Some will remember the block Penn made on Amari Cooper's 52-yard screen catch touchdown. He gets kudos for that, but his mistakes were far more damaging. Starting with the only sack on Derek Carr in the game.
Midway through the second quarter, the Raiders got the ball in Chargers' territory at the 47-yard-line. On first down, Penn gave up the sack for a 7-yard loss. On third and 14, Carr found Cooper for his 44-yard jump ball catch. It set the Raiders up in first and goal at the 7-yard-line. The next play, Marcel Reece went up the middle for six yards to the one-yard-line, looking to punch it in the end zone on the next play. But wait, here comes Donald Penn with a senseless hit well after the play was over.
Penn was called for unnecessary roughness and it turned a 2nd and goal at the one into a 2nd and goal from the 16-yard-line. A false start from Austin Howard backed the Raiders up again and suddenly they were in third and 21 and settled for a field goal.
Late in the game, with the Raiders having converted their only third down, they were set up in third down again. It was third and four and another first down would be enough to bleed a lot more time off the clock. Then Penn was called for holding. As if that wasn't enough, he quite literally kicked his man while he was down. There was some confusion on the play as to whether the Chargers could accept both penalties, but in the end they declined the holding, opting for the personal foul which took the Raiders from third and four in field goal range, to third and 19 and a punt. Which means those two personal foul penalties took at least 7 points off the board for the Raiders. It also gave the Chargers more time to make their last scoring drive.
Neiron Ball got the start at outside linebacker for the Raiders, but he was lost to injury in the second quarter. Since the Chargers were going to the air a lot, the Raiders opted to bring in Armstrong in the second half. He was targeted six times, giving up four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Armstrong's first extensive action came on the Chargers final drive of the first half. On that drive he gave up two catches for 13 yards and the Chargers drove for a field goal.
To begin the fourth quarter, the Chargers had their first touchdown drive. The touchdown itself went to tight end Ladarius Green. He was Armstrong's assignment, but Ray Ray decided to switch to leave him to cover a man who was already covered by Benson Mayowa. Green was left wide open and he easily went for the 31-yard touchdown.
The final touchdown drive of the game featured Ray Ray giving up 11 yards on a dump pass. Once the Chargers scored, they needed a two-point conversion to be within a score to tie. Once again, Armstrong left Ladarius Green wide open and the conversion was successful.
As if we needed any more proof that Neiron Ball was the key to the Raiders stopping the tight end, and that Armstrong is a major reason why they have had such difficulties up to this point.