1. The Raiders run game is thriving at the right time and will exploit the Chargers run defense
Josh Jacobs had a pretty good game against the Indianapolis Colts and of course, that has resulted in the media hyping up the Raiders run game. Chris Simms jumped on this trend by touting the Raiders' running game and then even going after the Chargers run defense. A fan-submitted a question pointing out that Simms was wrong about the Chargers run defense being so horrible and of course, Simms went on a rant about how the Chargers' good performances against the run were either against bad teams or were because of other circumstances.
Simms even said the following:
"Let's see 'big boy' when we have a real running team that comes to town, alright? Because it has not looked that great against teams that can really run the football. The Houston Texans, last time that I checked, also suck at running the football, in fact, dead last. Yes, the Broncos game this week but the Broncos are dead in the water and it wasn't like it was a bad day. "
Okay, there is just so much to go off of here. Yes, the Chargers run defense really struggled against the Texans and really struggled at the beginning of the season against the run. However, since the bye week they have mostly cleaned it up and the main reason why the Texans game was so bad is that the team was missing several starters on the defensive line, most prominently Justin Jones.
The numbers don't lie, when Jones is playing the Chargers are much better against the run. When Jones plays opposing teams average 3.9 yards per carry. For what it's worth, that would rank tied for third in the NFL.
Then Simms says that the Broncos didn't have a bad day... what? They averaged 3.1 yards per carry on 27 attempts as one of the best running teams in the league. And he can say they were dead in the water all he wants, they still were in the playoff hunt heading into the game!
The Chargers run defense is by no means elite, but it is much better when Jones is on the field. That gets us to the other part of this point: the Raiders running attack. While Jacobs had a good game, saying that the Raiders are a good team at running the football is simply misleading.
Not only do they rank below average over the last month but the Raiders also rank 29th in the NFL in rushing yards per game!!!