Week 15 of the National Football League kicks off with the Los Angeles Chargers (4-9, 1-5 away) and Las Vegas Raiders (7-6, 2-4 home) getting together for the second time this season. The Thursday Night Football contest will be the rematch of a 31-26 Raiders victory back in Week 9 in Los Angeles. Thursday’s kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. EST inside the brand new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. The Raiders are a 3-point home favorite in the AFC West tilt according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Chargers
It has been a rough season for head coach Anthony Lynn and the Chargers football team this year. The Chargers have won just three games since their season-opening victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Los Angeles notched their fourth win of the season on Sunday with a 20-17 nailbiter at home over the Atlanta Falcons.
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert completed 36-of-44 passes for 243 yards with a pair of touchdown passes and an interception against one of the league’s worst passing defenses. The 81.8% completion effort was a nice bounce back after the young gunslinger completed just 49.1% of his passes the week prior.
All-purpose back Austin Ekeler carried the ball 15 times for 79 yards and added nine receptions for 67 receiving yards. The statline was Ekeler’s best since returning from injury three weeks ago.
Tyron Johnson hauled in six passes for 55 yards, including his second touchdown of the season while Keenan Allen caught nine balls for 52 yards and his eighth touchdowns of the year.
What to Know – Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have stumbled down the stretch dropping three of their last four games and putting their playoff chances in jeopardy. The rough month caused the dismissal of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther following Sunday’s 44-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Las Vegas needs to win out to have the chance to punch their playoff ticket.
Derek Carr completed 31-of-45 passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, in the blowout loss. The veteran quarterback added a five-yard touchdown run, his second rushing touchdown in as many weeks.
Star running back Josh Jacobs was held to just 49 rushing yards on 13 carries to average just 3.8 yards per touch. Jacobs returned to the backfield after missing last week’s game against the Jets.
Wide receiver Nelson Aghlor caught five of his nine targets for 100 yards and his seventh touchdown of the year. Tight end Darren Waller added seven catches for 75 yards, crossing the 800-yard receiving mark this season.
The Pick is In
The Raiders’ playoff hopes are on the line Thursday night with a loss all but eliminating them from the playoffs. Las Vegas took care of business the first time these two teams got together in early November but are a Hail Mary away from entering this game on a four-game losing streak. Still, perhaps the firing of the defensive coordinator will wake this team up on a short week and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Pick: Las Vegas -3