The offensive line of the Chargers did not block well, showing a lack of push and aggressiveness. Without the run game working, the defense of the Raiders could pin their ears back and go after the quarterback. The pocket continually collapsed both before and after Louis Vasquez and Nick Hardwick went out with injuries.
Critical breakdowns at the safety position again stung the Chargers... just like last year. AJ Smith thought he could get by without bringing in a proven veteran to this position. Steve Gregory and Clinton Hart (just clueless) have had enough time to show they're not much more than practice squad players. AJ: FIX IT!
The Raiders were home and played inspired football, doing most of the hitting and showing themselves as the aggressors throughout the game. Norv and the Chargers need to question why they have come out slow and with a lack of fire the last few seasons.
JaMarcus Russell showed he's still not a real NFL quarterback, missing numerous open receivers. It's a shame the Chargers couldn't get to him more and let him have as much success as he did.
The Chargers weren't able to get into a rhythm, partly due to first game jitters, bad luck and some inspired play from the Raiders under Tom Cable (maybe choking threats work).
Rivers' last drive and the calm the team displayed at the end of the game show why the Chargers are the best team in the AFC West. However, they still aren't playing complete football. If the Raiders had anyone resembling a real quarterback, they would have beaten San Diego tonight.
Hopefully the injuries to Hardwick and Vasquez aren't too serious. If they are? This could dash the Chargers Super Bowl hopes this season. Rivera also needs to figure out why his linebackers aren't getting to the quarterback. Has the 3-4 defense jumped the shark? Does it no longer confuse anyone?
This game should serve as a wake-up call for the Chargers to rededicate themselves to fundamental football: aggressiveness and blocking. They have a short week to prepare for the Ravens next Sunday. Despite everything, A WIN IS A WIN! GO BOLTS!