In a game where the Chargers had all the stars aligned for them, it seemed that they went into this game against the Raiders expecting that they'd dominate like they did the last two games.
Did I expect the Chargers to destroy the Raiders? Hell yeah I did, and with good reason. The one thing that no analyst can measure is the "will" of a team to win.
The Raiders wanted the win more than the Chargers. The Chargers needed the win, but did they want it? Probably not, as they were uninspiring from the first snap of the ball to the last pass.
Do you know why I know for a fact that the Raiders wanted the win more than the Chargers? Because they ran the ball and converted on important third- and fourth-down opportunities.
The Raiders had 214 yards rushing, and that's not counting the 37 yards of scrambling by Jason Campbell. When you can run the ball like that against the Chargers third-ranked run defense, that's all by the power of "will."
The Chargers have shown they are better than this, and they just didn't want to win the game as much as they needed to win.
I don't care about what Campbell did, as he didn't do anything spectacular. I don't care if he throws for 300-plus yards, which he didn't. What I did care about was that he converted on those crucial third- and fourth-down plays, and those were the plays that counted.
Another reason why the Raiders wanted the game more was because they were just hurting Chargers players left and right.
Back to what I was talking about earlier, the Chargers are better than this. What makes this so disheartening is that they are doing it to themselves.
Do the Chargers deserve to be in the playoffs? Maybe not, as I want a Chargers team that wants to win rather than needing to win but doesn't.
It's a utter shame not only on themselves, but a shame to all the fans who support and know what they are capable of.
The question remains: Are the Raiders better than the Chargers? Hell no. Did they beat the Chargers because they wanted it that bad? You bet they did.
Did the Chargers get out-coached? Nope. Did they get outplayed? You bet.
In a way, I'm sort of happy that the Raiders beat the Chargers twice this season. You know why? I was sick about the Chargers having that 13-0 winning streak being held over their heads like they could rely on that streak to beat them.
This loss sucks, but you know what? I'm sick and tired of hearing how good the Chargers are in December.
I'll tell you why this is irritating. The Chargers sometimes rely too much on the hype of their long winning streak and December streak that they expect the win instead of going out there and earning it.
Kudos to the Raiders for giving the Chargers a very nice wake-up call. The Chargers gave themselves a loss, and I hope next week they can give the Chiefs hell.
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