Raiders three-point stance: Three takeaways from Raiders’ loss to Chargers in SoCal

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

CARSON, Calif — One week after exploding for 45 points to earn their first win of the season over the visiting Cleveland Browns, the Raiders struggled to find any offensive continuity Sunday losing to the Los Angeles Chargers 26-10.

Here are my takeaways from the Raiders (1-4) loss to their AFC West rival the Chargers (3-2):

Derek Carr and the offense didn’t show up
For an offense that ranks second in the NFL in total yardage coming into Week 5 averaging 441.8 yards per game, the Chargers’ defense held Oakland to 289 yards total for the game. The Silver and Black were pedestrian on third down, converting just 4-of-11 and were just 1-of-3 in the red zone.

Carr, who threw for 437 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions last week, took a step back against Los Angeles, completing 24-of-33 passes for  268 yards one touchdown. But it was the kiss-of-death interception in the end zone that Carr threw in the third quarter with Oakland trailing 20-3 that really stung Oakland.

After Chargers safety Derwin James was called for defensive pass interference in the end zone while defending Raiders tight end Jared Cook, setting up Oakland with first-and-goal at the Chargers’ 1-yard-line, Carr didn’t see Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram drop back into the end zone and threw the ball right to him.

It was Carr’s league-leading eighth interception of the year, one of two turnovers for Oakland on the day.  Carr was also sacked three times.

Running back Marshawn Lynch, who at the age of 32 (when running backs are expected to be passed their primes) should be carrying the football 20 times a game, had just nine carries for 31 yards after his 20-carry, 130-yard rushing performance last week.

Inexcusable.

Amari Cooper is a week-to-week wide receiver
I’ve noticed a glowing pattern in Amari Cooper’s games this season that is alarming. Whenever Cooper has a tremendous game one week, the very next week he follows it up with a dud:

  • Week 1 against the Rams: 1 catch for 9 yards 3 targets.
  • Week 2 against the Broncos: 10 catches for 116 yards on 16 targets.
  • Week 3 against the Dolphins: 2 catches for 17 yards on 5 targets.
  • Week 4 against the Browns: 8 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown on 12 targets.

Can you guess what he did against the Chargers today? 1 catch for 10 yards on one target.

There’s no question that Cooper has special talent with game-changing ability, but what gives? How can anyone say that Cooper is a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL if he has the knack for missing in games?

Backup running back Jalen Richard led Oakland with six catches for

But good news for Raider Nation heading into Week 6.

Next week, Cooper should have a big day against the Seattle Seahawks when the Raiders travel to London for a “home” game.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense sliced up the Raiders’ defense
Rivers carved up the Raiders on Sunday, throwing for 339 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions on 22-of-27 passing. The 15-year veteran from North Carolina State was sacked just once by Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin, but had time to find his receivers for most of the game.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen was the main beneficiary of Rivers’ passes, hauling in eight passes (on 9 targets) for 90 yards. Backup rookie running back Austin Ekeler (44-yard touchdown) and backup tight end Virgil Green (13-yard touchdown), caught both of Rivers’ touchdowns.

Rivers has now thrown 43 touchdowns against the Silver and Black, the most Rivers has thrown against one team.

Starting running back Melvin Gordon was all over the field Sunday rushing and catching the football for Los Angeles. Gordon finished with 120 all-purpose yards against Oakland (19 carries for 58 yards and one touchdown; 4 catches for 62 yards on 4 targets).

Los Angeles piled up 412 total yards offensively on Oakland and controlled the time of possession, holding onto the football for 34:40 minutes to the Raiders’ 25:20.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead had a game-high nine tackles (6 solo) for Oakland.

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