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We're already into the home stretch of the 2023 NFL season, and one of the final "Thursday Night Football" games of the year will see the Las Vegas Raiders play host to the division rival Los Angeles Chargers

Both teams come into this game incredibly banged up, but the Chargers in particular will be very short-handed. They're also in the position of being essentially out of the playoff race already thanks to having lost their star quarterback for the remainder of the season, while the Raiders retain faint hopes of making a run thanks to their (sort of) improved play post-Josh McDaniels. 

So, can the Raiders keep themselves on the fringes of the playoff race, or will the Chargers play spoiler? We'll find out soon enough. Before we (briefly) break down the matchup, here's a look at how you can watch the game.

How to watch 

Date: Thursday, Dec. 14 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas)
Stream the game here with Amazon Prime
Follow: CBS Sports App   
Odds: Raiders -3; O/U 34.5 (via SportsLine consensus odds)

When the Chargers have the ball

The Chargers are officially just playing out the string, both on this season and likely the Brandon Staley era. Justin Herbert is out for the remainder of the year after having surgery on his broken finger. Keenan Allen is out for this game with a heel injury. Corey Linsley has been out all season, Mike Williams tore his ACL months ago, and this offense is now going to feature a whole lot of Easton Stick throwing to Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston.

Stick has been with the Chargers since the 2019 draft, but before last week had thrown just one NFL pass. He went 13 of 24 for 179 scoreless yards in relief of Herbert last week against Denver, and actually had some zip on his throws. It was surprising to see him not attempt a single rush, considering his history in college and the preseason, but perhaps more of that comes out of the woodwork Thursday night. The Raiders have yet to face a single designed QB run that wasn't a sneak this season, according to Tru Media, so there could be an opportunity to hit them with something they haven't seen. 

The Vegas defense actually checks in eighth in the NFL in EPA/play since firing Josh McDaniels and moving to Antonio Pierce as the interim head coach, checking in 14th against the pass and sixth against the run. The Chargers have been almost completely unable to run the ball this entire season, and it seems highly unlikely that will change now that Herbert and Allen are both out of the lineup and defenses will now be more willing to stack the box. Austin Ekeler should see his fair share of dump-off; he's at a career-low 3.7 yards per carry and hasn't run for more than 67 yards since getting injured in Week 1.

When the Raiders have the ball

Since scoring 30 points against the pre-Tommy DeVito Giants in Week 9, the Raiders have scored 16, 13, 17, and 0 points. They've turned the ball over at least twice in three of those four games, and Aidan O'Connell is averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt with three touchdowns against five interceptions and a 6.7% sack rate. Josh Jacobs has a pair of 100-plus-yard rushing games during that span but has averaged south of 2.8 yards per carry in the other two contests. He's also injured and listed as questionable for this game.

Lucky for Vegas, the Chargers defense is an abomination, and will again be without Joey Bosa, who is now on injured reserve, as well as Deane Leonard, of whom you may not have heard but has been a starting corner in recent weeks and played a lot of snaps. The Chargers are now 27th in overall defensive DVOA, per FTN, checking in 22nd against the run and 25th against the pass. Their corners will likely be overmatched against Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, and their already-below-average pressure rate is likely to drop further without Bosa. (Khalil Mack can take over any game, but the Raiders can also now devote almost all of the attention of their offensive line to him.) 

Jacobs was listed as questionable but his status is reportedly in doubt for this game, which means we'll see a lot of Zamir White and/or Ameer Abdullah. I'd say the Raiders are unlikely to find success in the run game with that duo, but pretty much everyone finds success in the run game against the Chargers. There should be opportunities to move the ball on the ground. 

Prediction: Raiders 17, Chargers 10

Even with the Raiders potentially not having Jacobs, the Chargers are simply too injured on both sides of the ball to compete here. What else is new?