Around the AFC West: Philip Rivers fades, Raiders embarrass themselves
By Ellen Mathis
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers took on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. This game was all about turnovers. The Chargers have been turning the ball over a lot this season, but it came to a head on Sunday. The Chargers coughed up the ball seven times. Philip Rivers threw three interceptions and fumbled once while running back Melvin Gordon fumbled twice. The Gordon fumbles led to head coach Anthony Lynn benching him.
The Chargers were supposed to be one of the most complete teams in the AFC this year, but they have looked anything but. Rivers has thrown 11 interceptions in the last five games. If this doesn’t force him to at least consider retiring, I don’t know what will. There will certainly be many questions asked this offseason about the future of the quarterback position in Los Angeles.
The Chargers also lost Russell Okung to a re-aggravated groin injury. This injury has been nagging Okung all season and has certainly not helped with the struggles the offensive line has been having protecting Rivers. Rivers is no longer a young quarterback so his mobility is limited. With the continued injuries on the offensive line, it’s no wonder the Chargers have been a turnover machine.
Next week, the Chargers host the Raiders in a divisional matchup. Let’s be real. This game doesn’t matter all that much anymore. Both teams are out of the playoff hunt and, at this point, are just trying to beat a rival. Who would be better served by a loss here? Probably the Chargers since it would get them closer to the top of the draft board, but both teams have their pride. I predict that the Chargers actually pull this one off as Rivers continues to try and win himself another year with the organization (unless he chooses the smart path and retires).
Opening line odds for the Chargers in Week 16: -5.5.
Game time is 3:05 p.m.