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Chargers continue to struggle with same mistakes on defense

Mon Dec 5 8:07pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) chases down his own fumble under pressure from Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (90) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)


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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter (1) misses a pass on fourth down to turn the ball over on downs, as Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs (39) covers, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. The Raiders won 27-20. (AP Photo/David Becker)


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Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Morgan Fox (56) and safety Nasir Adderley (24) reacts after a fumble recovery and Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)


Related photo caption below

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) chases down his own fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)


Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco spent more than $112 million in guaranteed salaries during the offseason to get players with experience in Brandon Staley's defense.

Through 12 games, the returns have been disappointing.

The inability to stop the run and allow explosive plays were on display again during Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The defeat leaves the Bolts at 6-6. They must go on a late-season run to avoid missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

''It's just gonna come down to covering and tackling better. It certainly changes the game when you give them up. The story yesterday were the explosions because the big ones for them were certainly big,'' Staley said. ''We've got five games left. The AFC is really tight. We need to put this one behind us and get ready for Miami.''

Josh Jacobs became the seventh running back to get a 100-yard game against the Chargers this season with 144 yards on 26 carries.

Los Angeles is 29th in rushing defense, allowing 151.6 yards per game, but opponents are averaging 5.43 yards per carry, which is on pace to become the highest since the merger.

The seven 100-yard games are tied for the most the Chargers have allowed in a season. With five games remaining - including Tennessee's Derrick Henry and Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor - that mark is likely to fall.

The Chargers are 3-4 when giving up at least 100 yards on the ground.

Another season-long problem has been giving up explosive plays. They have allowed a league-high 13 touchdowns of 20 yards or more, including three against the Raiders. Jacobs scored from 20 yards while Davante Adams had TDs of 31 and 45 yards.

''Adams is a really good player and he made some plays yesterday. On the Jacobs touchdown, was poor setup. We weren't aligned right to the tight end side of the formation,'' Staley said.

Opponents have 54 plays of at least 20 yards, which is tied for fifth most.

WHAT'S WORKING

Keenan Allen against the Raiders. Allen became the fourth player to have 100 career catches against the Raiders. The 10th-year receiver, who has 103 in 17 games, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (114), former Charger Antonio Gates (111), and former Broncos standout Rod Smith (104). On Sunday, Allen finished with six receptions for 88 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Second-half adjustments. The Chargers have been outscored 53-25 after halftime in the past four games. They have only four scoring drives in 21 possessions and have committed four turnovers.

STOCK UP

LB Drue Tranquill has surpassed 100 tackles on the season for the first time in his career after getting five on Sunday. Tranquill, who will be a free agent after the season, and safety Derwin James are the fourth pair of Chargers teammates to each have 100 tackles in a season.

STOCK DOWN

Asante Samuel Jr. was targeted four times when matched up against Adams and allowed four receptions for 95 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown during the third quarter that proved to be the go-ahead score. According to the NFL's Next Gen Stats, Samuel has allowed five touchdowns this season, which is tied for fifth most among cornerbacks.

INJURIES

DT Sebastian Joseph-Day has an MCL sprain to his right knee with a further update on his status as the week progresses. OG Zion Johnson (shoulder) and CB Bryce Callahan (groin) remain day to day after they suffered injuries against the Raiders. OT Trey Pipkins (knee), WR Mike Williams (ankle) and TE Donald Parham (hamstring) could return to practice this week. C Corey Linsley remains in concussion protocol.

KEY NUMBER

20 - Games Justin Herbert has passed for at least 300 yards, which is the most by any player in their first three seasons in the league. Andrew Luck had the old mark with 19 from 2012-14 while with the Indianapolis Colts.

NEXT STEPS

The Chargers have two straight home games starting with a Sunday night matchup against Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa was the fifth overall selection in the 2020 draft, while Herbert went with the next pick.

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The Paur Report

Starts, Sits and Sleepers: Week 13

Player Notes
Joe Mixon Dec 5 10:00pm ET
Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (concussion) has one final hurdle to clear in the league's concussion protocol, according to head coach Zac Taylor, and the team expects Mixon to clear it early this week. "There just hasn't been contact yet, that's the last hurdle to clear," Taylor said. Mixon suffered a concussion in Week 11 and has missed the last two games. He also missed two games with a concussion in his rookie season in 2017. Mixon has 605 rushing yards and six touchdowns along with 41 catches for 314 yards and two additional TDs in 10 games this year. Samaje Perine has been a plug-and-play RB2 in fantasy the last two weeks with Mixon out, but it looks like Mixon should be back in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns.

