Oakland Raiders vs. Chargers Preview: Keys to the Game

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball past San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland won 37-29. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Make San Diego Stop the Run

The Chargers defense this year has been relatively solid against the pass, good enough for 11th in the league in pass defense while allowing only 20 TD passes through 14 games. But the Chargers have sacrificed solid run defense, and have allowed opposing teams to run for 100 or more yards eleven times in 14 games. They are 2-1 in those three games, including last week when they allowed Miami to run for only 44 yards on them.

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The Raiders run game has been a disappointment in terms of overall statistics on the year – a 3.9 yard per carry average, ranked 25th in team rushing yards in the league, and 28th in carries. But the Raiders have had some success running the ball against certain opponents, including San Diego, whom the Raiders managed their third-highest team rushing total of the year against back in October with 130 yards.

When the run game is functioning well, so is Derek Carr, who can use play action and exploit stacked boxes to wreak havoc and set up huge plays in the passing game. The Raiders used play action passing to a high degree of success in the first game against San Diego, and forcing San Diego to play the run could lead to the same type of success again on Christmas Eve.