SGP Challenge Week 15: CEO Showdown

December 14, 2023

SGP Challenge Week 15: CEO Showdown

Another week of the Huddle SGP challenge is underway for the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers tonight.

It’s a special week for me. No, I did not win during my Week 13 SGP matchup with Graham. But this week, I drew a particularly notable matchup. This week, I get to go head-to-head with the CEO of Huddle, Francesco Borgosano.  

This week’s Thursday night affair features two teams clinging to the last vestiges of their playoff hopes. The Los Angeles Charges are playing the Las Vegas Raiders, and to be completely honest, I’m not that excited for this matchup. 

The Raiders are down to their second string QB, after the Jimmy Garoppolo experiment blew up in their face. They signed the veteran QB in the offseason to be their missing piece after letting Derek Carr walk, but he only threw for 7 touchdowns against 9 interceptions in 6 games played before being benched. His replacement, rookie Aidan O’Connell, hasn’t fared any better, throwing for 4 touchdowns against 7 interceptions in 7 games. The Raiders are 5-8 as a result, with Josh Jacobs (who led the NFL in rushing yards last season) rushing for only 805 yards and 3.5 yards per carry, one season after rushing for 1,653 yards and 4.9 yards per carry.

The Chargers in a similar predicament at 5-8, but their season blew up in even more spectacular fashion. Justin Herbert suffered a fractured index finger on his throwing hand last week, ending his season. Brandon Staley continues to make mind-numbing coaching decisions that have all but sealed his fate as the coach of the team. Longtime backup QB Easton Stick, a fifth-round pick in 2019, is now expected to start the rest of the season. The Chargers also went through an ordeal with former CB J.C. Jackson, who they paid $82.5M for after an All-Pro run with the New England Patriots. They were rewarded with Jackson suffering a knee injury, then returning to the field this season to get beat and commit boneheaded mistakes before being traded back to New England.

Jake's Picks

In short, this game shouldn’t be all that good. Neither one of these teams impresses me. The Raiders offense has been atrocious in their past four games, so I’m betting on the under (U34). I think the Chargers remain good enough (and have enough offensive weapons) to keep this game close, and I think they’ll lean on star running back Austin Ekeler to do it – I’ll take them +3. I’ll also take Austin Ekeler O50 rushing yards, as I mentioned above, I think the Chargers will lean on him to carry the offense.

Francesco's Picks

For Francesco, he is a big supporter of Las Vegas Raiders rookie tight end Michael Mayer. He’s taking him O2.5 receptions and O19 receiving yards. I can’t blame him – for me, Mayer was one of the top rookies at his position in the draft class. Francesco also noted that the Chargers defense has given up 3+ receptions to tight ends in 10 games this season, as well as 19+ yards in 10 games as well. Francesco isn’t banking on a virtuoso performance from the Chargers either – he’s comfortable saying that Easton Stick represents a big drop off in capability from Justin Herbert, so he’s taking the Raiders moneyline as well. 

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