Bolt Beat Week 6 Staff Picks: Can Chargers make it two in a row?
By Travis Wakeman
The Los Angeles Chargers are looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 7 and 8 of last season.
There was a 10-day span in between those wins over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. Those wins came over the defending Super Bowl champions and the team that would eventually represent the NFC in the Super Bowl last year.
That’s as good as the Chargers have looked in the last calendar year, so it’s been awhile since fans could look forward to a winning streak.
In order to get it, they will have to defeat slumping divisional rival Oakland, a team that has lost its last three games after a 2-0 start. The Bolts would be all too happy to make it four straight.
For predictions on this game, the staff here at Bolt Beat chimed in. Their picks are below. The number in parenthesis is that writer’s win-loss record in picking Chargers games this year.
And please, use the comment section below to tell us how you see this game going down.
Alexander Insdorf (2-3): “I would normally be very confident about picking the Raiders in Oakland. They tend to have a big advantage against the Bolts there. But the status of Derek Carr puts this game in toss-up territory for me. Back injuries for a quarterback are never good, and it’s very possible the Raiders could be rushing him back into action. We also all saw how disjointed the Raiders offense looked with EJ Manuel this past weekend. But this is a Raiders offense that really hasn’t clicked the entire year. And while the Chargers’ secondary is questionable sometimes, I think a hurt Derek Carr will struggle with the offense as well. Winner of this game also moves up to third place in the division, which may not seem incredibly important, but this is a division game with a lot on the line. The Chargers are also coming off an important win against the Giants on Sunday to get their first win, which can be massive for a team. It’ll be a tight one, but with the status and quality of Carr up in the air, I’ve got, LAC 24-OAK 23”.
Tyler Schoon (2-3): “Good to get a win last week. However, Chargers’ fans won’t he able to enjoy it for much longer. Although the Bolts have a good shot to attack the Raiders’ weak secondary, Marshawn Lynch will keep Philip Rivers and company off the field. The Raiders’ cornerbacks will notch their first interception of the season off of a poor throw from Rivers. It’ll be a close score, but a game that won’t be as close as said score indicates. Raiders 27, Chargers 23.”
Anthony Totri (2-3): “The way the Raiders have played thus far is quite surprising – and not in a positive sense. I personally believe the decision to start Derek Carr so soon after a back injury is a ridiculous one. Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa do enough for the Bolts to get the win. Chargers 24 – Raiders 20.”
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Scott Iger (1-4): “It’s tough to believe it but the Chargers actually managed to win last week, a game that before the season I would have never expected us to pull out. Maybe I’m sipping the kool-aid a little too much right now, but I like our odds against a struggling Raiders team. Bolts pull out with a win 27-24.”
Kade Dohmen (0-5): “Both defenses are vulnerable and both offenses can put up points. Carr vs Rivers? If Carr is 100% you take Oakland. Melvin Gordon could tear up the Raiders D, but I think Oakland has more to fight for. Oakland wins 30-20.”
Matt Pagels (2-3): “I know the Chargers didn’t play an A+ game in their win against the Giants, but that win is absolutely huge. They snapped a nine-game losing streak and have a chance to revive their season if they beat the Raiders. They’re up against a not-so-good defense and a banged up Derek Carr. I would have picked against L.A. a week ago, but I’m going with the Bolts for the second week in a row.”
Travis Wakeman (2-3): “If this was the Raiders team we expected it to be, there is no way I pick the Chargers in this game. However, it’s not, and I do feel that the Raiders may be in panic-mode putting Carr back on the field this fast. So I’ll take the Chargers in a close one. Chargers 21, Raiders 20.”