Inside the AFC West: Oakland Raiders offense awakens

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: Marcus Peters
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: Marcus Peters /
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CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Philip Rivers
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Philip Rivers /

Chargers limit mistakes in win

The Los Angeles Chargers have now quietly strung together three straight wins. Their most recent victory against the Denver Broncos was due to their ability to force the opponent into mistakes while making very few themselves. The Chargers defense was able to force 3 turnovers. The pass rush was directly responsible for two of these: a Trevor Siemian strip sack and an interception. Defensive end Joey Bosa led the way as the Chargers were able to sack Siemian 5 times and pressure him throughout most of the game. The defense was also able to force a fumble from tight end A.J. Derby. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin was also able to capitalize on another Broncos mistake in punt coverage. Benjamin scored on a 65 yard punt return, the first touchdown of the game.

The Chargers offense was not particularly impressive, but they were able to do just enough to get the victory. Philip Rivers only threw for 183 yards, but did have 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. With the talented duo of Bronco cornerbacks covering the Chargers receivers, Rivers counted on tight end Hunter Henry to move the offense. Henry caught four passes for 73 yards, including a 3rd down conversion on the Chargers’ final touchdown drive. The run game once again struggled to get going. Melvin Gordon ran the ball 18 times for just 38 yards. Rookie Austin Ekeler provided a nice change of pace, carrying the ball 7 times for 38 yards.

The Chargers could only gain 242 yards of total offense, but that isn’t a surprise given how good the Broncos defense has been. The most important thing is that they did not turn the ball over. Right now, the Chargers offense is ranked 17th in yards per game. They have the talent to be better than that. If they could ever get the ground game going, it would help open up the offense for Philip Rivers and the pass catchers. Until then, the Chargers can still win games by playing mistake-free football. The Chargers will have to play well to extend their winning streak next week as they travel to New England to face the Patriots.

Quick Notes

Chargers left guard Matt Slauson tore his bicep during the game and will miss the remainder of the season.