Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three Chargers-Raiders matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m., at O.co Coliseum.
Chargers FS Eric Weddle vs. Raiders QB Derek Carr
Tale of the tape:
Weddle (32): 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, eighth season, Utah
Carr (4): 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, rookie season, Fresno State
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has a keen eye for trouble. He has done an excellent job of avoiding the big-time negative play, but that comes at a cost. He has an NFL-low 5.5 yards per completion, a stat that defies his cannon arm.
Interim head coach Tony Sparano said Carr’s chief concern is reading Weddle pre-snap, deciding whether he’s lying in wait back in the secondary or a member of the pass rush.
“He is someone that you’ve got to be aware of at all times,” Sparano said. “He is a tremendous blitzer, a tremendous tackler and he is a pretty good cover player. He brings a lot to their defense, but I think his ability to pressure and blitz is a strength of his.”
Weddle is a four-time All-Pro, deft at all defensive aspects. He’s a major reason why the Chargers as a difficult defense to deal with.
Carr’s objective is to keep the ball safe, but he has to take some chances in order to help this offense grow.
“We’re well aware of where we are that way and with what we’ve completed and how far and how long and how many yards after the catch,” Sparano said. “All those things are areas that we have to improve in. But we have to be smart, and that means we have to keep an eye out for playmakers on the other side."