LA Chargers’ Week 9 and bye:
Week 9: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The Oak-sorry, force of habit. The Las Vegas Raiders will face the Chargers for the first time as the visiting team. Both teams have announced that there will be no fans in the stands over the course of the 2020 season, which might take a bit of the flame out of the rivalry. That might be a relief for the Chargers fans though, as we want Taylor or Justin Herbert to be able to hear the play calls this game.
The Raiders have decent offensive pieces this year. Weird Lynn Bowden Jr. trade aside, they can still threaten defenses if Derek Carr plays well with Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Bryan Edwards, and Henry Ruggs III this season. While I’m still not a believer in Carr, he did have one of his best seasons last year.
My real question marks with the Raiders are Jon Gruden’s play-calling and the development of their young defense. Can Maxx Crosby take it to another level? The same question applies to Clelin Ferrell.
I’d say the Chargers and Raiders are about even on offense, but the Chargers’ have some elite defensive pieces that the Raiders just cannot match yet until further into their rebuild. They’ll split the season series, but the Chargers get the first win.
LA Chargers record: 6-3
Week 10: BYE
Headed into the bye, this team is looking pretty good by my projections. While 6-3 may seem high for some people, I really don’t think 5-4 or being slightly over .500 by this point is that crazy with the schedule and talent on the team.
The question everyone might be wondering heading into the bye will be about Herbert. Will the team roll him out heading into the back half of the season? That probably depends a lot on their record and Taylor’s performance. For now, I’ll say Taylor is still starting at this point due to the lack of a real offseason for Herbert.
Another question- How many injuries do the Chargers have by this point? If this team can manage to deal with the injuries like they did in 2018, it may not be so bad. If the injuries start piling up like they did in 2019 though, this team is in trouble. They can’t afford many more injuries, especially after the devastating loss of James.