LA Chargers News

Bolts vs. Raiders: The good, the bad and the ugh

By Dennis J. Hassell
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 07: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders stiff arms Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers on a run play during the first half of a game at StubHub Center on October 7, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 07: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders stiff arms Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers on a run play during the first half of a game at StubHub Center on October 7, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

Los Angeles Chargers 26, Oakland Raiders 10. Report Card, October 7, 2018. Raiders 101

The Bad

Pass defense

Suddenly in Act II (the second half),  Derek Carr shot up to a combined total 72 percent completion rate including 47, 29 and 20-yard plays.

What was the secondary drinking at half time?  Ganja Gatorade?

This time, it wasn’t only All Day Addae in a fog, for the Black Panther,  Defensive Rookie of the Year prospect Derwin James (and others like Adrian Phillips) had a few glaring goofs.

Melvin Ingram’s end-zone interception was great, but his running out of the end zone, like uber-rookie James against the Rams, was another brain cramp.

Grade: C-

Running game

If the Raiders had a plan to stop the run, it was only half a plan. Because Oakland could not stop the pass. However, what about the next opponents? What if they have a good pass defense, and go to school on the Raiders’ defensive scheme against the Bolts’ rushing attack?

Bolts’ running attack dropped to 2.5 yards per carry.

Kudos to Austin Ekeler on the kind of touchdown he is making more and more often — but it was as a receiver, not as a rusher.

It’s time to get the O-line online:

Get  Forrest Lamp lit, get Okung-fu back, and get Barksdale back.

Grade:  D-

The Ugh

The Kicking Game

Any questions?  I think not.  A new holder but the same old, same old, on the point after.  It says here that Chargers will lose a game this year with the point gap smaller than missed kicks. I’m guessing the Bolts are actively looking for someone who can kick a ball between posts.

Penalties

This is  seriously ugly because the problem has grown over the first five games. Today’s steaming pile of penalties: 9 penalties for 82 yards, more yardage than either team got from their running games.

The Good

Old Man Rivers is the real Space Force.  

Philip Rivers’ QB rating was 145, with another 300+ yard passing game. His AVERAGE passing yardage per game this season is 299.

In passer rating he is second in the league, just a smidge below Jared Goff of the Rams. He is 19 yards from second place in the entire league in passing yards.  Ahead of him are the two quarterbacks with unbeaten teams:  the Rams and Kansas City.

Chargers are second in the entire league in passing touchdowns, only one behind the unbeaten Rams.

Against Darth Raider,  Phil Skywalker used seven different good receivers. Keenan Allen is as strong as Samson — and torching the fields of his foes. Tight end Virgil Green has morphed into a key pass catcher, one that that has Rivers’ confidence. Sure-handed running backs Ekeler and Melvin Gordon exponentially increase  the passing game. Can you imagine if Hunter Henry gets back for the playoffs?

Grade:   A

A Gold Star goes to… 

Melvin Gordon.    Flash Gordon is the third-best running back in the NFL in terms of all-purpose points.

Grade:  A

More from Bolt Beat

The Run Defense: The  Brothers Smothers Those Mothers

Chargers held Marshmallow Lynch to 31 yards and 3.2 yards per carry.

Last year against Lynch and the Raiders, I recall the Bolts did not fare as well. They were around 30th in run defense last season. This year to date: 10th, and surrendering the 8th-fewest rushing touchdowns.

Grade:  A

Bolts scoring in the fourth quarter

They weren’t  obsessing with trying to merely run out the clock.

Bolts winning the turnover battle

And  winning time of possession.

OVERALL TEAM GRADE:   B-

Looking Ahead

Bolts are growing in confidence and execution, which is good because they will need it.

The next 2 games demand that many Chargers play better.  Will they?

Say why in the comment section.

facebooktwitterreddit