With the Los Angeles Chargers set to take on the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13, all eyes will be on this highly anticipated rematch. Ahead of this Chargers-Raiders game, we will be making our Chargers Week 13 predictions.
Last season, Justin Herbert and the Chargers had their season ended by Derek Carr and the Raiders on a game-ending field goal. These two teams started the season facing off, with the Chargers stealing a 24-19 victory.
But now, over three months later, these two teams find themselves in very different, yet eerily similar situations.
The Chargers, led by Herbert, have at times played far below expectations. Injuries have hit this team hard, leading to them rarely being at full force. But even so, they have consistently managed to stay competitive and stay in games. At the moment, they are 6-5 and second in the AFC West.
On the other side, the Raiders have also played far below expectations. Following the offseason deal to land superstar wide receiver Davante Adams, many believed that this team would be dominant. Instead, they currently sit at 4-7 and are third in the AFC West.
With these two teams separated by just two games, this divisional matchup could have a long-term impact. It could also provide both teams with a much-needed boost to finish out the season in a big way.
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3 Bold predictions for the Chargers in Week 13
3. The Chargers secondary struggles slowing down Davante Adams
Throughout this season, Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams has once again put together an elite campaign. Over 11 games, he has consistently given opposing secondaries a hard time, recording 71 receptions for 999 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. He currently ranks in the top eight in all three categories.
On the way to his huge first season with the Raiders, Adams has found success nearly every week. Adams has recorded at least 90 receiving yards in seven games this season. This includes a strong outing in Week 1 against the Chargers where he recorded 10 receptions for 141 receiving yards and one touchdown against the Chargers.
The Chargers secondary is currently banged up at the moment. With Nasir Adderley currently questionable, and J.C. Jackson on injured reserve, this group is missing key contributors. And they will now be tasked with slowing down the Raiders key target in Adams.
Slowing down Adams will be the key for this Chargers defense. Given he can be kept to modest numbers, the Chargers could be in a good position to take home a victory. But he can push this defense to its limit.
2. Austin Ekeler has a dominant performance
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has quietly put together one of the best campaigns of the 2022 season. Through 11 games, he has been a force both on the ground and through the air.
In total, Ekeler has rushed for 554 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Through the air, he has been a go-to target for Herbert, recording 98 total targets, leading to 80 receptions for 497 receiving yards and five touchdowns. In total, he has racked up 1,051 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns.
During the Week 1 matchup against the Raiders, Ekeler had one of his worst performances of the season. He rushed for just 36 yards on 14 carries. Through the air, he added four receptions for 36 receiving yards,
Since that game, Ekeler has played dominant football, regularly putting up big numbers against any defense.
Over the past four games, Ekeler has totaled 314 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. Now, the Raiders will once again be forced to try to slow him down.
Given that Ekeler can be dominant for the Chargers once again, the Raiders defense will be up for a challenge. If Ekeler has a big game, the Chargers offense could walk away with a win.
1. Justin Herbert puts on a show
Now in his third season as the Chargers QB1, Herbert has once again put together a strong season. Even while dealing with injuries, and playing behind an injury-plagued offensive line, Herbert has thrown for 3,004 yards, 19 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He is currently fifth in both passing yards and passing touchdowns.
For much of this season, Herbert has also been without his typical pass-catching group. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Gerald Everett, and Joshua Palmer have all missed time.
Now, with a fully healthy group of pass catchers, Herbert may once again put up the big numbers that he has in the past.
In Week 12 as the Chargers took on the Arizona Cardinals, Herbert tested the opposing secondary early and often. He finished the day throwing for 274 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. On the ground, he added 38 rushing yards on four carries.
Now Herbert and the Chargers offense will have the luxury of playing a Raiders defense that has struggled heavily at times this season. This could point to another big outing from the Chargers QB1.