TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Oakland Raiders Vs. San Diego Chargers

Raiders
Chargers
Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers
Buffalo Bills vs San Diego Chargers
Quarterback
The Raiders are counting on Carson Palmer to help them turn their situation around. He has solid measurables, including good arm strength, quick release and awareness in the pocket. However, his teams rarely win.
Winner Philip Rivers remains an upper-echelon quarterback in the NFL, ranking somewhere in the top 10. He does not have text book form, but he has a strong enough arm and leadership skills.
Offense
Darren McFadden has the kind of speed and explosiveness to take the Raiders offense to a new level, but can he stay healthy for a full season? Darrius Heyward-Bey is a burner at wide receiver and caught 64 passes last year.
Winner The Chargers have plenty of weapons on the offensive side, including Ronnie Brown. Wide receivers Malcolm Floyd and Robert Meachem have the kind of big-play ability that make this unit dangerous.
Defense
Winner Dennis Allen has brought in newcomer Jason Tarver to run the defense and the Raiders may employ a 3-4 in addition to their standard 4-3. That does not usually work. Defensive tackle Richard Seymour is still a monster to block.
The Chargers once again threw their hands in the air after last season and brought in their third defensive coordinator in as many years in John Pagano. The Chargers ranked 32nd in first-down conversions allowed last year.
Special Teams
Winner While the Raiders have not been a force in the NFL for many years, the placekicker-punter combination of Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler is the best in the NFL. Jacoby Ford is a dynamic kick returner.
Nate Kaeding has been a dependable kicker for years, but he tore his ACL in the first game of the season and missed the 2011 season. He returns this year. Punter Mike Scifres excels at killing the ball inside the 10-yard line.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers Buffalo Bills vs San Diego Chargers

While this matchup appears fairly even, the Chargers’ edge at the quarterback position and on the offensive side of the ball should be too much to overcome. If the defense can make some improvement, they appear to be an AFC West contender. The Chargers have the edge in this game.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    NCAA Championship Tale: #1 Wisconsin Badgers Vs. #1 Duke Blue Devils

    Two No. 1 seeds battle for the national title. Here is a look at the matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and Duke Blue Devils.

  2. Andrew Harrison #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons, Getty Images) Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #1 Kentucky

    The Final Four features very few surprises this season, with three number one seeds making it into the final weekend of the 2015 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

  3. Jahlil Okafor #15 and Justise Winslow #12 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo Credit: Bob Leverone, Getty Images) Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Duke Vs. #7 Michigan State

    In 1999, Tom Izzo took the Michigan State Spartans to the Final Four for the first time on his watch, and they met Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.

See All Tales of the Tape