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Raiders-Chargers Week 15: 5 keys to game

What Raiders must do to beat Chargers

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Khalil Mack
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers play Thursday night on a short week to begin Week 15 of the NFL season. Kickoff is at 5:15 p.m.

Here are five keys to a Raiders win:

Contain Khalil Mack:

The former Raiders’ star has been excellent while playing them and he had a monster game in the Chargers’ Week 4 24-17 home win over Las Vegas. Mack, who is having a great year in his 10th NFL season, had six of the Chargers’ seven sacks against Raiders’ quarterback Aidan O’Connell in his first NFL start. It’s doubtful Mack will repeat that performance, but he must be accounted for and he simply can’t wreck this game as well.

Stop the run:

The Chargers had 155 yards rushing in Week4 and they were without Austin Ekeler. The Raiders can’t allow the Chargers to run the ball down their throats or it will allow quarterback Easton Stick, playing for the injured Justin Herbert, to get comfortable.

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Contain Keelan Allen:

Allen is having a huge season. He was banged up in Week 4 and had just three catches for 32 yards. Allen is a clutch player and he can give the Raiders big problems if he’s not closely monitored.

Win turnover battle:

The Raiders lost the turnover battle 3-1 in the first meeting. Yes, the Raiders have lost games this season when they won the turnover battle. But taking care of the ball is important in this game.

Convert on third down:

The Raiders were just one of 11 on third down in the first game against the Chargers. That is no formula to win. O’Connell must sustain drives to keep Las Vegas’ drives alive, which, of course, was a major issue Sunday in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota.