CARSON – The Raiders kept it relatively close in their first four games. That wasn't the case on Sunday.
Oakland got beaten handily in all three phases in a 26-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. The team wasn't able to overcome critical mistakes, and fell to 1-4 on the season.
Let's see how the Raiders graded out against the Chargers.
One piece of unsolicited advice for the Raiders: Give Marshawn Lynch the gosh darn ball on 1-yard line. Just do it, even if the whole world knows it's coming. Beast Mode can still probably hit paydirt.
That didn't happen on Sunday, and an interception was thrown instead. Lynch was livid coming off the field after the turnover, clearly wanting a chance to score. He ripped off his helmet and nearly slammed it to the ground in anger.
Lynch should've been given the ball there and several more times in this one. Alas, he was only given nine carries, on which he earned 31 yards.
Derek Carr threw a costly interception at the Chargers' 1-yard line. That was a backbreaker. Martavis Bryant didn't help matters either, losing a fumble following a 21-yard gain. The Chargers scored off that turnover and were up 14 points at the break.
Amari Cooper went MIA yet again. Seth Roberts only had four catches for 41 yards on seven targets. Jared Cook wasn't as impactful as other games.
The Raiders front got gutted by Cleveland last week, allowing one big run after another. That was not the case on Sunday. M
elvin Gordon needed 19 carries for 58 yards, and the team averaged just 2.5 yards per carry. That's a sign of improvement, which will be important if the defense can build on it and continue playing disciplined defense up front.
The Raiders got roasted on jet sweeps a few weeks back. The Chargers' screen game took the Silver and Black this time. Austin Ekeler took one 44 yards for a touchdown – Tahir Whitehead got juked out of his shoes on that one – though there were several others that hurt the Raiders this time.
They have to do better there, or teams will keep on running screens in this copycat league. Keenan Allen's a tough matchup for anyone, but the Cal alum took full advantage of the Raiders secondary. Quarterback Philip Rivers carved this team up, throwing for 339 yards, two touchdowns and a 143.4 passer rating.
Dwayne Harris gave the Raiders a spark last week with some big returns. That didn't happen here, and the Raiders lost the battle for field position. Punter Johnny Townsend was solid, but simply doesn't have the power to punt the Raiders out of bad spots. You can't fault Matt McCrane for missing a 57-yard field goal, and he made another one from rational distance.
We can fault the special teams for this crazy stat: The Raiders never started a farther than their own 27-yard line. Hard to score a ton with long fields like that. By contrast, the Chargers started five drives at their 45-yard line or beyond. That'll get you a failing grade.
There's no sugar-coating this one. The Raiders got beat pretty bad by a better team.
They couldn't keep up, and made far too many mistakes. Everyone shares blame for this disaster, which was their worst performance of the season. The team now sits a 1-4, in real danger of seeing its season go down the drain.