*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This might qualify as the dullest game of Week 5. I thought so after watching all the games Sunday, and still as dull on the re-watch.
The Chargers keep getting cheap wins…beat the Bills, escaped JimmyG-less 49ers, sleepwalked through the terrible Raiders here. Buffalo, Oakland, and San Fran are going to be in the top 5 pickers in the draft – and the Chargers have beaten them. Yippee! Got boat raced by the Chiefs and Rams. We still don’t know how good/bad LAC is…they have played either the bottom of the barrel or tops of the mountain so far.
LAC has a favorable schedule for a bit coming up and then it turns on them. I think they’ll lose at Cleveland Week 6 and fall to 3-3. They should then win four of their next 5 games to rise to 7-4 and have everyone in love with them again. They should then be on their way to 9-7 and a wild card shot.
This Cleveland game is pivotal – win that game and a 10-win season is within their grasp, but they always seem to find a way to 7-8-9 wins no matter what. If the Chargers don’t go 9-7 or better they really messed up a golden opportunity with this schedule.
The Raiders? Oh, boy. They should be 0-5. They’re going to be lucky to find 2-3 wins this season. The Raiders have a major Derek Carr/QB problem and we’ll see if they address it this offseason…or do a Jon Gruden thing of flap your gums/bury your head in the sand and think you can teach/coach him out of it. If Jon Gruden is such a QB whisperer…why has Derek Carr gone from franchise QB to one of the worst QBs in the NFL? Has Jon Gruden ever drafted and developed one QB in his head coaching career…or enhanced an inherited young QB?
This game was 3-3 for quite a while, then LAC broke through 10-3 with about 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The Raiders fumbled next series and set up LAC to drive quick and score to make it 17-3 at the half. It was 26-3 late into the fourth quarter before a pity TD for the Raiders ended it at 26-10.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I have no notes on the Chargers offensive players. I mean, everyone did what they usually do and just muscled past the Raiders implosion.
One LAC side note – kicker Caleb Sturgis is likely done with LAC, and the team grabbed Mike Badgley from Indy to replace him. A rookie out of Miami, Florida…who isn’t a bad kicker. I liked his preseason work with Indy.
21-of-21 FGs from 40-49 his first three seasons of college play. Ended up 23-of-25 from that distance. Hit a 57-yarder his sophomore season. Pretty accurate, accomplished four-year career at Miami.
If this means anything to you.
You know it’s a bad game for notes when I start with a kicker!
-- I might have too much time to think, but I’m wondering if Jalen Richard (1-4-0, 6-53-0/6) is becoming Chris Thompson for the Raiders.
Jon and Jay Gruden probably share the same brain. Thompson has been such a success for Jay, and Jalen is starting to do similar work for Jon…and Oakland is always down, so having the pass catching guy in there a lot is necessary. I bet they talk about this at family dinners of late.
In Week 2, Richard got no targets. In all his other games he’s averaging 7.3 targets per game…6.0 catches, 51.3 yards receiving, and no TDs. He’s somewhere between Oakland’s Austin Ekeler and Washington’s Chris Thompson.
Because of the game flow…Marshawn Lynch (9-31-0, 2-10-0/2) early and 1st-2nd downs and then eventually, Richard is in on two-minute drills and all-pass comeback efforts. Lynch is becoming an RB2 ceiling, a solid one, more because the team is never ahead much for them to just pound the ball for 20+ carries and big RB1 work/output…and, now, the O-Line is banged up.
Doug Martin (2-1-0, 0-0-0/1) has disappeared off the face of the earth…but I speculate that he’d be a perfect guy for Oakland to trade to a contender in need. Martin not matter one day and be on the Patriots or Jaguars or Eagles the next.
-- IDP notes…
Raiders safety Erik Harris (6 tackles, 1 TFL) played 41% of the snaps. He’s getting closer and closer to starting, I think…just because why run veterans out there in a losing season?
Daryl Worley (8 tackles, 2 TFLs) returned from suspension with a bang…77% of the snaps played.
Jatavis Brown (2 tackles, 1 TFL) only played 45% of the snaps after dominating the week prior. Don’t ask me, I have no idea what the deal is here.
Nor do I know why Desmond King (1 tackle) has disappeared of late.
-- The Chargers-DST…
They’re muddling around without Joey Bosa but should get him back soon. I don’t think it makes them suddenly great when Bosa returns…but he helps.
I’m not a big fan of them versus Baker Mayfield this week, but you could do worse. You get a nice schedule run after that – TEN-BYE-SEA-OAK-DEN-ARI…good enough schedule and Bosa returning that you might grab them and sit on them through the BYE for the SEA-OAK-DEN-ARI run.
Then it’s over with PIT-CIN-KC-BAL Weeks 13-16.
Snap Counts of Interest…
27 = Richard
23 = Ekeler
21 = Lynch
06 = D Martin
49 = Arden Key
42 = Desmond King
30 = PJ Hall
26 = Erik Harris
24 = Jatavis Brown