San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders Week 5 NFL Pick
Fresh off of an impressive win against the Cowboys, Philip Rivers and the Chargers head into Oakland this weekend to square off with an AFC divisional foe in the Raiders. Rivers looks like his old self once again after a turnover-filled couple of seasons in which both himself and the Chargers did not come close to living up to lofty expectations.
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The veteran play caller is a superb 105 for 142 on pass attempts this year, good for a completion percentage of 74%. He has thrown for 11 touchdowns in 4 games, and is currently averaging 300 yards through the air per game. Maybe most important for Rivers and the Chargers offence is their long-time reliable tight end Antonio Gates has once again found chemistry with his quarterback. Gates is averaging almost 15 yards per reception this season to go along with 354 receiving yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Tailback Danny Woodhead caught 2 touchdown passes last week against Dallas and has looked as dangerous as ever both on the ground and though the air which combined with Gates' strong 2013 campaign could spell doom for this Raiders defence. After sitting out last week with concussion symptoms, Terrelle Pryor will be behind center for the Raiders in week 5 after Matt Flynn couldn't get the job done last week against the Redskins (and has since been demoted to 3rd string). Pryor hasn't been lights out this year, but it's pretty safe to say he has faired better than most expected.
My Pick - OVER 45 (-110) 5 Dimes
Pryor has completed a respectable 65% of his pass attempts this season to go along with 7.6 yards per rush when he is forced to run the ball. Both of these stats could prove important Sunday night considering San Diego ranks dead last in road pass defence this year allowing 347 yards per game through the air, while their road rush defence isn't much better, ranked 24th in the league allowing 135 yards per game on the ground. This could set up a big week for Darren McFadden who always shows glimpses of brilliance, only to remain inconsistent over a full season.
McFadden runs much better at home as the Raiders are averaging 165 yards on the ground at home. The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Diego's last 6 games overall, while also going 5-1 in the Charger's last 6 road games. The total has also gone OVER in 5 of Oakland's last 6 home games against the Chargers. I believe there is an opportunity for a high scoring game with 2 play-making Quarterback's behind center in Oakland in a late Sunday nighter. Take the over.