NFL Game Previews: Raiders-Chargers Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Raiders-Chargers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Las Vegas (+3.5) at L.A. Chargers, o/u 52.5
Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT

This game suddenly looks a lot more important than it did a month ago. At 3-0, the Raiders are arguably the most surprising team in the league (or at least second to the Broncos) and Derek Carr the most surprising MVP possibility, and every win they can bank before Kansas City gets rolling gets them that much closer to their first playoff berth since 2016 and maybe even their first division title since 2002. That was the year Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice led them to the Super Bowl, where they lost big to... Jon Gruden's Buccaneers. Huh. Gruden. incidentally, came into the season with identical 57-55 records at the helm of the Raiders (across both his stints) and the Bucs, a fun bit of trivia that would have been a lot more relevant to reference a few weeks ago had I noticed it. The Chargers are one of the teams that's helped keep K.C. stuck in the AFC West cellar, downing them last week on the backs of strong efforts from Justin Herbert, Mike Williams and the pass rush. Williams was something of a preseason darling on the theory that he would fill the Michael Thomas role in the scheme offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was bringing over from New Orleans, but amazingly that hasn't been just empty hype so far. It's the case every year, but on paper the Bolts have everything in place to be

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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