At 5-8, sitting alone in last place in the ultra-competitive AFC West, the 2016 season hasn't gone as planned for the San Diego Chargers.
Granted, the team has been absolutely crippled by injury, from Keenan Allen, to Jason Verrett, Danny Woodhead, and now most-recently Melvin Gordon, but in for the Bolts, there have been some positives to take away from 2016, as Philip Rivers and Co. look poised to miss the playoffs for the third-consecutive season, mainly the play of rookie defensive end Joey Bosa.
After missing the first four games of the season because of some contractual disputes with the team, the former Ohio State Buckeye made his debut Week 5, against the Silver and Black; and what a debut it was.
While the Raiders won the game 34-31, Bosa no doubt made his imprint on the game, finishing his NFL debut with four tackles and two sacks, albeit it in a losing effort.
Now, the Silver and Black will have another shot against No. 99 and the rest of the Chargers defense, but make no mistake about it, Bosa's Week 5 performance has not been forgotten by Head Coach Jack Del Rio and his team.
"We saw him in his first game and got two sacks against us," recounted Del Rio earlier this week. "He's very active, looks like they have a good young player that we'll be seeing at least twice a year for a long time. Good player."
So for the Raiders offensive line, what's the key to limiting to Bosa? Rookie lineman Vadal Alexander believe it's relatively simple, although, to be fair, Bosa has made the simple things difficult for opposing defenses throughout the regular season.
"Just your technique," Alexander said. "We're all guys who are talented, Joey Bosa is definitely a talented guy; just sticking with your coaching, your technique, your fundamentals, and that's definitely something that we can handle."
The dynamic edge rusher has 6.5 sacks through nine games, not to mention sacks in back-to-back games, and the rookie defensive end has shown that you can add his name to the growing list of pass rushers that take residence in the AFC West.
"He [Bosa] plays with great effort," quarterback Derek Carr said. "They do a great job of moving him. He does a real good job with moving on the line of scrimmage and things like that. They put him in different spots. They try to move him at different positions. They do a really good job. They have a great defensive coordinator, very smart coach. He knows what he's doing with him, and he uses him to his strengths, he really does. We have our hands full, obviously, but looking forward to it."
Kickoff against the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium is scheduled 1:35 p.m. PT.
Linebacker – Shilique Calhoun – Knee – Did not participate
Quarterback – Derek Carr – Right finger – Full
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper – Shoulder – Limited
Wide receiver – Michael Crabtree – Finger – Limited
Safety – Karl Joseph – Toe – Did not participate
Defensive Tackle – Darius Latham – Ankle – Limited
Defensive Tackle – Stacy McGee – Ankle – Did not participate
Guard/Tackle – Kelechi Osemele – Knee – Limited
Linebacker – Perry Riley Jr. – Hamstring – Limited
Linebacker – Malcolm Smith – Hamstring – Limited
-Because of some inclement weather in the Bay Area, the Raiders were forced to amend their practice schedule, hitting the field a little bit earlier than usual in an attempt to avoid the rain.
The Silver and Black were able to do just that, but because of the schedule change a few players had to scramble to pad up for practice on time, much to the amusement of their teammates.
-For the Raiders, there were no changes on Wednesday's injury report, with Shilique Calhoun, Karl Joseph, and Stacy McGee the three players unable to hit the field.
-Although the trio of Calhoun, Joseph, and McGee remained sidelined, Derek Carr was still a full participant in the day's work.
Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. spoke about the importance of the entire defense working together as one, cohesive unit:
"Again, Khalil has all the sacks, but they all work together. I think when one guy gets the sack, all of them celebrate the sack. Everybody just talks about the one guy, but they all have to work together. They run games, they practice. Obviously, they work off of each other. Bruce [Irvin] is a guy that's very versatile and I put in a lot of spies. We have a lot of quarterbacks who like to move around a lot and run, so he becomes a spy guy while Khalil gets to do the sacking."
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