2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Chargers 30, Raiders 27
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
A must win game for the Raiders…a change at defensive coordinator for the week (a short week change, which was really odd)…facing an always special teams mistake-prone, poorly planned Chargers team.
Everything stayed the same…
The Raiders defense was worse than ever…like usual of late.
The Chargers tried to give the game away a thousand times with bad special team’s work (two missed FGs late) and various other Anthony Lynn ridiculousness (we’ll get into). Like usual all season.
The Raiders lost a key game…like usual of late.
Justin Herbert overcomes everything to keep LAC in it…and to win it. Like usual, whenever LAC does win games – which is a rare event.
You could do a graduate school thesis paper studying all the ways these two teams displayed poor management leading up to the game and then exacerbated it by the in-game play calling/strategies. I can’t even get into them all here because it would take too much time away from the fantasy considerations.
Basically, the two head coaches are so married to their lead running back they can’t see straight and thus all the other aspects of their team is underutilized, underperforming (when they have so much more to offer). The difference between the two teams is -- in crunch time, in desperate times, off-script…the Chargers have Justin Herbert and the Raiders don’t. Thus, the Chargers win…because of Herbert bailing out the awful Anthony Lynn Ekeler-centric game plan.
Eight of the first 9 series of this game, for both teams, the very first play of the series was either a run or throw to their running back.
The Raiders need a miracle to make the playoffs now at (7-7) after this loss…they need to win out and then pray for a lot of things to go their way. It’s pretty impossible. The Raiders have gone from a top 10 NFL team hopeful after Week 10 to one of the worst teams in the NFL in record time. That miracle end/win over the Jets…it wasn’t a fluke. The Raiders are that bad now. They’re missing a ton of defensive players on top of other mounting issues. They’re ‘done’ for 2020.
Break up the Chargers! A two-game in streak. Two lucky wins where Justin Herbert bailed out Anthony Lynn’s game plan, in-game coaching decision confusion, and special team’s follies. It’s fine by me…I bet them ‘under’ 7.5 wins for 2020, and at (5-9) with two games remaining – they can’t beat me. Win all you want! Just, for Herbert’s sake…please fire Anthony Lynn after the season.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- If Justin Herbert (22-32 for 314 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 4-14-1) didn’t get to OT, he would have had a 250+ yard passing event with just 2 TDs (no rushing TDs)…a very basic FF event. The OT session got you over…or made you mad if you didn’t start him…or mad if you faced him.
To me, it was more evidence that Anthony Lynn is killing Herbert…keeping the Ferrari in the garage at all costs it almost feels like. Lynn is simply a terrible head football coach for a team with an elite, future Hall of Fame QB talent. Lynn would be a great college coach for a run-based team. He’s a terrible NFL head coach. He’s so sold out to Austin Ekeler and his RB-duo plan/philosophy, he cannot see straight. Herbert being a mad downfield bomber gets in the way of his ball control, tough-guy-running playbook.
Justin Herbert’s short-term future FF value rides on who the 2021 head coach of LAC is. If it is Lynn…then Herbert is a top 10 FF QB. If it is anyone with half a passing game brain…Herbert could push Mahomes, Kyler and Allen for the #1 spot in fantasy.
-- You had to start Keenan Allen (1-17-0/3) this game. You had no choice. He was active. He was working out fine pregame. He looked fine in-game.
My frustration is…why was Lynn bothering to put him in at all? Allen started…looked fine, then all the sudden was out for a series at a time, then would get thrown in for a play here and there. You know what’s great for an athlete with a hamstring issue? Standing idle on the sidelines for 10-20-30 minutes at a time…and then coming cold to run timing routes in key situations.
If Keenan was good enough to go…keep him out there.
If Keenan was so bad off…never put him out there.
But, Anthony Lynn has same amount of business sense or football personnel sense as the amount of times I have or will watch any ‘Masked’ ____ TV event – which is zero. I can’t wait to guess which ‘D list’ celebrity or football player might be in that costume! I’m on the edge of my seat…
Also…Mike Williams…same. Why bother? Additionally, I’m so over my ‘with Hebert’ interest in Mike Williams – always hurt, always disappointing.
You wanna know how stupid the Chargers franchise is…how poorly run?
They exercised Williams’ 5th-year option. He’s set to make $15.7M guaranteed in 2021. They made that decision this summer.
Message to the Chargers’ Owner, President, and/or General Manager: https://youtu.be/eHExP1Mn4S8
-- OK, Marcus Mariota (17-28 for 226 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 9-88-1) is back in our lives…and he’s doing what he should’ve done 3-4+ years ago, and he would’ve been a star – by being a trailblazer-ish run-first runner-thrower…instead of a run occasionally but try and be a pocket passer (not his call…the NFL ruined him).
Mariota was either not allowed to do what his gifts begged them to do (run a lot) or he didn’t want to/was scared to…but now with his career on the line, he’s willing to run…for now. Which means…he’ll still be desperate next week – and he’ll run and run and run. 100+ yard rush game threat coming next week.
It’s not totally insane that Mariota plays so well over the next week or two, Gruden falls in love and we have a new LV QB for 2021…while a drafted QB sits…and Carr is elsewhere (Indy). There will be a lot of ‘look at how well Ryan Tannehill has done with a change of scenery’ comments.
-- With Mariota running, you can’t like Nelson Agholor (4-49-0/8) for that good FF game potential he’s had more weeks than not this FF season.
Hunter Renfrow (1-4-0/2) and any other WR are also wastes for FF.
-- Tyron Johnson (3-61-1/5) and Jalen Guyton (4-91-0/6) had very solid games here…more evidence of how good Justin Herbert is. More evidence of how much Mike Williams is not needed. More evidence of…if LAC gets better WRs (via draft or free agency) to go with Allen – this offense, Herbert, could go ballistic in 2021 and into the future.
If they keep Lynn, they’ll keep all these mediocre WRs and try to be a run-first team. Keeping Anthony Lynn for this team’s make up is the Chargers dooming themselves for 2021.
-- Speaking of dooming yourself… Why is Theo Riddick (1 carry, -5 yards) on an NFL roster and getting into games and touching the ball. Jon Gruden is out of his mind.
-- Kenneth Murray (8 tackles, 1 TFL) continues his ascension…9.3 tackles per game, 1.0 TFLs per game the past three games.
-- Two LV IDP notes…
1) LV rookie UDFA LB Javin White (1 tackle) – remember the name. Athletic, hard hitting safety prospect being converted to a linebacker. He’s gotten huge in a body transformation.
2) I was asked a question about Maxx Crosby (no stats)…whether he was ‘mailing it in’ this game. To answer the inquiry: I didn’t see any loafing or issues.
My take would be…
a) The Chargers Right Tackle ate him alive. Scary that #74 RT Storm Norton can make a spot start and hold off Crosby all game.
b) Crosby played 92% of the snaps in an OT game…he played a lot of snaps. He was hustling/trying all game, he eventually got gassed at various times…I’d assume.
Snap Counts of Interest:
64 = Agholor
53 = Zay Jones
24 = Bryan Edwards
13 = Renfrow
53 = Guyton
39 = Tryon J.
28 = MK Williams
24 = Keenan
15 = KJ Hill