Raiders Defense Can't Solve Big-play Problem in Loss Vs. Chargers

CARSON – The Los Angeles Chargers ran 59 offensive plays Sunday's 26-10 win against the Raiders. Ten of them gained 16 yards or more, and four went for 20-plus.

The Raiders' big-play problem, it appears, has not been fixed.

The Chargers took yards in chunks against the Raiders, making it difficult for the Silver and Black to stay competitive.

It wasn't the jet sweeps that killed them in Miami. It wasn't the long runs that kept Cleveland in last week's game. Screen passes got them Sunday at StubHub Center.

Austin Ekeler turned a short Philip Rivers pass into a 44-yard touchdown – Tahir Whitehead whiffed badly on that play -- that gave the Chargers a lead they would not relinquish. They also hit Melvin Gordon for 34 yards on a screen, creating an effective means of marching downfield.

"It's about having proper leverage and making tackles," safety Erik Harris said after the loss on Sunday. "We keep saying the same thing each week. We have to execute better and capitalize on their mistakes."

The Raiders aren't doing enough of that. They have given up at least 365 yards in every game this season, and 400-plus the last two weeks.

Harris is correct that the types of plays beating the Raiders are different but the problems are the same.

"It's frustrating when it's the same thing over and over again," Harris said. "Us as players, we have to fix it. The coaches aren't out there on the field. They aren't making the tackles. They aren't overrunning gaps. It's on us as players to fix this."

After a rough start to the season, the Raiders may be pressing a bit to change the momentum. Jon Gruden says that it happening with quarterback Derek Carr. Daryl Worley believes it's happening on defense, too.

"We may just be overcompensating a little bit, all 11 guys," the cornerback said. "Everybody just has to do their job, do what we have to do and make tackles when they come. It is going to come together."

It needs to come together fast now, with the Raiders sitting at 1-4.

"We have to eliminate those big plays," middle linebacker Marquel Lee said. "They're a major factor in the game. It's something we have to correct."

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