2. The Las Vegas Raiders defense has been really good down the stretch
Once again, the Las Vegas Raiders had a good showing on defense against the Indianapolis Colts and the narrative has become that they are thriving on the defensive side of the ball. With the offense only averaging 17.7 points per game the last nine games, it is easy to point at the defense for being the source of the team's success.
The defense certainly has some solid players on it. Maxx Crosby is having a sensational season and deserves credit and Denzel Perryman has hit that potential that we all saw with the Chargers and has turned it into a Pro Bowl season.
However, the secondary is a mess with Brandon Facyson starting at outside corner and Dallin Leavitt starting at safety. This is not a defense that has a ton of talent and while the overall numbers in recent weeks seem promising, the fact is that the Raiders have had some easy quarterback competition.
Since the Raiders played the Chargers they have faced Justin Fields and the Bears, Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos (twice), Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, Daniel Jones and the Giants, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (twice), Joe Burrow and the Bengals, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team, Baker Mayfield and the Browns, and Carson Wentz and the Colts.
The three best quarterbacks (and offenses) in that slate is Mahomes and the Chiefs, Burrow and the Bengals and Prescott and the Cowboys. In those four games, the Raiders allowed 41, 48, 32 and 33 points. They are 1-3 in those four with the only win coming in overtime in the worst-officiated game of the season against the Cowboys.
Awesome, they can hold Washington and Cleveland to under 20 points but unless the Chargers seriously shoot themselves in the foot, that won't be the case on Sunday. The Chargers rank third in the NFL in offensive DVOA (higher than any of those teams) and sixth in points per game (right behind Kansas City and Cleveland).