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Even without Gaither, Chargers able to protect Rivers

Philip Rivers AP

The Chargers were without starting left tackle Jared Gaither last night, using undrafted rookie Michael Harris in his place.

Other injuries made a hash of the position in the preseason, and they started a group of offensive linemen (including left guard Tyronne Green, center Nick Hardwick, right guard Louis Vasquez and right tackle Jeromey Clary) who hadn’t played together as a group since the Aug. 9 preseason opener.

You’d think they had been together for much longer.

Quarterback Philip Rivers was only sacked once, giving him plenty of time to pick the Raiders apart.

While the focus was on Harris, Rivers said he was surprised that the Raiders didn’t do more to confuse him.

“I thought going into the game that Mike matched up with that guy [Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy],” Rivers said, via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “It was more about were they going to try to overwhelm that side with blitzes and schemes, and they didn’t.

“And not that he couldn’t have handled it. It was just kind of one-on-one all night, and he did a heck of a job.”

The Chargers clearly need to get Gaither back from his back problem, but offensive line play can often be about cohesion more than individual parts, and at least in the opener, it was effective.

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10 Responses to “Even without Gaither, Chargers able to protect Rivers”
  1. humb0lt says: Sep 11, 2012 9:39 AM

    An undrafted rookie starts at left tackle and Philip Rivers is hardly touched. Ends the game with a clean jersey, despite playing on the infield half the game.

    Can’t wait to hear Raider fans’ excuses for that.

    I give a lot of credit where it’s due – Norv Turner. Norv owns the Raiders: 8-3 as the Chargers’ coach, 5-1 in Oakland – Qualcom North.

  2. art75gon says: Sep 11, 2012 9:53 AM

    “ripped the Raiders apart”, huh really? Philip Rivers played good I don’t know if he ripped the Raiders apart. He only had 1 touchdown. Special teams and the defense won that game. Harris played pretty good no sacks because of him. Offense needs to play better!!

  3. dougydougdoug says: Sep 11, 2012 10:59 AM

    New year. Same old Raiders.

    They can’t win a game that they should have been able to win, at home. At home! In the (in a sarcastic tone) “black hole”.

    You closet Darth Vader wannabes better hope that your long snapper is back soon. You can see what happened to the Chargers two seasons ago, when David Binn was lost for the year.

  4. mrgroovesd says: Sep 11, 2012 11:42 AM

    Glad Harris stood his ground. It was ugly but a W is a W.

    Special teams is what helped a lot with a back up long snapper in for the Raiders. Defense made adjustments at the half and DMC was not really a factor in the second half.

    5 FG’s is what I have a problem with. Offense did some good work but when some of those FG’s were that close to the end zone, they need to score TD’s. Hopefully address that issue and doesn’t become a problem.

    Other than that…GO BOLTS!

  5. souldogdave says: Sep 11, 2012 12:03 PM

    No excuses here, Dumbolt. My Raiders flat out sucked, and I am ashamed. I really hoped we would be a different team, but so far, NOT!!! Since the Raiders can’t even beat You guys, please,for the sake of California, BEAT THE BRONCOS. Manning must be stopped.

  6. villa41 says: Sep 11, 2012 12:12 PM

    Yeah, pump your chest out Dolt fans. I’ll give Harris credit. The kid held up well and did it without much help. Other than that the Raiders controlled the line of scrimmage, just like I knew they would. 32 rush yards for a 1.6 yard average for the Dolts. The Raiders outgained them overall too. The special teams play doomed us, but San Diego got outplayed in the other two phases.

    Unfortunately, that third phase is pretty important. I’m worried about our special teams, but not our offense (with a full set of receivers)and defense. Oh yeah, Palmer played pretty damn well too.

  7. democratsarestupid says: Sep 11, 2012 12:20 PM

    I prayed the Chargers wouldn’t sign this guy and now that he’s got the money bet on seeing the Gaither that played (or didn’t play) for the Ravens.

    Another reason why the SD regime has got to go.

  8. lanzurrah says: Sep 11, 2012 6:38 PM

    Harris played great, and the Chargers defense played exceptionally well. Awesome start to the season.

  9. raiderapologist says: Sep 11, 2012 8:03 PM

    humb0lt says: Sep 11, 2012 9:39 AM

    An undrafted rookie starts at left tackle and Philip Rivers is hardly touched. Ends the game with a clean jersey, despite playing on the infield half the game.
    Can’t wait to hear Raider fans’ excuses for that.
    —–
    No excuses here. There were some Keystone Kops moments in that game. The defense played hard, but special teams looked like San Diego’s did a couple of years ago.
    ——
    I give a lot of credit where it’s due – Norv Turner. Norv owns the Raiders: 8-3 as the Chargers’ coach, 5-1 in Oakland.
    —–
    If Norval only had to play Oakland that might matter, but there are 14 other teams he has to face, and Turner is the master of diminishing returns.

  10. atacoshipinaseaofwhitesauce says: Sep 12, 2012 6:33 PM

    Where is JoeToronto now?

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