Will Derek Carr and the Raiders season finale against the Chargers be grand?
Eyes on the defense
The Raiders defense will have their hands full on Sunday
Many learned one thing from the first matchup between these two teams. Specifically, the Los Angeles Chargers’ familiarity with Raiders’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is evident. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for three touchdowns with no interceptions and was only sacked twice. However, while the defense has been playing outstanding late, this is not a matchup that bodes well. Ultimately, Gus Bradley must change things to deter a red-hot Charger offense.
Raiders must dial up the blitz, not often, but enough
As it stands now, the Raiders rank dead last in the NFL in blitz rates, as they only blitz on 12 percent of their defensive plays. While Justin Herbert ranks 12th when blitzed according to PFF’s Premium Stats, the element of surprise is on the Raiders side. Going into this contest, when you put on the film, you will see the Raiders playing numerous variations of Cover 3.
It is no secret that they do this consistently, so switching things up to more of a pressure man-match concept at times could benefit the Silver and Black. Ultimately, the defensive playcalling has to show that Herbert will not be expecting to not get exposed throughout the game.
At some point, Raiders safety Trevon Moehrig has to get an interception
There have been numerous contests where Trevon Moehrig has got his hands on a ball that should have been intercepted. While ideal, sometimes you just have to make a play. Moehrig was most recently named to NFL.com’s All-Rookie team. Clearly, the talent and capabilities are there, and he will be put to the test Sunday against the likes of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
The Las Vegas Raiders pulled off another come from behind victory when Daniel Carlson kicked a 33 yard field goal to keep the Raiders playoff hopes alive.
But, overall, the Raiders have a golden opportunity to silence many critics and, more importantly, secure a playoff berth this Sunday. It win or go home, and the aftermath of losing a game of this magnitude are not ones that any team enjoys.