LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Limiting Darren Waller and 4 keys to beat the Las Vegas Raiders

CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 01: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders catches a 8-yard reception ahead of outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #56 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 01: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders catches a 8-yard reception ahead of outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #56 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

2. Key the running backs involved in the passing game

This has been the LA Chargers’ bread and butter for years now and the team has shied away from using it as much with Austin Ekeler out. While it is still part of the offense, the Chargers have not capitalized on using running backs in the passing game as much as they otherwise would have.

This is a game where Justin Herbert’s main targets should be Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley. The Chargers are coming up against a team that is not great against running backs and the Bolts must capitalize. There is always room for a few deep balls but Jackson and Kelley really need to be the focus this week.

The Raiders have allowed the third-most running back passing targets this season while allowing the fifth-most receiving yards. On the ground, the team is right around the middle of the pack.

Troymaine Pope is doubtful for this game so I would not be surprised if the Chargers do not lean on their running backs as much as they should with a lack of depth. However, if the team is going to get the offense going then it is going to start with getting Jackson and Kelley several touches in the air.

The team ran the ball great last week against Denver and I am hopeful that they can run the ball as well against the Raiders. However, the main method of attack for the running backs should instead be via the passing game.

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