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Rivers vs. Rookies & Routt

Nnamdi Asomugha went down with a high ankle sprain injury against the Seahawks and when he returned last week against the Dolphins after three weeks of rest he clearly wasn’t himself.

Now it appears his ankle is worse than previously believed or got worse during the game on Sunday. Asomugha could miss more time.

Chris Johnson was also out with a groin injury and could also miss this week’s game in San Diego.

That leaves Stanford Routt and rookies Jeremy Ware and Walter McFadden as the only healthy cornerbacks.

Jeremy Ware drew poor reviews from the coaching staff in Pittsburgh and was inactive last week. Walter McFadden was active and had a rough day against Miami. Both will be relied upon against the second best passing team in football.

When the Raiders defeated the Chargers in Oakland, Philip Rivers threw for 431 yards and two touchdowns. He was unstoppable against the Raiders secondary, which included Asomugha and Johnson.

Michael Huff will likely see additional snaps at cornerback in practice this week and could see plenty of work at cornerback in nickel situations.

The Raiders would then bring in Stevie Brown at free safety or have Mike Mitchell come in to cover Antonio Gates with Branch sliding over to the deep safety position.

If Norv Turner is smart, which offensively he is one of the smartest, he will spread the Raiders out by using four and five receivers sets.

The dime package means one or both of Ware and McFadden would have to be in the game presenting favorable matchups for the Chargers dynamic passing game.

Ware and McFadden simply must step up this week for the Raiders to have a chance at stopping the Chargers passing game.

The pass rush from the front seven need to pressure Rivers to give the young secondary a chance. Communication must be better in the secondary to avoid huge mistakes, such as a corner believing he has over-the-top when he doesn’t.

It took a series of big plays for the Raiders to defeat the Chargers the first time at home. Now instead of the Chargers being banged up and the Raiders healthy at home, it is the reverse.

One of the big keys to this game will be the play of the Raiders secondary. After the Chargers rolled them up the first time and after an embarrassing showing last week at home, they should be hungry.




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