In a game many expected the Chargers to win, they did just that. After a possible site change to Dallas after the terrible air quality due to the forest fires in the state of California, the Chargers played their game in Oakland. They had a commanding win of 20-6, after a slow start to the game on offense, things started clicking from the second quarter and on.
The offense was solid as usual, Melvin Gordon led the team in receiving and rushing for one of his better games this season. He had 93 yards on the ground, with 72 yards through the air and 1 TD. He had a really amazing catch and run for 66-yards in the game, and Virgil Green and Keenan were down field and their blocking helped create a touchdown. Keenan Allen showed out strong in a game where he got about 57 yards and a TD. Phillip had a perfect game minus a slight blip where he threw an interception, but he still is easily top 5 in the MVP race this season. It’s time that we appreciate just how good the Chargers offensive line has been this season, they have only given up 13 sacks which is good for 4th in the NFL, and the Chargers average 5.1 yards per carry which is tied for 2nd in the NFL, they are also 7th in rushing yards per game with 127.1. I think that the signing of Mike Pouncey was the move of the off-season, he has gelled that offensive line together and I think that we should appreciate what the Chargers are doing in the trenches.
The defense put on a clinic as usual against the Raiders. The depleted Raiders offense looked bad, and no play showed more than when it was 4th down and the game was on the line and Derek Carr threw the ball away. He will be mocked for that most of the season, but it’s been that kind of year for the Jon Gruden led Raiders, and I don’t see it getting much better. Denzel Perryman went down with a leg injury in the first drive of the game, and it ended up being serious and he’s going to miss the rest of the season. This could be a huge blow to the Chargers improved run defense. Jatavis Brown and Hanes Pullard showed up to play though, and they held the Raiders to 72 rushing yards if you exclude the 42-yard run by the punter on a fake punt. The pass rush was fantastic, and they continue to make missing Joey Bosa less of the blow to this defense. Isaac Rochell is turning out to be an absolute force and a steal of a 7th round pick, as he racked up 1.5 sacks bringing his total to 4.5 sacks. Melvin Ingram played a big factor in switching the momentum in the game when he got a strip-sack on Derek Carr and Corey Luiget returned into Raiders territory. Luiget has played extremely well since returning from suspension, and its the best I’ve seen him play since he got here in 2011. Derwin James was everywhere as usual, and at this point they might as well hand him the DROY trophy now, which would make 2 of Tom Telesco’s first round picks recipients of the DROY trophy.
The real hero of the game was Micheal Badgley who is the Charger beloved kicker who has gone 9/9 from XP and 5/5 for FGs in his 3 games as a Charger. The Chargers had missed out on 24 possible points this season, from Caleb Sturgis not being able to kick. It looks like the Chargers might have found a kicker (fingers crossed).
The Chargers get their first home game in 41 days, with the wild fires permitting. That is a situation that I’m sure the NFL will be keeping an eye on as the LA area has been ravaged by wildfires, and our hearts go out to the families and residents affected by this natural disaster. The Chargers will be playing the Broncos, who are coming off of a bye and sit at 3-6, but don’t let their record fool you. Just like the Raiders, the Broncos have been a bad team this year, but the Chargers have to treat them like one of their tough December matchups, winning all of our games in November would set the Chargers up with a 9-2 record and hopefully enough momentum to go into December and dominate.
Sources: - http://www.espn.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/rushing/sort/rushingYardsPerGame - https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/qb-sacked-per-game