5 Bad Things: Raiders at Chargers

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05: Scott Mruczkowski #63 of the San Diego Chargers is seen dejected on the bench in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5 2010 in San Diego California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

1. Offensive Line

First off, let me just say something. You cannot praise the players, and Philip Rivers, when the team wins...and then blame Norv Turner when the lose. It's on everyone, always. Everyone deserves credit when the win, and everyone deserves blame when they lose. With that being said, this game was lost because the offensive line was terrible.

Actually, in two games against the Raiders this season they have allowed 7 sacks and helped Mike Tolbert to a healthy 1.4 Yards Per Carry. Simply put, the Oakland Raiders defensive line is stronger than the Chargers offensive line and it shows every time these two teams meet up. They're bigger, stronger, nastier, quicker and they have absolutely no quit in them. It's too bad for Raider fans that their team can't play the Chargers every week.

vs OAK / 12.5.10 Rushing Receiving
Rush Yards Avg TD Rec Yards Avg TD
Mike Tolbert 7 16 2.3 0 6 47 7.8 0


2. The Ghost of Ryan Mathews

This is number two because it ties in nicely with number one. You remember how I said that Tolbert is averaging 1.4 Yards Per Carry against the Raiders in 2010? Well Ryan Mathews is averaging 6.6 Yards Per Carry against them, which tells me that this is a team that's strong on the line and weak at linebacker. The obvious next move is to give the fast guy the ball, and run a few plays to the outside. You know....mix it up a little.

Ryan Mathews ended the game with zero rushes, zero receptions and zero plays on the field. Suffice to say, I believe the running game was mishandled yesterday.

3. Philip Rivers

I put a lot of blame on the fact that he was being chased around all day, but it was an uncharacteristically bad day by Rivers even after factoring that in. Below 60% completion rate, an ugly interception (he throws about 1 of those each season) and more than a few passes that were overthrown or underthrown.

I guess he can't be Superman every week, but it was a bad time (crucial division game, against a rival, late in the season) to have a bad game. I'm going to assume it is behind him though.

vs OAK / 12.5.10 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Philip Rivers 23 39 60.0 280 1 1 5 5.0 0


4. Jason Campbell

Add Campbell to that list of "Guys who will always play well against the Chargers", unless you count the meaningless game last season. This list sometimes referred to as the "freaking Michael Bush" list, and for a short period was known as the "Tyler Thigpen All-Stars".

You know how people say that the Jaguars are "built to beat the Colts", and that's why they always seem to have good games against Indianapolis? I think the Raiders, and also the Chiefs now, were built to beat the Chargers. Build power on the lines, stack your running back depth, draft corners that love contact and fight for the ball....and you will have a good chance.

Anyways, something about Campbell and this offensive line is like kryptonite for Ron Rivera and Don Johnson. They have no idea how to defeat them, how to get pressure on Campbell and seem to be clueless as to what the Raiders gameplan is each time they match up against them.


5. Darren Sproles

Darren makes a little more than $7.2 million this season, meaning he is earning roughly was Kris Dielman and LaDainian Tomlinson made in 2009. The only players making more than him, I believe, are Philip Rivers and Luis Castillo. The team might be looking for a little more than 7 receiving yards and 0 rushing yards from a player getting paid that much.

vs OAK / 12.5.10 Rushing Receiving
Rush Yards Avg TD Rec Yards Avg TD
Darren Sproles 0 0 0 0 1 7 7 0

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