Do you remember that seventh seed we talked about last week? We’re already seeing the drama involved with them adding this extra competition. I almost don’t want it to leave. We had a desperate Ravens team scrap and beat a quality Browns team that is clicking offensively. And because of that loss, a team playing this Thursday is now in desperation mode.
LA really did want to give that game away last week, but no team can choke like the Atlanta Falcons. The Chargers are just trying new things out, trying to see what strategy can work, and ways to let Herbert play to his strengths. Now do they really want to win, what’s the benefit? Additionally, if you want the latest news on Alex Highsmith contract, you might read this article for more insights.
If you didn’t know, LV is that desperate-ass team who can barely beat the Jets. Will they ever live down that awful game? Now, coming off a shalacking from the Colts, how will they respond? This was the team that played the Chiefs hard, beat the Browns in a tough weather game, and beat the Saints week two. This is where Gruden earns that title as a great coach.
LA Chargers 4-9 (-3.5) @ LV Raiders 7-6
I really hope the fans in LA take care of Justin Herbert. As long as he doesn’t leave injured, or do a complete 180, he will win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He is still top ten in touchdowns, while having fewer interceptions than Tom Brady. This offense is eighth in yards, yet 22nd in points. I believe Anthony Lynn is a solid coach, but he is a horrible game manager. I see a lot of Tomlin in him. Players love him, he always seems to get the most out of his guys, but he is just a horrible game manager. Other quality coaches tend to have an edge on Lynn. His only wins this year are off the Bengals, Jags, Jets and Falcons. The Falcons are on a backup coach, keep in mind. I say this because I feel like this team has a ton of talent. Yeah, they have been hit with bad injuries but I think they are better than their current record. Ekkler coming back should elevate the Chargers, but this is a team who should make some serious noise in 2021. The defense is top ten in yards against, but 26th in points allowed. It’s like a complete mirror to the offense. I really don’t know the cure, but a coaching change seems evident.
This Raiders team better come to play, because I think some serious shake ups could be in store if not. Derek Carr is only a 2.5 million dollar cap hit next year, yet he will cost 22 million against the cap. So if this team falls out of the playoff race, do you think management is just going to trust him? I mean, he is a quality game manager but are we seeing him elevate the talent around him? At least Herbert is seeing quality production from Allen, Ekkler and Henry. Carr is also playing behind a quality offensive line. What if we switched Wentz for Carr, would we see a better Raiders team? I think so, personally, and I would hope Carr knows that time is against him in Las Vegas. Mariota wasn’t a flashy signing now, but one full year with the knowledge of the offense might change that. Defensively, there are a lot of holes that need filled. Maybe some of these head scratching reaches in years past are coming to bite them in the ass. 30th in points against, 25th in yards against, and a -5 in the turnover column aren’t going to cut it. I wouldn’t say the Gruden/Mayock experiment is on the hot seat but, man, the expectations were far better than what we are seeing.
Overall, I feel like both teams have underwhelmed this year. The Raiders have proven that they can show up from time to time – This is the time. Two of their last three games are against losing opponents, with a crucial game against the Dolphins in the middle. They need to win this game to have a real shot. The Raiders have lost their last three ATS, but I think that streak ends. The Raiders know what is in front of them and if they want to be a playoff team, this is must-win. I think the Raiders win this game outright and cover the 3.5.