The Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders for the second time this season but should not be overly confident after the contest, despite the road win.
The Los Angeles Chargers went on the road for the team’s fourth consecutive game away from Los Angeles (the London game counted as a home game) and extended the team’s winning streak to six games with a 20-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.
The Chargers finally get somewhat of a breather and get to head back home. While the next opponent for the Chargers, the Denver Broncos, are no slouches, being home after being on the road for so long is huge for this team. Getting that final win was the icing on the cake.
It is easy to see why the Chargers and the fans would be riding high right now. The Chargers have won the last six games in a row and now have the second-best record in the AFC. There is actually a scenario in which the team can finish with the second-best record and not get a first-round bye.
Anyways, this game was huge as there is a big difference between 7-2 and 6-3. With 10 wins practically guaranteeing a playoff spot at this point, all the Chargers have to do is finish the year 3-3 to make the postseason.
And while it is okay to get excited about the team, I would not walk away from the game with an overly eager outlook on the performance. Yes, the team did win by two possessions and yes, the Raiders did not score a single touchdown.
However, the Raiders are obviously the worst team in the NFL and benefit from losing to get a higher draft pick and the team played the Chargers very close early on.
Jon Gruden and the Raiders were doing everything right. The defense did a great job at limiting the Chargers in the team’s first two drives and the offense sucked all of the time out of the clock. Before you knew it, the Raiders had a 3-0 lead, were in striking range yet again and had kept the Chargers from getting a first down.
Then the Melvin Ingram forced Derek Carr to fumble and the entire game turned on its head for the Raiders. While the team fought hard early, they also showed no real desire to fight back in the game once they were down.
The Chargers scored two touchdowns and kicked two field goals. The forced fumble was responsible for the first field goal. The first touchdown of the day came after a fantastic eight play, 91-yard drive. If you are going to take any positives out of this game, look at that drive.
The other touchdown was solely on Melvin Gordon and the final field goal was a decent drive that ended in a chip shot. The Chargers did what the team had to do but did not overly impress in any way.
Meanwhile, the worst team in the NFL showed early on in the game that with the right gameplan, this Chargers team is very beatable. Keeping Philip Rivers and company off the field and eating the clock away is the best way to beat LA.
With a defense that often plays with a bend, don’t break mentality, this leads to a lot of lopsided possession. The Tennessee Titans were the first team to show how effective this could be. Los Angeles is lucky this was the Raiders. If this was a playoff team, LA could have been down 14 or even 17 early on in the game.
Enjoy in the win, bask it in. As a Los Angeles Chargers fan myself, I love the feeling of 7-2. However, don’t get overly excited for a rudimentary win over the Raiders.