73.9. Also, they also rank in 3rd for passing yard attempts and 4th for total yards—1165 yards. That will be their main bread and butter against the Raiders since they are ranked in 16th place for passing defense.

The defensive strategy that San Diego always uses is the 3-4 lineup with very aggressive linebackers. This stratagem is meant to keep QBs like Terrelle Pryor on check and not give much room to run. This strategy is suppose to stop the run rather well, but the Chargers have been having problems in this department. They are ranked 8th so far in the rushing defense as far as rushes attempted against them, but they rank in 25th as far as allowing yards (482 yards). This means that Pryor and Darren McFadden could have a chance to shine!



Chargers Strengths and Weaknesses

San Diego’s only strength is the passing game. Again, Philip Rivers has improved and has been able to throw on his adversaries, and the quarterback will now have to go up against what was suppose to be a good Raiders secondary. So far, the Raiders have been struggling a bit in that department, so Rivers will look to take advantage of that.

The Chargers’ weakness is the defense. Both the running and passing defense are not doing too well for San Diego. Their overall rank so far in the NFL is 30th. Their passing defense ranks 29th, and the running defense ranks 25th. All worse than the Oakland Raiders. If the Raiders take advantage of the weak defense and stop Rivers from making passing, the game should be victorious for Oakland.

Key Players to Watch

The key players for the Raiders to watch will obviously be Philip Rivers and wide receiver Eddie Royal. Rivers is playing better than last year and has proven that he is still dangerous with passing. Philip Rivers has 11 touchdowns with 1199 passing yards in four games. Not bad at all!

Eddie Royal has to be guarded because this wide receiver always finds the end zone. He leads the San Diego wide receivers with five touchdowns in 15 receptions and 190 yards.

Another threat is tight end Antonio Gates, who has 364 yards with only two TDs. Not bad either! This guy is definitely the aerial work horse for the Chargers.

Oakland Will Have to Fight Tooth and Nail

This is going to be a tough game for the Oakland Raiders. As far as it goes, all the games will be tough for the Silver and Black this season. However, with Pryor coming back to helm, the Raiders should have a better performance against the Chargers than what they had against the Washington Redskins with Matt Flynn leading.
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10/03/2013 02:34 PM
The Raiders have had a revolving door at left tackle since the start of training camp and it looks like one of the players who briefly filled the role is ready to walk back through.

Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that rookie Menelik Watson returned to practice on Wednesday. It is Watson’s first time on the field since injuring his knee at a practice early last month. He subsequently had arthroscopic surgery and has missed the first four games of the season.

Watson, a second-round pick in April, is likely to be listed as a limited participant when the Raiders’ practice report is released and we’ll get more of an idea about his chances of playing against the Chargers late on Sunday night as the week progresses.

Once Watson is ready to play in a game, he’ll likely return to the starting role on the left side that he inherited when Alex Barron washed out as the first man up to replace Jared Veldheer. Veldheer is on injured reserve with the designation to return and will be eligible to practice after the sixth week of the season. Khalif Barnes has been starting on the left side after moving over from the right when Watson got hurt.
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10/03/2013 02:34 PM
At least Matt Flynn got paid.

A year after the Seahawks gave the former Packers backup $10 million to become the starter (supposedly) in Seattle, Flynn continues to slide down depth charts. He has now plunged to No. 3 in Oakland, according to Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group.

It didn’t help that, in Flynn’s first opportunity to play, coach Dennis Allen called him out for not playing very well.

Flynn has fallen behind Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie from Penn State. McGloin previously bounced fourth-round rookie Tyler Wilson off the roster.

But McGloin won’t be making his first NFL start on Sunday night at 11:35 p.m. ET; Terrelle Pryor has been cleared to start when the Raiders host the Chargers.

Flynn’s free fall calls into question the wisdom of bumping Flynn’s guaranteed money from $2 million to $6.5 million.
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10/03/2013 02:35 PM
Dwight Freeney’s first season with the Chargers is over after four games.

Freeney, the veteran outside linebacker who signed with the Chargers in May, is headed to injured reserve and out for the year, U-T San Diego reports.

Freeney suffered a torn quad in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, and he will require at least a few months of recovery time.

Although he only had half a sack, the 33-year-old Freeney was off to a good start with the Chargers, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks and starting all four games. He’ll be tough for the Chargers to replace.

Freeney still has another season left on the two-year deal he signed with the Chargers, so he may be back in San Diego in 2014.
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10/03/2013 02:35 PM
When word of the Chargers signing wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins broke on Tuesday, it was easy to speculate that Malcom Floyd’s neck injury was the reason for the move.

It’s not looking like speculation any longer. Floyd’s agent Buddy Baker sent out a tweet offering thanks for the good wishes sent Floyd’s way after he was injured in Week Two and announced that his client was not going to play again this season. Baker said Floyd would “be back and stronger than ever next season.”

