Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Chargers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m., at Qualcomm Stadium.
Raiders SLB Khalil Mack vs. Chargers LT King Dunlap
Tale of the tape:
Mack (52): 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, rookie season, Buffalo
Dunlap (13): 6-foot-9, 310 pounds, seventh season, Auburn
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers can pick teams apart with the time to do so. He completes 75 percent of his passes and has a 112.7 quarterback rating without pressure. The scary part: He has a 122.6 quarterback rating when blitzed.
What we’ve learned: Cover with numbers in the back, and make sure to bring Rivers down with a four-man rush. The Raiders typically include Khalil Mack in that effort, which has improved in recent weeks.
The rookie has done a great job stopping the run and putting pressure on the quarterback, but he still doesn’t have a sack. Rivers is a man you have to get to and bring down.
The Raiders need Mack to break his no-sack streak and bring Rivers down. He’ll need to get by left tackle King Dunlap first. While the Chargers interior line has struggled with injury, Dunlap has been a largely consistent presence up front. He’s long, with an 82-inch wingspan making him tough to get around, and, at 310 pounds, is tough to bully.
That means Mack must read and react well at the snap and uses his physical gifts to reach the backfield.
“Where he can continue to improve -– and that’s what we’re working on this week, is his get-off –- starting everything fast,” defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “When that young man starts things fast, he’s really a weapon and he’s focused on that. That’s what we’re focusing on this week in practice. He did a good job of getting off on the ball today. We want to see that this weekend.”