Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL Preview and Odds - 10/04/2021

by Big Al Staff

The Monday sports card features action in the National Football League. 

Week 4 in the NFL concludes with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Las Vegas Raiders on ESPN at 8:15 PM ET for Monday Night Football.

The Raiders improved to 3-0 with their 31-28 win in overtime against Miami as a 4-point favorite last Sunday. Las Vegas spotted the Dolphins a 14-0 lead before scoring the next 25 points to take an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Miami responded with a field goal before Jacoby Brissett led a final touchdown scoring drive and rushed for the two-point conversion to force overtime. The teams traded field goals before Daniel Carlson converted a 22-yard field goal to win the game. 

Derek Carr completed 26 of 43 passes for 386 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception in leading Las Vegas to the win. Nine different targets caught passes in the game six players catching at least five balls. Carr leads the NFL with 1203 passing yards this season. He is averaging more than 400 passing yards per game, and he has passed for at least 325 yards in five straight games going back to last season. 

The Raiders have a 3-0 record to start the season for the first time since 2002. They have overcome two-touchdown deficits twice already. Their two victories were at home against Baltimore (the first Monday night game this season) and at Pittsburgh. They are averaging 30.0 points per game and giving up 24.0 points per game. After ranking 30th in the league last year with opponents converting 48.8% of their third downs, new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense is holding their opponents to a 33.3% success rate on third downs. Their defense has a 44% pressure rate on the quarterback despite blitzing at a league-low 9% of passing downs. Max Crosby leads the NFL with 25 pressures on opposing quarterbacks. 

Running back Josh Jacobs is questionable tonight with an ankle injury. Peyton Barber rushed the ball 23 times for 111 yards and a touchdown as the primary running back last week. 

Los Angeles comes off a 30-24 upset win at Kansas City as a 6.5-point favorite last Sunday. The Chargers raced out to a 14-3 lead at halftime, but the Chiefs responded with two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 17-14 lead going into the final 15 minutes. Los Angeles outscored Kansas City, 16-7, in the fourth quarter for the victory. 

Justin Herbert completed 26 of 38 passes for 281 yards for four touchdowns and no interceptions in leading the Chargers to the victory. The second-year quarterback is fourth in the NFL with 956 passing yards. Since Week 2 of last season when Herbert took over as the team’s starting quarterback, he has passed for 5292 yards which is the third-most in the league during that span. His ten games passing for at least 300 yards is tied for the second-most in the NFL since Week 2 last year. Rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater has not allowed a sack in 150 snaps. 

Los Angeles is scoring 22.3 points per game and giving up 20.0 points per game. The Chargers opened the season with a win at Washington before losing at home to Dallas. They have won six of their last seven games going back to last season when they closed the year winning four straight games. 

Rookie head coach Brandon Staley has some injuries on defense. Kenneth Murray injured his ankle in practice on Saturday. He is questionable to play tonight. Cornerback Chris Harris is questionable with a shoulder injury. Defensive tackle Justin Jones is out with a calf injury. 

These two teams split their two meetings last season. Las Vegas beat the Chargers in Los Angeles, 31-26, in the first game on November 8th in a pick ‘em contest. Los Angeles defeated the Raiders in Las Vegas, 30-27, as a 3-point underdog on December 17th.

DraftKings lists the Chargers as a 3-point favorite, with the total set at 51.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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