Oakland vs San Diego NFL Handicapping
Needing to win out, the Chargers will play host to their bitter division rival Oakland who arrive in San Diego on Sunday in the midst of a four-game losing skid, but no less determined to sweep this year’s series.
When: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 at 4:25 p.m. EST
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
LINE: -10 (Chargers), O/U 50.5
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Oakland (4-10) handed the Chargers a 27-17 defeat at Oakland on Oct. 6, a game in which the Raiders capitalized on five San Diego turnovers.
But since then, the Raiders have lost seven of nine, including last week’s 56-31 pummeling by Kansas City in which they set a franchise record for most points allowed in a game.
The Raiders defense is mired in a major tailspin, allowing around 41 points in the last three games. And the offense isn’t any better. Quarterback Matt McGloin turned in his worst performance of the season last week, throwing four interceptions against the Chiefs
Nevertheless, there is some optimism for the Raiders, who could return Darren McFadden back in time for their trip to San Diego.
With McFadden out, backup running back Rashad Jennings has done a solid job, rushing for 91 yards last week, while notching his second straight two-touchdown game.
Defensively, the Raiders are ranked 24th against the pass and are tied for the second-fewest interceptions in the league. Not good news as they face San Diego’s Philip Rivers, who has compiled a 28-6 career mark in the month of December.
Needing to win out and have Miami and Baltimore each drop their final two games to secure the AFC’s final playoff slot, the Chargers (7-7) postseason hopes appear distant.
Still, they will enter Sunday’s contest with lots of hope and momentum after a surprising 27-20 upset in Denver last week.
Rivers threw a pair of touchdown passes, while running back Ryan Mathews tied his season high with 127 yards and went over 100 yards for the fifth time in the past nine games against the Broncos.
Meanwhile the defense held the Broncos to only 18 rushing yards on 11 attempts and came up with a key fourth-quarter interception to hand Denver its first home loss of the season.
Matt’s Free Prediction
The Raiders are a mess, and San Diego seems to be surging towards a desperate attempt at a playoff spot.
If the same Chargers’ defense that held Denver in check shows up to this one, the party’s over for Oakland an may be just getting started in San Diego.
Chargers 28, Raiders 21