If the Las Vegas Raiders are going to have any chance of making the playoffs this season, they need to beat the Los Angeles Chargers at home this week. It won’t be easy as the Chargers won the first matchup between the two teams earlier in the season. In the first matchup, star wide receiver Keenan Allen had to leave the game early with a hamstring injury.
He’s healthy now and he should be good to go against the Raiders. He’s also looking forward to the matchup. Las Vegas’ pass defense is one of the worst in the league and they play the ninth-most man coverage snaps. Elite route runners like Allen salivate when they play defenses that play man coverage. When asked about it, he had no problem calling out the Raiders’ defense.
“Barbecued chicken,” Allen said, via The Los Angeles Times. “No doubt.”
When asked to elaborate, he was blunter in his response and even brought up his “Slayer” nickname.
“That means they’re dead,” he said. “You’re gonna get to see ‘Slayer.’ ”
Allen has yet to have a huge game this season and he’s only had a 100+ yard game against the Raiders once in their last nine matchups. It’s possible he could go off against the team but he hasn’t in a while.
Nate Hobbs Excited to Get Back on Field
Allen is looking forward to his matchup against the Raiders and thinks he’s going to have a big game. However, Las Vegas has a reason to feel better about their defense on Sunday. Starting cornerback Nate Hobbs is expected to make his return after a stint on Injured Reserve.
He’s been eager to get back on the field as soon as possible.
“It just makes me really antsy to play, you know what I’m saying?” Hobbs said Wednesday. “Watching my teammates every week go out there and lay it on the line and how hard they work week in and week out, it just makes you want to help your teammates. I’m just grateful I got another opportunity this week.”
Hobbs was participating at practice this week so he should be good to go against the Chargers barring a setback.
“I definitely feel ready,” Hobbs said. “I feel pretty ready and confident in myself to come out there and do what I need to do.”
Why Raiders Have Good Chance of Beating Chargers
At this point, the Raiders’ defense hasn’t proven it can stop any team outside of the Denver Broncos. The Chargers are banged up right now but have an elite quarterback, wide receiver and running back. However, the Raiders still have enough to beat their AFC West at home.
While the Chargers have a better record (6-5) than the Raiders (4-7), the latter is scoring more points per game and allowing fewer per game. Los Angeles hasn’t been nearly as good this season as many expected. This is a very winnable game for the Raiders. They will definitely exploit the Chargers in the run game. Josh Jacobs leads the NFL in rushing and Los Angeles is allowing 151.4 rushing yards per game, which is the fifth-worst in the league. If the Raiders can get Jacobs to heat up early in the game, they should be able to win and would be just one game behind the Chargers for second place in the AFC West.