From RotoBaller

Mike White Dec 5 10:00pm ET
Mike White

New York Jets quarterback Mike White is going to remain the team's starter under center for the foreseeable future, including in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills. Things could change if White has some poor performances in the coming weeks, but the Jets don't expect that to happen. The Jets continue to say that benched second-year QB Zach Wilson remains the team's franchise signal-caller, but it's not a good sign that they pulled the plug on Wilson just 20 starts into his career. White went for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in Week 12 and threw for 369 yards and two interceptions in a failed comeback attempt in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings. The 27-year-old has had three quality starts in the four games he's finished and will continue to be a low-end QB2 option in superflex leagues in a tough matchup against the Bills this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Chase McLaughlin Dec 5 9:40pm ET
Chase McLaughlin

Indianapolis Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin made both of his field goals and added an extra point in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. McLaughlin hit field goals from 52 and 34 yards out in the blowout loss. The veteran kicker has now made 22 of his 27 field goals while making all 13 of his extra points for the Colts in 2022. He will be on bye in Week 14 before heading on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Dalton Schultz Dec 5 9:30pm ET
Dalton Schultz

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz caught two of his six targets for 33 yards in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. Schultz only caught two passes but his 33 receiving yards were good enough for him to finish as the Cowboys' second-leading receiver in the blowout win. Schultz got off to a slow start in 2022, partially due to a knee injury that he played through, but he has gone for at least 31 receiving yards in all but one of his past six contests with three touchdowns over that span. Schultz will be a mid-range TE1 in Week 14 against the Houston Texans.

From RotoBaller

Brett Maher Dec 5 9:30pm ET
Brett Maher

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher made six of his seven extra points in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. The Dallas offense was extremely efficient in the blowout win and, as a result, did not afford Maher any field-goal tries. The veteran kicker has now made 19 of his 22 field goals and 36 of 38 extra points in 2022. Maher will be a strong fantasy option against the Houston Texans in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Malik Hooker Dec 5 9:30pm ET
Malik Hooker

The Dallas Cowboys defense was dominant in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. Dallas logged three sacks and forced five turnovers, with one of those takeaways going as a 38-yard fumble return for a TD by Malik Hooker in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were led by cornerback Daron Bland, who had two interceptions and two pass breakups in the blowout win. Dallas draws another excellent matchup in Week 14 as they will take on a Houston Texans offense that just turned the ball over four times last week.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Dec 5 9:20pm ET
Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard carried the ball 12 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns while adding two receptions for 15 yards in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. As has been the norm of late, Pollard outproduced starter Ezekiel Elliott from a fantasy perspective, although the Dallas offense has been efficient enough to provide opportunities for both running backs most weeks. Pollard technically got the start in Week 13, although that was due to a minor disciplinary measure for Elliott from earlier in the week. Pollard will be a solid fantasy option against the Houston Texans in Week 14.

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CeeDee Lamb Dec 5 9:20pm ET
CeeDee Lamb

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb caught five of his seven targets for 71 yards and a touchdown in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. Lamb hauled in his sixth touchdown pass of the season on a 20-yard toss from Dak Prescott in the first quarter. The star receiver now has four touchdowns over his past five contests as he looks to finish the season on a high note. He will be a WR1 against the Houston Texans in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Dec 5 9:20pm ET
Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup caught four of his seven targets for 23 yards and two touchdowns in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. Gallup came into the evening listed as questionable with an illness but was able to suit up in the Sunday night contest. His touchdowns came on passes of 13 and three yards, giving him three total scores in nine games in 2022. Gallup has drawn at least seven targets in three of his past four games and will be a solid WR3 heading into Week 14 against the Houston Texans.

