The San Diego Chargers traveled to Oakland-Alameda Coliseum carrying a 13-game winning streak, over a 7-season span against the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers were looking to make it 14-games however the Raiders had other plans.
Thanks to my Dad and my girlfriend's commentary I was able to depict my own Charger Raider showdown, from what I heard the Chargers performance wasn't very pretty. Currently my vision is impaired, so I will let you, the fans, take a look at how the Chargers performance graded.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had another spectacular game, however it was married by what would be considered a botched call in this reporter's eyes (according to my girlfriend and dad's play by play, because I'm still visually impaired.)
Rivers, looked like a wild west gunslinger, throwing for over 400-yards for the second time this season, however those stats come in the shadows of games that should have been won. He didn't give up a single interception for the second time in as many games, but his hands were a little slippery during the early part of the game.
Rivers gave up a fumble during a key Chargers drive early in the first quarter. That was his only miscue until late in the fourth quarter with time running down and the Chargers driving towards Raiders territory. What looked like an incomplete pass, was ruled a fumble and the Raiders were able to seal the game.
Rivers once again showed why he is the leader of the Chargers, but some calls just didn't go his way when they needed to.
With the Raiders defense angle to shut down running backs Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles, the highlight of the Chargers running game would have to be rookie running back Ryan Mathews.
Mathews, ran for 59-yards and would have scored a touchdown had Chargers head coach Norv Turner thrown the review flag when the Chargers were facing second and goal early in the first quarter.
On the very next play Mike Tolbert would fumble the ball and the Raiders would recover returning the ball to the Raiders own 14-yard line.
Tolbert and Sproles were held to 12-yards rushing combined.
Once again one receiver had every single Chargers fan asking, "Vincent Jackson who?" Malcom Floyd showed Chargers fans why were don't miss our 2-time Pro Bowl holdout wide receiver.
Floyd shredded the Raiders secondary like he was facing a third-string high school freshman football team.
Malcom Floyd who in this writer's eyes (remember once again I'm currently vision impaired) could possibly find himself in the Pro Bowl.
Floyd had 40 more yards receiving than the entire Raiders receiving corps combined. He had 151-yards more than the Raiders top receiver Zach Miller who finished the day with an eye-popping 62-yards.
The Raiders showed once again why opposing teams are having such a difficult time covering the greatest tight end in Chargers history.
Antonio Gates had another stellar performance to continue on what would be considered another Pro Bowl season for the Chargers tight end.
When Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was in a pinch, he could look to find his favorite target in Gates.
Gates finished the day with 92-yards, 30 more yards than Raiders tight end Zach Miller.
Chargers offensive line had another good game today minus a few holding and false start penalties by Brandyn Dombrowski and Jeromey Clarey.
The offensive line, towards the end of the game, was able to open up holes for Ryan Mathews, however the running game had a difficult start in the first half, and were unable to do the same for Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles.
Chargers offensive pass blocking played exceptionally well today, especially late in the 4th quarter when the Raiders applied the pressure.
It will be nice to have Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill back in the line up next week against St. Louis, and Brandyn Dombrowski has done a superb job during his absence.
The Chargers defensive line had another amazing game. They were able to stop the run as well as create penetration behind the line of scrimmage and keep the Raiders quarterbacks scrambling.
The Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips had another great game against the Raiders, continuing on from last weeks performance against the AZ Cardinals.
Shaun Phillips has clearly become the leader of the San Diego Chargers defense. His intensity and play making ability help make the Chargers defense a force to be reckoned with.
Linebacker Kevin Burnett has become a valuable asset to the Chargers linebacker core, he has recently taken over the play calling responsibility from injured linebacker Stephen Cooper.
With the Chargers linebacker core depleted by injuries, it would be a drastic blow to the team if either of these players were injured.
Kevin Burnett finished the day with 5 tackles and 2 sacks.
What looked like (or should I said sounded like) a sack with a force fumble by Shaun Phillips, was over turned late in the first quarter and called an incomplete pass ruling in the Raiders favor.
San Diego Chargers secondary didn't have much of an active day due to the pressure put on Raiders quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski.
Today was another impressive performance by Chargers defensive backs Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason keeping Raiders receivers at bay.
The Chargers strong safety Paul Oliver has a strong game, replacing Steve Gregory while he serves a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Look for Oliver to contribute more in future games until Gregory returns.
The grade should say it all. The special teams once again stunk up the field. On two consecutive series the Chargers gave up a punt block to a safety and a punt block to a touchdown. There needs to be some serious changes on the Chargers special teams or we could be in for a very long season.
It was visually apparent that Chargers special teams coordinator Steve Crosby was giving a verbal bashing to Chargers running back Mike Tolbert and fullback Jacob Hester after the second Chargers blocked punt was returned for a Raider touchdown.
If I were a member of the Chargers special teams, come Tuesday's practice I would be afraid....VERY afraid.
The Chargers are set to face one of their regular pre-season foes, the St. Louis Rams on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Rams were eaten alive today by the Detroit Lions 44-6, similar to the same beating the Arizona Cardinals took when they faced off with the Chargers last week.
With the return of Marcus McNeill next Sunday the Chargers will welcome back a key component to their offensive line.
Prediction: Chargers 58, Rams 3