Week 15 brings an AFC West matchup for the Las Vegas Raiders, as they will play host to the Los Angeles Chargers inside Allegiant Stadium. It has been a rough go for the Silver and Black since beating both the New York Giants and Jets in back-to-back weeks, as a three-game losing streak has them on the brink of being eliminated from AFC Playoff contention.
Here, we look at some bold predictions in this AFC West battle in Week 15.
Raiders score 20-plus points
It has been quite some time since the Raiders have score 20-or-more points, as that has not happened since an early November game against the New York Giants. Since then, they have scored 16, 13, 17, and zero points in their games, losing three of four, and landing in last place in the AFC West.
Thursday night could change their fortunes, as the Chargers are hurt going into this one on the defensive, and offensive sides of the ball. If O'Connell can find some of his early season magic, and Josh Jacobs can get it going on the ground, the Chargers defense is not as good as many projected them to be this season.
Raiders defense holds the Chargers under 10 points
The Raiders defense was outstanding this past weekend against the Minnesota Vikings, holding them to only a field goal. Las Vegas was so good on that side of the ball that it forced Kevin O'Connell to bench Joshua Dobbs in favor of Nick Mullens, something that ended up hurting the Raiders in the long run.
Easton Stick will get the start for the Chargers on Thursday night, and he will be without his No. 1 weapon in Keenan Allen, who was ruled out with a heel injury. The Raiders defense has played out of their minds in recent weeks, so I would expect that trend to continue against Stick and this Chargers offense on Thursday night.
Michael Mayer has his breakout game for the Raiders
Even if they do play, Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams are listed as questionable for this matchup, so they may be a bit slowed on Thursday night. If that is the case, O'Connell is going to have to find other options, and it could end up being a big day for rookie tight end Michael Mayer.
Mayer has gotten better as the season has worn on, and could be in for a breakout game in this one. The Raiders are looking for any kind of spark on that side of the ball after scoring zero points their last time out, so Bo Hardegree may dial up to get Mayer more involved, especially in the red zone.