Los Angeles Chargers 20, Oakland Raiders 6. The Los Angeles Chargers put the work in and beat a team with a pretty good offense and an improving defense.
The Chargers’ Defense kept the Raiders out of the end zone and made some big plays. Example: the strip sack of Derek Carr by Mad Melvin Ingram, with Cory Liuget rumbling like a rhino downfield with the captured pigskin.
2. Now imagine having Joey Bosa back for the last five or so games.
3. The Offense kept focus and Keenan Allen, as predicted, got his touchdown jam on. Philip Rivers chucked up a bomb that blew up into an interception, but he never lost his ability to make good, snap decisions.
4. Melvin Gordon’s yards from scrimmage, as projected, deserves national attention.
5. Special teams were special. The Chargers got a kicker, a real kicker! What a great idea! Now to get a punter who can kick farther and hang-time longer than a high school player.
Penalties. Not ugly this time, but bad. Y’all want to play Pittsburgh in a few weeks and spot them 72 yards from six flags? In particular, the personal fouls are starting to give me heartburn.
2. Statistically, the Bolts and the Black Hats were very close in this game, especially on offense. That is not alarming, but it is uncomfortable. I thought the Chargers could have, should have, murdalized Oakland.
Chargers coaching staff declined a false start penalty, then didn’t get the first down because the personal foul penalty against a Charger was independent of the first penalty, not off-setting, and not applied after the first down at the spot of the ball. I don’t think the refs got it wrong, or they would have huddled. Please, Anthony Lynn, assign someone else to run those decisions.
2. The Raiders are irrelevant. Again.
I do want to see the Chargers rout the Raiders by 50 points, but I think our rival is in the kind of trouble a few high draft picks won’t solve. I don’t see any reason for trading away their All-Pro defender, Khalil Mack, except that the owner, Mark Davis, is financially over-extended. Why else would he keep his Three Stooges bowl haircut?
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3. Complacency. What bad attitudes might grow in this soft stretch? When does swagger become cocky, lazy or sloppy? Going from Oakland, Denver and Arizona to Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Kansas City is like going from riding a pony to riding a bull.
Get ready by getting better.
Chargers, to a man, please do not look past the Broncos. Or they might well kick you right in the footballs.
To the Negative Nabobs who keep saying the Chargers haven’t beaten any good teams: the Bolts beat the Tennessee Titans, who just mugged the New England Patriots. Seattle lost to KC by less than the Bolts did, and the Chargers plucked the Seahawks. There are several teams who had winning records before they got trampled by the war horses, the Chargers.