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The first AFC West matchup is up for the Bolts, as they look to head into the bye week on a high note taking on the Raiders in Week 4.
When these two teams play, especially recently, it’s always a tightly contested matchup.
Seven of the last eight games between the two have been decided by one possession — and members of ESPN’s NFL staff believe the same will hold this time around.
The group previewed what Sunday’s game at SoFi Stadium could look like, as well as a bold prediction for the afternoon contest.
And ESPN NFL Nation reporter Paul Gutierrez believes it will be a big for the pair of Bolts pass rushers, Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, who are looking to have a dominant day against whomever is under center for Las Vegas on Sunday.
No matter who is playing quarterback for the Raiders — Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer or Aidan O’Connell — he will be sacked at least twice each by Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. The Raiders’ O-line allowed Garoppolo — who is in concussion protocol — to get sacked four times last week. Mack, the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the Raiders, is looking for his first sack of the season, while Bosa already has three.
Bosa has been limited the past two games with a hamstring injury, but has produced pressure he’s been on the field. In addition to his three sacks, Bosa also has three tackles for loss, three QB hits and a pass defended.
Mack on the other hand is still searching for his first sack of the year, but has been getting close. According to Pro Football Focus’ stats, Mack has hurried the passer nine times this season and racked up six defensive stops, which are tackles that constitute a “failure” for the offense.
If both Bosa and Mack have a big day rushing the passer, we could see a similar performance to the one seen during last season’s first game against the Raiders, where the Chargers sacked the quarterback six times on the way to a victory.
To read ESPN’s predictions for each game, click here.
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