The Raiders are in San Diego to face the Chargers. It's always a good time for the Raiders to visit their California rivals from the South because the stadium is usually more black than blue on game day. It's like a home away from home for the Raiders as they still have strong ties to Southern California.
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
When: 1:25pm Pacific Time, Sunday December 22 2013
TV: CBS (Live locally)
Radio: 95.7 The Game (Bay Area)
Online: NFL Game Rewind
Even before last week's loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders were officially out of the playoff race. Then they went out and lost in historic fashion showing they are more suited for a high draft pick than they are ready to actually be competitive.
The Raiders had seven turnovers in the game. Five of those turnovers came from Matt McGloin, four of which on interception. It showed yet again the Raiders issues at the quarterback position this season. Either they don't move the ball at all or they move the ball and turn it over. Still he led the Raiders to their most points scored all season, so now he must try and protect the ball while still being aggressive and putting points on the board.
With the season now officially a wash, the Raiders have two more games to try and evaluate what they have worth keeping.
Even still, this will not be treated as some kind of preseason where it is all about talent evaluation and not about winning. The Raiders will still be trying to win games first and foremost, even if that means losing premium draft position.
Just two more games left in the season and this could be the biggest one. That's because the Raiders have a chance to knock the Chargers out of the playoffs just as the Chargers did to them two seasons ago.
The Raiders will have a near full stable of offensive weapons at their disposal this week. Darren McFadden returns this week and Denarius Moore is a week into his return as well.
Another offensive weapon getting some use of late is Terrelle Pryor. He has come in the game in various packages and Greg Olson says those plays have thrown the defense off balance.
The Chargers have been on a hot streak of late, winning three of their last four including wins over the Chiefs and Broncos. The Phillip Rivers to Keenan Allen connection has worked quite well and has Allen poised to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Ryan Mathews has also played well, now over 1000 yards rushing (1012) on the season.
What is most interesting is the play of the Chargers defense. They seem to actually be getting better as the season goes along, which is just weird. I asked Chargers blogger, John Gennaro, from Bolts From the Blue about the Chargers defense as well as several other insights in my Five Good Questions this week.
This is a tough match-up to say the least. And that is definitely saying the least. While the Chargers are firing on all cylinders, the Raiders have broken down on the side of the freeway with no light ahead. They will try to get this clunker to sputter through the last two games and into the off-season. Even if they have to get out and push and kick it into gear against the Chargers.