Chargers Defeat Raiders, 28-18

My reaction to today’s loss is quite different than last week. Last week I was enraged by what I believed to be a mismanagement of the game in terms of use of the clock and playcalling on both sides. Today, we just got beat. I know we lead by 15, but when the Chargers defense finally reacted to our offensive playcalling, we couldn’t move the ball. It reminds me a lot of last year, because we didn’t have any game-changing talent on the offensive side of the ball. We drafted McFadden to be that guy, but I believe his speed and effectiveness is being hampered by his turf toe. We will see what he is like two weeks from now after his toe has time to heal.

The defense gets worn down at the end of these games. They play very hard the first three quarters, but when the offense can’t get them off the field, they tire. Again, the defense tired and gave up a 12 point fourth quarter lead. We just can’t keep on giving the defense leads to protect and expect that will happen without some sustained offensive drives. Especially against a team as talented as the Chargers, we can’t let them stay in the game, the offense needs to shut the door. We haven’t learned to put teams away, we don’t have the talent for it to happen on its on, but the potential is there.

Below is a list of observations I made from the game:

-The offensive line had a tough day, Green was getting abused and called for holding calls, Harris couldn’t protect Russell’s blindside, Grove couldn’t block Jamaal Williams especially in the run game, and the rotating RG tandem had a rough time as well. I’m suprised Miller even got a chance to catch a pass.

-Clearly speed at WR would open things up for Russell. Almost every time Higgins ran deep and stopped short, he had about a ten yard cushion. The defense had to respect his speed, the only other issue with that is the lack of protection.

-The defense gave a pretty solid effort. Besides the final LT touchdown, if you had told me Gates and LT would only score one TD a piece, I would have said we had a very good chance to win. Turns out LT scored twice, which was the nail in the coffin in terms of that chance to win.

- I had no huge complaints with playcalling or blown assignments (Minus the outside containment on the final LT run).

I think Kiffin did a solid job today, and he even turned Russell loose a little, which was nice to see. That said, I didn’t think Kiffin would survive the bye week with a record below .500, and that uncertainty remains. I don’t want to perpetuate the constant soap opera that is going on, so I’ll leave it at that.

It sure would have been a nice thing to go into the bye with a win, get healthy, and perhaps retain the Head Coach. We will have to settle for getting healthy only.

Side Notes: Al Davis is going to address the media soon, that should be interesting to say the least. We wore white today, shocking because Al Davis loves the black. It has also been reported we will wear retro style silver on white at home next year. Strange because that would eliminate most of the black from our uniforms. Silver and White is no Silver and Black. I don’ expect that to come true, especially considering that decision doesn’t have to be made until the beginning of next season. If we have to make a change I’d rather we put black numbers on silver jerseys and black pants, if we must make a change.

As always…more to come as developments unfold and I think of crap to talk about.

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