Las Vegas Raiders at Chargers: Who has the edge?

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (4-3) at CHARGERS (2-5)

When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Where: SoFi Stadium

TV/Radio: Fox (Ch. 11); 98.7 FM; 105.5 FM/94.3 FM (Spanish); Sirius 83

Line: Pick’em

Notable injury designations: Chargers: DE Joey Bosa (doubtful; concussion), CB Casey Hayward (questionable; NIR), RG Trai Turner (questionable; groin), CB Brandon Facyson (questionable; illness), DE Isaac Rochell (questionable; neck), RB Troymaine Pope (doubtful; concussion).

Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs (questionable; knee/illness), DE Arden Key (out; foot), LT Kolton Miller (questionable; ankle), CB Trayvon Mullen (questionable; hamstring), DT Maurice Hurst (out; ankle).

What’s at stake? Job security for the Chargers’ coaching staff. That seems crazy to write, but that’s where the team is at after another head-scratching blown game. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said last week’s loss to the Denver Broncos stung the hardest because they were in total control with a 21-point lead in the third quarter. Bradley has taken most of the heat during the Chargers’ four-game streak of losing leads of 16 points of more. The Chargers’ offense has scored at a high rate while the defense has allowed 29 points or more in the past four games and has struggled to get stops in crunch time. But Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said he has no plans to make any coaching staff changes. Lynn will need to figure out how to close games soon or his seat might get warm.

Who’s better? The Raiders because they know how to close games and beat good opponents. The Raiders found ways to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers – three teams the Chargers lost to this season. Also, the Raiders are coming off a dominant win against the Cleveland Browns. The Raiders’ defense has struggled this season but held the Browns to six points on a windy day. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will likely have success against the Raiders’ defense, but he might not get many opportunities. Jon Gruden’s team likes to run the ball and play keep away. The Raiders rank third in the NFL with an average possession time of 32:40.

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Matchup to watch: Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III against Chargers cornerback Michael Davis. The Raiders run the ball heavily with Josh Jacobs, but they use that to set up downfield shots with Ruggs, who is averaging 22 yards per reception. Davis will likely defend Ruggs often because he’s the Chargers’ fastest defender. Davis, however, has struggled at times and will need help from safeties Nasir Adderley and Rayshawn Jenkins.

Chargers win if: They apply pressure on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who likes to release the ball quickly and spread it around. The Chargers likely won’t have star defensive end Joey Bosa because he’s in the concussion protocol. The Chargers will need backup defensive end Isaac Rochell to step up. Chargers edge rusher Melvin Ingram has had some of his best games against the Raiders, but he’s still searching for his first sack this season. Ingram has a five-game sack streak against the Raiders.

Fantasy sleeper: Look for Chargers wide receiver Jalen Guyton to make a long touchdown catch against the Raiders’ sluggish secondary. Guyton is averaging 29 yards per reception and has three touchdowns this season, but he’s coming off a quiet performance against the Broncos last week. Herbert likes to look in Guyton’s direction when quick scores are needed. The Raiders are allowing 29 points per game.

Prediction: Carr isn’t known for throwing deep, but his quick release has given Bradley’s defense fits in years past. The Chargers likely won’t have much success against the Raiders’ stout offensive line if Bosa doesn’t play. The Raiders will win this shootout 35-31 and hand the Chargers their ninth consecutive loss against an AFC West opponent.

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