This week’s B&B is a bit later than usual. My apologies for that, but while the Raiders were suffering emotional pain from their 4th straight loss, I was suffering from actual physical pain that required an emergency root canal (yay me!). But B&B takes no weeks off, so I push through.
This loss was especially devastating, not just because it was the Raiders’ fourth straight, but because it was against a team they had to beat if they were to have any chance of showing they were going to return to respectability this season.
They went up against a 1-4 team whose only win was against the winless Giants and the Raiders couldn’t muster up more than 16 points. Hopefully this week’s B&B will explain how that happened. But first, the positive performances.
Sean Smith didn’t see a single snap in this game. And the way Carrie played replacing him, he may have ensured Smith stays glued to the bench. Carrie led the team with 8 combined tackles (7 solo) and added two passes defended and a QB hit.
He had his first tackle on the third play of the game to stop a catch for one yard. The next play the Chargers punted.
Carrie ended the next two possessions with a pressure on third and 10 and hit on Philip Rivers to force an incompletion, a tackle on a 1-yard completion on third and 4, a pass defended on the fourth down attempt for a turnover on downs, and a tackle on a 3-yard catch on third and 6.
The next series, the Chargers drove for a touchdown, but Carrie did his part to try and stop it. He had two tackles on short catches and a pass defended on the goal line.
In the fourth quarter, he had tight coverage in the end zone to force an incompletion. In total, the only catches he gave up were ones he stopped immediately for minimal gains, which is exactly what he was supposed to do. And as he has been all season, he was a fantastic open field tackler.
Before Carrie was ending drives, Autry got one. He stopped the very first series on third and 8 with one of his signature swats at the line for a pass defended. It’s become so common, I need only say ‘Guess who?’ and everyone knows who it is.
Autry added a run stuff on the final series of the first quarter, and two more a couple series later. He would add a couple pressures in the fourth quarter, one on the quarterback, the other to string out a run that was stopped for one yard.
Four punts. All four stopped inside the 20-yard-line with a 56.5 average and 55.0 net average. His first punt traveled 59 yards and was downed at the 7-yard-line. His second punt was also 59 yards and was stopped at the 18-yard-line after a 6-yard return. His third punt went 50 yards and was fair caught at the 19. And his final punt, late in the fourth quarter went 58 yards and was stopped at the 8-yard-line. That final punt was huge as it forced the Chargers to go a long distance in order to kick the game-winning field goal. He did his part. The defense did not. He also did a fantastic job of getting the high snap down on the missed extra point (more on that later), standing up to catch it and put it down. Though it didn’t work out, his efforts were admirable and impressive.
Patterson’s game breaking abilities were on full display in this game. First up was in the return game. Late in the first half with the Chargers scoring a touchdown to tie it up at 7-7, Patterson took the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to the 40-yard-line to allow the Raiders the chance to answer. They did answer by moving into range of a 44-yard field goal at the end of the first half to go up 10-7 at the half.
The Raiders would get the ball back to start the second half, and on third and 4, Patterson picked up 5 yards. The Raiders drove into scoring range on that drive, but it ended with Derek Carr throwing an interception in the red zone.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Chargers scored their second touchdown to go up 14-10. And once again, Patterson provided the answer. This time he took the handoff on the end around from right to left, found his alley and weaved his way 47 yards to paydirt. With the missed extra point, the Raiders took a 16-14 lead with just over 8 minutes left. Patterson touched the ball 5 times in the game with 99 total yards and a touchdown. Nearly 20 yards per touch is a lot of bang for your buck.
Cook is known for his receiving duties, but his best work in this one was as a blocker. He laid a key block on the Raiders’ first offensive play to help spring Marshawn Lynch for 15 yards. Later, on the 47-yard Patterson touchdown run, Cook laid the key block out left to give him room to take off upfield.
Late in the first half, he got past his Jahleel Addae, who grabbed Cook’s hips to keep from getting completely torched and drawing a pass interference penalty. It helped set up the field goal to end the first half. He added a 7-yard catch on third and five, and another 7-yard catch just before Patterson’s 47-yard touchdown run. Cook’s game is proof that while stats may not lie outright, but they certainly lie by omission.
Once again, Marshawn was picking up chunk plays. He got 15 yard on the first offensive play. The next drive, he picked up 4 yards, 5 yards, and 5 yards on third and one. The Raiders drove for a touchdown and Marshawn had 32 yards on 5 carries.
He led off the first series of the second quarter with a 12-yard run and was averaging 6.1 yards per carry on 8 carries in the first half. He would get just 5 carries in the second half to finish with 63 yards on 13 carries (4.8 yards per carry) and his best output since putting up 76 yards in the season opener in Tennessee. He had a drop in the game and two plays later, Carr’s interception came off his hand, but it was an errant pass and not Marshawn’s fault it was intercepted.
Bruce Irvin - Just one sack for the Raiders on Philip Rivers and it was Irvin who got it. He added four run stops, and a stop for one yard on a catch to finish with 6 combined tackles (1 solo) and the sack; his second in three games.
Justin Ellis - Five combined tackles (4 solo) is great output by a nose tackle. Ellis had a run stuff for no gain, a tackle on a 3-yard run, a stuff for on a one-yard run, and a shared run stuff for a 2-yard gain. All day I saw just one run go through his position.