Found September 10, 2012 on Just Cover Blog:

The final contest of Week 1, surprisingly, will be between the teams expected to fight for 3rd and 4th in the AFC North. Both teams have high ceilings but expectations have been reined in for seemingly yearly disappointment. It must be tough, in 2012, to be a fan of either of these teams. Both are mediocre at best with enough knuckleheads on the sidelines to drive you nuts.

Then again, the excitement is still there before the AFC West  hasn’t been a formidable division since John Elway laced ‘em up. (Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it feels that way).

Hope springs eternal tonight and, for one team, that eternal hope will feel even better tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s Important Numbers (5Dimes)

LINE: Oakland – 1 ½ (-105), San Diego +1 ½ (-115)
OVER/UNDER: 46 ½ (O: -110, Under: -110)

The Breakdown

The Chargers and Raiders have opened the season against each other twice in recent years (2006 and 2009). San Diego won both games, 27-0 and 24-20. Naturally, the result of those games has nothing to do with tonight’s contest but it is worth noting both of those games, like tonight’s contest, were in Oakland.

Both teams finished at the dreaded 8-8 mark last season, although it felt worse for the Raiders. Had Oakland protected home field in last year’s season finale against San Diego, it would have represented the AFC West in the playoffs, not the Denver Tebows… err Broncos. To predict that there might be a little revenge venom dripping from a few Oakland players tonight would be a decent proposition.

Analysis

San Diego is trying to become the AFC’s version of the Green Bay Packers or New Orleans Saints – a team that almost ignores its defense and tries to outscore people. The problem with that thought – and it’s a major problem – is that San Diego’s offense really isn’t that great. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t in the league’s Top 10, which is what it needs to be for the Chargers to continually play the type of defense they do and get away with it.

The offense got hot late last season, scoring 34 or more points in four of the final five games. The one time it didn’t – at Detroit on Christmas Eve – the Lions won, 38-10. That was about the time Ryan Mathews was really getting healthy and looking like a solid first round draft pick. Unfortunately for Charger nation, Mathews won’t be playing tonight because of his clavicle injury sustained in the preseason opener. Without his 2011 replacement, Mike Tolbert, the Chargers will have to use Ronnie Brown to take some of the load off Philip Rivers’ arm. This is the same Ronnie Brown that has pretty much been useless in recent years in Miami and Philadelphia.

Oakland, unlike San Diego, is trying to make defense a calling card. The problem is the Raiders just don’t have that much talent on defense. Therefore, whether Raiders will admit it or not, Oakland will also be trying to outscore people this season. With Carson Palmer in tow that will be interesting to watch. Darren McFadden will be the best player on the Raiders this season and, if the coaching staff is smart, will let him get around 25 touches a game. He’s the team’s only chance to win 10 games and the AFC West.

The pick

Let’s put it this way: if the Oakland Coliseum scoreboard was operated the same way Fenway Park’s is they might have to bring in a few relievers for tonight’s game. I expect both defenses to look out of sorts and both quarterbacks, while probably not at their best, to find holes and score touchdowns. Both teams will play a lot of 30-something, 20-something games this season and it all beings in Week 1. Look for something along the lines of 31-28 Raiders.

That, my friends, will get you a big hit on the over and also will give you a Raiders cover. I’ll send a “Book It” your way on the over but follow your own heart on the winner. All I can promise is whoever wins will both score and surrender a lot of points.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Report: Raiders' Bartell out with broken shoulder blade

The Oakland Raiders received a lot of discouraging medical news on Tuesday. Not only did wide receiver Jacoby Ford undergo foot surgery that might end his season, but starting cornerback Ronald Bartell sustained a broken shoulder blade in Monday's loss to San Diego, according to ESPN.com. Bartell's injury will not require surgery, and he could be back in 4-6 weeks. The...

Raiders – Chargers Notes: Just go for it!

It’s an old mantra for football analysts, but if there was ever a time to go for it on fourth down, it was in the MNF nightcap for Oakland. Their long snapper was out with a concussion early, making punts a risky proposition. However, at the end of the first half, the Raiders signaled their intentions by settling for a field goal on fourth and one from the one yard line, despite...

Seau's Calif. home sold for nearly $2M

The beachfront home where former NFL linebacker Junior Seau killed himself has been sold for nearly $2 million. The North County Times reports the two-story, three-bedroom home in Oceanside was recently sold for $1.97 million. It was listed in late July for almost $2.3 million. Seau bought the house for $3.2 million in 2005. The former San Diego Chargers linebacker was 43 when...

Gates Briefly Exits In 3rd Quarter With Rib Injury

San Diego Chargers Tight End, Antonio Gates, ran to to the team's locker room midway through the 3rd Quarter with a rib injury but was able to return shortly after.  Fantasy Spin: Plain and simple Antonio Gates is a constant injury concern. Luckily, it seems he escaped any serious damage with this rib problem.

Broken hand to sideline Quentin Jammer?

Coming off a key division win over their rivals in Oakland on Monday night, the Chargers had reason to be happy today, even as one of their defensive starters received news that no player wants to hear, with cornerback Quentin Jammer diagnosed as having broken his hand during the contest. Although the normal course of action to treat such an injury would likely include plenty of...

Norv Turner What The F*ck GIF

Norv Turner seems so calm, cool, and collected.  Love to see him firing off at someone…now he knows how we all feel whenever he makes some stupid ass call.  Muchas Gracias @sbanation for the f*ckin awesome GIF. Are You Kidding Me? Let’s Gets Wired Up!

Raiders lose Jacoby Ford to significant foot injury

On the heels of last night’s disastrous showing at home against the Chargers on Monday Night Football, the Raiders received more bad news today, as wide receiver Jacoby Ford will reportedly miss “a significant amount of time” this season and will have surgery to repair his injured foot, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Ford revealed his injury is similar to the one that...

Jacoby Ford Slated For Foot Surgery

Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford has opted to have surgery on his injured foot. He is out indefinitely.Fantasy Spin:Ford's absence should open the door for Rod Streater to play a larger role in the Oakland passing attack. He caught four passes including a two-yard touchdown in the season opener Monday night versus the Chargers.

Raiders Fall to the Chargers to Begin the 2012 Regular Season

Are you ready for some Raider Football? It’s new year’s day for the Silver & Black as the Oakland Raiders host the Chargers to kick off their 2012 regular season. It’s the official beginning of a new era for the storied franchise, no longer under the watchful eyes of Al Davis, but now in the [...]

Oakland Raiders Loss: Karmic Returibution?

I already covered this game, but I recently learned something about NFL history.On September 10, 1978, the Raiders won a game against the Chargers in the most amazing manner-- an offensive fumble recovery for a touchdown.Even back then, NFL rules limited forward passes to once per play and only from behind the line of scrimmage.  If the ball hit the ground, it was considered incomplete...

Chargers-Raiders Live Blog – First Half

WHAT? HUH? WHAT? DEUX DEUX DEUX DANGER DANGER CHRIS BERMAN BROADCASTING DANGER DANGER After a riveting Ravens blowout, we head westward for the annual Chargers vs. Other West Coast Team Doubleheader Special, which a national audience have to interpret through mute. This will be fresh hell on your hearing otherwise. Compelling storylines abound: Ronnie Brown or Darren McFadden –...

09-11 Lorenzo Neal

Former NFL Fullback Lorenzo Neal joins Rob and Amy to recap the opening weekend in the NFL.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.