The Oakland Raiders visit the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 22
Coverage by: Mike Guerrelli
Matchup: Oakland Raiders offense vs. Los Angeles Chargers defense
- T Marshall Newhouse vs. Edge Melvin Ingram – The Raiders will have their hands full with two of the premier edge defenders in the NFL in Ingram and Joey Bosa. Newhouse’s eight sacks allowed this season are the fourth-most for any offensive lineman and ranks 58th among offensive tackles in pass-blocking efficiency (pressure allowed per-snap with weighting toward sacks). Newhouse allowed one sack and three total pressures in 30 pass-blocking snaps against the Chargers in Week 6. Ingram is the ninth-ranked edge defender this year with a 90.6 overall PFF grade. His 72 total pressures are the fourth-most of any edge defender. Ingram ranks 10th in pass-rushing productivity when rushing from the left side this season.
- WR Amari Cooper vs. CB Casey Hayward – It has been a disappointing year for many Raiders on offense, and Cooper is no exception. His 49.9 overall grade ranks 86th at wide receiver after finishing 2016 as the 23rd-ranked receiver. Cooper has struggled with dropped passes, and his 18.2 drop rate is the worst of any receiver with 60 or more targets this season. Hayward is PFF’s top-graded cornerback in 2017 with a 96.7 overall grade, and is the fourth-highest graded player at any position. He has 13 passes defensed and four interceptions, and his 23.9 percent PFF playmaker index (percentage of targets defensed or intercepted) is the highest of any cornerback with 50-plus targets this year.
- RB Marshawn Lynch vs. S Jahleel Addae – Lynch has been heavily involved in the Raiders game plan recently, with 19 or more touches in four of the last five games. He is the 12th-ranked running back this season with an 83.7 overall PFF grade. Lynch’s 2.98 yards after contact per attempt ranks eighth among backs with 150-plus touches. Addae plays in the box often, lining up within eight yards of the line of scrimmage on 90.1 percent of snaps against the run. He has 17 run-stops this year (plays graded as a “win” for the defense), the ninth-most of any safety.
Coverage by: Daniel Rymer
Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers offense vs. Oakland Raiders defense
- TE Antonio Gates vs. LB NaVorro Bowman – The future hall-of-fame tight end stepped up in a big way last week in the absence of Hunter Henry. In Week 16, Gates ran 20 routes from the slot and caught five balls for 54 yards on such routes, giving him 2.70 yards per route run from the slot, ranking first among qualifying tight ends. Oakland’s NaVorro Bowman will have to help contain Gates if the Raiders want to spoil their rivals’ season. On the year, Bowman has allowed just 0.87 yards per cover snap, which ranks ninth out of 30 inside linebackers with at least 280 cover snaps. With a playoff spot in reach, look for Antonio to help open the gates to the postseason with another big game.
- WR Keenan Allen vs. CB T.J. Carrie – Allen has generated a passer rating of 104.6 when targeted this season, tenth-best among wide receivers with at least 80 targets. However, Allen shines brightest in terms of efficiency; he has gained 1,260 yards on 511 snaps in route, which gives him an average of 2.47 yards per route run, third among qualifying wide receivers. With Allen’s primary role being in the slot, he will be facing off against Oakland’s nickel corner T.J. Carrie. On the season, Carrie has allowed a passer rating of 105.1 when targeted, ranking 98th out of 123 qualifying cornerbacks. When lined up in the slot, Carrie is allowing 1.4 yards per cover snap, 44th out of 56 qualifying cornerbacks.
- T Joe Barksdale vs. Edge Khalil Mack – With a current overall grade of 91.8, it’s likely that Khalil Mack will finish with his third-straight elite overall grade (90-plus). Mack has rushed the passer 470 times this season, with 375 of them coming from the defense’s left side. This means that Chargers’ right tackle Joe Barksdale will have the unfortunate task of fending off the Raiders’ monstrous pass-rusher. On the year, Mack has generated 76 total pressures (11 sacks, 13 hits, 52 hurries), good for a 12.7 pass-rush productivity rating, sixth-best among edge defenders with at least 165 pass-rush snaps. Barksdale, with a current overall grade of 49.8, has allowed 20 total pressures on 345 pass-blocking snaps, giving him a 95.7 pass-blocking efficiency rating that ranks 19th out of 55 offensive tackles.