It was a bittersweet Sunday afternoon down in Carson, CA. Although the Chargers downed their division foes in the Oakland Raiders (which is always fun), they also found themselves on the wrong end of the AFC Playoff Picture. But for now, let’s not focus on that and jump straight into the winners and losers of this week 17 matchup.
This game is evidence Philip Rivers is still an elite NFL quarterback. Although the Chargers didn’t end up making the playoffs, in the most important game of the season, Philip Rivers was 28-37 while throwing for 387 yards and three touchdowns including two throws that exceeded 50+ yards. Rivers was also able to spread the ball around as seven different Chargers players got 1+ receptions.
It’s these types of numbers that cause me to lose all respect for Chargers fans who still feel Los Angeles needs to pick up a quarterback in the upcoming draft. Philip led a Chargers offense that was 1st in the NFL in terms of passing the ball. There are issues this team needs to address, the elite quarterback isn’t one of them.
Keenan Allen is a top 3 NFL receiver. Sunday afternoons game saw Allen continue his impressive trek to win the comeback player of the year award with a 9 reception, 133-yard performance versus the Oakland Raiders. This game also included an impressive touchdown catch late in the first half too put Los Angeles up 20-10. Along with that touchdown, Allen scored one of the most unconventional touchdowns of the season as running back Melvin Gordon ran for a good chunk of yardage before getting the ball stripped.
The ball then landed perfectly in Allen’s hands, as he took it upon himself to jog into the end zone, untouched. I don’t know how the NFL can deny this man his award. a 1,000+ yard receiver who in the past two weeks has gotten 1 INT, 1 rushing touchdown, and 1 receiving touchdown has to win something. When Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers are clicking, there’s not a defense that can slow the Chargers down.
When Marshawn gets it going, he’s nearly impossible to take down. And on Sunday, Lych had a flashback to 2014 as he ran the ball 19 times for 101 yards just bulldozing every defender in his way. And although this is most likely his last NFL season, Lynch gifted us with 10 seasons of cyborg-like play on the field and some of the greatest interviews the world will ever see off of the field. So thank you, Marshawn Lynch, for all of the moments you have provided us with, and for only terrorizing the Chargers for one year.
Chargers Playoff Hopes:
Well, the Chargers didn’t make the playoffs. Just to recap, below is the most likely scenario for what needed to happen for Los Angeles to make the playoffs.
LAC win + TEN loss + BAL win
Sadly, the Chargers are the only ones that held up their end of the deal. the Tennesee Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 15-10 slugfest. The Baltimore Ravens also lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, eliminating their playoff chances. Honestly, it was tough to see the Titans losing their game as Jacksonville was already locked into the three seed. So winning a meaningless week 17 game after a very long and physically demanding season was tough to imagine. As for Baltimore, there are 0 excuses. With a win, the Ravens would have locked up the fifth seed and were looking like a very scary opponent for any AFC playoff team. But to show up with no urgency and walk into the game as if you have already locked up a playoff spot is inexcusable. Losing to a team like the Bengals proves that the Ravens had no business being in the playoffs.
2017 Oakland Raiders:
This was the leagues most disappointing team by far. To go from 12-4 and looking like a team that was just a few years away from winning a Super Bowl, to third in the AFC West with a 6-10 record is baffling. Last season, Derek Carr was one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and an MVP candidate. But fast forward one year later, he may not even be a top 15 NFL QB.
Now as a Chargers fan, this fall of the Raiders is music to my ears. But I still feel for Raiders fans throughout because even though you’ll never accept, your team is absolutely terrible. The secondary is non-existent (as showed in Sunday’s game), your receivers are sloppy and inconsistent, your front office just fired your head coach because they are going out on a limb and assuming they can lure Jon Gruden back into coaching, and you are getting ready to uplift the entire organization and move them to Las Vegas. The more you think about the situation, the worse it gets. But hey, there’s always next year.
–Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0