Rivers Will Rally in a Shootout
Regardless of the injuries to his receiving corps and offensive line, future Hall of Fame quarterback Phillip Rivers will do whatever it takes to compete in a high-scoring affair, especially against an unproven Raiders defense.
Despite having back-to-back defensive stands to secure victories in Weeks 3 and 4, the Raiders defense is still among the worst in the league, as the Silver and Black rank 32nd in passing yards allowed per game (325.5) and 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (134.5).
On the heels of improved performances from their edge-rushers and defensive backs, the Raiders’ defense is heating up as the season progresses; however, their play doesn’t compete with Rivers’ hot start to the season.
Through four games, Rivers has completed over 67 percent of his passes for 1,110 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.
Even without guys like Allen and Woodhead in the lineup, Rivers has exceeded expectations with the little talent still standing within their receiving corps.
After signing a four-year, $24 million contract this offseason, former Cleveland Browns receiver Travis Benjamin has landed in a premier role, pulling in a team-high 21 receptions for 277 yards and two touchdowns.
Though he has dropped the ball at times, Benjamin hasn’t completely flopped beneath weight of his contract and the plethora of injuries.
Opposite of Benjamin, second-year receiver Tyrell Williams has breathed life into the Chargers’ receiving corps, and unlike Benjamin, he doesn’t have a costly fumble tarnishing his record.
At 6’4”, 205 pounds, Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Western Oregon, has brought in 16 receptions for 241 yards and a touchdown, 145 of his yards coming after the catch. He could be an x-factor for San Diego on Sunday.
Inside of Benjamin and Williams, Rivers has also effectively utilized rookie tight end Hunter Henry in wake of veteran Antonio Gates’ injury.
Henry has brought in nine receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown in his last two games.