Now that the Colts have done the near-unthinkable and lost to the Jaguars, with a playoff trip in the balance, there is reason for both teams to give us absolutely no offense in the Sunday night game.
That’s because a tie between the Chargers and Raiders would award both franchises a playoff berth. So all they need to do is agree to play the game out at 0-0.
Of course, we’re talking about alpha-male central in the NFL. So it’s hard to imagine such a thing actually happening.
Instead, we’ll assume we get a regular football game. And this will be a rematch of a 1-sided Week 4 Chargers victory. Justin Herbert and crew collected 28 points and 380 yards vs. just 14 and 214 for Derek Carr’s clan.
That game marked – by far – the best performance of the season for the Chargers’ defense, by Football Outsiders DVOA. Their 2nd-best outing came more recently, in a Week 13 win at Cincinnati. But the worst came just 2 weeks ago … at Houston. So it’s tough to bet on that defense stifling anyone.
The Raiders defense, meanwhile, arrives ranked 9th in run-defense DVOA; 25th against the pass.
Let’s check the showdown values by our Week 18 projections …