Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Thursday Night Football Pick

Posted by mizzou1028 on December 4, 2008

We’ve run into a busy week in the Fischer household, so we’ll have a quick pick here on tonight’s game, and the rest of the games will be selected tomorrow, we promise. 

Needless to say this is a big game in the AFC West.  The Broncos will certainly be watching closely because they will all but clinch the division if the Raiders pull the upset tonight, needing only a win Sunday against the hapless Chiefs in that case.  San Diego has got to rank as one of the biggest disappointments in the league at a seemingly unbelievable 4-8 (I still say Jacksonville is a bigger disappointment, but not by much).  The Chargers have won just one game since Oct. 12, and that was a one point win over Kansas City thanks to a Chiefs missed two point conversion at the end of the game.  Strangely enough, the Raiders actually have more wins in that span than the Chargers, having beaten the Jets on Oct. 19 and the Broncos two weeks ago. 

What is most surprising about the Chargers has been the down play of LaDainian Tomlinson, who clearly has not been the best back in football this season.  Granted, the troubles on the O-line have something to do with that, but the Chargers offense has not been near as explosive as in past years.  Likewise, their defense has struggled without Shawne Merriman.  Their loss to Atlanta last week was nowhere near as close as the score indicated.  If not for a defensive TD, the Chargers would have been blown out.  The Falcons dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and had a dominant edge in every stat category.  The Raiders are also coming off a loss to Kansas City in which the score seems close but in which the Raiders didn’t play up to their potential.  JaMarcus Russell has really struggled at the quarterback position, and the running game has also been non existent most games.  The Raiders defense however has actually played very well most games, and they do seem to step up and play to the level of their competition.

Two weeks ago against Denver, the Raiders completely shut down the Broncos passing game and were able to force turnovers.  Two weeks before that, the Raiders held Jake Delhomme to just 7 of 27 and forced him into four picks.  Call me crazy, but I think Philip Rivers is about to have a very long night.  If the Raiders can shut down San Diego’s running game, which is possible with LT not being himself, and if Rivers is forced to win the game for San Diego, he won’t be able to.  The Oakland secondary is very underrated and is actually among the best in the league, especially Nnamdi Asoumgua, who should absolutely be a Pro Bowler.  If the Raiders can force turnovers, their offense might just be able to take advantage of them and put up some points against the Chargers.

Either way, this game will definitely be ugly.  Personally I might just watch more of the Texas-UCLA college basketball showdown as ugly as this game could get.  Something just doesn’t seem right about San Diego.  The Chargers have been in desperation mode for a month and have not figured out how to win.  If it didn’t kick in by now, it probably won’t.  When these teams played in week four, Oakland had a 15-3 fourth quarter lead, and that was before the Al Davis-Lane Kiffin divorce.  I smell something fishy here.  I think the Chargers are done, and Norv Turner should be as well at the end of the season.  San Diego never should have fired Marty Schottenheimer, and their mistake is quickly coming home to roost.

The pick: Oakland pulls the upset.  Raiders 17-13

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2 Responses to “Thursday Night Football Pick”

  1. rootingforlaundry1 said

    cnnsi was carrying a story which talked up the idea of LT being somewhere other than San Diego after ’09? I can’t imagine that happening, but then again . . .

    maybe a new coach would bring a different mindset, and hey, how many times have we seen the second or third option RB (such as Turner in Atlanta) flourish when given the chance? if Mike Shanahan has proven anything, it’s that you can find quality RB’s anywhere.

    just a thought.

  2. Doug Baker said

    You missed this one! 🙂 Norv Turner is a terrible head coach. He ruined the Redskins too.

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