Key Matchups To Watch Between The Oakland Raiders And Los Angeles Chargers

We’ve officially transitioned into Week 6, and this Sunday the Oakland Raiders will host the Los Angeles Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for an AFC West bout. In Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback EJ Manuel was asked to step in and lead the team while Derek Carr continued his recovery from a transverse process fracture. The matchup between Manuel and a difficult Ravens defense was one of the keys to the game, as No. 3 mustered everything he could to bring down linebacker Terrell Suggs and Co., but was unfortunately unable to lead the Raiders to victory.

With Week 5 in the dust, it’s time to refocus, and look ahead to some important matchups that will take place this weekend; here’s three I’ll have my eye on.

Raiders Offensive Line vs. Chargers Pass Rush

When the division rivals collide Sunday, the battle in the trenches will be one of the deciding factors. After allowing the least amount of sacks in 2016 (18), the Silver and Black currently rank 15th in sacks allowed with 12. While the Raiders have endured a bit of a lull offensively, the line is not entirely at fault. Keep in mind this is a group with three Pro Bowlers in left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele, and center Rodney Hudson – right guard Gabe Jackson has the talent and potential to be a Pro Bowler as well.

In Week 6, it’ll be on the shoulders of these men to hold off a stout pass rush in the Chargers defense led by linebacker Melvin Ingram and defensive end Joey Bosa. Through five weeks of gameplay, Ingram is the league’s second-leading sacker with a total of 7.5, and his cohort Bosa isn’t far behind, as he trails by three with a total of 4.5 sacks. Whether it’s Derek Carr under center, or EJ Manuel, the offensive line will have to keep their quarterback clean, and will face a tough test Sunday.

Safety Karl Joseph vs. Tight Ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry

Many anticipated former West Virginia Mountaineer Karl Joseph would make a leap…

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