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Six observations from the Raiders' Week 16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers

It wasn't technically a home game on the schedule, but let's be real, Sunday's clash at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park sure felt like a home game for the Silver and Black.

From the Los Angeles Chargers getting boo'd as they ran out of the tunnel – and really throughout much of the game – to the droves of Raiders' fans packing the stands, the Week 16 battle in Southern California was sure a friendly one for Head Coach Jon Gruden's team.

Throw in the fact that the Raiders won 24-17, and it was a great day to be a fan of the Silver and Black.

Here are six observations from their Week 16 win.

1. The defense started fast

Aided by a pair of Chargers' penalties, Paul Guenther's defense started off fast against the Bolts, and, really, they stayed hot for much of the day.

The Raiders' defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs to start the day, and in fact, Philip Rivers and Co., didn't even cross midfield until four minutes before the half.

While Rivers certainly found a groove as the game wore on, Guenther's defense did a stellar job at liming the Los Angeles rushing attack, as the Chargers had tallied just five total rushing yards at halftime.

By and large, the Chargers became one dimensional as the Week 16 slugfest wore on, and that's a big reason why the Silver and Black are flying home with a well-earned W.

2. Welcome back, Hunter Renfrow

I mean, it had to come on third down, right?

After missing three games dealing with a rib injury, the rookie wide receiver returned to action in a big way Sunday afternoon in Carson, taking his first catch a cool 56 yards to the house to give the Silver and Black an early lead.

It's no secret that the Raiders haven't had the luxury of a consistent wide receiving corps throughout 2019, so the return of the dynamic rookie was a benefit to the team in numerous areas.

All told had seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Renfrow also made his impact felt on special teams as well, where he handled punt return duties after Jalen Richard was injured early in the first quarter.

3. The Chargers defensive line made its impact felt

The Chargers' defensive line has the talent to pose issues for the best offensive lines in the NFL when they're at full strength, and without the services of Trent Brown and Richie Incognito, Tom Cable's group was far from 100 percent Sunday afternoon.

Well, Joey Bosa and his buddies took full advantage of that fact, taking down Derek Carr three times behind the line of scrimmage in the first half.

Thankfully that number stayed at three over the final 30 minutes, but nevertheless, the Chargers front line was a thorn in the side of the Raiders all afternoon.

Give Derek Carr and the big fellas their due though, when the Raiders absolutely had to hold up in protection to keep the ball moving they did just that.

I'll say it though – Bosa is a beast, and he showed why he's such an integral part to what the Chargers do defensively.

4. Daryl Worley plays safety

Over the past few weeks, we've heard Coach Gruden discuss changes that would be coming to the defensive side of the football, and we saw firsthand one of those changes in Week 16.

After missing last week's tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Daryl Worley made his return to game action Sunday, but for a majority of the afternoon, the versatile defensive back lined up as a safety on the back end of the Raiders' defense.

The idea of having Worley play safety is an idea that we've heard floated earlier this season, but Week 16 was the first time we've seen it live and in person.

And, you have to say, all things considered, Worley at his new hybrid position was a success.

As we said earlier, River did indeed get his against the Raiders, but by and large there were no chunk plays, and a thin Raiders' secondary was able to hang on for an absolutely monster win.

5. The special teams units came to play

I take pride in a few things in my professional life, one of them being my steadfast dedication to special teams.

Every single week, I preach the importance of special teams, whether it be punting, kicking, or coverage, and in this case, all three were stellar against the Bolts.

AJ Cole continued his recent hot streak, Daniel Carlson connected on all of his PATs – as well as his one field goal attempt – and the coverage on both punts and kicks was incredible.

We hear all the time about the importance of winning the battle for field position, and give credit to Rich Bisaccia's group, because they certainly did their part in making sure the Raiders were the victors in that particular area.

6. So, you're saying there's a chance

The Raiders are still alive for the postseason.

Yes, you read that correctly, following their Week 16 win, the good guys in Silver and Black still have aspirations for the postseason headed into the final week of the regular season.

The Raiders did need a little help from their friends Sunday – huge shout-out to the Jets and the Saints – but all the same, Derek Carr and Co., have everything to play for next weekend in Denver.

Game. On.

Take a look at photos from the Raiders' Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park.

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