The 2-5 LA Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders in a must-win game in Week 9.
It feels silly to say that a game is a must-win as early as Week 9 but that is where we are with the LA Chargers season. The Bolts are running out of time and if they want to make any sort of run this season.
This is also a must-win from a pride standpoint. The Chargers have not won a divisional game since Week 17 of the 2018 season. They are 0-8 in that stretch and have lost two in a row to the Raiders.
Quite frankly, as a Charger fan, it is easy to expect the worst with the way that the 2020 season has transpired, especially last week’s ugly game against the Denver Broncos.
The total for this game has been set at 52.5, courtesy of The Action Network. Here is how the Bolt Beat staff sees the game going down.
LA Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders predictions:
Alexander Insdorf (6-6-0): Las Vegas Raiders 33, LA Chargers 27
“LA will keep it close in a shootout with the Raiders, but the defense just won’t be able to finish the game for the Bolts. With no Joey Bosa and a lot of question marks in the secondary, there’s simply too much to overcome for Gus Bradley’s unit. Darren Waller is also a matchup nightmare.”
Brandon Viera (5-9-0): LA Chargers 37, Las Vegas Raiders 27
“Things have to change. The odds of this happening every single week get slimmer and slimmer the longer it goes on. Please let this be the turning point this team needs against a rival Raiders team. Please. We can’t take much more pain.”
Devon Auriemma (10-4-0): Las Vegas Raiders 30, LA Chargers 27
“Derek Carr has been one of the most underrated players in the league while leading the Raiders to a 4-3 record. Justin Herbert and the offense has been good, but the Chargers’ inability to close out games makes it hard for me to predict them to win, especially without knowing the status of Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen and other key players. This game could easily go either way, but I’ll give the slight edge to the Raiders in this one.”
Ryan Daley (8-2-0): Las Vegas Raiders 34, LA Chargers 30
“With Joey Bosa most likely not playing, I don’t know how I feel about this Chargers’ defense against a pretty decent Raider offense. I do think Herbert will be able to keep the Chargers in it but my confidence is low after last week’s game.”
Tyler Gallagher (8-6-0): Las Vegas Raiders 35, LA Chargers 30
“The Los Angeles Chargers offense is surprisingly firing on all cylinders on the backs of Justin Herbert and Shane Steichen, despite a lackluster offensive line and the crucial Austin Ekeler injury. While this tandem will keep the Chargers in every game, it won’t be enough to overcome a flailing defense that might be missing Joey Bosa and Casey Hayward in addition to its previously injured starters, including Chris Harris and Derwin James.”
Jason Reed (9-5-0): LA Chargers 34, Las Vegas Raiders 31
Should I be this hopeful? Probably not. The LA Chargers have done nothing to convince any of us that they will win this game, especially with Joey Bosa and potentially Keenan Allen not playing.
However, I really like the Chargers’ offense against this Raiders defense and this feels like a game that they win to get us all to buy back in only to break our hearts next week. You know that feeling. They do it every year.
It will be 27-24 Chargers with about four and a half minutes left. The defense will not be able to stop Vegas, who will score a touchdown to take the lead, 31-27. Then, with a minute a handful of timeouts, Justin Herbert will get the first true game-winning drive of his career.