Posted by Bird on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:22 PM
Last week’s OT win in Kansas made the idea of going to the Raiders game Sunday a great way to start the New Year. We were a shoe in or so I thought. I get to the Coliseum and as usual the fans were out and ready. They even had a punching bag with Rivers face on it in the parking lot. I hit it, I couldn’t resist.
What a game! The road to the playoffs is on the line and we lose. To be honest, I can’t really be mad at Sundays game, the Raiders should have locked the division WEEKS ago. Instead we are hoping that KC wins and Denver loses or Cin loses and Jets and Titans win… All of which should have been unnecessary. The Raiders came out playing as if they knew what was at stake. As the Chargers moved down the field Giordano intercepts it. Moving the ball well with short passes and runs, Oakland was first on the board. While Bush is a good back I miss DMC and his speed and ability to cut and move outside.
The Chargers came to be little playoff spoilers but the Raiders were determined to not let that happen. SD run game wasn’t given much of a chance by the Oakland defense and that’s when Rivers took it to the air abusing our secondary and Oakland gets burned for a touchdown. After a Raiders 3 and out SD scores again, this time from one but you want to know what set that up. A series of terrible coverage by the secondary and a PI call on yours truly Stanford Routt. The next possession Oakland should have put 7 on the board an instead settled for 3. Janikowski kicks to Brinkley and what does he do? He goes 105 yards for a touchdown. The stadium was quiet. There was no flag on the play and no tackling either. He went straight up the middle and was gone. Oak and SD would exchange field goals and as Oakland is in the last possession before the half Palmer throws it to Murphy and he STAYS IN BOUNDS... I can’t believe it him staying inbounds leaves no time for the FG unit or for Palmer to spike the ball. Oak enters the half down 24-13
While Oakland is kicking FG the Chargers are putting up touchdowns. These are the things that shouldn’t be taking place when you’re fighting for a playoff spot. Just as I’m screaming about some defense Special teams makes a huge play. Seeing it live you thought that the Raiders pinned Brinkley for a safety but after the replay he was down right at the one. Rivers moved his team down the field and while Oakland had been terrible on 3rd down San Diego was unable to convert and the FG takes the field. Special Teams comes up HUGE with a blocked FG. It’s the 4th quarter and Oakland is scratching to comeback. Palmer to Heyward Bey for a big gain that ultimately sets ups a TD by the TE Kevin Boss who has been as quiet as a church mouse this season. By this time people in the section where I was sitting finally saw that KC beat DEN and all we needed was a stop and score. The scoring wasn’t the issue it was the stops that Oakland was having a problem with. Blitzing and not getting one sack and the secondary being exposed.
The score is 26-31 in favor of the Chargers. The defense needs to hold on. Special teams had bailed out both the offense and the defense and it’s time to not let them down. TUH! Child Please. Litto & branch lost their minds. Both players giving up plays for more than 50 yards combined. Not the type of defense you want to display when you’re come from 3 scores down to just one. Not when you need one touchdown to advance to playoffs. Too see the post season... What happens? Rivers to Floyd for a touchdown is what happened. Game over but most importantly SEASON over. KC handled business and it was up to the Raiders to seal the deal and they couldn’t. It wasn’t for a lack of trying it was really just terrible defense. The Chargers found the weakness and took advantage of it.
In all honesty the Raiders shouldn’t have been in this position. The division should have been won weeks ago. Costly mistakes and penalties attributed to the failure of reaching the post season. Yeah a healthy Mc Fadden and a Palmer that had a full season, who knows what could have happened but the fact that we had tools and opportunities several times makes that statement meaningless. 8-8 without a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th round pick and a suspect secondary is what the Raiders have to look forward to in the off season. Seeing the way Hue Jackson worked with what he had given the players lost in Free Agency and the injuries to the team he did a good job. I’m sure the Raiders will be fine for the 2012-2013 season.