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Five Questions vs. San Diego Answered

The Oakland Raiders give an impressive and dominating performance on the road in Week 7, besting the Chargers 37-29. Senior Editor Jerry Knaak posed five questions heading into the Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers AFC West showdown at Qualcomm Stadium. The Raiders zapped the Chargers 37-29 and here are the answers to those questions.

  1. How will the Raiders handle the Chargers passing game?

The Raiders shut down Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and the vaunted San Diego aerial attack much of the game. Rivers only had 105 yards passing at halftime. The Raiders gave up over 200 yards in the air in the fourth quarter as the Chargers made the score look respectable. The Raiders will have to play a complete four quarters moving forward, but keeping this aerial circus in check most of the game is a major step in the right direction. Rivers was picked off twice and sacked once. He was harassed and pressured much of the first three quarters.

  1. Will the Raiders handle Antonio Gates?

Although listed as questionable, it was widely believed star tight end Antonio Gates would suit up for the Chargers. He did not and was declared inactive for this game. Tight end Ladarius Green caught four passes for 45 yards and a TD, and two 2-point conversions.

  1. Can the Raiders running game get on track?

Yes. Running back Latavius Murray carried the ball 15 times for 85 yards and the first touchdown of the game. Murray had plenty of running room, especially on toss sweeps. Running back Taiwan Jones had 35 yards on just three carries. In all, the Raiders gained 130 yards on 26 carries and average five yards a pop.

  1. Will the pass protection rebound?

Yes. After giving up four sacks to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago, The Raiders only allowed one in San Diego. Quarterback Derek Carr routinely had plenty of time to throw and work through his progressions. Carr went 24 of 31 for 289 yards and three touchdowns and recorded a QB rating of 137.7. He had time to find wide receiver Amari Cooper deep downfield for a 44-yard gain on 3rd and 14 to set up a field goal.

  1. Can the Raiders get a win in San Diego?

Yes. The Raiders won in San Diego for the first time since November 2011. The Silver and Black had lost the last three in a row to the Chargers. The Raiders jumped out to a 37-6 lead in this one, and as much as San Diego did in the fourth quarter, this game was never that close. The two teams meet again on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football in Week 16 on Christmas Eve in Oakland.

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