San Diego (4-10) at Oakland (6-8)
When: Thursday, December 24th 2015
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NFL Network
Two AFC West rivals will meet on Christmas Eve with nothing to play for as the Oakland Raiders host the San Diego Chargers. Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson will be playing his last home game as he announced his retirement earlier this week. Woodson needs one interception to move past Ken Riley (65) for fifth place on the all-time list. The Raiders might also be playing their last game in Oakland for a while as both them and the Chargers might be sharing a stadium near Los Angeles next year. Oakland was sitting 4-3 after Week 8 and looked as though they would compete for a wild card spot, but then they lost their next three games and fell out of contention. They got an impressive 15-12 win at Denver two weeks ago in which linebacker Khalil Mack recorded five sacks and now has an NFL-leading 15 for the season. QB Derek Carr has completed less than 50% of his passes in the each of the last two games, but still sports a strong 93.5 QB rating for the season. Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper now has over 1,000 yards receiving to go along with his 6 touchdowns. Running back Latavius Murray is just 44 yards from breaking 1,000 this season, but only has two games over 100 yards. Oakland’s secondary, which ranks 28th against the pass, will have their hands full with Philip Rivers tonight.
The Chargers season has been one to forget. They have lost eight of their last ten games and scored exactly 3 points in three of those losses. They erupted for 30 points in a win over Miami last week in which Rivers threw for 311 yards and three scores. Rookie running back Melvin Gordon injured his knee last week and will miss the final two games. Donald Brown came on and rushed for 90 yards while Danny Woodhead scored four touchdowns (three receiving). Rivers can become the first QB in franchise history with three 4,500-yard seasons with 213 yards more yards. The top wide receiver on this team other than a running back or tight end is Malcom Floyd, who has just 27 catches in 13 games. The Chargers are coming off one of their best defensive efforts, holding the Dolphins to 231 total yards and are 11th in the NFL against the pass. The Chargers will try and prevent the Raiders from sweeping the season series for the first time since 2010. San Diego was down 31 points in their first matchup before the Chargers made it close only to lose 37-29.
This is a game that I want no part of, but since its a Thursday night and Christmas Eve game, everyone is going to want to bet it. I think Oakland wins, but Rivers keeps it close.
Pick: Chargers +6.5