Here are the concerns you might have:
- The Chargers have no fans!: The way I see it, the split in SoFi will probably similar to that of the Cowboys game which was around 60:40 away fans. Now, the Chargers did just beat the Chiefs which should draw some more people up from SD to watch them bash a much worse team in Oakland, but still. What I say is this: If the Chargers can overcome a 100% hostile crowd in the toughest stadium to play in last week, I should think the crowd won't be a big deal this week.
- Derek Carr Is good!!!: Let's break d own the 3-0 Raiders wins. They beat the Ravens in OT-, which is certainly impressive on its face because we all think about how good Baltimore's defense is. However, they're giving up the 9th most passing yards in the NFL. And that is after routing the Broncos and holding Lock to 113 yards. They beat the Steelers, who are obviously struggling and are in the bottom half of passing YPG this year. Then they beat Miami in OT, and they are only 2 spots above the Steelers in that same category. Now, look at the Chargers:
Not counting Sunday's games, they are the 7th best passing defense in the NFL. They're allowing 20 PPG and successfully stifled Mahomes and Dak, the best QB in the NFL and and a top-10 QB.
- They're The Chargers!!!!: Look, you are correct. They are still the Chargers and they're known for losing games they should win. Also, not that I put a huge amount of stock in this, they lose on MNF a LOT. They're 4-10 this decade and haven't won since 2013. However, I think it is apparent to people watching the Chargers that Brandon Staley is different. He manages clock, he makes the right calls, and he isn't a coward. And unlike a lot of previous years, they have a more balanced team that is surprisingly intact for this stage of the season.
Here is what I think you should take:
- Chargers ML: They're going to win this game. Tell me one thing that Derek Carr in SoFi has that Patrick Mahomes in Arrowhead didn't? Nothing. Herbert is dealing in the Lombardi offense, which has not only elevated Keenan Allen but turned Mike Williams from a guy who they would let walk in the offseason into one of the best receivers in the NFL. Their line is holding up well, their defense is steady vs the pass, and they have every piece they need to win this game.
- Chargers -3.5: Conservatively, I think this game ends somewhere in the realm 24-17. Waller is going to get a billion targets and the Chargers struggle enough at covering TEs that i'll give them some space. The biggest weakness the Chargers have is the rush (Currently allowing the most rushing YPG this year). The Raiders, however, are the 9th worst rushing team in the league. They might have Josh Jacobs back, but he would be playing with an injury.
- Waller O 5.5 Receptions: Like I said before, Waller is probably going to be targeted more in this game than any Raiders game this year. He has the height and speed over Chargers LBs, especially with Kenneth Murray ruled out.
- Herbert O 1.5 TD: Let's set the scene here for the Chargers. They're playing on MNF in their first divisional game and biggest rivalry game in "their" new stadium. Herb is humble guy, but Staley knows that this is a big stage for him and that the fans are going to want him to deliver. I think they're going to take some big shots downfield, and maybe even target the two Chargers expats in Casey Heyward deep and Denzel Perryman over the middle.
- Derek Carr O 0.5 INT: Carr is going to throw a pick. I feel this very violently in my plums. I think Carr will either throw something tipped over the middle, or get frustrated and throw a heave. Either way, I trust the Chargers secondary and Rookie of the Month Asante Samuel Jr. to get this done.
- Mike Williams to Score: Mike Dub has been on a tear to start this season. A game behind his competition and he is still T-2nd with 4 touchdowns, T-4th with 4 plays of 20+ yards and T-5th in YDS/G. He is thriving in this new offense, and at 6'4" he dwarfs their entire secondary. It might be a different tall like Cook or Parham, but I think Williams has earned enough trust in this offense to be a first look in the redzone.