Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, the greenest of the green, the kindest of the kine, the man who puts the "fun" in "dysfunction" and the man who makes an "ass" out of "u" and "mptions". This week I come to you triumphant, having correctly predicted an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Chefs. What tidings has the Great Beyond of the game against the Chargers? Read further, intrepid internet surfer who is probably in your underwear or discreetly browsing this site at work, and find out.
The Raiders played a really dreadful game last week, but still might have won the game had they remembered that running backs are, in fact, allowed to catch the football on pass plays. Jamaal Charles didn't have a great day running the ball, but he did catch four touchdown passes. The entire defense ought to donate their salaries for the game to charity, namely the Little Sisters of the Whomever The Hell Was Supposed To Cover Jamaal Charles. A worthy cause if there ever was one.
Luckily for Oakland, the Chargers don't pass a whole lot to whichever running back is healthy this week. Ryan Matthews is good at primarily running into the back of his own left guard and Danny Woodhead is a dwarf desperately seeking his family's lost hoard of gold. Unfortunately, Smaug the Magnificent completed his distinguished Hall of Fame career as a left tackle back in the fifties and is long retired. He can currently be found coaching the Alabama Crimson Tide, but I am certain Woodhead has used up all his college eligibility.
What the Raiders will have to contend with is a plethora of good receivers and a quarterback in Philip Rivers who fluctuates from contending for the Tony Romo Memorial Bonehead Du Jour Award and the Barry Sanders Best Player to Never Sniff a Super Bowl Award. Keenan Allen is included in the "good receiver" category, and he fell way too far in the draft. When you have something like a "Brock Mansion" (who looks, sounds and acts exactly like his name) throwing you the ball and you still put up otherworldly numbers, you ought to be taken seriously. Instead, the Chargers got a relative steal. Temper that statement with the fact that Rivers once made someone named Legedu Naanee a genuine threat, so perhaps I am giving Allen too much credit for his own success. In any case, he is playing at an extremely high level and the Raiders have little hope of stopping him.
What on Earth happened to Antonio Gates? He only has three touchdowns this season and a tick below 800 yards. That's extremely sub-par for him. I went on and on about him in the first Charger article earlier this year and he went out and did nothing, and then has resumed doing that nothing for the remainder of the season. The Chargers, even as weak as they are at certain positions like secondary, need to invest a high pick in a successor to Gates. Rivers operates best when he has a big tight end who can catch the wounded ducks Rivers throws while wildly flailing toward the ground.
The game is in San Diego this week, which is technically a home game for both teams. The Padres don't have any fans and the Chargers have about 35,000 fans, considering their 70,000-seat stadium is always half full of Raider fans when Oakland comes to town. The Chargers have been rumored for some time to be moving to Los Angeles, but those 35,000 fans wouldn't be coming with them, whereas there are literally hundreds of thousands of Raider fans in L.A. If the Chargers want to play an away game in their own stadium once a year, they are welcome to relocate. We'll call it a "neutral field" as we hail down insults on the "home team" that would make GG Allin run for the nearest confessional. Bless me Mr. Davis, I have sinned.
Home game or not, it's irrelevant to the end result. The Raiders couldn't beat the Chargers a few years ago when they could have reached the playoffs, and they won't do so now that they simply aren't good enough to. The Raiders need upgrades on each line, at the skill positions, and on defense. That's pretty much everything. Let's get this season over with so we can get to work on that.
Chargers win, 42-16.