The Las Vegas Raiders are alive and well after a shocking upset last Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts that kept their season alive. It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Silver and Black, but it all comes down to one last game against the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday night.
The current NFL betting lines have the Raiders as a three-point underdog at home. Let’s break down how many points Las Vegas might be able to put on the board this week.
Chargers at Raiders (+3)
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022
- Time: 8:20 PM EST
- Venue: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, NV
Las Vegas Raiders Scoring Trends
The Raiders’ offense has struggled to put points on the board as of late. In Las Vegas’ last five games, they’ve averaged just 16 points per game but have still managed a 3-2 record.
The good news is that they are trending up. Over the past three games, they’ve increased their offensive production each week and have averaged 18.7. The Raiders have scored 21.2 points per game for the season, which ranks 18th in the league.
The Chargers’ Defense is Beatable
Los Angeles will give up points. The Chargers rank 26th in the league in points against, giving up 26.5 per game. They held the Denver Broncos to 13 points last week, but the prior two weeks surrendered 41 points to the Houston Texans and 34 points to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Unfortunately for a Raiders team that hasn’t run the ball well, the Chargers’ weak spot is their rushing defense. The Chargers give up 136.7 rushing yards per game (30th), while the Raiders are averaging just 90.2 yards on the ground (29th).
The Raiders’ strong suit is the passing game, where they rank sixth in the league (274.7). Los Angeles has been decent against the pass this year, allowing 224.3 yards per contest (13th), but they’ve given up an average of 298 passing yards in their last three games. The Raiders and QB Derek Carr could take advantage of this matchup.
Chargers vs. Raiders: What To Expect
After starting the season 3-0, the Chargers halted the Raiders’ winning streak back in Week 4 with a 28-14 victory. In that game, Las Vegas could only muster 213 yards of total offense.
Look for Las Vegas to run the ball early and often with running back Josh Jacobs to control the clock and take advantage of a vulnerable Chargers run defense.
If they can run the ball effectively, they have a shot to slow down Justin Herbert and the high-powered Chargers offense. But if they fall behind early, they’ll be forced to abandon the running game, and I don’t think they have the firepower to keep up with the Chargers in a shootout.
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I think the Raiders run comes to an end against the Chargers. Given the Chargers’ defensive deficiencies, I expect the Raiders to score somewhere around their season average (21.2), but not much more if they can’t run the ball.
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