The Oakland Raiders will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday in their first game this season against the division rival. And as always, since it’s the Thursday before the game, we start with some bold predictions. But first, let’s take a look at how I did with last week’s predictions on the Raiders vs. Browns.
Heading into the game against the Browns, I had a record of 2-7 on the year. Let’s see how I did last week:
Last Week’s Predictions
Raiders record three sacks
Close but no go. The Raiders finished the day with two sacks. There were opportunities for others on the day but as it turns out, Baker Mayfield is one slippery fella. It wasn’t a great performance for the Raiders pass rushers but it was certainly a better performance than we’ve seen in recent weeks. Wasn’t good enough to get me the prediction this week but at least I feel a little more positive about the pass rush moving forward.
Baker Mayfield throws two picks
It actually happened!! A year after the Raiders weren’t able to secure a single interception for over half of a season, they were able to secure TWO interceptions this week. And one of those, Gareon Conley’s first every interception, was a pick six that got the scoring going for Oakland. Sure, the second pick was a gimme that Reggie Nelson made as Baker Mayfield desperately attempted to avoid heading into overtime on the last drive of the game but I’ll take it!
Raiders hold Cleveland to under 100 yards rushing
Not. Even. Close. Nick Chubb alone put up 105 yards on only three touches. The Raiders run defense that looked so improved against the Dolphins, became a porous mess again against the Browns. As a team, the Browns put up 208 yards on 31 attempts so even if Chubb hadn’t gone off for two huge runs, the Browns would’ve hit the 100 yard mark. Clearly the Raiders run defense still has a long way to go.
So, this week I was 1-2 which brings my season record to 3-9, not great but getting better.
This Week’s Predictions
Marshawn Lynch has back to back games with 100 yards
If anyone is still confused as to what Beast Mode means, go and watch Marshawn Lynch against the Browns and you’ll have a pretty good idea. The Beast ran for 130 yards and looked like he did at the height of his career. And if not for a premature whistle from the refs, he likely woulda had a lot more yards on his stat sheet. But that was only his third game to eclipse the 100 yard mark with the Raiders. I think that number increases a lot this year, starting this weekend in LA where I expect Lynch to have another epic day.
Raiders win the turnover battle with a plus two
The Oakland Raiders dragged themselves out of the basement of the give/take rankings this season with a strong performance against the Browns. They will look to continue that against a Chargers team that’s known for making big time mistakes like turning the ball over at the worst time. Philip Rivers is a great quarterback who is likely headed to the Hall of Fame. But he’s also likely to throw a couple of picks in any given game. This week, not only will the Raiders force at least two turnovers, they will have at least two more turnovers than the Chargers have.
Raiders win by two scores
The other day I wrote about the trend of missed opportunities for the Raiders this season. Had Oakland been able to capitalize on a few of those missed opportunities during the Dolphins and Broncos games, we might be looking at a team that is 2-2 or even 3-1. The offense has been able to move the ball but until the Browns game, they had a hard time putting many points on the board. They burst our with 45 points last week and I think that’s the beginning of seeing what this offense can do. I think they improve again this weekend while the Chargers falter.