|Las Vegas Raiders||+3
|Los Angeles Chargers||-3
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These 3-0 Las Vegas Raiders have covered the spread in all four of their last Monday Night Football matchups, so expect the league’s most productive offense to score plenty in this one, with quarterback Derek Carr and playmaker tight end Darren Waller forming a solid connection in the first three games to help their Raiders climb to the top of the AFC West.
In Week 3, the Los Angeles Chargers traveled to Arrowhead Stadium and beat the Chiefs, 30-24, a shocker in which the team’s young quarterback Justin Herbert threw four touchdown passes with no interceptions and they will need that kind of production to win this divisional matchup, though having their noisy hometown crowd in attendance should help.
These two AFC West rivals have met each other 123 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Los Angeles Chargers winning 55 games and the Las Vegas Raiders winning 66 games, plus two ties.
Right now, Raiders veteran quarterback Derek Carr leads the league in passing yards (1,203) and yards gained per game (401), so far this season completing almost 65 percent of his passes for 6 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions while leading his team to a 3-0 record.
Impressive numbers, especially for a quarterback whose Raiders were 8-8 last season, a struggling team that has failed to turn in an over .500 season since 2016, coached by a fiery Jon Gruden who knows what it takes to win the Lombardi Trophy.
Carr has always been considered a decent quarterback, but early on this year he is starting to look elite, so he can continue that gradual upswing on Monday Night with a solid performance against the Chargers, and even more so with an underdog win.
Last week, Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert smacked his hand on the helmet of a Chiefs’ defender and now he is listed as questionable for Week 4 and will most likely be a game-time decision by head coach Brandon Staley.
Though Herbert had left the stadium last week with his throwing hand wrapped in ice, the injury didn’t seem to hamper his performance earlier having thrown two touchdowns after hurting his hand including the game-winning toss to receiver Mike Williams with just over half a minute to play.
Herbert will most likely play on Monday night against the Raiders, but there is no telling how the hand injury could affect his throwing motion during that game, though chances are Herbert will make no excuses as he continues his NFL rise.
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
One of the many reasons Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is so productive this season is receiver Hunter Renfrow, the speedy slot receiver who has emerged as one of Carr’s favorite targets, his quickness and ability to get open making him a player to keep an eye on.
After three games in his third NFL season, Renfrow has been targeted 22 times and has caught 16 of those passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, often providing his quarterback with a quick and reliable check-down target to bail him out of backfield trouble.
A big game from Renfrow could be the difference on Monday Night, the crafty receiver smart enough to find holes in the playing field left by the double-teams on tight end Darren Waller and with a quarterback skilled enough to find him with the football.
Frequent flyer ✈️ pic.twitter.com/BcL6RxnInq
— Austin Ekeler (@AustinEkeler) September 28, 2021
Currently, the Chargers’ rushing attack is ranked 26th best in the league after averaging yards on the ground per game, something that must improve if they expect to challenge the Raiders and the other productive teams in their division towards the end of their season.
Running back Austin Eckeler is the Chargers starter right now and he’s carried the ball 35 times this season for 166 yards and a touchdown averaging 4.7 yards per carry, plus he has caught 15 balls for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Eckeler needs to step up against this Raiders’ 22nd ranked rush defense and help give the Chargers an even more productive run game that can counter his team’s effective passing attack that generates over 300 yards per game, currently fourth-best in the league.
|Raiders vs Chargers Information|
|Teams||Las Vegas Raiders vs Los Angeles Chargers|
|Location||SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California|
|Time||Monday, October 4, 2021; 8:15 PM ET|
|How to watch||ESPN|
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