The Chargers lead 10-9 at halftime against the Oakland Raiders. Here are three takeaways from the first half.
- Ball Security – The Raiders are one of the best teams at limiting turnovers on offense, which is why Brandon Mebane's interception on the fourth snap of the game was a huge play. Unfortunately, they turned it back over when Antonio Gates coughed up the ball at Oakland's 13-yard line three plays later. After the defense held Oakland to a field goal after a long drive, Philip Rivers' deep pass to Travis Benjamin was picked off by Sean Smith, who returned it to the San Diego 32. Later, with less than two minutes to go in the half, Rivers fired deep on 3rd-and-16 and was intercepted by Karl Joseph, who brought it back 21-yards to the Bolts' 44-yard line. The Chargers must take better care of the ball in the second half.
2. Red Zone Defense Comes Up Big –San Diego's defense struggled in the red zone entering Week 5, but they came up clutch in the first half. Oakland twice had goal-to-go situations, and both times they ended up kicking field goals instead of finding pay dirt.
- Clock Control – Two turnovers and a long drive by Oakland gave them a significant advantage in the first quarter, running 22 offensive snaps compared to eight for San Diego. As a result, the defense was on the field for 11:37. Overall, the Raiders hold a huge 20:47 to 9:13 time of possession advantage entering the second half.