The San Diego Chargers continued their losing ways on Sunday, as they lost another division game to the Oakland Raiders by a score of 19-16.
It was an embarrassing day for San Diego to say the least, as Oakland Raider fans essentially took over Qualcomm Stadium and turned Sunday’s home game into a road game for the Chargers.
Sunday’s game in San Diego was pretty much more of the same for the home team. The Chargers looked good early on as usual, but things slowly began to unravel as they often have this year. As always, there’s good and not so good takeaways from each game. Let’s take a look at who was good and who was bad in Week 15.
Good: Casey Hayward
Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive back Casey Hayward (26) catches a ball during warm ups before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward has been nothing short of phenomenal this season. Before being named to his first Pro Bowl on Tuesday evening, Casey Hayward held Raiders receiver Amari Cooper to just one catch for 28 yards. In the last four games, Hayward has been responsible for guarding some of the more elite wide receivers in the league. He’s definitely held his own as Deandre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and now Amari Cooper were each held to 70 yards, 38 yards, 11 yards and 28 yards, respectively. Also, none of the four receivers were able to score a touchdown against Hayward.
Good: Melvin Ingram
Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) runs onto the field during players introductions before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
I’ve been very critical of Melvin Ingram in recent weeks, but Sunday’s game was definitely the best he’s had in a while. Ingram had six tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles and a pass deflection. It was definitely the kind of performance Ingram would like to build on, as he’s been mostly quiet for the last month. The question for Melvin has never been his talent, it’s always been if he can stay consistent or not. With two games left in the season, we’ll get to see if Ingram can end this year with more performances similar to Sunday.
Good: Trovon Reed
Dec 11, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Trovon Reed (38) on the sidelines in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Chargers 28-16 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Two career starts. Two career interceptions. Chargers cornerback Trovon Reed continued to make a name for himself on Sunday with another good performance. Reed recorded five tackles and another red-zone interception for the second straight week. The rookie from Auburn has quickly become a player to watch in an extremely thin Chargers secondary. With the future of cornerback Brandon Flowers still uncertain, Reed is already making a serious case to be the number three corner behind his Pro Bowl teammates in Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett.
Bad: Tyrell Williams
Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) dives for a ball out of his reach during the second quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrell Williams has been very good this season. He simply wasn’t on Sunday. Willams reeled in four catches for only 20 yards, including a few key drops. He’s been a bright spot on this depleted Chargers team to this point, but Sunday was definitely a game he’d like to forget. He’s battled knee and shoulder injuries for a good part of the season so he’s got to get credit for that. However, injuries or not, if you’re on the field you’re expected to produce. Williams has to be better if the Chargers want to succeed.
Bad: Dwight Lowery
Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers free safety Dwight Lowery (20) catches a ball before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
This past offseason, the Chargers made the decision of letting former All-Pro safety Eric Weddle leave in free agency, only to sign Dwight Lowery. Weddle has been one of the top-ranked safeties in the NFL all year, while Dwight Lowery has been, well let’s just say far from that. Bad technique, poor angles, missed tackles and just simply being out of position has plagued Lowery for most of the season. Unfortunately, that trend continued on Sunday, as he put out another mediocre performance. Lowery certainly isn’t the long-term answer at safety for the Chargers, but if he wants to remain with the team even in the short-term, he can’t have too many more poor outings.
Bad: Josh Lambo
Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo (2) kicks a field goal as quarterback Kellen Clemens (10) holds during the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
It’s just something about Josh Lambo and Oakland. In Week 5, he was seen laughing and joking with Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski, after a failed potential game-tying field goal. In Week 15, he had another forgettable day. He had a kickoff sail out of bounds, and missed a crucial extra-point in what would ultimately be a three point loss. Lambo has been solid for the most part, but his miscues at the worst possible time have proven to be costly to this team. Week 15 was bad for the Chargers kicker, but we’ll see how he responds this week at Cleveland.
Ugly: Corey Liuget
Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget (94) runs on the field before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Kansas City won 33-3. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Corey Liuget is not giving the Chargers what they paid for. Liuget, who signed a five-year $51.25 million dollar contract in 2015, has three sacks in the last two seasons. None have come this year. Liuget was basically a no-show again on Sunday, as he literally did nothing. Zero tackles, zero sacks, zero forced fumbles, zero pass deflections, nothing. It really just hasn’t been a good year for Liuget. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do with only two games remaining in this 2016 season.