STATS:Overall: 13th (335.3 Yds/G)Passing: 5th (201.5 Yds/G)Interceptions: 30th (6 INTs)Sacks: 2nd (32.0 Sacks)Rushing: 28th (133.7 Yds/G)Scoring: 19th (23.3 Pts/G)PLAYERS TO WATCH:DT Richard Seymour6-6, 310, Georgia, 10 years in the NFL44 Tackles, 4.5 SacksSeymour is a 5x Pro Bowl selection, 3x All Pro, and a 3x Super Bowl Champion. He came over from the New England Patriots last season and added a big presence in the middle of this defensive line. He is one of the best in the league at his position. The interior lineman will have a lot to handle with him coming up the middle. It will be up to Hardwick and Dielman to keep him off the quarterback.
CD Nnamdi Asomugha6-2, 210, California, 8 years in the NFL15 TacklesNnamdi is a 3x Pro Bowl selection and a 1x All Pro. He is arguably the best cover corner in the league. We need to watch his status for the game since he did not practice yesterday. Philip Rivers does not have any problem in challenging Asomugha. Malcom Floyd should be able to play in this game and he tore up the Raiders defense the last time. It will be up to Asomugha to try and slow Floyd.
DT Tommy Kelly6-6, 300, Mississippi State, 7 years in the NFL44 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 1 Forced FumbleTommy Kelly is having one of his best seasons of his career. He was an undrafted free agent brought in by the Raiders and now he is leading the team with 5.5 sacks. Again, the line will have to do a good job of keeping Philip Rivers standing with the pressure that the Raiders can provide with their down lineman.
OVERALL:The Oakland defense gets after the quarterback. They are second in the league in sacks (just behind the Chargers) and they are able to provide a lot of pressure with their front 4 lineman. Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly are able to put a lot of heat on the QB, so Philip Rivers will need to create some time by moving around in the pocket if he wants to hit the deep pass.
The running game will be key in beating this Raider defense. There should be a heavy dose of Mike Tolbert in this game and Ryan Mathews looks like he may be able to contribute this week as well. The defense is strong against the pass, but has struggled to stop the run this season.
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