Melvin Gordon Should Keep the Bolts’ Offense Two-Dimensional
Chargers second-year running back Melvin Gordon has successfully rebounded after seeing the end zone zero times during his rookie campaign, as the former Wisconsin back now shares the NFL lead in touchdowns (6) with San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.
Without Woodhead and Oliver, Gordon stands alone as the Bolts’ feature back, and though he is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, he should have a positive impact against Oakland’s porous run defense.
In addition to giving up the second most rushing yards per game this season, the Raiders have allowed opposing backs to average a league-high 5.1 yards per carry.
Raiders inside linebacker Malcolm Smith is officially listed as questionable after being limited in Friday’s practice with a quad injury, and if he is unable to suit up, his absence will only add to Oakland’s woes against the run.
In wake of Smith’s injury, Oakland added former Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley Jr., and despite just joining the team on Tuesday, he is looking forward to making an impact, early.
"“Terminology is the biggest thing,” Riley said, via Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com. “Assignment wise it’s pretty much the same. Linebacker is linebacker no matter where you play at, but just the terminology, the way they get to explaining… what I’m supposed to do, is a little different than what I’m used to, but I’ll get it, over time, I’ll get it.”"
With Riley Jr. taking over in the middle, the Raiders’ interior defense will undoubtedly take a step back because of his inexperience with the offense, and, in turn, Gordon and the Chargers should look attack the middle of Oakland’s defense on the ground.
Prediction: Oakland Raiders 34; San Diego Chargers 28