Raiders lack charge against the Chargers

It was Halloween but the only thing Oakland Raiders dressed or acted like was an uninspired and listless football team in a 42-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers Sunday.

The game was certainly a horror show for the Oakland Raiders, who were only present at Qualcomm Stadium in body. The defense offered no resistance against the run or pass. The offense showed all the potency of a bee bee gun and the special teams was no better.

The Chargers outgained the Raiders 448-284 in total yards, 175-25 on the rushing side. San Diego quarterback Drew Brees completed 22-of-25 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns. All of that and you have a dreadful football team, which role the Raiders did not need costumes. The Raiders fall to 2-6 heading into Sunday's road game at Carolina.

The Chargers wasted no time getting in the end zone. San Diego scored on its first possession when quarterback Drew Brees hit tight end Justin Peele for a 17-yard touchdown, making it 7-0 Chargers with 11:14 left in the first quarter.

San Diego's lead swelled to 14-0 with eight seconds left in the first quarter when it drove 72 yards on nine plays capped off by LaDainian Tomlinson soaring over the top (Walter Payton style) for a 1-yard touchdown run. Two Raider defensive penalties kept that drive afloat, one on Nnamdi Asomugha and the other on Charles Woodson.

The Raiders responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that Tyrone Wheatley capped off with a 5-yard scoring run. Wheatley started middle but bounced to the right. The drive featured three Kerry Collins-to-Doug Gabriel connections.

The Chargers, however, pushed the lead to 21-7 when Brees hit a wide open Keenan McCardell for a 13-yard touchdown with 4:54 left in the first half. San Diego widened its lead to 28-7 when Brees hit a leaping Tim Dwight for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

The second half was no better. Dwight returned the opening kickoff of the second half 50-yards to midfield. Five plays later, Brees floated a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates to widen the lead to 35-7 with 12:05 remaining in the third quarter. That same duo later connected for a 1-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal.

Oakland finally got on the board in the second half with two seconds remaining in the third quarter as Collins hit tight end Doug Jolley for 13-yard touchdown pass to provide the final margin of victory.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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