Phillip Rivers and the Chargers held serve against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9, beating back naysayers who complained they never beat teams with winning records.
In a week that Rivers was not at his best, at least statistically, the defense reasserted themselves a legitimate playoff-caliber unit and shut down Russell Wilson.
Through nine weeks, the Chargers have lost only to the Kansas City Chiefs and the crosstown Rams. With a rematch against the Chiefs on tap, LA is still within striking distance of the AFC West title and a home field playoff game.
With the team getting more familiar with each other after injuries to several key players in the first few weeks, there is no reason to think the Chargers are not for real.
Conversely, there is little reason to believe the Raiders are anything but a place card on the Chargers’ schedule.
After mailing in a nationally-telecast effort against the 49ers that let an undrafted rookie quarterback look like his fellow Southern Miss alum, Brett Favre, fans and opponents are wondering if Oakland will compete at all this season.
Coach Jon Gruden faced some tough questions after the game, including why his highest-paid defensive player spent most of the game on the sideline. Gruden responded by cutting Bruce Irvin which won’t do anything to improve morale in his locker room.
Injuries and notes
Irvin signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
Oakland put offensive tackle TJ Clemmings on injured reserve but listed no other players on their injury roster.
Los Angeles suffered no additional injuries in Sunday’s game.
Jon Gruden’s grand return is not providing many positive reactions so far. While many old-school fans root for success in an old-school system, Gruden’s assertion in an ESPN interview last week that there are many players who “really want to play” for the Raiders rang hollow.
Whether his current players took that to insinuate they weren’t playing up to snuff or not, the Raiders horrible effort belies some issues bigger than skill sets in Oakland.
Anthony Lynn has no such issues in Los Angeles. The Chargers are a motivated team fighting for respect despite their record. He pushed the narrative that his team can’t beat winning clubs and inspired his club to overcome that charge.
How to watch the Raiders-Chargers game
Fox Sports will broadcast this game locally and in scattered markets, including New York City and Boston, in the second time slot.
Chargers and Raider fans around the area will fire up their favorite internet device and follow the action through DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now is a leading internet TV provider offering the original FOX broadcast in real time, along with with tons of live stream NFL action.
DirecTV Now, along with Sling and Fubo TV, offers all your sports and entertainment needs at a fraction of the cost of cable and satellite.
Plus, there is no expensive equipment required and neither Sling, Fubo, nor DirecTV Now will ever make you sign a contract.
Take advantage of their free trial offers to see why so many people cut the cord with cable and satellite to join the internet TV community.
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Who will win the Raiders-Chargers game?
We could list all the usual clichés about any given Sunday or why they play the games, but there are many reasons the Raiders are massive underdogs at home.
Los Angeles is a team on a mission. They are not likely to fall into a trap game. Even if they do, there is no reason to expect Oakland to take advantage of it.