Raiders loss amounts to more than one play

As they review their 21-14 loss to the Chargers, the Raiders will endeavor to work on correcting the mistakes that help cost them the game and letting go of the one they couldn't control.

Coach Art Shell said Monday he was told by NFL director of officials Mike Pereira that the bizarre ruling in which San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson was called for an illegal forward pass after losing what appeared to be a fumble was the correct one.

Already docked $12,500 for saying, "We got screwed," in response to a call two weeks ago, Shell chose his words more carefully this time, although it was clear he wasn't buying the explanation.

On a fourth-and-2 play, Jackson caught a pass over the middle from Philip Rivers, went down without being touched, then rose and spun the ball forward on the ground in celebration. The Raiders' Fabian Washington jumped on the ball, and the original signal was Oakland had possession.

After officials convened, it was instead ruled an illegal forward pass -- a five-yard penalty that allowed San Diego to retain possession with a first-and-10 at the 32.

Not long afterward, LaDainian Tomlinson hit Antonio Gates with a 19-yard scoring pass, and the Chargers pushed across another score on a 10-yard run by Tomlinson with 3:39 to play.

The Raiders' reaction was predictable. It was simply another chapter in the rulebook conspiracy, following the Immaculate Reception against Pittsburgh and the Tuck Rule against New England.

The length of time the officials took in making the call made some players wonder what was going on.

"Did they want to go back to the coin toss?" quarterback Aaron Brooks said.

"Somebody didn't know what they were talking about, flat out," safety Jarrod Cooper said. "I don't think anybody that ever watched a football game has any idea how they could call that a pass."

Shell said the Raiders would have to live with it, and also with the fact that they contributed to their own demise.

Among the game-altering errors Sunday in which officials played no role:

--A missed 36-yard field-goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski following the opening drive, his first miss from the season from 49 yards and in.

--A 91-yard kickoff return surrendered to Antonio Cromartie immediately after Oakland's first touchdown, enabling the Chargers to go into halftime tied 7-7 in a game in which they trailed 21:21 to 8:39 in time of possession.

--A Brooks pass deflected at the line and intercepted by Quintin Jammer at the San Diego 25, aborting a drive in which the Raiders, facing third-and-15 on the play, could have attempted a field goal.

--The Jammer pick came after the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha had intercepted Rivers, meaning Oakland had failed to get points off a turnover at the San Diego 36.

--Tomlinson's 19-yard touchdown pass to Gates came on an option pass the Raiders have seen before, with Washington coming up and playing it as a run.

Raiders dime back and return specialist Chris Carr eschewed the conspiracy theory and instead stressed accountability.

"If we don't let them get that pass on fourth down, we would have never been in that position," Carr said. "To win a game, you have to do it on the field, not with an official's call. You can't pout about the play. You need to stop them when you have to stop them, and we didn't."


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