The San Diego Chargers almost had them. In another close loss, the Chargers fell to 5-9. The Chargers didn’t look like the better team, but fought hard and managed to make it a game.
Early on, Travis Benjamin made his presence felt for the first time in weeks and undrafted rookie Trovon Reed picked off his second pass in as many weeks.
Even with the season being over and the playoff hopes lost, the Chargers still made it a heart-wrenching defeat.
Even so, there were some positives to take away from the loss to the Raiders.
It’s been a long time since Travis Benjamin has made an impact in a game. After a decent start to the season, injuries and poor play have limited his snaps of late. Thankfully, he was able to get back on track against Oakland.
Early in the first quarter, Philip Rivers was able to connect with Benjamin on a 47-yard touchdown pass. This was something the Chargers wanted to see more of this year and although it came in a meaningless game, it’s still a good sign for the future.
By game’s end, Benjamin racked up 56 yards on two catches and a touchdown.
With only two games left in the season, the hope has to be that Benjamin and Rivers can start connecting on some long throws. Next year, the receiving corps should be a strong one when healthy and having a deep threat like Benjamin is crucial.
This has been a fun story of late. In his first NFL game, Trovon Reed managed to intercept the league’s reigning MVP. The next game, Reed picks off an MVP candidate in Derek Carr.
A receiver in college, Reed made the transition to cornerback his final year at Auburn. From being an undrafted free agent to playing significant snaps for the Chargers, Reed has overcome the odds.
With two interceptions in two games, Reed is trying to make a case for the Bolts to keep him on the roster heading into next season. With how banged up the secondary has been of late, the Chargers should be able to get a really good look at him.
It’s hard to not root for Reed, hopefully, he can continue to make a positive impact to the Chargers secondary.
The Raiders aren’t the Browns
The Chargers fared pretty well against a superior opponent. It’s always rough losing to the Raiders but with the season already being over, it wasn’t as painful.
Slowly but surely, the Raiders were able to wear down the Chargers defense and open up both the passing game and running game in the second half. In the first half, the Chargers were saved by a few turnovers and were unable to capitalize and extend the lead.
The offense wasn’t much better. Without a run game, Rivers was forced to throw more often and were unable to put up enough points against a high-powered Oakland offense.
Next week, the Chargers play the lowly Cleveland Browns. At 0-14, the Browns aren’t very good in any area and the Chargers should handle them.
It’ll be a nice Christmas Eve for everyone because this team can’t lose to the Browns, right?