The LA Chargers are on the road in Week 13 to take on the Las Vegas Raiders for the second time this season. This matchup is different than the Week 1 matchup, as the Raiders' chances of making the playoffs are incredibly slim (they would have to win out) while the Chargers essentially control their own destiny.
The Week 1 matchup between these two teams was all about revenge for the Bolts. The last time these two teams played in Las Vegas, the Raiders ended the Chargers' season and made the playoffs themselves. Now, Josh McDaniels' team is looking to essentially deliver the same dagger, while the Chargers can do the same to Vegas.
As bad as the Raiders' record is this season, they are still a team that the Chargers must respect. They actually have a better point differential than the Chargers while also ranking higher in DVOA. They also have a nightmare matchup for the Chargers to deal with as running back Josh Jacobs has been one of the best backs in the sport over the last two months.
Jacobs leads the league in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage. Since October, Jacobs is averaging 154 yards from scrimmage per game. Against the worst run defense this century, Jacobs is primed to have a big game — if he plays.
Chargers may dodge a massive bullet with Josh Jacobs injury.
The difference between Josh Jacobs playing or not playing in this game is going to change the entire complexion. If Jacobs plays, the Raiders will be able to ride him as the workhorse back and splice apart this horrible Chargers run defense.
However, if Jacobs does not play then the Chargers suddenly would have a much easier matchup on their hands. Vegas does not have great running back depth behind Jacobs as Ameer Abdullah is not someone who is going to torch them running the ball. He could have a nice game because it is the Chargers but it is a big drop-off from Jacobs.
Without Jacobs, it is hard to see the Raiders keeping up with the Chargers offensively, especially if Mike Williams returns to play in this game. With Jacobs, the Raiders would not only be able to score more, but dominate the time of possession and keep the ball out of Justin Herbert's hands.
Nobody should root for injuries, these are human beings after all. But that does not change the fact that this potential injury would dramatically swing the entire complexion of the game in LA's favor.