The seventh overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mike Williams, will make his debut for the Los Angeles Chargers against the Oakland Raiders.
The Los Angeles Chargers have not had the most promising season. Heading into a week six matchup with the Raiders at 1-4, the Chargers have not enjoyed their move to LA. With seemingly no fanbase now, the Charges are in a void that is inescapable. The team is not performing and nobody seems to even care.
With Derek Carr slated to start against the Chargers, not many are giving the team a chance. Oakland, despite only having a one-game lead over their division foes, is far more talented on paper. With the likes of Carr, Amari Cooper and now Marshawn Lynch, the offense is deadly. With a Khalil Mack led defense, the Raiders are well rounded on both sides.
This has not led to much success, although. Oakland currently is on a three-game losing streak; losing to the Redskins, Broncos and Ravens. Although Carr being out can be the reason for last week’s loss against the Ravens, the team got significantly outmatched by the Redskins and Broncos.
Los Angeles does not have the kind of defense that the Redskins and Broncos have. With the worst rush defense in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch is primed to have his best performance as a Raider.
However, the Los Angeles offense has some new tools of its’ own. The Chargers have been without their first-round pick, wide receiver Mike Williams. Williams, out of Clemson, has number one receiver talent and will give Rivers another outlet to find down the field.
In his senior season at Clemson, Williams caught 98 passes for 1361 yards with 11 touchdowns. Standing in at six-foot-four with surprising speed, Williams is the perfect over-the-top outlet for Rivers. Playing alongside Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson for so long, Rivers is definitely comfortable with a receiver of Williams’ frame.
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Whether it is the passing game or the rushing game, Williams will have a long-lasting impact on the game even if he does not have a huge game himself. Out of the gate, expect the Raiders to test Williams and line their best corners elsewhere. If Williams can get hot early it will be a Chargers victory. If not, the offense may never get going.
Rivers finding Williams early will only open outlets elsewhere. Whether the ensuing passes go to Travis Benjamin, Keenan Allen or Tyrell Williams, adding another talent creates match-up problems for the Raiders.
Then, if the passing game is thriving, the Chargers can return to the run. Melvin Gordon has his best performances when the passing game is thriving. Williams can be the missing piece that causes the Chargers’ offense to fire on all cylinders.
Overall, the Chargers definitely have a tough matchup in the Oakland Raiders. However, the team’s chances are at least better with Mike Williams making his NFL debut.