The Chargers started their game against the Raiders by building a 10-point lead. But just as fast as they built it, it was swiftly taken away thanks to Josh Jacobs running rampant through the Bolts’ front seven.
The second half got out of hand soon after it began and it was mainly all downhill from there. The Chargers were able to cut the 14-point lead in half late in the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as they got before time ran out.
Despite the porous performance by the team as a whole, there were still some studs and duds we need to highlight. With that said, below are this week’s “Surge or Static?” players from week 13.
WR Keenan Allen
Allen posted a season high in catches with six (88 yards) and managed to find the end zone again to make it back-to-back games with a score. Slayer’s touchdown was off a very impressive scramble drill where Justin Herbert needed to escape the pocket and Allen managed to gain a step on his defender before positioning himself to catch Herbert’s pass with little room to spare near the sideline.
So far this season, Allen has recorded 22 receptions for 308 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s been a refreshing presence on offense since returning, but unfortunately it hasn’t been enough to stop the offense from continuing to to underwhelm through it’s litany of injuries.
️ holding onto keenan allen this season was worth it pic.twitter.com/zVOIHVhkJL— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) December 5, 2022
CB Bryce Callahan
Callahan added on to his team-leading interception total with his third against the Raiders. This one, however, was taken back for a touchdown to put the Chargers up early on Las Vegas. The pick-six was the first for any Charger player this season and it certainly seemed like a catalyst-type play for the Chargers who started slow offensively on Sunday. Unfortunately, Herbert and his unit could only muster one additional touchdown the rest of the way.
Even with the interception, Callahan still allowed all three passes thrown his way to be completed for 64 yards and a touchdown. He’s been one of, if not the best, cornerback for the Chargers this season. However, like one of the members of the “static” section of this post, he was also a victim of Davante Adams’ incredible route running.
CB Asante Samuel Jr.
After taking his lumps and playing admirably against Adams in their week one matchup, the Raiders All-Pro wideout had his way with Samuel all day long this past Sunday.
By the time the game clock hit zero, Samuel had allowed 102 yards on five-of-six targets thrown his way, including a 31-yard touchdown to Adams. He finished with an abysmal PFF grade of 29.7, second worst on the defense from defensive tackle Tyeler Davison who played just 10 snaps.
Anyone would get “got” by Adams more than once, but after showing he could post a much better day against Adams in week one, it was tough to watch Samuel scrambling to stop the bleeding all to no avail.
RB Austin Ekeler
It’s always unusual to see Ekeler on this side of the fence, but the team’s most-productive player on offense had one of his rare blunders that played a huge role in allowing the Raiders to flip momentum on the Chargers before refusing to relinquish it back for the remainder of the contest.
On the opening drive of the second half, Ekeler hauled in a pass which he looked to have taken for a first down. But before he was ruled down, the Raiders defense punched the ball loose and they were able to recover it at the Los Angeles 31-yard line. On the very next play, Derek Carr hit Adams for a touchdown that pushed the Raiders ahead 17-13. The Chargers missed on a field goal try on their next drive and the Raiders were able to score just two plays later from 45 yards out.
So to put it simply, following the fumble by Ekeler, the Raiders went on to score two touchdowns over their next three offensive plays. That’s one hell of a shift in momentum.
Ekeler will have to bounce back in a big way if they want to have a chance at beating the Dolphins this upcoming Sunday.