From RotoBaller

Jelani Woods Dec 5 9:00pm ET
Jelani Woods

Indianapolis Colts tight end Jelani Woods caught two of his four targets for 28 yards in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Woods finished third on the team in receiving yards in the blowout loss while his four targets tied for fourth. The rookie tight end had a breakout game in Week 12 but he was quieter against Dallas with Kylen Granson back in the fold after being inactive last week. Woods remains a solid stash in dynasty but will be tough to trust in a struggling Indy offense most weeks. He will be on bye in Week 14 before the Colts head on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Dec 5 9:00pm ET
Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 20 of his 30 passes for 170 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in a 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. Prescott's 170 passing yards were his second-fewest of the season but he wasn't asked to do much with the Dallas defense dominating in the blowout loss. Two of Prescott's touchdowns went to Michael Gallup while the third went to CeeDee Lamb on Sunday night. Now sitting on 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games, Prescott will take on the Houston Texans in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Michael Pittman Jr. Dec 5 8:50pm ET
Michael Pittman Jr.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. struggled in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Pittman caught just two of four targets for 16 yards in the blowout loss on Sunday evening. The third-year wideout had a tough time getting separation in his battle against Trevon Diggs and the Dallas secondary in the loss, garnering a season-low in targets. Pittman's two-catch, 16-yard outing easily goes down as his worst effort of the 2022 season. He will be on bye in Week 14 before he heads to Minnesota to take on the Vikings to kick off the fantasy playoffs in Week 15. He should bounce back in that contest.

From RotoBaller

Alec Pierce Dec 5 8:50pm ET
Alec Pierce

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce caught four of his eight targets for 86 yards and a touchdown in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Pierce's effort was one of the few bright spots in the passing attack for the Colts against a smothering Dallas secondary on Sunday night. His touchdown came while the game was still close in the third quarter on a 12-yard reception from Matt Ryan. It was the last time the Colts would score in the contest. Pierce has shown some flashes of potential in his rookie season but Indy will have to solve their quarterback problem before he can be seen as a consistent fantasy option. He will be on bye in Week 14 before a road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

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Parris Campbell Dec 5 8:50pm ET
Parris Campbell

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell caught four of his five targets for 43 yards and added a two-yard run in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Campbell finished second on the team in receiving yards while tying for first with his four catches. After several injury-plagued seasons, the veteran wideout is enjoying his healthiest year in the NFL and has 50 catches for 497 yards and three scores through 13 games. He will be on bye in Week 14 before a Week 15 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Matt Ryan Dec 5 8:30pm ET
Matt Ryan

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan completed 21 of his 37 passes for 233 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Ryan also lost a fumble in the blowout loss to the Cowboys, setting a new Colts team record with 14 fumbles on the season. Two of Ryan's interceptions and the fumble came in the fourth quarter as the Colts did not finish strong in the Sunday night contest. Ryan's touchdown passes went to Alec Pierce and Ashton Dulin. Thanks to his turnover issues in 2022, Ryan has a tenuous hold on the starting quarterback gig heading into Week 14's bye. After that, they will head on the road to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15.

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Jonathan Taylor Dec 5 8:30pm ET
Jonathan Taylor

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor carried the ball 21 times for 82 yards and added 21 yards on three catches in a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Taylor's performance was one of the few bright spots for a Colts team that imploded with three turnovers and allowed the Cowboys to score 33 points in the fourth quarter. The veteran tailback has run for 861 yards and four touchdowns on 192 carries in 2022. He will enjoy his bye week in Week 14 before a road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings to kick off the fantasy playoffs in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Dec 5 7:23pm ET
Leonard Fournette

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette (hip) is active for the Week 13 game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Dec. 5.

Fantasy Spin: Fournette was questionable but is now active. He's likely a fringe RB2 as he shares the backfield with rookie Rachaad White.

From TheHuddle

Russell Gage Dec 5 7:20pm ET
Russell Gage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (hip) and wide receiver Russell Gage (hamstring) are both active on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. Fournette suffered a hip-pointer injury in Week 10 and will be returning for the first time since then on Monday night. The 27-year-old's return will hurt the overall fantasy upside of rookie Rachaad White, but White could still be in line for most of the backfield touches after seeing 45 touches for 214 scrimmage yards in the last two games. Fantasy managers should consider Lenny a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex in his return on Monday. Meanwhile, Gage will be active for the first time since Week 7, so fantasy managers should stay away. He'll be behind Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones in the receiving pecking order.

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Cameron Brate Dec 5 7:10pm ET
Cameron Brate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (illness) is officially inactive for the Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints. It comes as a bit of a surprise after Brate returned to a full practice on Saturday, but he'll miss the game anyway while being under the weather. The 31-year-old, who still hasn't scored a touchdown this year, will miss his fifth game of the season. With Brate out of the picture, rookie Cade Otton will have some TE2 streaming appeal in DFS for Monday night's game. Kyle Rudolph and Ko Kieft could also be involved. In his first 10 NFL games in 2022, Otton has caught 26 of his 35 targets for 281 yards and one touchdown.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Brate Dec 5 7:03pm ET
Cameron Brate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (illness) is inactive Monday, Dec. 5, for the Week 13 game against the New Orleans Saints.

From TheHuddle