Raiders vs. Chargers: Breaking Down Oakland’s Game Plan

As the Oakland Raiders inch closer to a winless season, the competition doesn’t ease up with consecutive division opponents coming up.

Division games are usually more competitive, which bodes well for Oakland if the players execute on their assignments. The San Diego Chargers narrowly escaped with a win on the road back in Week 6, now the action shifts to Qualcomm Stadium where the Raiders haven’t won since the 2011 season.

The Chargers enter this week’s matchup on a three-game losing streak. After being shut out in their last contest and a bye week to recuperate, San Diego is just as eager to win as their winless opponents to keep pace in a competitive AFC West division.

If the Raiders plan on thwarting the Chargers' playoff aspirations, a lot of focus should be allotted to Antonio Gates. The 12-year veteran tight end is healthy and has nine touchdowns in nine games this season.

The Raiders have weapons on offense, but they have to find clever ways of delivering the ball to their talented skill players, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Andre Holmes.


Get Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden Involved

The Raiders' rushing attack has been underutilized in offensive coordinator Greg Olson's play-calling. This would be the perfect time to re-introduce Jones-Drew and McFadden. The Chargers are allowing 113.2 rushing yards per game, but Oakland is dead last in the league running the ball at a paltry 62.1 yards per game. 

Both running backs are capable of producing, but they need more opportunities. Last week, the Raiders only ran the ball seven times in the first half against the Denver Broncos before the game spiraled out of control. The lack of commitment to the run gave Peyton Manning more opportunities to score than the Raiders should have allowed. 

Just like Manning, Rivers can be cerebral in his pass...

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