Anyone who saw the scene in Philly that day won’t be surprised to hear that it was the last play of the year for Floyd. The good news for Floyd is that the injury wasn’t more severe — Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports he won’t need surgery – and that Floyd will have the chance to resume his playing career in 2014.

Floyd’s the second Chargers receiver to suffer a season-ending injury since the start of camp. He joins Danario Alexander as an expected top contributor out of the lineup, but the good news for the Chargers is that the Philip Rivers-led passing game looked pretty good without either one of them on the field last Sunday.
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10/03/2013 02:36 PM
The Chargers quarterback set a record in Sunday’s 30-21 win over the Cowboys, completing 35-of-42 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. That 83.3 percent rate was the highest in league history for a quarterback who threw for at least 400 yards. He also completed 83.3 percent last week (a mere 20-of-24).

The key for Rivers is standing in the face of the rush that is certainly coming, and delivering anyway.

“I ain’t allowing myself to leave the pocket,” Rivers said, via Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego. “I’m just not going to do it, because nothing good usually happens. I have to stay in there, . . . and whatever happens, happens. If they get you, they get you.”

On Sunday, he was the one doing the getting, picking apart the Cowboys when he went up-tempo, and throwing darts while under pressure.
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10/04/2013 01:31 PM
While the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have turned back the clock in coach Mike McCoy's up-tempo attack, the development of Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrell Pryor has been stunted a bit due to a concussion.

Pryor appears to be on track to return as these banged-up AFC West rivals meet Sunday night with the Chargers looking to move above .500 by beating the Raiders for the 17th time in 20 meetings.

This contest was moved to an 8:35 p.m. PDT kickoff because the Oakland Athletics are hosting Game 2 of the AL division series Saturday night and it takes too long to convert the Coliseum to play an afternoon game.

The Raiders (1-3) hope to benefit from the switch as they try to recover from several injuries and prepare for a San Diego offense that has been difficult to stop under its new coach.

"It's a divisional game, so we know it's going to be a tough, competitive football game," Oakland coach Dennis Allen told the team's official website. "I think they've got good players, and again, we're going to have to play well to beat them."

Pryor, the team's second-leading rusher with 198 yards, completed 19 of 28 passes for a career-high 281 yards and a touchdown before being knocked out in a 37-21 loss at Denver on Sept. 23. He missed last Sunday's 24-14 loss to Washington.

Pryor returned to practice Wednesday and was working with the first team. He is once again symptom free and appears on target to resume his starting role Sunday.

He made his first career start in last season's finale at San Diego, connecting on 13 of 28 attempts for 150 yards with two scores and one interception in a 24-21 loss.

Fullback Marcel Reece (knee) does not have a timetable for his return, while center Stefen Wisniewski (knee) isn't expected to play against the Chargers (2-2). Leading rusher Darren McFadden might also be out after sustaining a hamstring injury last Sunday.

Rashad Jennings may have to assume the backfield duties after gaining 45 yards on 15 carries while catching eight passes for 71 yards against Washington.

"If you have the right mentality nothing really changes," Jennings said. "You prepare that you're carrying the load always. We hope he's healthy. He's a big part of this team. Whatever role I'm asked to take on I'll be ready for it."

San Diego also suffered a big loss when it had to place Dwight Freeney on injured reserve after the linebacker tore his quadriceps last weekend. Freeney leads the team with 15 quarterback hurries and three hits.

"Anytime you lose a great player like Dwight Freeney, it's a blow to your team," McCoy said. "That's offense, defense, special teams, in your league. When you lose one of the greatest players of all-time on your team, with an injury like that, in a game, that's tough."

McCoy, a former offensive coordinator with the Broncos, has certainly provided a lift for a San Diego team that ranks seventh in the NFL with 27.0 points per game and eighth in total offense with an average of 396.3 yards.

Following a two-year stretch in which he threw 35 interceptions and posted an 88.7 passer rating, Rivers has returned to the form that has earned him four trips to the Pro Bowl.

He completed 35 of 42 passes for 401 yards with three scores and one pick in last Sunday's 30-21 win over Dallas. Rivers' 83.3 percent completion rate was the highest in NFL history for a 400-yard passing game.

He's only been intercepted twice while ranking second in the league in completion percentage (73.9), touchdowns (11) and passer rating (118.8), trailing Denver's Peyton Manning in each category.

"I feel in sync," Rivers said. "I have a rhythm and I'm comfortable in the pocket when we get that no-huddle going."

Rivers is 6-1 as a starter in Oakland and has thrown for 306.0 yards per game with seven touchdowns and two picks in his last four there.

Gates has particularly benefited from Rivers' resurgence with 23 receptions for 315 yards and two scores in his last three games. The five-time All-Pro tight end had 10 catches - his most since 2007 - for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys.

He's hauled in a TD in four of his last six meetings with the Raiders.

The Chargers have won 16 of 19 in the series but took last year's two meetings by a combined 11 points.
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