A must-win game for Oakland. Coming off a loss to the Chiefs 10 days prior. Facing a dead-in-the-water Chargers team missing various members on both sides of the ball…and it was 7–3 SD after one quarter. 10–10 at the half. 16–13 San Diego at the end of three. The Raiders were able to muster up a pair of FGs in the fourth quarter to sneak out of San Diego alive. Not a great bounce-back showing by Oakland after the TNF loss to KC the prior week. The sheen may be fading on the Raiders.
Because KC forgot they possessed Tyreek Hill in Week 15, they lost, and Oakland won…giving the Raiders back the AFC West lead. If Oakland wins out, they win the AFC West and grab a #2 seed. It’s not an easy task – they face Indy and then go to Denver for their final two games. They will likely lose one of them, but they have hope that KC loses one along the way as well. The Raiders are still in the running for the AFC #1 seed, but come on…the Pats are getting that.
— A lot of people are wondering what to do with Tyrell Williams (4-20-0/9 targets) for Week 16…
Hell, if I know…
On the one hand, you have the complexity of the fact that he was a god for several weeks, and then hurt his shoulder…and then has done WR3/4 work for the past three weeks. He’s playing. He doesn’t seem hurt. He is disappearing, statistically.
On the other hand, he IS playing and not showing signs of injury. He was the most targeted Charger last week. He played 52 snaps (95%)…the most of any Chargers WR. I don’t think there is a physical issue or coaching issue. I don’t know what the issue is.
Additionally, he is facing the Cleveland Browns Week 16…and you think that’s good, but guess what? The Browns have not allowed 200 yards passing in their past four games. They haven’t allowed a 300+ yard passer in their last nine games. They don’t give up a ton of yards, but they do give up the most passing TDs in the league…and they get scorched via the run and passing to the TE. Will Tyrell be able to cash in for fantasy in this type of game?
It will be the coldest game San Diego has played all year…near freezing 30–35 degrees. That’s not going to help the passing game either.
With all the conundrums with Tyrell…I don’t know what to do with him. Is he an WR1/2 waiting to reclaim that throne…or a WR3/4 who has another so-so game in the cold with a bum shoulder?
I see the hope. I see the fear. I really don’t have a definitive answer. I’m as confused as you are.
Dontrelle Inman (5-68-0/8 targets) becoming the sudden go-to for Rivers isn’t making me feel better either. I’m almost leaning that Inman is a better play than Williams, but I can’t bring myself to believe it. I saw the star version of Tyrell weeks ago…and now that version has gone missing, but I think he can be found. Whether it’s this week or not, I do not know.
— What do you do with Amari Cooper (1-28-0/3 targets)? I mean, if you thought Tyrell Williams, Tyreek Hill or Brandin Cookswere getting the shaft in the last few weeks – look at this guy. 5.8 targets per game the past five games. This is a #1 WR for the Raiders? The guy hasn’t cracked 60 yards in six straight games.
He’s become just another guy in this offense. What do you do…just keep starting him, like Brandin Cooks, and hope the roulette wheel falls on his big week out of nowhere? Something isn’t right, and I don’t know that ‘matchup’ solves it.
Left is right, and up is down with the Raiders. In this game, Jalen Richard saw 4 targets to Latavius Murray’s one. You’re an offense-coordinating idiot if you are not using Murray like an extra WR. Jack Del Rio makes no sense. Crabtree over Cooper. Richard over Murray. Good luck with that! 11–3, so what do I know…
Cooper is a fringe WR2 at best this week. I don’t know how you trust him. If you think Tyrell Williams has faded off…Cooper is dead by comparison the past 5+ weeks.
— Kenneth Farrow (15-390, 2-14-0/3 targets), ahhhh…not so hot.
He’s OK, but nothing special and working with a weak/crumbling O-Line. He didn’t rack up numbers in this game and had a key fumble. As well, he left the door open for Ronnie Hillman (7-34-0), and Hillman worked it better than Farrow in limited touches.
I assume Farrow takes a similar 2/3rd to 1/3rd workload vs. Hillman this week, but it’s very tenuous. Farrow’s not a confident start. He’s one mistake away from leaving you high and dry this week. He’ll probably be OK this week, but there’s an element of doubt creeping in with him.
— I want to get excited about Hunter Henry (3-37-1/4 targets) because of ‘Cleveland’ (they are awful v. TE), but Antonio Gates(1-11-0-/2 targets) still scares me.
The bad news…
Henry still played fewer snaps than Gates this game (35-29). He’s only seeing 1–5 targets and getting 1–3 catches in games with under 40 yards in games for seven straight weeks. Under 20 in six of the last seven games.
The good news…
Besides ‘Cleveland’, he has a TD in four of his last five games. He’s like the Taylor Gabriel of TEs…limited looks, but cashing in a TD a week on them.
Henry might pop Week 16, but he might also go 2 catches for 32 yards…and you HOPE a TD.
— Jatavis Brown (6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD) is getting back to normal. He played 48 snaps, Denzel Perryman (4 tackles, 1 TFL) 49 snaps, and Korey Toomer (3 tackles) got banged up and went just 11 snaps. I’m assuming Brown is the leader again for Week 16.
— Bruce Irvin (6 tackles, 2.0 sacks) is becoming a sack machine. 5.0 sacks in his last five games…now 7.0 sacks on the season after a very slow start.