Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 10: Oakland @ San Diego

My pick: San Diego

This match-up would be more interesting if these teams weren't both struggling. This seems a game of which team won't screw up more at this point. The Raiders have their obvious problems with the absence of Campbell and bringing in a new quarterback who hadn't even played a game since the end of last season. This is compounded by the fact that their star running back is also sidelined with a foot injury. Their kicker along with a few others are also questionable for tomorrow night's game. The Raiders have lost their last two games, and Palmer has averaged three interceptions in each game that he has played. However, given that Palmer did not start the year with the team, or any team for that matter, it isn't unexpected that the Raiders have a struggling offense. And as Player X notes in this month's ESPN, a team's best defense is a good offense. No matter what a defense might do to put the offense in a good position, the offense needs to do its part as well. It isn't fair to immediately expect production out of Palmer given the circumstances, but the Raiders are going to have to hope things run better than they have been. And perhaps what also doesn't bode well for the Raiders is what Coach Jackson deems their "not playing smart football." They have taken numerous penalties, and they currently lead the league with 84 penalties.

This isn't to say that San Diego will have a swift victory. Rivers has been averaging two interceptions a game in his last three, just one less than Oakland's Palmer, and currently leads the league with fourteen interceptions. He has been a player in the blame-game for the team's last three losses. The Chargers may also be without their top rusher Matthews due to injury, but I believe that will be a game-time decision. However, what does bode well for the Chargers is that they play well at home with a 3-1 record this season, and nothing motivates a team, regardless of the sport, than a home win off a losing streak. The Chargers have their problems, but they are not greater than those of the Raiders. Because each team has been sloppy and has not been able to overcome their struggles, I expect this to be a close game and maybe not very pretty.

No comments:

Post a Comment