The Las Vegas Raiders earned their third straight win on Sunday as they dominated the second half to beat the Los Angeles Chargers at home, 27-20. The Chargers jumped out to a ten-point lead in the first quarter, but the game was all Raiders from there. So, who came to play and who should have stayed home?
Las Vegas Raiders: Winners After Week 13
The Raiders and their fans have been waiting impatiently for Jones to show up. Can you blame them? The Raiders gave him a massive free agent contract this offseason, leading to high expectations. Sunday was the game in which Jones decided to be the real Chandler Jones, and he had a monster stat line. Three sacks, six tackles, two tackles for loss, one pass batted down, and five quarterback hits This is the Jones the Raiders paid for, and he and former Charger Jerry Tillery lived in the Los Angeles backfield all day long.
If you were wondering who the best wide receiver in the NFL is, wonder no more. While Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and Tyreek Hill are having great seasons, nobody is making an impact on games the way Davante Adams is. He caught eight passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns while making one eye-popping catch after another. Chargers’ cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. was charged with covering him today, and Adams made him look like he’d never played football before. Anyone defending Adams should get the butter ready because they’re about to be toast.
While Jacobs didn’t have the historic numbers on Sunday that he put up against Seattle, he did go over 100 yards for the third straight week, the second time this season he’s done that. Jacobs had 150 yards from scrimmage, rushing for 144 yards on 26 carries while catching two passes for six yards. He got the Raiders on the board with a 20-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Jacobs couldn’t be stopped against a Chargers defense that knew he was coming, and he showed why he is the best back in the NFL.
Has McDaniels turned the corner and become a real head coach? Early in the season, the Raiders looked unprepared and mistake-prone, and they couldn’t hold leads, partially due to stupid decisions by McDaniels. Lately, McDaniels has been making all the right moves. The offense has been executing, and the defense has been good enough to keep other teams from coming back. It may be a big ask for the Raiders to claw their way back into playoff contention, but the team is playing at an extremely high level right now, and McDaniels deserves credit for turning the season around.
Las Vegas Raiders: Losers After Week 13
Barbecue chicken, indeed. The only person who got cooked on Sunday was Allen. The mouthy receiver pulled a disappearing act in the first half. Afterward, he then became a garbage time All-Pro, catching six balls for 88 yards and Los Angeles’ only offensive touchdown of the game. After his touchdown, he made a “talk” gesture with his hand, but guess what? You’re allowed to talk when you’re winning, which means Allen should just be quiet.
Much was made in the offseason about the Chargers acquiring Mack. He who was supposed to pair with Joey Bosa to create the most feared pass rush duo in the NFL. Well, that hasn’t happened. Bosa has been on the injured list with a strained taint or a punctured spleen or a dislocated brain stem or whatever is wrong with him this week. Mack got completely shut down by Jermaine Eluemunor in this game. In fact, Mack never sniffed Derek Carr. The Chargers’ pass rush is abysmal, and Mack is a big part of the problem.
You’d think after three seasons that someone as highly regarded as Herbert would have shown something, anything at all, to justify how much the media fawns over him. Yet he’s never made the playoffs and can’t win an important game. Against the Raiders, he threw for 337 yards and a touchdown, but it took him 47 attempts to do so. He was sacked five times, and he walked right into a few of them. Herbert has a big, accurate arm, but at some point, you have to win. Unfortunately for the Chargers, at no point on Sunday did Herbert look like a winner.
If you’re looking for one of the main reasons Herbert hasn’t done too much winning, look no farther than this clown. Everything we thought McDaniels was at the beginning of the season, Staley actually is. He’s a screwup of Biblical proportions who gets credit for the success of others. Let’s face it, Staley couldn’t lead his team out of a wet paper bag. Staley has the charisma of an episode of Young Sheldon and the good looks of Waldo from Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” music video. He combines that with the coaching acumen of Adam Gase and the defensive instincts of France in World War II. The only bad thing is that he’ll be fired at the end of this season, and the Chargers might hire someone good. You hate to see it.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Matt York