The beginning of the second half of the season starts this week for the Raiders at home versus the 6-2 Los Angeles Chargers. It’s a brutal stretch for the Raiders in the final eight games with contests against the Chargers, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, Broncos, and two with the Chiefs.
Six weeks ago the Raiders lost to the Chargers in LA, 26-10. The Raiders were never really competitive in the game, in fact the score was not indicative of truly how bad the game was. Jordy Nelson scored the lone touchdown of the day late in the fourth quarter.
The roster looks slightly different from the last time these two teams met. Since week five Amari Cooper was traded and Bruce Irvin was released. New additions include defensive ends, Kony Ealy and Jacquies Smith, both who were signed this week.
Also expect to see increased roles from rookies Nick Nelson (Injured) and Jason Cabinda (practice squad) who were both not active for the last meeting.
Let’s take a look at what players and coaches are saying ahead of the week 10 match up.
Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson, if things can be taken from the first meeting with the Chargers.
“I think any time you are playing an opponent twice in one season, you try to gather what worked and what didn’t work in the first game. You go off of that, but they’ve played three games since we’ve played them. They’ll change some things up as well. Every game is different, but certainly you try to pick out what went well and what didn’t work.”
Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther, on the evolution of the Chargers jet sweeps.
“They’re running a lot of it in certain personnel groupings. Whether it be three receivers or two backs, whatever it is, but it’s funny because at the end of the Bye Week I did a study on all of the jet sweeps. When you see, you see New England, you see Cincinnati, you see Atlanta, you see all these teams running it. When you break it down, they’re all the same plays. So everyone goes in, most of the offensive coaches go in and say, ‘Hey, where are the big plays coming from. Oh that was a good one, let’s put it in.’ We just have to, on defense, you just have to stay on top of the curve. You have to trust your eyes and your technique in the defense and play it because it all fits together. Just as along as everybody is on the same page with all of those things, you shouldn’t have those issues.”
Quarterback Derek Carr, on the Chargers defense.
“Very physical. They love to run to the ball, hit, they want to impose their will. Just like last time, when you turn the tape on that’s what you see. Same thing. They have great players, they’re a great team and they’re playing well with each other. It shows.”
Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, on Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall.
“You know they play it well, they are big physical guys, they play their technique well, and they anchor well. And if you are not good with your technique, if you are not good with double teams, and you are not good with your technique steps first of all it’s hard to move them. Second of all they can get off blocks. Hurst especially, he’s a good young player that’s quick, has some quick lateral movement and he’s always working.”
Chargers Safety Derwin James, when asked about what he sees from the Raiders on film.
“I mean they still the same Raider team, they still got a good team. I mean Derek Carr he’s playing good, completing a lot of passes at a high level. Still have Martavis Bryant, so they still got a lot of guys over there that can make plays and you have to be aware of. I feel like it will be a good test, good challenge going into their place.”