Raiders, Chargers seek to continue strong starts on Monday

LAS VEGAS (3-0) at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-1)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT, ESPN

OPENING LINE: Chargers by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Las Vegas 2-1, Los Angeles 2-1.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 66-55-2.

LAST MEETING: Chargers beat Raiders 30-27 on Dec. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas.

LAST WEEK: Raiders beat Miami 31-28; Chargers beat Kansas City 30-24.

RAIDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (25), PASS (1), SCORING (T-6).

RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (22), PASS (13), SCORING (T-15).

CHARGERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (26), PASS (4), SCORING (T-19).

CHARGERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (32), PASS (7), SCORING (T-7).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders plus-1; Chargers plus-2.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Casey Hayward Jr. The former Chargers cornerback is off to an impressive start in his first year in Las Vegas. He tackled Jaylen Waddle for a safety last week and has allowed only three catches for 26 yards on nine targets this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Rookie CB Asante Samuel Jr. had an interception for the second straight game against the Chiefs, becoming the third player in franchise history to get two picks in his first three contests. The second-round draft pick also has 10 tackles and a team-high four passes defended.

KEY MATCHUP: Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue vs. Chargers OT Rashawn Slater. Los Angeles had glaring breakdowns on the offensive line last season, Las Vegas along its defensive front, so both teams invested significant capital to address those issues. Slater was drafted 13th overall. Ngakoue signed a two year, $26 million contract in March that was subsequently restructured to free up cap space, He has yet to get a sack or tackle for loss for his new club. Getting past Slater to pressure Justin Herbert would certainly make up for Ngakoue’s slow start.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has missed the past two games with an ankle injury but is hoping to return this week. … Chargers DE Joey Bosa aggravated his sprained foot against Kansas City but was able to finish the game. Bosa doesn’t expect the injury will keep him from playing on Monday. … The Chargers have been without CB Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder) and DE Justin Jones (calf) their past two games.

SERIES NOTES: The Chargers are 12-6 in their past 18 home games against the Raiders. However, the first-ever meeting at SoFi Stadium last season was a 31-26 win for Las Vegas when Herbert’s apparent touchdown pass to tight end Donald Parham Jr. on the last play of the game was overturned after video review. … Raiders coach Jon Gruden is 10-6 against the Chargers. … Herbert was 50 of 74 passing for 640 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in two games against the Raiders as a rookie.

STATS AND STUFF:

Raiders QB Derek Carr is the fourth player in NFL history to throw for 1,200 yards through three games, joining Tom Brady in 2011, Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2018 and Kurt Warner in 2000. … The Raiders have not started 4-0 since 2002, when they won the AFC title. … The Raiders are the first team in NFL history to have four players with at least 200 yards receiving in the first three games: Henry Ruggs III (237 yards), Darren Waller (224), Bryan Edwards (210) and Hunter Renfrow (204). … Herbert has thrown for 15 touchdowns on third downs since the start of last season, second in the NFL behind only Tom Brady’s 16. … Los Angeles ranks 31st in penalties (26) and last in the league in penalty yards (243). … Hayward had 14 interceptions in 78 games with the Chargers. … Bosa has 49 sacks in 66 career games, including six takedowns of Carr.

FANTASY TIP: Chargers WR Keenan Allen has just three 100-yard games in 13 career appearances against the Raiders, but he caught nine passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in the inaugural matchup in Inglewood, California last November. Given his familiarity with Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system after going against it in practice the past four seasons, Allen should have another successful outing.

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