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Merriman Will Play Huge Role vs. Raiders

Shawne Merriman had three sacks in last year’s opening matchup against the Raiders. The Oakland offensive line has improved significantly from last season though but Merriman should still be able to create pressure. Merriman hasn’t had a very good season so far in terms of sacks but he hasn’t been blitzing as much this year as in years past. The Chargers are 8-1 when Merriman has two or more sacks. He has 9 sacks in his 12 career divisional games. Look for him to blitz more this weekend than he has in the last few weeks because the Chargers have had success getting to Oakland’s QB’s. The return of LB Matt Wilhelm should also free up Merriman and LB Shuan Phillips to blitz more often because he is stronger pass defender than his backups.

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