“Chargers Season–Fade to Black in Black Hole”
Crap week for the Chargers.
They could have won the Thursday night game, but didn’t. They should have won the Thursday night game, but couldn’t.
Their playoff hopes now likely gone, sunk in the sinkhole of a Raiders Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, aka the Black Hole.
It was an ugly loss between a struggling battered veteran team, and a mistake prone young team. The Raiders will take any victory they can, regardless of mistakes, penalties, breakdowns. The Chargers cannot stomach the losses, the injuries, the futility of not helping out their record setting quarterback.
The Raiders crushed a battered Chargers offensive line, finishing the night with 3-interceptions, five sacks, 10-hits and 4-pressures on Rivers. By the time they got to the end, the pass blockers infront of Rivers were from Grambling, Sioux Falls and Fresno State. When it was over, Russell Okung was hurt again, there was no Mike Pouncey, no Sam Tavi. Rivers could have had 5-interceptions in all, had two picks not been negated by Raiders penalties.
A week ago everyone wanted to salute the new play caller Shane Steichen. On Thursday night, he seldom called plays for big receiver Mike Williams, went away from Melvin Gordon and the running game, and will have nightmares flashing back to lineman getting pushed into Rivers face, and a collapsing pocket time and time again.
The Chargers put up a fist fight, slowing down Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, but in a 10-round fight, Oakland kept punching and the Chargers finally wilted.
There was a stretch of time where I said to myself, ‘can’t protect the quarterback, no problem, just run the damn ball’, and they did, for 105-yards in the first half. But it’s a four quarter game and life got ugly in the second half in that ugly stadium.
The kids had bad days across the board for the Bolts.
Offensive tackle Trent Scott gave up 2-sacks, 3-big hits and took a penalty. Fellow rookie Trey Pipkens, forced to play at left tackle, gave up a brutal sack and took a bad penalty. Center Scott Quisenberry took a flag, got beat on plays and even rolled a shotgun snap back to his QB. A future Hall of Fame quarterback takes a beating from what looked like a Pac 12-Conference defense.
On defense, it wasn’t easy for young players either. Cornerback Michael Davis wilted in the second half, giving up 2-big pass plays and taking a pass interference penalty. Rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill got beat 3-times on pass plays. Rayshawn Jenkins and others were chasing receivers all night, seldom making plays
The vaunted Chargers big play offense had just 5-plays of plus 20-yeards, and this against a Raiders defense that came in giving up (390YPG).
The Raiders kept screwing up, critical off sides calls, a bunch of pass interference flags, and 12-penalties in all for 97-yards on the night, and yet the Chargers could not put them away.
The Bolts had two amazing drives, a 16-play series that went 77-yards, and then in the second half a 10-play 75-yard drive that gave them a temporary lead, but didn’t hold up for 60-minutes, per the league rules..
But in between those two impressive drives, it was awful, all that, QB hits, sacks, incompletions and breakdowns.
So the feel good 3-game win streak is over, and truth be told, were it not for bad kicking opening day from Adam Vinatieri and then by Chicago’s Eddie Pineiro, this Chargers team would-could-should be (2-8) this season. Looking back, they have played 1-good game this year, last weekend’s plastering of the Packers. 1-good game in a 10-week season so far.
All this days after the whole Dean Spanos meltdown over the Chargers-to-London story. Just think of the curse words coming out of his mouth last night after a loss that might have been a win.
Crap week for the Chargers, and just six weeks left in a season that is getting away from them.
Playoff hopes fade to black in the black hole.