When the Oakland Raiders take the field in the O.Co Coliseum on Sunday, the team will be looking for the first win at home since November 1, 2015.
It’s been almost a full year since the Silver and Black won a game in front of its home crowd.
Not only will they be searching for its first home win of the season, but they will also look to continue the team’s best start to the season since 2002 when they started 4-0.
The San Diego Chargers are not off to a very good start in the 2016 season. Three out of the team’s four games have ended with San Diego blowing a fourth quarter lead. Now at 1-3, the Chargers are looking to just keep up with the rest of the AFC West.
While the Chargers have struggled in the fourth quarter, the Raiders have played its best toward the end of games.
Late touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints, in week one, and the Baltimore Ravens, in week four, have kept the Raiders right behind the division leading Denver Broncos.
Derek Carr has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season and is an MVP candidate through the first four games of the season.
He ranks in the top five in completion percentage, touchdowns and quarterback rating while only throwing one interception this season.
The Raiders will rely heavily on Carr against the Chargers with Latavius Murray likely missing the game due to a toe injury. Without Oakland’s lead back, the offense should be reliant on the pass game.
Anytime these two teams play against each other, it’s a high scoring affair. The Raiders won both match-ups against the Chargers last season and they combined for 109 points in those games.
Phillip Rivers can put up points with the best of them. San Diego doesn’t have wide receiver Keenan Allen and may not have Antonio Gates for the game, but the team will still be able to put up a lot of points.
Expect yet another shootout between these two teams.
Including the game against San Diego on Sunday, three out of the next five games will be against division opponents in Oakland.
It’s a crucial stretch of football for the Raiders. If they want to stay pace with the Broncos and keep a lead on the Chiefs, the first division games are must-wins.
Three out of the last four games of the season for Oakland will be on the road against division opponents. The Raiders may be 3-0 away from home so far, but games on the road, against division opponents are always tough to win.
Prediction: Oakland outlasts San Diego and wins 37-34.
San Diego’s inability to hold on to a lead will ultimately cost the team. The Raiders are at its best in the fourth quarter, while the Chargers appears to be at its worst.
Both quarterbacks will throw for over 300 yards and there will be no signs of defense on either side. Fantasy owners who have players from both teams will be in fantasy football heaven during the game.
Oakland will move to 4-1, something fans of the team haven’t seen in 14 years. The Chargers, on the other hand, will fall to 1-4 and also eye a spot at the top of next year’s NFL draft.