Defensive Tackle Stacy McGee
Prior to the Oakland Raiders taking on the San Diego Chargers in Week 5 regular season action, we highlighted three matchups that would be crucial in determining the end result of Sunday's game.
The Silver and Black started off division play on a positive note, beating the San Diego Chargers 34-31, so before we look ahead to the next team on the schedule, the Kansas City Chiefs, let's look back and see how that trio of matchups played out.
Quarterback Derek Carr vs. Quarterback Philip Rivers
Both signal-callers put together impressive afternoons at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, but the Raiders went home victorious, so you have to give the advantage to Carr.
The Raiders quarterback overcame an uncharacteristically slow start, and finished the game 25 of 40 for 317 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, including an impressive 21-yard strike to Michael Crabtree on fourth and three late in the third quarter.
Give Rivers credit though, the 13-year veteran went toe-to-toe with Carr, finishing the day with 359 passing yards and four scores himself.
"The way the game was going, a guy like Phillip, he's thrown for a billion yards in his career against every defense known to man," said Carr postgame. "He's seen every coverage. He's seen every blitz. You're not going to throw something at him that he hasn't seen. In a game with him, you know you just have to score. That's a credit to Philip. He's a dominant player. He's up there with Peyton [Manning] in yards and touchdowns. I have so much respect for him and he knows that."
Yes, the Chargers fell to 1-4 after their loss to the Silver and Black, but the performance of Philip Rivers was not the reason why.
Defensive Tackle Stacy McGee and Defensive Tackle Justin Ellis vs. Running Back Melvin Gordon
The Raiders were able to successfully make the Chargers offense one-dimensional Sunday afternoon, limiting Melvin Gordon to just 69 carries on 16 carries, and credit should go to the entire defensive front for helping make sure the second-year back couldn't get rolling.
However, on the interior line, McGee enjoyed a banner day against the Chargers, finishing the AFC West clash with an impressive stat line of four tackles, one-and-a-half sacks, two quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles.
"He [McGee] had a great hump move on one of those… An old Reggie White move," Head Coach Jack Del Rio said. "He kind of humped the guy out of the way and made a nice sack there. Stacy has done some good thing for us. He's flashed some rushes and been really close on a couple this year, so it was nice to see him finish on the two he did yesterday."
Gordon was able to get loose for one 24-yard scamper, but outside of that, he really was a non-factor in Sunday's game, and while Philip Rivers was effective through the air, limiting San Diego's production on the ground was crucial in helping the Raiders secure their first home win of the year.
Tackle Donald Penn vs. Defensive End Joey Bosa
Bosa showed Sunday why the Chargers selected him No. 3 in this year's NFL Draft.
After missing the entire Offseason Workout Program, and a majority of training camp, the former Ohio State Buckeye made his NFL debut against the Silver and Black, and certainly made his mark in the Week 5 matchup.
Although he played just 27 defensive snaps, Bosa finished the game with five total tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits, operating from a variety of locations along the defensive line.
"I think that he's [Bosa] a good player," Carr said. "I told him afterwards, keep working hard. You could tell he's a high motor, hard-working guy. I love playing against really good people. I hope he continues to get better because it's going to be fun competing against him for a long time."
In the first matchup of Bosa vs. the Raiders, the Silver and Black came out on top, but Bosa was certainly a force to be reckoned with.