It’s a bit strange writing a recap after a huge personnel decision, but that’s how the NFL shakes out sometimes.
The Los Angeles Chargers needed a win and help elsewhere (a Baltimore Ravens win and a Tennessee Titans loss) to get into the postseason. They did their part, but the outside scenarios flipped, and thus, the Chargers season is over.
Still, they went out in style, crushing the Oakland Raiders 30-10 in the regular season finale. The game turned out to be Jack Del Rio‘s last as Raiders head coach; he was fired immediately afterward.
The game was close in the first half, with a scoreless first quarter and an offensive explosion from both teams in the second. The Chargers went into the break up 20-10 and dominated in the second half when both teams started incorporating their backups, shutting the Raiders offense out and pulling away with a couple more scores.
The Raiders secondary was back to its midseason incompetence after a nice stretch of games under interim defensive coordinator John Pagano. Philip Rivers tossed 3 touchdowns and had 387 yards through the air on 28 for 37 passing.
Keenan Allen capped off a career year with a great performance, catching 9 passes for 133 yards and a TD. He also recovered a Melvin Gordon fumble out of the air and ran it in for another score. Travis Benjamin (4 catches, 96 yards) and Tyrell Williams (3 catches, 67 yards) each had additional TDs as well. Gordon ran 17 times for 93 yards.
Derek Carr flashed but ultimately played like his mediocre recent self. He threw for 243 yards and a TD on 19 for 28 passing, along with an interception to Tre Boston. The score was on a beautiful 87-yard bomb to Amari Cooper (3 catches, 115 yards).
Marshawn Lynch was featured more than most would think, considering it was the final game of the season. He carried the ball 19 times for 101 yards, passing the 10,000 career rushing yardage mark in the process.
Even though the Chargers missed out on the playoffs, they have to feel confident about how well they played under first-year head coach Anthony Lynn; their 9-7 record is stronger than it looks. Meanwhile, the Raiders fall to 6-10 to close out the year, and they’ll be gearing up to lure in Jon Gruden as their new head coach.