Friday, December 5, 2008

Raiders routed 34-7; Lose to Chargers for the 11th straight time

Oakland got behind and it got ugly real fast for the Raiders. This game like several over the past six seasons wasn’t pretty. The Raiders haven’t played sound football.

Oakland had the same problems there like an old friend; four turnovers, several ridiculous and costly penalties.

Not to be outdone, making an appearance was the inability of their offensive line to give their quarterbacks anytime or protection to throw the ball, or open any holes for the running game leading to another long day on defense.

The Raiders again had too many penalties, they were so ridiculous one official could be seen shaking his head in disbelief.

I would’ve understood it if the official just said and I quote “penalty on the Raiders for stupidity, that’s a 15 yard penalty, repeat the down.”

The Raiders loss to the Chargers for the 11th time and earned themselves a dubious place in NFL history. This was once a rivalry but to lose to one team 11 times makes no sense at all but it does display ownership in more ways than one.

The Raiders lost badly in every phase of the game, a contest that was over before it started. There were several blown coverages, several missed assignments and a whole lot of bad football.

The only thing that went right for the team was Justin Miller, who returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown right before halftime and provided the teams only highlight.

He did most of the work by himself making a nice cut through several defenders getting to the sideline and outrunning another pair of Chargers.

Several other teams have slowed Charger RB LaDainian Tomlinson this season and some wondered if his skills had diminished and were searching for reasons why he hasn’t been himself.

The real reason for his decline in numbers has been three things 1) The decline in the play of the offensive line 2) not having FB Lorenzo Neal on the roster 3) The Chargers lack of identity with the departure of Marty Schottenheimer and staff.

The Raiders on the schedule has always been the cure for whatever ails LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers, he has always been able to run roughshod on Oakland.

Things have been bad defensively for the Raiders for a while but no one has killed them like he has. He has averaged 120 yards and a touchdown on them twice annually.

The Chargers ran the ball 46 times for 158 yards and one touchdown while involving three runners. Conversely the Raiders ran the ball 16 times for 54 yards.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers had a solid outing completing 10-of-22 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. His 59-yard TD pass to Vincent Jackson with San Diego up 10-0 put the game away before halftime.

The majority of his passes went to Vincent Jackson who had a great day hauling in five passes for 148 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers defense anchored by NT Jamal Williams controlled the Raiders running game inside and put a lot pressure on QB JaMarcus Russell; OLB Shaun Phillips was outstanding finishing with a stat line the read three tackles, one forced fumble, two-and-a-half sacks.

Raider QB JaMarcus Russell completed nine-of-thirteen passes for 68 yards and had two passes intercepted by LB Stephen Cooper while throwing into double coverage. He left the game with a twisted ankle two minutes into the second quarter.

He was replaced by Andrew Walter who completed eight-of-seventeen passes for 61 yards and one interception.

Despite what appeared to be the Chargers allowing the underneath throws it is clear that with Lane Kiffin being shown the door the new directive from the top for Russell is to throw down the field as oppose to taking what the defense is giving you.

Johnnie Lee Higgins and Ron Curry combined to catch four passes; although the wide receivers aren’t scaring anyone, can’t seem to get any separation off of the line of scrimmage and haven’t been a factor for the Raiders all year, the leading receiver continues to be TE Zach Miller who finished with eight catches.

The team was terrible on offense again but the one statistic that has plagued Oakland all year happened again Thursday; the team was two-of-twelve on third down attempts and remain the league’s worst team on third downs.

The Raiders defense was playing from behind once again and could not stop the Chargers when they needed to. The loss also means that the Raiders have had double digit losses for six years in a row the second longest in league history and are now two and seven under interim head coach Tom Cable.

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