By: David Dzienis
This Thursday’s matchup is an interesting AFC West collision between the dangerous Chargers and the inconsistent Raiders. Los Angeles has one of the most exciting offenses led by rookie sensation Justin Herbert. With the return of RB Austin Ekeler from IR this offense has got the weapons to challenge anyone in the league. Sadly, they can’t seem to finish a game. A large part of this is due to horrendous decisions from the coaching staff concerning clock management. The defense has flashed in a few key moments but has broken down in the second half of games. All in all, this team looks like one of the most exciting teams heading into next season if they can stay healthy.
Las Vegas may be one of the league's most frustrating teams. Despite being the only team to beat last year's Super Bowl champion Chiefs, and nearly doing it a second time, this team can’t get out of their own way. They nearly lost to the winless Jets and have been sliding since taking Kansas City to the brink. The offense has been dealing with injuries to their main weapons all season. The latest hit had all-star Josh Jacobs out for a week. The Raiders defense has zero consistency. Some games they excel against the run, sometimes they are balanced, sometimes they are garbage. Yet somehow these Raiders are still alive for a wild-card spot.
To stay alive, they will have to contain the dynamic duo of Herbert and his favorite target, Keenan Allen. They will also need Derek Carr to get some production from his receiving corps. Besides the beast-like Darren Waller, this offense lacks any playmakers at the wideout spot. Not only will the Raiders need to win this game, not to mention the rest of their games this season, but they will need some other teams to slip up. Will they be able to keep their heads up and stay focused and handle their games to stay alive? Tune in to find out, and if nothing else, watching Herbert work is always entertaining.
Prediction: LAC 30-L.V. 27
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