Chargers Surprise with the Wildcat, Top Raiders 24-16

Chargers Raiders LT TD
The San Diego Chargers extended their winning streak over the Oakland Raiders to 13 games in a row today when they came out on top 24-16.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers was 16/25 with I TD and 1 interception. The INT was tipped ball that was thrown slightly behind Vincent Jackson.

Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell went 14/22 for 109 yards and 1 interception.

Antonio Cromartie was credited with his first interception in 20 games when Russell threw the ball to TE Zach Miller, but Miller fell down during the route and the ball sailed right to Cromartie.

Shawne Merriman was able to dust off his Lights Out dance today not once but twice. Merriman had not sacked a quarterback since 2007. “It’s a step for me. I feel better each and every week,” Merriman said. “For so many weeks I was getting closer and closer. At some point in time, I knew it had to come. I’m glad it came at the right time.”

JaMarcus Russell was sacked 5 times. Merriman’s 2, Shaun Phillips also had 2 sacks and Steve Gregory recorded his second sack in as many games.

Vincent Jackson record his 5th touchdown of the season and he also continued his streak of 100+ yard games. Jackson continues to show that he has become one of the top receivers in the NFL.

LaDainian Tomlinson ran in 2 touchdowns. The first was when the Chargers went to Wildcat offense in the first quarter and he received a direct snap running into the end zone for a 6 yard TD. LT also had a 10 TD yard run in the second quarter. Tomlinson ran for a total of 56 yards.

“There was a lot of good,” Philip Rivers said. “There were a few things that were just off or it could have been really good.”
The Chargers did execute well in many areas today. They converted 64 percent of their third downs. They out gained the Raiders 346 yards to 180 yards on offense. They converted in the red zone with three scores in four attempts, including both of Tomlinson’s touchdowns.

When Rivers was asked post game about utilizing the Wildcat today he said “I don’t see it being a priority, I think it can be a wrinkle.”

Tomlinson seemed a bit more excited about the play, “We worked on it the whole off-season,” Tomlinson said. “Mini-camp — we worked on it in training camp. We were just sitting there like — ‘coach when are you gonna call it? We’re ready.’”
LT was asked about his opinion on where the team stands right now he said “The true measure is going to come against the teams we have coming up — Philadelphia and the Giants next week. It’s going to tell us a lot about ourselves in the next couple of weeks.”

Very true. Last week the Chargers destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs, a game they were supposed to win easily. But this game was another that the Chargers were supposed to take care of without great effort, they were favored by 16 ½ points. But a couple of turnovers, continued inability to stop the run and opposing teams being able to run back kickoffs for large chunks of yardage made this game much closed than was expected by most.

So where does the team stand right now? As LT said, the Chargers players, coaches and fans will know for sure when they see how the team responds to next couple of opponents.

Next week the Chargers travel to New York to take on the Giants.

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