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Three Matchups We Watched In The Finale Against The Los Angeles Chargers

Posted Jan 2, 2018

Prior to Week 17, we highlighted three matchups to keep an eye on against the Chargers. Let's see how they played out.

In a year that just wasn’t their year, Sunday was just not the Oakland Raiders day.

When all was said and done, the Silver and Black fell to Philip Rivers and Co., 30-10, finishing the 2017 season with a record of 6-10.

Headed into the regular season finale, we highlighted three matchups that would be critical in determining the outcome of the Week 17 clash at StubHub Center; let’s see how those battles, presented by DirecTV, played out.

Cornerback Sean Smith vs. Wide Receiver Keenan Allen

Advantage, Keenan Allen.

The former California Golden Bear had a career year in 2017, and he put quite the exclamation point on it Sunday, hauling in nine catches for 133 yards, and one touchdown.

That doesn’t include a fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown as well, but to be fair, you can’t really pin that on any of the Raiders defenders; that one was just bad luck.

Anyway, as we know, Philip Rivers was outstanding Sunday afternoon, finishing his day with nearly 400 passing yards, and his favorite target all day was Allen.

The Raiders defense threw a bunch of guys at Allen, including Sean Smith and TJ Carrie, but regardless of who was assigned to No. 13, it didn’t seem to matter, he had himself quite a day.

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman vs. Running Back Melvin Gordon

Statistically speaking, both men had quality days on the gridiron Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center.

Bowman once again led the Raiders defense with 13 tackles, while Gordon finished with 124 all-purpose yards, but since the Bolts handled their business, and ended the year with a “W,” you have to give the nod to Gordon.

Like Keenan Allen, Gordon also had a career year in 2017, and similarly to his counterpart on the offensive side of the football, he penned a nice, final chapter of his year against the Raiders.

Gordon once again paced the Bolts on the ground, carrying the ball 17 times for 93 yards, but he also got involved in the passing game as well, hauling in six catches for 31 yards.

Since joining the Raiders, Bowman served as an anchor in the middle of the defense, and while he was just that once again on Sunday, Gordon and the Chargers offense were just too much to handle.

Tackle Marshall Newhouse vs. Defensive End Joey Bosa

The Raiders offense certainly had its fair share of struggles Sunday afternoon, and while some of that had to do with the pass rush the Chargers generated, it wasn’t the only reason why Todd Downing’s group had a hard time putting up points.

By game’s end Bosa had totaled five tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits, and one fumble recovery, and showed exactly why he’s rapidly approaching the “elite” level of pass rushers in the NFL.

Newhouse and rookie lineman David Sharpe had their hands full trying to contain Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and while the duo did get loose a little bit, like I said above, they weren’t the sole reason the Raiders flew back to Northern California with a loss on New Year’s Eve.

With two sacks allowed, Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice’s group finished the year tied for third in the NFL, allowing just 24 sacks.