Game time: 8:15 p.m. ET, Oct. 4, 2021
Venue: SoFI Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Chargers -3.5; O/U 52; Chargers -170, Raiders +150
BetMGM: Chargers -3.5; O/U 52.5; Chargers -175, Raiders +150
Caesars: Chargers -3.5; O/U 52.5; Chargers -190, Raiders +160
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Raiders - Chargers preview and analysis
Raiders: won 31-28 (OT) vs. Dolphins in Week 3
Chargers: won 30-24 at Chiefs in Week 3
There's no way in this world that a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers would be the game of the week two weeks ago.
This is to basically tell you that a lot of things can happen in two weeks.
Because we're here discussing the Raiders of Sin City sitting at 3-0, facing a Chargers team that's 2-1 (could very well be 3-0) and is coming off the win of the year in Kansas City against the Chiefs (which we called, by the way).
So now comes the fun part. Two teams, two really fun offenses, one winner.
Or they could tie. You never really know anymore.
Let's start with the Raiders. This team is somehow 3-0 by the grace of the god-like creature that is Derek Carr, a defense that has the potential to bolster the best pass rush in the league, and a coach that never does enough Spider 2 Y Banana.
Carr hasn't garnered enough MVP talk in my opinion, and probably with great reason should things fall south quickly for Las Vegas. Alas, here is Carr coming off a 386-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins in a three-point overtime win on Sunday. With another game of at least 375 and two scores, Carr can become the first player ever with four straight games of 375 yards and two touchdowns to begin the season.
The reason is because of how good his receivers have become already. Henry Ruggs III is developing into more than just a speed threat. He showed he can go up and catch passes against top corners like Xavien Howard. Bryan Edwards is molding into one of the most clutch receivers in the league after 89 yards on Sunday. And then you can't forget Hunter Renfrow, who literally does nothing wrong on third down.
And if that offense can stay consistent, and this pass rush led by Maxx Crosby can make things happen on a weekly basis, there's no reason why the Raiders shouldn't be challenging for an AFC West title or even contending in the AFC.
But again, that's why they play 17 games now because the same could be said for the Chargers. Justin Herbert had his signature win Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing for 281 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Fantasy football guys are thanking him for throwing that late touchdown instead of draining the clock (even if we lost the week like me).
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have already been a dangerous tandem, but the second year of Herbert has put both of those guys in good standing. It was also a major bounce-back performance after throwing two picks against the Dallas Cowboys.
Leave it to 2021 for it to be the time where a great quarterback happens in this rivalry. When's the last time that was a thing? Philip Rivers vs. Bruce Gradkowski? Either way it's going to be an awesome game, but a home game for L.A. may turn into one for the Raiders if ticket sites are correct. I think the Raiders feed off that and go to 4-0, causing mass hysteria for everyone involved. Raiders by 6
The Raiders are 15-9 against the spread in their last 24 as an underdog.
The Chargers are 4-7 ATS as a home favorite in their last 11
Players to watch
Raiders: In a relief role for Josh Jacobs, running back Peyton Barber had a team-high 142 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against the Dolphins.
Chargers: Running back Austin Ekeler had 107 total yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. It’d be nice for the Chargers to get more from the running game.
Passing: Derek Carr -- 1,203 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Peyton Barber -- 143 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Darren Waller -- 224 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Solomon Thomas -- 2.5 sacks
Passing: Justin Herbert -- 956 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Austin Ekeler -- 295 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Mike Williams -- 295 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Asante Samuel Jr. -- 2 INT
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