Every Chargers fan is wandering right now, what the heck happened? Well the Chargers did not accomplish their game plan early and it cost them severely. The Chargers wanted to get on the Raiders early, come out strong and play with a lead. This did not happen as the Chargers first drive stalled early after a few good plays they had to punt. Then the defense came out and looked good forcing a three and out and a Raiders punt. Then this is when every thing went down hill. Sproles fumbled a booming punt by Lechler and the Raiders got the ball back in the red zone. You can’t put a loss on one play or one player, but the game changed at that very point. With another Chargers special teams miscue, the Chargers helped the Raiders get down field which their offense was unable to do. To top it off the Raiders went for it on fourth and one, and not only did they get the yard Jason Campbell walked into the end zone for 7. It was a horrible play by Antwan Applewhite, he made it look like Campbell was invisible walking into the end zone. Appelwhite didn’t even look his way, while he had the ball in his hands. From this point on the Raiders were rolling,running the ball with the double attack of McFadden and Bush. It is exactly the way I didn’t want the game to unfold. I new if the Chargers came out slow, the Raiders could take advantage with their strong pass defense and ground attack on offense. This was not the recipe for success to beat this team. To make thing worse Rivers had one of those rare games, where he was just a little off. Rivers will have a few games like this a year where from the start he is just not on. The Raiders did get some good pressure on Rivers early, but he also made some poor passes that were not affected by the pass rush.
The Raiders showed they may have wanted this game more by the performance in the trenches by the offensive and defensive lineman. Coming into the game we new that the Raiders were bigger and more physical up front, but I did not expect the Chargers lineman to get push around like they did. Marcus McNeil was getting torched all day on the pass plays and the Raiders defense in the middle beat up the Chargers O-Line stopping the run up the middle all game. It also didn’t help when Garay left with an injury, with the Raiders already running the ball well they contiued running all over the Chargers when Garay left the game. Another thing I noticed was that Cooper was not healthy physically when he came in the game to replace an injured Siler. Cooper did not have the same strength in his legs to push Raiders players back and stop the run. We need Cooper out there to keep the defense on the same page, as he is the leader on the defense. As Dan Fouts pointed out on the telecast the Chargers needed Coopers mind but they needed Siler physically.
I hope the Chargers can come back and play better next week against the Chiefs, as it will be a must win game for us. It looked like the Chargers were looking ahead to the game against the Chiefs anyway, so they better be ready for it!
About the Author
Written by Jeff Burke
I am 25 years old living in sunny San Diego. I am married to my beautiful wife Kara. I have been a Chargers and Padres fan through the good times and the bad. I played baseball at Poway high school and Monterey Peninsula college. I have won eight fantasy championships on yahoo since 2001.