Week 5 vs. Oakland Raiders
The first meeting between the Chargers and Raiders takes place in the first week of October. The StubHub Center will provide the setting and of course, it will be the first time the team gets its crack at the team now that John Gruden has returned to the Raiders’ sideline.
During his first run as Raiders head coach, Gruden posted a 7-1 record against the Chargers. His lone loss came the day after Christmas in 1999 when the Chargers rallied from behind in the fourth quarter behind, you guessed it, “Captain Comeback” Jim Harbaugh.
Gruden will be hard-pressed to find similar success against this Chargers team, at least this season. The Chargers swept the season series last year, beating the Raiders by one point in Oakland and then crushing them 30-10 in the season finale.
You’d have to expect that Gruden is going to right the ship in Oakland at some point but not this soon and perhaps not even this season.
The Chargers should be able to pick the Raiders’ defense apart in this game and as long as the offensive line can do its job against Khalil Mack and keep Philip Rivers upright, the Chargers should win this game decisively.
The Raiders gave up nearly 109 yards per game on the ground last season and I can see this being a big game for Melvin Gordon to potentially post 100 yards and two touchdowns.
I don’t see the Raiders’ offense being able to muster much up against the defense either. The second meeting of the year may be a little closer, but I see the Chargers winning this one by a couple of scores.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Raiders 13