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LA Chargers: Five keys to a win over the struggling Las Vegas Raiders

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers throws a fourth quarter pass against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers throws a fourth quarter pass against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

With jobs on the line, what are the five keys to the LA Chargers upsetting the Raiders?

The remaining three games for the LA Chargers are all divisional matchups. Coaches on the  Anthony Lynn-led staff are trying to salvage the season, and to put it bluntly, save their jobs.

Some of the players on the team need to make a good final impression heading into the offseason. Have we seen enough from players like Chris Harris, Casey Hayward, or Trai Turner for them to be shoe ins on the roster next year? My answer would currently be no.

Even if the playoffs aren’t on the line in these last three games, the future of the team certainly is.

1. Take advantage of an imploding defense

If there was ever a week where an opposing team desperately wanted to play the Raiders, it’s this game. The reason? A full on defensive implosion.

The Raiders haven’t been good on defense all year, but things have quickly intensified in the last week. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was sacked on Monday in favor of Rod Marinelli after a blowout loss to the Colts.

That’s chaotic enough in and of itself, but the Raiders compounded that by firing their defensive coordinator on a short week prior to Thursday Night Football. Guenther was fired two days ago and it’s up to Marinelli to patch holes in this sinking ship of a defense in 48 hours before their most important game of the season. Yikes.

Oh, and in addition to that, the Raiders will be missing a ton of defensive players. Jonathan Abram, Clelin Ferrell, Nicholas Morrow and Damon Arnette have all been declared out for Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Chargers’ offense has been struggling compared to what it was earlier in the season. The last time they scored more than 20 points was nearly a month ago against the Jets.

Putting the offensive line or uncomfortable Lynn-Shane Steichen dynamic aside though, they have to score in this game. Offensive struggles are understandable against Atlanta, New England, and Buffalo. It wouldn’t be understandable here.

They have to put up points in bunches against a struggling defense with personnel changes and tons of injuries on a short week. No way around it.

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