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NFL Week 16 Preview: Charles Woodson’s final home game kicks off penultimate week of the 2015 season


October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


First of all, Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you’re all set for tomorrow and have done all of your last minute shopping. I hope you bought an extra drink or two to raise to the Oakland Raiders’ Safety Charles Woodson who will be playing his last ever Raiders’ home game tonight. I have a feeling that there’s going to be quite a bittersweet feeling in O.Co Coliseum tonight; this could potentially be the last Raiders’ game ever at the stadium, and although they’re fairly heavy favourites to win the game, I can imagine that a lot of fans will be upset by the potential chance that their team will move. The Chargers season so far This season has been an absolute nightmare for San Diego; they may also be moving to Los Angeles next season, they’ve lost players all over the team due to injuries, and Philip Rivers really has had to carry the entire team; he’s second in passing yards throughout the NFL and has a completion rate of 66.7% whilst taking a battering; being sacked a whopping 36 times in 14 games. To add to the offense’s issues, the Chargers currently rank dead last in the NFL in rushing, which has massively padded Philip Rivers’ totals, however has not boded well for his health when he is being hit almost 3 times a game by the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer The Raiders season so far The Raiders have had an up and down season so far; Wide Receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are in-sync with Sophomore QB Derek Carr and it has resulted in an offense that ranked last in 2014 rising to 14th this season. The Raiders’ defense has also improved over the offseason; Khalil Mack has been a terror off the edge, and Safety Charles Woodson has been having a career year leading up to his retirement at the end of the season My keys to the game Will Charles Woodson return a punt, or play on offense? We know that NFL.com has been posting multiple articles about Woodson’s retirement, but will the Raiders actually do it? Lots of passing You’ve got the #4 passing game in the league (San Diego) going up against the #14 passing offense (Oakland), and the 32nd rushing attack vs the 25th. I expect the ball to be thrown a lot this game. The key will be whether each team’s secondary is able to deal with the talent being thrown at them. Matchup to watch: Amari Cooper vs The Chargers’ Secondary Teams have tried double covering Amari Cooper, they’ve tried playing press, they’ve tried playing cover 2 over the top to stop him getting open on deep routes, and he’s managed to catch 68 balls to the tune of 1040 yards and 6 Touchdowns. Will the Chargers be able to stop Cooper? And if so, will they then be able to deal with Michael Crabtree lining up opposite? Prediction: I’ve got Oakland to win this one at home, they’ve got so many motivators to play exceedingly well, and I’d love to see Charles Woodson go out with a win at home in Oakland Oakland by 2 scores


NFL Week 16 Preview: Charles Woodson’s final home game kicks off penultimate week of the 2015 season

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