Linebacker Bruce Irvin
The Oakland Raiders got back in the win column Sunday afternoon, traveling south to San Diego, and taking care of the Chargers 19-16.
As a result of the win, the Silver and Black have clinched a berth in the postseason, but with two games left on the regular season schedule, the AFC West crown is still very much in play.
The Raiders will work on an amended week this week as they prepare for a Saturday matchup against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, but before we turn the page to Week 16, let's take a look at the playtime percentages from Sunday's win over the Chargers, and see what we can learn from the numbers.
Osemele Returns– After missing the team's Thursday Night Football matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs because of injury, Kelechi Osemele returned to action at his usual left guard spot Sunday afternoon. He along with the rest of the starting offensive line (Donald Penn, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Austin Howard) played all 62 offensive snaps in the Raiders win. Per usual, the group was a force in the run game, and while they did allow two sacks of Derek Carr, the group's 15 sacks allowed is still the fewest in the NFL.
King Crab returns to the end zone– With 0:22 left in the first half, Michael Crabtree hauled in a 13-yard pass from Derek Carr – that was originally ruled incomplete – but after the review showed that there was a "sliver of blue" in between Crabtree's feet and the side of the end zone, the Raiders registered their first and only touchdown of the day. Crabtree played 45 snaps (73%) in the Week 15 win, and his eight touchdowns are now good for second amongst all AFC receivers.
Washington gets back to work –After being a healthy scratch for the past several weeks, rookie running back DeAndré Washington returned to the field Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium. The shifty back played 10 offensive snaps (16%), carrying the ball five times for 23 total yards. In addition to Washington, both Latavius Murray and Jalen Richard both ran the ball effectively, as the Raiders tallied 145 yards on the ground, their best output since Week 9.
Irvin enjoys a big day– Bruce Irvin was a man on a mission Sunday afternoon against the Chargers. The dynamic linebacker played 53 defensive snaps (96%) in the Week 15 win, finishing his day with six tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. Irvin was an explosive force all day against the Chargers, and it was good to see No. 51 let loose, and enjoy a dominant effort.
Autry gets another sack **– Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin understandably get a lot of notoriety as far as the Raiders defensive line is concerned, but Denico Autry made sure you didn't forget about him either Sunday. Autry played 42 defensive snaps (76%) in the win over the Chargers, totaling three tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback hit. No. 96 is starting to heat up too, as he now has a pair of sacks over the last three games.
Nelson seals the win– The Silver and Black didn't generate a Philip Rivers interception until the final minutes of the game, but it turned out to be a big one, as Reggie Nelson picked off the veteran quarterback on 4th and 15 to secure the Raiders 11th win of the season.
"Emotions are high, even before I caught the ball, the defense just wanted to go out there and seal the game and win it for the offense," said Nelson postgame. "Emotions are high, even before I caught the ball, the defense just wanted to go out there and seal the game and win it for the offense."
Nelson – along with fellow safety Nate Allen – played all 55 defensive snaps, finishing the Week 15 win with three tackles, the aforementioned interception, and a pass defensed.