The Oakland Raiders will head out on the road again and finish up their season this weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 1:25 p.m. PT.
Here is the Game Preview, presented by 95.7 The GAME.
Date: Sunday, December 31, 2017Kickoff: 1:25 p.m. PTSite: StubHub Center (2003)Capacity/Surface: 27,000/Natural GrassRegular Season: Raiders lead, 62-51-2
Postseason: Raiders lead, 1-0
Sunday's game will mark the Raiders' first trip to the StubHub Center to play the Chargers. The Raiders have played the Chargers in Los Angeles as the away team before, as the two teams met in 1960 when the Chargers were in LA the first time. It will conclude the season series between the teams as well, as they met back in Week 6 in Oakland.
Last week, the Raiders dropped a road contest at the hands of the 13-2 Philadelphia Eagles, 10-19. The defense led the way for the Silver and Black, holding the Eagles to just 216 yards of total offense (138 passing and 78 rushing). Oakland forced two turnovers on the night, with S Reggie Nelson in the mix on both of them. He forced a fumble that was recovered by CB TJ Carrie in the third quarter and then intercepted a QB Nick Foles pass in the fourth quarter. Nelson also added six tackles and three passes defensed in the contest. DL Denico Autry and DL Jihad Ward each recorded a sack, with Ward getting his first career quarterback takedown. LB NaVorro Bowman led the team with seven tackles. On offense, the Raiders' rushing attack was effective, as RB Marshawn Lynch led the way with 95 rushing yards on 25 carries. RB Jalen Richard added four carries for 42 yards and a 10.5 rushing average. QB Derek Carr threw for 140 yards on 15-of-29 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. WR Amari Cooper returned after missing two of the last three games due to injury, and posted three catches for 66 yards and one touchdown, a 63-yarder in the first half. P Marquette King tallied five punts for 207 yards, pinning the Eagles inside their own 20-yard line once.
In 2016, WR Amari Cooper led the NFL with five touchdown receptions of at least 30 yards, while setting a franchise record with 15 receptions of at least 25 yards. Cooper added two 30-plusyard touchdown receptions in Week 8 this season, and notched his third such score of 2017 with a 63-yard touchdown in Week 16 against the Eagles. Coop is tied for second in the NFL since 2016 with eight scores of at least 30 yards.
Additionally, Cooper is the only wide receiver in the NFL this season with two 30-plus-yard touchdown receptions in the first half.
Play-by-play: Kevin Harlan
Color Analyst: Rich Gannon
Sideline: Amanda Balionis
Flagship: 95.7 The GAME
Play-by-play: Greg Papa
Color Analyst: Tom Flores
Sideline: Lincoln Kennedy
Overview: Head Coach Anthony Lynn, who was named the 16th head coach in franchise history this past offseason, enters Week 17 with an 8-7 record. After a slow start to the season, the Chargers have won five out of their last six matchups and enter the regular season finale after a 14-7 win against the New York Jets. Los Angeles won the first game in the season series, defeating the Raiders by a score of 17-16 in Week 6.
Offense: Leading the offense for Los Angeles is QB Philip Rivers, now in his 14th season with the Chargers. Rivers enters Week 17 ranking third in the NFL in passing yards with 4,128 and ninth in passing touchdowns with 25. Rivers’ top target this season is fifthyear veteran WR Keenan Allen who ranks fourth in the league with 1,260 yards and leads the team with 93 receptions. RB Melvin Gordon is another top weapon for the Chargers' offense, as he is tied for third in the league with 12 total touchdowns (eight rushing and four receiving). Gordon, who eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last week, is pacing the run game with 1,012 yards on 267 carries (3.8 avg.) while adding 52 receptions for 445 yards (8.6 avg.).
Defense: In defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s first season with the Chargers, his unit is tied for fifth in the NFL with 41 sacks heading into the final week of the regular season. DE Joey Bosa leads the team with 11.5 sacks and DE Melvin Ingram is close behind with 10 sacks. After finishing 2016 tied for the league lead in interceptions, the Chargers are currently tied for third, having posted 17 picks this season. S Tre Boston and CB Casey Hayward are leading the team with four picks each, while CB Desmond King and LB Korey Toomer have both returned an interception for a touchdown.
• Raiders director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales and Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn were both with the New York Jets from 2009-11. Clinkscales served in a variety of scouting roles, most recently as the vice president of college scouting, while Lynn served as the team’s running backs coach. Additionally, Chargers quality control – offense coach Dan Shamash also spent one season with Clinkscales in New York during the 2008 season as a coaching assistant. Chargers head strength and conditioning coach John Lott also spent eight seasons (1997-2004) with Clinkscales in the same capacity with the Jets.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio and Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn were both on the Jaguars coaching staff in 2003-04, with Del Rio serving as the team’s head coach and Lynn as the running backs coach.
• Raiders assistant head coach – defense John Pagano spent 15 seasons with the Chargers in San Diego, serving in a variety of roles consisting of defensive assistant – quality control, assistant linebackers – quality control, outside linebacker, and most recently spending his last five seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator before joining the Raiders this past offseason.
• Chargers defensive back coach Ron Milus (secondary coach) worked under Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (defensive coordinator) during the 2012 season in Denver for the Broncos defense. The Broncos finished 13-3 with the help of Milus and Del Rio.
• Chargers assistant offensive line coach James Cregg landed his first NFL job as an assistant offensive line coach with the Raiders from 2007-08.
• Raiders defensive assistant Sam Anno played linebacker for the Chargers for two seasons from 1992-1993.
• Chargers LB Korey Toomer appeared in 10 games for the Raiders in 2015 before joining the Chargers’ active roster in 2016.
• 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 director of business operations John Hinek is the son of Frank Hinek, who served as the Raiders’ equipment manager from 1960-62.
<span style="text-decoration: underline;">College Connections</span>
• Raiders DE Khalil Mack and Chargers RB Branden Oliver were teammates and roommates at Buffalo from 2010-2013. Mack was the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, while Oliver went undrafted.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio, defensive assistant Sam Anno and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin all either played or coached at USC.
• Raiders defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz and DT Eddie Vanderdoes all either played or coached at UCLA.
• Chargers WR Keenan Allen, DE Chris McCain and NT Brandon Mebane all attended Cal.
• Raiders FB/RB Jamize Olawale, T Donald Penn and CB Sean Smith are all natives of the Los Angeles area.
• Chargers G/T Kenny Wiggins is a native of Elk Grove, Calif., and attended Fresno State from 2007-2010 and was All-Western Athletic Conference First Team as a senior in 2010.