Chargers-Raiders MNF Preview, Analysis, and Prediction
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Monday Night Football Week One Preview
San Diego Chargers (0-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-0)
Let’s take a quick look at all of the particulars for the second game in tomorrow night’s annual Week One MNF double-dip:
- Chargers-Raiders Date: Monday, Sept. 14
- Chargers-Raiders TV & Kickoff Time: 10:15 ET on ESPN
- Chargers-Raiders Location: Oakland Coliseum in Oakland
- Chargers-Raiders Announcers: Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, and Steve Young
- Chargers-Raiders Point Spread: SD -9
- Chargers-Raiders Over-Under: 43
- StubHub: Chargers-Raiders MNF tickets as low as $47!
- StubHub: all 2009 Oakland Raiders tickets
- StubHub: all 2009 San Diego Chargers tickets
- StubHub: all 2009 NFL tickets
Like many of the past seasons, the Raiders don’t look like much to write home about.
In fact, since their Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay following the 2002 season, they’ve won just 24 games the past six campaigns. (By comparison, the Indianapolis Colts have won 25 games the past two seasons; the Patriots have won 27 in that span.)
Their defense is, as it has been the past few seasons, very reputable. The offense, also like recent years, is rather putrid. This could cause the defense to look worse than it actually is, especially against a good team like San Diego, which is pretty stacked on the offensive side of the ball.
Few deny that preseason is mostly meaningless, but Saints-portend-Raiders-troubles-ahead" target="_blank">many noticed how awful the Raiders looked against the Saints.
While LaDainian Tomlinson may never be as good as he traditionally was in his heyday a few years ago, he should be a lot better than he was in 2008 when he struggled mightily by his own high standards. In another weak season for the AFC West, he’ll surely be good enough to get the Chargers into the playoffs.
For now, scandal-ridden Shawne Merriman is again the key to a defense that is good versus the run, which happens to be the Raiders’ strength. Darren Sproles, who broke my Indianapolis Colts’ hearts last season, should be used in conjunction with Tomlinson (see Leon Washington), not just to “give LT a breather” as Norv Turner has unwisely done in the past, but as a more integrated part of the offense.
The Raiders are relatively weak versus the run, so the aforementioned two runners should see plenty of action.
Three years ago, same game, same night, same network, San Diego smacked Oakland 27-0 en route to a stellar season.
Again like that, you ask?
Not necessarily, but the Chargers certainly are not going to get tripped up in Oakland. With Philip Rivers‘ pin-point passing, they should cover, winning by two touchdowns.
After all, the Chargers put 62 points on the board in their two meetings with Oakland in 2008, both wins.
* – Al Davis photo credit: Water Cooler HOF
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