It’s week 16 in the NFL and the Oakland Raiders travel to San Diego for their second meeting of the 2013 season with their division rival Chargers. Or as I like to call them, the Tijuana Light Sockets. As expected, with only two games left in the season, the Raiders are eliminated from playoff contention. San Diego has a very slim chance at making the playoffs, but it’s still a chance. Lets take a look at the then and now since their first matchup in week 5.
When the Raiders beat the Chargers 27-17 in week 5 at Oakland, it evened their 2013 season records at 2-3. Since then, they have gone in opposite directions. The Chargers went 5-4 (2-2 home, 3-2 away) with victories at home over the Colts, Giants and road victories over the Jaguars, Chiefs and Broncos. While the Raiders went 2-7 (1-3 home, 1-4 away) with victories at home over the Steelers and at the Texans. Since week 5, the Chargers have been giving up about 20 points per game and the Raiders have been giving up over 30 per game.
Week 5 just so happen to be the best game of Terrelle Pryor’s young career. He set high marks in completion percentage (78.3) and passer rating (135.7). As well as tying his career high in touchdown passes at 2. It also marked the 3rd straight start he did not have an interception (he missed week 4 against Washington with a concussion). Week 5 also was the start of the end for TP2. In his next 4 starts he would only have 1 TD pass, to go with 8 interceptions. He would never complete more than 54% of his passes and would never have a passer rating higher than 55.7, as the Raiders went 1-3.
In the Raiders week 5 victory over the Chargers, they were the beneficiaries of 5 turnovers. Three interceptions, one fumble and one muffed punt. You could even call it 6 turnovers as they stopped the Charges on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line early in the 2nd quarter. The Raiders did not have a turnover that game.
If the Raiders hope to beat the Chargers again, they will need to win the turnover battle once more. They will also need the offense to get into the end zone in the second half, something they were unable to do in the first matchup. They could also use a career game from their new starting QB, Matt McGloin. Lastly it couldn’t hurt to have the run game be more productive, in week 5 they had 104 yards, with 31 of those coming on the legs of Pryor. Bottom line, if the Raiders are going to beat the Chargers and sweep their AFC West series, they are going to have to play equally as great as in their first upset of their rivals.