The Los Angeles Chargers reignite the team’s rivalry with the Oakland Raiders and will be carried offensively by Melvin Gordon and the running game.
The Los Angeles Chargers are hosting the Oakland Raiders in Week 5 at the StubHub Center, hoping to move to 3-2 on the season.
Well, hosting is a generous word. The Chargers are essentially playing a road game at home as the StubHub Center will likely consist of 80 percent Raiders fans. It has gotten to the point where the Chargers have to practice playing with crowd noise despite being in their home stadium.
While the team might struggle in hearing Philip Rivers’ snap count, the team should not struggle in beating the 1-3 Raiders.
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Oakland has not gotten off to a good start under new head coach Jon Gruden, with many beginning to question his every move as head coach. The Raiders only win was an overtime win over the Cleveland Browns that nearly was a tie and that Cleveland arguably should have won if it was not for a reversed Carlos Hyde first down call.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are 2-2 but have two losses against the NFL’s only two undefeated teams — the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams. LA’s record is deceptive as the team is still full of playmakers and are one of the AFC favorites, behind the Chiefs, of course.
Of all the Chargers playmakers, it will be the man that had a big week last week in Melvin Gordon. When Gordon is firing on all cylinders, the offense is noticeably better. That was the case last week against the 49ers.
Gordon had just 17 yards entering halftime last week and exploded for 87 yards in the second half and opened up the offense to jump out from the 17-17 tie.
Against the Raiders it will be different. Gordon will not have a slow start and overcome, instead, he is going to have a stellar game that ends up being one of his best of the season. Not only is he going to thrive in the running game but Gordon will also likely have a decent role in the passing game as well.
In the running game, Gordon is primed for at least a 150-yard day and could even flirt with the 200-yard mark. That is definitely a bold claim but the Chargers are coming up against a bad rush defense.
The Raiders have allowed the third-most rushing yards thus far this season (557) and the third-most rushing touchdowns (5). Carlos Hyde had a field day with the Raiders and I would expect the same thing out of Gordon.
Plus, this game is likely going to get out of hand early, similar to the Chargers’ game against the Buffalo Bills. This will naturally open the door for more carries for Gordon and against a bad defense, he will thrive.
Melvin Gordon is easily one of the five best running backs in the NFL, even if he does not get the credit he deserves. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers back will have one of the best performances of his young career.