Chargers vs. Raiders: What went wrong for the Bolts?

After losing Dwight Freeney for the season, San Diego Chargers veteran linebacker Jarret Johnson stepped up in a huge way by delivering two sacks and a forced fumble in the 27-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.

Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown also followed suit by notching triple digit receiving yards with 115 and 117, respectively. Yet, five turnovers and two lost fumbles weren’t enough for the Chargers to recover from 17-0 deficit at the half. After a near flawless performance one week ago, the Chargers made costly mistakes throughout the late evening game, some of which would practically hand points over to the Raiders. Below is a list of events that played a role in the Chargers ugly loss:

1. Miscommunication

During the third play of the first quarter, Philip Rivers tossed a 50-yard pass intended for Eddie Royal, but instead, the ball found the hands of Oakland safety Usama Young. On the next play, Oakland’s quarterback Terelle Pryor hit Rod Streater for an immediate touchdown.

2. Mental mistakes

In the second quarter, with 10 minutes left to play, Eddie Royal muffed a punt recovered by Chimdi Chekwa at the 22 yard line. After three plays the Chargers defense held the Raiders to eight yards and a three and out, Sebastian Janikowski launched the ball for a 47-yard field goal.

3. Another costly error

Late in the third quarter, Kevin Burnett forced a Danny Woodhead fumble recovered by Charles Woodson for a go-ahead touchdown.

4. A bad decision

Seconds past the two-minute warning, Rivers threw a pass intended for Allen. Instead, D.J. Hayden jumped in the way for an interception to disrupt the Bolts’ momentum.

The Chargers looked to be on the verge of a late fourth quarter comeback, driving down the field 76 yards in two and half minutes before stalling at the Oakland four yard line. The Chargers are fully aware of the costs associated with turnovers and will need to do a much better job of protecting the ball moving forward.

In addition, the Chargers’ defense must create more turnovers, they are currently ranked 31st in that area. The Chargers are a capable team, but will need to iron out all the kinks before becoming a true contender.

Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

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Jonah Lee

Jonah Lee is a San Diego native residing in Orange County. He has written for FanSided and Yahoo! and is an expert on all things San Diego Chargers. His passion for writing isn’t limited to sports as his ultimate goal is to publish a book about his former military life.


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