The San Diego Chargers went into this game with a 4 game winning streak and also have won 18 straight games in the month of December. The Chargers were supposed to play the Kansas City Chiefs in a battle for first place in the AFC West. The San Diego Chargers were a streaking train that was looking to close out the season with their usual come from behind winning streak, but first they had to get through the Oakland Raiders. The same Oakland Raiders team that beat them earlier in the season.
During the Chargers winning streak, they solved the early season issues on special teams and stopped turning the ball over. The Chargers fell back on old habits against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Early in the first quarter, the Chargers stopped the Raiders on offense and forced them to punt the ball. The punt was not fielded cleanly and the ball was recovered by the Oakland Raiders deep in Chargers territory. The Oakland Raiders were able to turn the possession into 7 points on a Jason Campbell scramble on fourth and 1.
On the next Chargers possession, Philip Rivers overthrew Malcom Floyd on a deep pass over the middle which was then intercepted by Safety Michael Huff. The Raiders then were able to turn that possession into 7 points with a pass to Jacoby Ford in the corner of the end zone. The Chargers quickly dug a deep hole putting themselves behind the Raiders 14-0.
The Chargers offense struggled the entire game. Philip Rivers was not able to hit his open receivers and the running game had to be abandoned early with the big deficit. The Raiders put a lot of pressure on Rivers and forced him to make poor passes.
The Chargers defense could not stop the Oakland running attack. Both Darren McFadden and Michael Bush rushed for over 95 yards and a TD EACH! The Chargers were out played and over muscled in the rushing game. Jason Campbell played a smart game at QB and just took what the Chargers gave him. If his receivers were covered, he tucked the ball down and scrambled for first down yardage.
The Chargers were not able to pull off late game heroics this time. Rivers was able to pass for one TD to Antonio Gates, but that was the only TD they were able to put on the board. The Chargers had to settle for field goal attempts and just could not keep pace with the Oakland Raiders ground game. The final score was 28-13 Raiders.
Earlier in the day, the Kansas City Chiefs did their job and won their game against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers will need a lot of help to make it into the playoffs now and they no longer control their own destiny to the playoffs. The Chargers cannot finish with the same record (like they have now) with the Oakland Raiders to end the season, because the Raiders would take the playoff spot, since they swept us in the regular season. They also will be looking for a collapse by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have a favorable schedule to end the season and we will need to beat them next week AND hope that other teams can help us out. The Kansas City Chiefs can end our season this week by leaving the game with a victory.