Second verse, same as the first. The Chargers and Raiders faced off for the second time this season and it was more of the same as with their first meeting. The Raiders couldn’t score a touchdown and the game was over basically before the fourth quarter even started.
For a while there it looked like they might put up a fight. Then the Chargers scored at the end of the second quarter and got the ball right back to begin the third quarter and scored again. And that was that.
Why can’t a punter be Top Baller? And where in the world did this performance come from? Townsend was possessed in this one. His first time in to punt, he faked it and ran for 42 yards, showing some surprising speed. That run was longer than his season punt average coming into the game (41.9).
His next time out, he actually punted and had a career long 57-yarder. Tack on a Chargers holding penalty and they were started their drive on the 9-yard-line. His next punt went for 51 yards and was fair caught at the 25. Then he had a 54-yard punt. Tack on a Chargers roughing penalty and they started their drive on the 11-yard-line. That was his day. Averaging 54.0 yards per punt and 49.0 net with one inside the 20.
Believe it or not, the Raiders actually did drive into scoring range a few times in this game. Helping them get there a couple of those times was the play of Martin. The third time they moved into scoring range, it was with Martin having a 16-yard run, 8-yard run, 6-yard catch, and a 12-yard run. Unfortunately, that drive ended with a strip sack and those three drives resulted in just three points for the Raiders.
They next scoring drive began with a 23-yard catch by Martin and ended with a 30-yard field goal. Nothing to write home about as far as the offense is concerned, but Martin himself had 92 yards from scrimmage including 61 yards on 15 carries (4.1 yards per carry).
Jason Cabinda, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow
There was a lot of positives from these three linebackers in the game. Moving Lee to the strong side and getting Cabinda and Morrow in the game paid dividends.
Morrow ended the Chargers’ first possession in a three-and-out with a pass defended that probably should have been intercepted off the deflection. Cabinda and lee sent the Chargers away with another three and out on the following possession with Cabinda in tight coverage deep to force an incompletion and Lee stuffing a run on the next play.
Even on the Chargers’ first scoring drive, they were doing some positive things. Lee helped string out a run for a short gain, then Morrow had a hit on Rivers on the blitz. A few plays later, Lee had tight coverage on a deep incompletiong in the end zone followed by a run stop for no gain on third and one.
The following drive, the Chargers would score their first touchdown. The one good play on the drive was Shilique Calhoun making a tackle for loss and it was made possible because Morrow cut off the outside to force the play to Calhoun.
The game was pretty much over by early in the third quarter, but Cabinda would add three more run stops in the game and was also in position to force a holding call that would bring back a long touchdown run and force them to settle for a field goal.
It’s amazing what can happen when you give the young, hungry linebackers a chance to show they’re worth. This team desperately needs more of that.
After the Raiders had gone two games without a sack, Hurst stopped the drought and in the process tied for the team lead in sacks (3.0). That sack helped stop the Chargers’ first scoring drive and hold it to a field goal. He also had three run stops.
He had an interception and didn’t give up a big play. Not much more you can ask from a free safety than that.
Jalen Richard – Led the team in catches (5) and yards (52). Unfortunately, much of that came after the game was out of hand.
Brandon LaFell – Early on, he was the only wide receiver to catch a pass with 3 catches for 32 yards in the first quarter. He also had a big block to spring Martin for a 16-yard run.
Shilique Calhoun – He had a sack in this game too, but it was wiped out by a bullshit roughing the passer penalty on Johnathan Hankins to finish off the play. Calhoun added a tackle for loss and four combined tackles.
Jared Cook -- That second scoring drive had two big catches by Cook. The first for ten yards on third and 6 and the second for 31 yards up the seam. It’s that drop on third and four that stalled the first scoring drive that looms large.