Defensive line: Advantage, LA Chargers
There is a chance that Joey Bosa does not play this week as he suffered a concussion against the Denver Broncos and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. However, even assuming he does not play, I still like the Chargers’ defensive line over the Raiders.
Melvin Ingram is back in action and should not be on a snap count, Uchenna Nwosu has been better than expected and the impact of Linval Joseph and Justin Jones on the inside has even made other defensive tackles — such as Jerry Tillery — better.
Linebackers: Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers have really been hurt by Drue Tranquill being injured and also have not benefitted from using Kenneth Murray so much in pass-coverage when everyone knew that was hig biggest flaw as a rookie.
He will eventually figure it out, but it has led to some issues. Tranquill being hurt definitely contributes to that, though, as the team became unable to stagger Murray and Denzel Perryman.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have a solid linebacker group with Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski and Nicholas Morrow.
Cornerbacks: Advantage, LA Chargers
As disappointing as the LA Chargers cornerbacks have been, they are still better than what the Raiders have to offer. However, while the Chargers are better, there is a pretty easy blueprint for them to struggle in this game.
All it takes is Casey Hayward to have another bad game and the Raiders to exploit the team’s slot corner, or the lack thereof. Once the Chargers get Chris Harris back it will be buttoned up.
Safeties: Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers safeties have been among the league’s worst this season. Rayshawn Jenkins had a really solid game in Denver last week but collectively, throughout the entire season, he and Nasir Adderley have not proven to be a good-enough duo.
Part of the problem is coaching as both guys are naturally gifted and can thrive in the right setting. But right now, there are very few teams I feel comfortable putting them ahead of.