Mike Tolbert & Ryan Mathews - 21 touches, 130 total yards
These guys are talented. It was actually kind of funny to see the Oakland Raiders using Michael Bush effectively, and know that Darren McFadden will be returning soon. It was a clear reminder that the San Diego Chargers have two very good RBs themselves, but they don't seem to get used properly most of the time.
These guys should be getting 15-20 touches each per game, not total. I understand that the Chargers were down for much of this game, but to give up on them when San Diego was only down by a TD seemed a little extreme. Each of them finished the game with over 5 yards per carry and over 7 yards per catch. They performed well when called upon.
Vincent Brown - 5 catches, 97 rec yards, 1 TD
It should've been 2 TDs and a lot more rec yards if not for an odd little NFL rule that nullified his second brilliant catch in the end zone. That play aside, Brown still proved that he's ready to be a starter and make that 3rd round pick seem like a steal. He ran good routes and showed good hands along with sneaky speed and toughness. His only rookie mistake came late in the game, when he ran an inside pattern when Rivers threw outside and it very nearly went for an INT.
Antwan Barnes - 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 defended pass
I predicted before the season that Antwan Barnes, who isn't even a starting OLB when Shan Phillips is healthy, would finish the year leading the team in sacks. Right now, with 6 on the season, he has 3 more sacks than the next closest pass-rusher (Phillips). Teams still have success running the ball right at him, but Barnes is a play-maker and can not be stopped from getting to the QB if he's given enough snaps in a game. I shudder to think what SD's pass rush would be like without him.
Paul Oliver - 5 tackles, 2 tackle assists, 2 defended passes, 1 interception
Okay, it wasn't the best game, but there's not much to choose from. The Raiders relied on Oliver over-pursuing on a few plays to open holes in the run game, but when he got near the play Oliver tackled well and wasn't bad in coverage. When he had the chance t pick off a duck of a pass, he did.
Winning the Turnover Battle
I've been harping on this team all year for its inability to win the turnover battle. Teams like the Raiders and Chiefs, they don't win with talent...they win by winning the turnover battle and limiting mistakes. So what happens? The Chargers win the turnover battle and lose the game. I guess I couldn't account for 60% of the offensive line getting injured in the game, even though that always seems to happen when San Diego plays the Raiders.