The Oakland Raiders will finish out the home slate of their 2015 season as they host the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 24 at 5:25 p.m. PT at O.co Coliseum in a primetime contest on Thursday Night Football. Thursday's game will also wrap up the season series between the two AFC West rivals, as the Raiders won the first match-up in San Diego on Oct. 25, 37-29. Oakland will be looking for its first season sweep of San Diego since 2010. The game also marks the first of two straight contests against AFC West opponents for the Silver and Black to finish the campaign, as the team travels to Kansas City in Week 17. Last week, the Raiders fell at home to the Green Bay Packers, 20-30, while the Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins in San Diego, 30-14.
In a rare match-up in Oakland between the Packers and Raiders last week, the Raiders' defense held the Packers under 300 total yards of offense for just the second time this season. DE Khalil Mack continued to get to the quarterback, as he recorded his NFL-leading 15th sack of the season and he now has recorded a sack in four straight games. LB Ben Heeney added a sack in the first half as well. Oakland created two turnovers in the game, as DE Benson Mayowa forced and recovered a fumble and CB David Amerson intercepted his third pass of the season. WR Amari Cooper led the offensive attack, as he posted 120 receiving yards on six receptions and two touchdowns on the afternoon. WR Michael Crabtree hauled in six catches as well for 70 yards. RB Latavius Murray moved closer to his first 1,000-yard season, as he rushed for 78 yards on 21 carries. QB Derek Carr threw for 276 yards on the day, completing passes to seven different receivers.
Following Thursday night's game, the Raiders will have some extra rest before finishing up their season in Kansas City against the Chiefs on Jan. 3. The Chargers will play their finale on the
road at the Denver Broncos that day as well.
COOPER OVER 1,000**
In last Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, rookie WR Amari Cooper became the first Raider to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since Randy Moss (1,005) accomplished the feat in 2005. Here are some other notes on Cooper's season:
• Cooper, who has 1,040 receiving yards, leads all NFL rookies in receptions (68), receiving yards and is tied for first in touchdowns (six).
• Cooper is the fourth NFL player to reach 1,000 receiving yards at age 21 or younger. Cooper's 68 receptions are tied with Mike Evans for the fifth most by any player 21 or younger.
• Cooper hauled in two touchdowns in Sunday's game, bringing his season total to six, the most ever by a Raiders rookie wide receiver.
• Raiders defensive assistant Sam Anno played linebacker for the Chargers for two seasons from 1992-1993.
• Chargers defensive line coach Don Johnson coached defensive tackles for the Raiders from 2007-2008.
• Chargers T Joe Barksdale was drafted by the Raiders in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and played all 16 games as a rookie, primarily on special teams.
• Chargers WR Vincent Brown appeared in seven games with the Raiders in 2014 making 12 catches for 118 yards.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio and Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy were the defensive and offensive coordinators, respectively, for the Denver Broncos in 2012. Del Rio and McCoy were also on the staff together with the Carolina Panthers in 2002.
• Chargers special teams coach Craig Aukerman (defensive assistant) was on Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio's staff in 2011 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (linebackers) coached with Chargers linebackers coach Mike Nolan (wide receivers) in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens.
• Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy (offensive assistant/quarterbacks) was on the staff of Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) in 2000 with the Panthers. McCoy also worked with Raiders linebackers coach Sal Sunseri (defensive assistant/defensive line) from 2002-2008 with the Panthers.
• Raiders TE Lee Smith played for Chargers tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars (tight ends) in 2012 for the Buffalo Bills.
• Chargers WR Stevie Johnson was in the wide receivers room with WR Michael Crabtree in 2014 with the San Francisco 49ers.
• Raiders DE Khalil Mack and Chargers RB Branden Oliver (IR) were teammates and roommates at Buffalo from 2010-2013. Mack was the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, while Oliver
• Raiders defensive assistant Sam Anno was the assistant head coach at the University of San Diego from 2009-2014.
• Chargers WR Keenan Allen (IR) and CB Steve Williams played at Cal from 2010-2012. Allen finished third in school history with 2,570 yards and seventh in touchdowns (17), and Williams totaled 150 tackles with six interceptions and 31 passes defensed.
• Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy was born in San Francisco, Calif., and went on to attend San Marin (Calif.) High School. After high school, McCoy attended Long Beach State University, when Raiders team ambassador Willie Brown was the head coach.
• Chargers WR Stevie Johnson and Chargers CB Jason Verrett are both natives of Fairfield, Calif., and played for Angelo Rodriguez High School. Verrett's older brother, Warren, works in Ticket Sales and Service for the Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders give an impressive and dominating performance on the road in Week 7, besting the Chargers 37-29.
Overview: The Chargers enter Thursday's Week 16 match-up with the Raiders following a decisive 30-14 victory against the Miami Dolphins in the team's 2015 home finale. Led by third-year Head Coach Mike McCoy, San Diego has won two of its last four contests after dropping six straight games beginning in Week 5. With a 4-10 record and 0-4 mark against the division, the Chargers are currently in fourth place in the AFC West.
Offense: QB Philip Rivers continues to produce at an elite level in his 12th NFL season, having already eclipsed 4,000 passing yards for the year. Rivers has thrown for 4,287 yards on 385-of-577 passing (66.7 percent) with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a passer rating of 95.0. With the team's leading receiver WR Keenan Allen sidelined for the season with an injury, RB Danny Woodhead has stepped up with 64 receptions for 651 yards (10.2 avg.) and six touchdowns, with another three scores on the ground. TE Antonio Gates has also produced 585 yards on 51 catches (11.5 avg.) with four touchdowns.
Defense: The Chargers defense has been stingy through the air this season, allowing only 237.0 passing yards per game. The rushing defense has been more flexible, giving up 120.6 rushing
yards per game and 14 rushing touchdowns on the season. San Diego is at its strongest on third downs, allowing opponents to convert on only 38.5 percent of third-down attempts. The unit has
produced eight interceptions on the season, with second-year CB Jason Verrett leading the way with three interceptions with one return touchdown. The pass rush is anchored by fourth-year LB
Melvin Ingram, who leads the squad with eight sacks. LB Jerry Attaochu ranks second on the team with a career-high 6.5 sacks. Ninth-year S Eric Weddle leads the Chargers with 70 tackles (50 solo) this season.