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In-depth Preview: Chargers at Raiders

In-depth Preview: Chargers at Raiders

denarius moore   In the most important game of the year for both of these teams, the 2-2 Chargers come into Oakland Coliseum to face an upstart Raiders team. After a rough week 4, the Raiders could use an offensive spark, so seeing Terrelle Pryor return should be good news. The Chargers, meanwhile, are a few fourth-quarter blown leads away from being 4-0, thanks to a resurgent year for Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense. Rather than simply listing a few things that the Raiders could do to win in Week 5, I decided to dig deep into more complicated statistics. I stumbled across an absolutely fantastic article by Reuben Fischer-Baum that visually describes how effective each team's offense has been through the first four weeks of the season. To summarize that article, for those that don't want to read it, he charted the offensive success of each team's collective unit (comparing all of the Raiders' receivers instead of just looking at Denarius Moore, for example) when compared to "replacement-level" players, or basically players that a team could sign at any point in free agency. He believed that the successful teams should have players that are way above replacement level, and that the more unsuccessful teams should be willing to part with certain players that aren't even performing at an average level. For the sake of the pictures, a bigger colored circle means a highly productive unit, while a bigger red circle means that the team is struggling pretty hard in that area. Offensive line grading is a bit weird, since there aren't really a whole lot of stats available on pass protection, so the line only grades runblocking. Other than that, though, it is an incredibly solid way to see how effective each team is, and what areas they may need improvement. Using this article and some of my own findings, let's look at an in-depth preview of this important AFC West matchup. San Diego Chargers Since his infographics are set to his site and I don't want to steal them, I'll just summarize and say that the Chargers offense has much better than many expected in this season. Despite a rash of injuries to the wide receiver position, Philip Rivers is playing at an extremely high level. In fact, this stat says that he has been outperforming any quarterback not named Peyton Manning. While surprising, it seems to be accurate this season, which should give a bit of concern to Raiders fans. While the Raiders' defensive line and linebackers have been exceeding expectations, the secondary again seems like it is struggling. In order to slow down this San Diego offense, the Raiders need to be able to pressure Rivers into playing like the Rivers of the past two seasons, throwing off his timing with his receivers and Antonio Gates. This may be difficult to do, however, as the Chargers have allowed the third-least sacks and quarterback hits this season. While Rivers has been playing at a fantastic level, the Chargers backfield hasn't been asked to do a whole lot. Still, they are effective enough to keep defenses honest. Danny Woodhead caught two touchdowns last week and looked like the player that New England used all over their backfield; he is likely the biggest threat to the Raiders on Sunday. First-round pick Ryan Mathews has averaged 3.5 yards per carry in a limited role and is probable for Sunday's game. The Chargers have been careful with Mathews this season, making sure that he doesn't end up breaking anything and keeping him healthy for the first time in his career. Most concerning to Raiders fans, however, should be the return of a healthy Antonio Gates. He hadn't been much of a factor in the past few matchups due to chronic foot injuries, but Gates has enjoyed a trip back in time and elevated himself to one of the best TE's in the game through the first quarter of the season. He is second only to Jimmy Graham in yards on the season and third behind him and Jordan Cameron in receptions. The Chargers have done an excellent job this season using Gates as both a receiving threat and a decoy, freeing up the other receiving threats and letting Rivers get the ball out quickly and effectively. After looking at this offense, the Raiders need to gameplan very well to beat the Chargers. They nee...

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1914 translation by H.

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1914 translation by H.

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"

Section 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum", written by Cicero in 45 BC

"At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat." 1914 translation by H.

"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains."

About Tyler Baland

Avatar of Tyler Baland
Hello! My name is Tyler. I'm a 23-year old living in Northern California after graduating from UC Santa Cruz. I'm a lifelong Raiders fan and NFL fan, and I have always enjoyed looking deep at the game to better understand it. I love fantasy football and sharing fantasy information. Expect to see me all over this site! In addition to writing, I also have a full-time job with the State of California and manage an art company, Mandalove Designs.

One comment

  1. Avatar of Tyler Baland

    After posting this article, I learned that the Raiders’ offensive line may be more nicked up than I first thought. Wisniewski is doubtful, Watson has still only practiced in limited bursts all week, and Pashos is now questionable after not practicing yesterday with a groin injury. With the usual injuries that the Raiders have, it may really be worth keeping an eye on these additional injuries.

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