Predictions for Chargers vs. Raiders, Week 4

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The Los Angeles Chargers are set to meet up with the Las Vegas Raiders in an AFC West showdown in primetime on Monday night.

After downing the Kansas City Chiefs a weekend ago, the Bolts will look to defeat the Raiders and take control of the division. Las Vegas, on the other hand, is seeking to stay undefeated.

Who’s going to come out on top?

Here are our final score predictions for Monday night’s big game:

Gavino's Pick:

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bombs away!

Two of the most pass-happy teams in the NFL are set to duke it out, with Raiders’ Derek Carr, who is leading in passing yards (1203) and yards per game (401), and Chargers’ Justin Herbert, who has looked sharp in each of his three performances, following his Rookie of the Year campaign.

Despite the success he is having, Carr could be in for a long day, facing a defensive unit that has been stout against the pass. In Week 2, Cowboys’ Dak Prescott was held to 237 yards, while Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes only had 260 yards and was picked off twice.

Currently, they rank seventh in passing yards allowed (201.7) and seventh in points allowed (20.0).

With Brandon Staley’s philosophy to limit big gains in the passing game, the Chargers have the recipe to make Carr a non-factor, just like the two premier signal-callers the team has faced.

On the other hand, the Raiders have also fared well against the pass under Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 defense. However, if there’s one thing, it’s that Herbert has been money against zone coverage (third in completion percentage and eighth in yards per attempt), which is Bradley’s bread and butter.

The Raiders, who have seven sacks (tied for 12th), 57 hurries (tied for first), 22 quarterback hits (tied for seventh), and 40 pressures (tied for eighth), will look to put pressure on Herbert to impact their passing attack.

But the Chargers have a rebuttal, as the team’s offensive line has only allowed pressures on just 20 percent of their dropbacks (tied for sixth) and a sack rate of 3.8 percent (fifth) this season

For the third consecutive week, Los Angeles gives up over 130 yards on the ground, but they hold another one of the league’s hot quarterbacks to a fairly quiet performance. Justin Herbert goes for four passing touchdowns again.

Chargers win, 34-24.

Valentina's Pick:

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The undefeated Raiders are looking electric. Las Vegas has earned wins against the Ravens, Steelers, and the Dolphins, with two of those being overtime victories.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is playing arguably the best football of his career. Carr has more passing yards and higher ratings than former Oregon product Justin Herbert. Although Herbert has a dynamic duo in receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, Carr has a loaded pass-catching group in reciever Henry Ruggs III and tight end Darren Waller.

The Las Vegas defense, led by former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, ranks third in the NFL in league pressure rate (44%). Limiting Herbert’s success is pivotal for the Raiders and they have exactly what they need to do so with edge defender Maxx Crosby. Crosby leads the league with 25 quarterback pressures.

While Herbert has only been pressured on just 25.2 percent of dropbacks, the NFL’s fourth-lowest rate, the pass rush of Las Vegas may provide a tough test for Los Angeles.

The return of Raiders running back Josh Jacobs gives Vegas an opportunity to be effective on the ground against the Los Angeles defense that prides itself on limiting the deep pass game. Jacobs played Week 1 but has since missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

The unexpected fluency of Las Vegas from both ends of the ball this season may prove to be overwhelming for the Chargers. Although the game should be close, I think the Raiders will remain undefeated with a 21-17 victory over Los Angeles Monday night.

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