Today the Raiders were an abject disappointment to me and offensive on a personal level. I find it difficult to express in words how unenthusiastic I am about this team right now and how pessimistic I am for its future. The Raiders are awful and it is hard to believe they will ever do anything good again. Watching this team right now is like watching a video of someone ripping up a set of vintage baseball cards and then setting them on fire.
1) Melvin Ingram
Who needs Joey Bosa? Ingram proved to be a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line. He racked up seven tackles including two for loss, a sack and an interception. He feasted on the Raiders’ pair of rookie tackles and basically did whatever he wanted to do. If only the Raiders had a player like that.
2) Daryl Worley
The Raiders didn’t have a lot of bright spots today, but Worley was one of them. In his first game returning from suspension, Worley showed that the Raiders were wise to sign him this offseason. He had eight tackles, including one for loss, and he played both the run and pass well. The Raiders have plenty of veterans on one-year deals, but Worley is young enough and good enough to be a big part of what the Raiders do going forward.
3) Melvin Gordon
The second of the Charger’s dual Melvins, Gordon had a tremendous game overall. While he wasn’t dominant on the ground, rushing for only 58 yards, he added 62 yards through the air, and was deadly in the screen game. The Raiders had no answer for this, as Philip Rivers recognized the blitz and hit short passes over it consistently, and Gordon did the rest. The Raiders weren’t fooling anybody today.
4) Philip Rivers
The All-Father turned in an extremely efficient performance today, going 22/27 for 339 yards, two scores, no picks, and a rating of 143.4. The Raiders were able to pressure him but he always seemed to get out of it, taking only one sack. He made the right decision on nearly every throw and picked apart the Raiders’ defensive scheme.
1) Raiders offensive line
We knew it would be tough with two rookie tackles and left guard Kelechi Osemele out with injury, but this was an atrocious performance from a unit that really needed to have a good game. Kolton Miller isn’t good enough yet to handle Melvin Ingram on his own, and without Osemele at his side he was pitiful. The Raiders had to abandon the run early, but even so, Marshawn Lynch still only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Derek Carr was sacked three times, losing 20 yards. A lot went wrong for the Raider offense and it starts here.
2) Martavis Bryant
Statistically, Bryant had a fine game, catching three passes for 91 yards on three targets. But as usual, his hands were an issue as he had a key fumble, turning what could have been a big gain for the Raiders into a Chargers possession that became a touchdown that put the game basically out of reach. If Bryant can ever put it together, he’ll be great, but until then he remains a liability.
3) Bruce Irvin
You’d think that with both starting tackles out for the Chargers, Irvin would have a big game. That did not materialize as he only had one tackle and one sack. He also had a stupid, careless personal foul at the very end of the first half that nearly led to three more Charger points. Irvin is clearly frustrated and he’s letting it show, which is costing the team. He must put his pride and emotions aside and do better.
4) Paul Guenther
Whatever kind of game plan Guenther drew up for his unit this week, it didn’t work. The Chargers knew exactly what the Raiders were doing on defense and they exploited it. While the Raiders have played stout defense at times this season, big plays are killing them, and that’s a combination of a lack of speed and poor tackling, both of which were displayed by the Raiders today. The one good thing the Raiders did was defend the run effectively, but that never really makes a difference against the Chargers. This unit needs playmakers, and it just doesn’t have them yet.