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Versus: Two rising rookies set to clash in SoFi Stadium

There are a lot of ties between the City of Angels and the Raiders.

The franchise won its third Super Bowl in Los Angeles 40 years ago, with dozens of wins racked up at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Traveling back in L.A., the Raiders now turn an eye to another AFC West battle against the Chargers on deck. The two teams always seem to bring the best out of each other, as they've split three games a piece since the Silver and Black moved to the desert.

Here are three matchups to look out for against two opponents that know each other very well.

Jakorian Bennett vs. Quentin Johnston

These two rookies have found themselves in bigger roles than they might've expected this early in their career.

Jakorian Bennett has taken the reins at starting outside cornerback after earning the job in Training Camp. The fourth-round pick from Maryland has shadowed Pro Bowlers Courtland Sutton, Stefon Diggs and Allen Robinson in his first three NFL games. Despite some growing pains, he's shown exceptional open-field tackling abilities, with 18 total tackles (12 solo).

"He's a real diligent young man," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said about Bennett. "Same stuff I saw at the Senior Bowl and it's really encouraging to see him grow each week. When you see corners that can tackle, that's always a positive there."

Bennett will likely line up for a few snaps against another rookie – 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston. The Chargers receiver was explosive at TCU, recording nearly 1,100 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his junior season. The 6-foot-4 rookie is about to receive a much heavier workload, with Mike Williams being ruled out the rest of the season (ACL).

Johnston has been targeted eight times this season, but he could potentially see that many targets this Sunday. The question is if Bennett will be ready to stop him.

Kolton Miller vs. Khalil Mack

Kolton Miller has been the steady force of the Raiders offensive line this season, and he'll be needed more than ever Sunday.

The Raiders left tackle continues to ascend as one of the best in the league. Throughout three games, he's allowed only three quarterback pressures with a 79.2 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus.

A week after going against Alex Highsmith, Miller will be lined up against a top pass rusher in Khalil Mack. The Chargers edge rusher won NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the Raiders in 2016, with seven Pro Bowl selections to his name. In the four career games against the Raiders, he's totaled four sacks, 15 solo tackles and six quarterback hits.

Miller got the upper hand in their last matchup, holding Mack to no sacks or solo tackles in the 27-20 Week 13 victory.

Daniel Carlson vs. Cameron Dicker

In a game of inches, both teams will need their kickers to be lights out this Sunday.

No kicker has seemed to shine under bright lights the way Daniel Carlson has the past few seasons. The First-Team All-Pro kicker hasn't missed a single field goal or extra point this season, having made over 90 percent of his field goals since signing with the Raiders in 2019. Additionally, he's gone 3-of-4 on field goals at SoFi Stadium in his career.

The Chargers have a young kicker rising up the ranks in Cameron Dicker. The former Texas Longhorn made 95 percent of his field goals with the Chargers as a rookie, getting his opportunity to shine following a Dustin Hopkins injury. Dicker beat out Hopkins for the starting job in Training Camp this offseason and hasn't looked back. He's gone 5-of-6 on field goals this season, with a long of 50 yards.

Get an exclusive look at the gameday entertainment from the Raiders' Week 3 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Allegiant Stadium.

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