The Las Vegas Raiders will try to keep pace with the other AFC playoff teams when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers to kickoff Week 15 on Thursday night. The game gets underway at 8:20 p.m. ET on FOX with a simulcast on NFL Network. You can live stream the game on Amazon Prime.
The Raiders (7-6) got dominated on both sides of the football last week, losing 44-27 against Indianapolis Colts. It was the second time three weeks that Las Vegas has given up 40-plus points. Quarterback Derek Carr was a mixed bag of results, completing 31-of-45 passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a rushing touchdown. One of Carr’s interceptions was a pick-six late in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Raiders did not have an answer for rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for a season-high 150 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. As a team, Las Vegas allowed the Colts to run for 212 yards. Additionally, Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton scored two touchdowns on the Raiders’ secondary, which were a part of his five receptions for 86 yards.
As for the Chargers (4-9), they redeemed themselves with a 20-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons after being humiliated in Week 13. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert completed 36-of-44 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Along with Herbert, Austin Ekeler had another tremendous performance with 79 rushing yards on 15 carries, plus a team-high nine receptions for 67 yards.
Unlike the Raiders, the Chargers’ defense held the Falcons’ running game to only 70 yards and forced quarterback Matt Ryan into three interceptions.
Date: Thursday, Dec. 17
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Channel: FOX, NFL Network
Live stream: Amazon Prime
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Chargers: 29th overall — 19th offense, 22nd defense, 32nd special teams
Raiders: 22nd overall — 15th offense, 28th defense, 12th special teams
DraftKings Sportsbook odds
Chargers: +3.5, +165
Raiders: -3.5, -195
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Austin Ekeler, RB, $10,400
It is not a secret that the Raiders’ defense cannot stop the run this season. Over the last two weeks, they’ve been exploited by Jonathan Taylor, Josh Adams, and Ty Johnson. If these three running backs had success, then we should expect big things from Ekeler, who had 146 yards of total offense against a subpar Falcons’ defense.
Keenan Allen, WR, $11,000
If Allen is healthy and available to play on Thursday night, you can almost guarantee that he will either have at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown. In Week 14 against the Falcons, he had nine receptions (11 targets) for 52 yards and a touchdown. This season, the Raiders’ defense has given up 16 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. It’s tough to see who will defend Keenan Allen out on perimeter.
Darren Waller, TE, $9,400
One of the league’s best tight ends will be trying to put together a good performance against the Chargers. Last week against the Colts, he had seven receptions (10 targets) for 75 yards. While it would’ve been nice for Waller to reach the end zone, he should be able to do that against LA, which has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Josh Jacobs, RB, $8,800
For the Raiders to have any success on offense, they need their running game to step up and help Carr. In Week 14 against the Colts, second-year running back Josh Jacobs was held to 49 yards on 13 carries. Jacobs came into the game with a nagging ankle injury, which could be the main reason why he struggled. If he’s healthy to play, Jacobs will try to duplicate his performance from a few games ago against LA, where he had 65 yards and a touchdown.