Chargers look to prevent first losing season since 2003

By Kenny Gardner

When the San Diego Chargers travel to Oakland on Sunday to play the Raiders, they will try to avenge a 24-17 loss on November 10th, and avoid their first losing season in eight years.  If San Diego wants to win on Sunday, they should give Ryan Mathews more than the 11 carries he had on Saturday vs. Detroit as Oakland is tied with the Lions in the category of giving up the highest yards per attempt average in the NFL.  Oakland’s pass defense is only ranked 25th, but a balanced attack is still in order as the Lighting Bolts cannot afford to throw the ball 53 times and only run it 16 times as a team like they did against the Lions.

The Chargers defense should be able to contain an Oakland team that ranks 17th in points per game scored.  San Diego ranks 10th in pass defense while Carson Palmer has 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for the season.  Philip Rivers had two touchdowns and one interception in the 24-17 loss, but he completed less than half of his passes and was sacked six times by Oakland.  Mike Tolbert led San Diego with seven carries for 36 yards, but the team only had 15 carries compared to 47 pass attempts.  Oakland’s defense ranks ninth in the NFL in sacks, so a balanced attack by San Diego is in order to keep the Raiders honest.

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