Roster vs. Roster: Raiders offense is better than the Chargers at every level

This will be our first in a series of posts looking at how the Oakland Raiders roster stands up against its division rivals. As we all know, the Kansas City Chiefs represent the primary obstacle to winning the AFC West while the Los Angeles Chargers represent the smallest threat to the Raiders. So, in the interest of building up suspense, we will start with the Chargers, move on to the Denver Broncos and finish with the Chiefs. Each team will be broken up into two pieces, one comparing the offenses and one comparing the defenses.


Quarterbacks: Raiders

I was very close to calling this one a draw. There’s no doubt that Philip Rivers is a very, very good quarterback who would be able to start on 90% of the teams in the NFL. Much like Derek Carr, he puts up a ton of yards, a ton of touchdowns and a good completion percentage. But there is one stat that leads me to put Derek Carr above Rivers: Interceptions. Since Carr entered the league, he’s thrown 31 interceptions. In that same time period, Rivers threw 52 interceptions and a difference of 21 more picks was enough for me to put Carr above Rivers.

Running Backs: Raiders

This one really isn’t much of a contest. Melvin Gordon isn’t a bad back, but he isn’t anything special either. Meanwhile, the Silver and Black will roll out one of the best backs in the past decade with Marshawn Lynch along with two young and very promising backs in Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.

Wide Receivers: Raiders

When he’s healthy, Keenan Allen is one of the best wide receivers in the league and easily in the same class as Amari Cooper. The problem is, he hasn’t been healthy in two years and there’s no guarantee he will return to full health this season. In addition, while Tyrell Williams had a break out season with over 1,000 yards and appears ready to be a very good number two to a healthy Allen, he isn’t proven in the way Michael Crabtree is for the Raiders. And as far as depth goes, that might have been a push before the signing of Cordarelle Patterson but now that swings the way of the Raiders as well.

Tight Ends: Raiders

Right now, the duo of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry is an impressive one and better than the duo of Clive Walford and Jared Cook. That could change if Walford is able to bounce back and finally reach his potential. But even with Henry and Gates being better than Walford and Cook, the Raiders still win out thanks to Lee Smith. Though he may not get as much shine, Lee Smith is one of if not the best blocking tight end in the league and plays a MAJOR role in the Raiders offense.

Offensive Line: Raiders

This one will probably be the easiest part of this entire series of posts. The Oakland Raiders, even with a questionable right tackle situation, have a top five offensive line in the league by conservative standards. Many would argue it’s the second best after the Dallas Cowboys but there are some others like Pittsburgh and Tennessee that are worth discussing. But in the AFC West? No team comes close to what the Raiders put on the field with their offensive line.

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