Welcome back to the snap report, a weekly feature where we look at the Chargers players involved in each offensive and defensive snap and track how players earn and lose playing time as the year continues. As always, these snap counts come from the NFL and the numbers are rounded to the nearest percent.
The Chargers enter the last week of the season on a three game winning streak and surprisingly still in the mix for the final playoff spot in the AFC. The last game of the season is against a Kansas City Chiefs team that has already clinched their playoff spot and may rest their starters for a good amount of the game. The Chargers will know if their playoff hopes are still alive when their game kicks off, but hopefully they'll come out and look to end the season on a strong note regardless of their chances at the postseason.
The Chargers have run 72 offensive snaps in each of the past three games during their winning streak. Here's how the offensive snaps were doled out against the Raiders:
The tight ends and receivers were the only position groups that saw a lot of turnover from the Broncos game. John Phillips only got four snaps against the Raiders before injuring his knee, and was placed on IR this past week. Phillips has been averaging about 25 percent of the offensive snaps this season, so his injury likely means Ladarius Green will be asked to run block some more as he fills in.
All five starting offensive linemen played every snap and the unit had a great game overall. The Raiders only touched Philip Rivers twice, and the Chargers were able to run the ball 33 times for an average of 4.6 yards per carry (excluding kneel downs). D.J. Fluker had probably the best pass blocking performance of his young career, not allowing a sack, hit, or hurry for the first time all year. The only Charger offensive lineman to not earn a positive PFF grade was Jeromey Clary.
Here are the snaps for the defense:
Unlike the game against the Broncos, the Chargers were able to play in their base defense versus the Raiders, meaning more snaps for the defensive line and linebackers and less for Jahleel Addae.
Overall the secondary played well, highlighted by great games from Eric Weddle and Marcus Gilchrist. For most of the season, it was assumed that the secondary would be getting a massive overhaul in the offseason due to their struggles on the field. However, if Addae can continue his strong development at safety and allow the coaches to let Gilchrist play to his strengths in the nickel cornerback role, it will be interesting to see if GM Tom Telesco makes any moves in free agency to address the defensive backfield or opts to wait for the draft. 2014 is supposed to be a strong draft for the cornerback position, and even though Shareece Wright and Richard Marshall have played better recently, I'd be surprised if the Chargers didn't select a cornerback within the first three rounds.