Four games into the 2016 season, the Raiders find themselves with a 3-1 record. The team returns to the Coliseum for two consecutive home games, starting off against the San Diego Chargers.
After a quality Week 4 victory against the Baltimore Ravens, the black and silver remain a game behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.
The Raiders first divisional contest of the 2016 season will be an intriguing matchup, with the two teams headed in the opposite directions. The Chargers have lost two consecutive games, after losing multiple players for the season due to injuries.
On the other hand, the Raiders have won two straight games, with another Derek Carr game-winning drive to seal the Week 4 victory.
The Raiders offense is averaging 392.3 yards per game, which currently ranks third in the NFL. To the contrary, the Chargers rank amongst the league average, with 360.8 yards per game.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers has continued his consistent production, as the Chargers currently rank one spot ahead of the Raiders in terms of passing yards per game (265.8 vs. 265.5).
In terms of a rushing aspect, the Raiders rushing attack is superior, although they will be missing a key piece. The Raiders are averaging 126.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks fifth in the NFL.
To the contrary, the Chargers once again rank among the league average, with 95 rushing yards per game.
Latavius Murray has been officially ruled out for Week 5, as his case of turf toe limited his ability to produce. Murray played the situation, but different shoes couldn’t heal the ailing toe injury.
On the defensive end, both teams rank amongst the league worst. The Chargers are allowing opponents 371.5 yards per game, while the Raiders permit a league-worst 460 yards per game.
Head coach Jack Del Rio has addressed the defensive woes, stating it is key to force turnovers and keep scoring drives at a minimum.
The two teams have split the last six contests, dating back three seasons. While the Chargers swept the Raiders in 2014, the teams flip-flopped the results during the 2015 season.
During the 2015 matchup at the Coliseum, the Raiders came out on top in a 23-20 overtime victory. Sebastian Janikowski nailed a field goal, while the Raiders defense earned the stop in Charles Woodson’s final home game.
Rivers emphasized the importance of the divisional matchup, while head coach Mike McCoy and defensive coordinator John Pagano praised the opposing quarterback.
The key for the Raiders may very well involve the offensive line. While injuries to the offensive line involved adjustments from coach Del Rio, they remained strong. Carr has only been sacked twice this season.
Offensive tackles Austin Howard and Matt McCants returned to practice on Friday, a positive sign they will play Week 5. Since Murray has been ruled out, expect a bigger workload for DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.
Richard displayed some special team talents in Week 4, with impressive returns setting up strong field position.
Part of the offensive line also involved the tight end play, which will certainly require another adjustment. The Raiders lost tight end Lee Smith for the season after suffering an ankle injury in Week 4.
Smith was a huge part of the blocking scheme, which should see more of tight end Clive Walford. Safety Nate Allen and offensive tackle Menelik Watson have also been ruled out for Week 5, after failing to practice on Friday.
The Raiders attempt to earn their first home victory of the season, with an expected high-scoring matchup between them and the Chargers.