NFL@L.A.: 2011 Week 14 coverage

Wrap-up: Packers 46, Raiders 16

December, 11, 2011
What it means: It’s been a terrible two weeks for the Oakland Raiders, who skipped into December with a lead in the AFC West and on a three-game winning streak. This 46-16 debacle followed up a 34-14 loss at the Miami Dolphins last week. Neither of these two games was close. Now, Oakland is a game behind the 8-5 Denver Broncos with three games to go. Is it panic time? No, but panic is trying to kick in the doors in Oakland.

A long way to go: The 13-0 Packers showed Oakland how far it is from being the game’s elite. The Raiders simply couldn’t complete with Green Bay. The Packers led 31-0 at halftime. It was the Raiders’ worst halftime deficit in team history.

Palmer was dreadful: Oakland traded two premium picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer in order for him to perform in games like this. He was terrible. After making strides in Oakland, Palmer has taken a step back and threw four interceptions Sunday. Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions and nine touchdown passes for the Raiders. He had one great game at San Diego, but otherwise has not looked like the difference-maker Oakland expected him to be.

Need the speed back: The Raiders were missing running backs Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones and receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Palmer needs to get that world-class speed back as soon as possible if Oakland is going to make a playoff run.

What’s next: The Raiders host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Raiders are not out of this race -- a win over the Lions and a Denver home loss to the New England Patriots next week ties this baby back up. Oakland has to start playing better in all aspects.

Wrap-up: Chargers 37, Bills 10

December, 11, 2011

A look at the San Diego Chargers' solid 37-10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

What it means: The Chargers won their second straight game after losing six in a row. San Diego is now 6-7 but is two games behind Denver with three games to go. The Chargers have outscored their past two opponents (they won at Jacksonville last week) 75-24. But it might be too late.

Too late for Turner and Smith: Coach Norv Turner probably has to find a way into the playoffs to save his job. General manager A.J. Smith is reportedly on the hot seat as well, but he likely has a better chance to stay in San Diego than Turner does.

Rivers is back: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers continued to play well. He completed 24 of 33 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, Rivers has now gone three games without an interception. He threw 17 interceptions in the first 10 games of the season.

Smothering defense: San Diego had three interceptions and were all over Buffalo all game long.

What’s next: The Chargers have their final home game of the season in Week 15 when they host the tough Baltimore Ravens. San Diego has to find a way to beat the Ravens to keep its slim playoff hopes alive. Will the home fans come out for what may be Turner’s last hoorah in San Diego?



Philip Rivers
570 379 4286 31
B. Oliver 160 582 3.6 3
R. Mathews 74 330 4.5 3
M. Floyd 52 856 16.5 6
A. Gates 69 821 11.9 12