Raiders lose to San Diego

The Raiders let a fourth-quarter lead slip away for the second straight week in a game that could prove to be Lane Kiffin's last as Oakland's head coach. Find out what went right and what went wrong for Oakland in the 28-18 loss to the San Diego Chargers.


· Defensively, Oakland was all over San Diego in the first half and pummeled San Diego QB Philip Rivers repeatedly. The line played particularly well, sacking Rivers six times while keeping Tomlinson under wraps for most of the game.

· With Justin Fargas out and Darren McFadden limited by a turf toe, Michael Bush was forced to handle the bulk of the workload in the backfield and responded with a team-high seven catches for 80 yards. Bush also led the team with 48 yards rushing.

· Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan called a timely blitz when the Raiders had the Chargers backed up deep near the own end zone and it resulted in a safety. Strong safety Gibril Wilson zipped in from the right side and drilled LaDainian Tomlinson, who fumbled. Rivers pounced on the loose ball in the end zone and was touched down for a safety, which gave Oakland a 5-0 lead.

· Lane Kiffin opened up the offense and had quarterback JaMarcus Russell come out throwing, which gave San Diego's defense plenty of trouble early on. Russell did a good job of operating out of the shotgun and ran several solid play-fakes while racking up a 122.4 rating in the first half. Unfortunately neither he nor the Raiders were able to sustain that success.


· Left tackle Kwame Harris struggled big time in his return to the starting lineup. Harris was routinely beaten off the edge in pass protection and was also called for two false starts. He was also beaten for a sack that resulted in a turnover. Contrast that with Mario Henderson, who played penalty-free in the two games that Harris was out.

· JaMarcus Russell had done a fairly good job of taking care of the ball but made two costly turnovers that helped San Diego score 15 points in 85 seconds in the fourth quarter. One of the miscues -- an interception -- came on a screen pass that deflected off the hands of running back Darren McFadden.

· Even after losing the lead in the fourth quarter the Raiders had a chance to tie the game but the defense got pinched inside, allowing San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson to break containment outside and score on a 41-yard run.

· The breakdown in containment wasn't restricted to the defense. After Sebastian Janikowski's 32-yard field goal tied the game at 18-18, the Raiders special teams allowed Darren Sproles to return the ensuing kickoff 67 yards down to the Oakland 35-yard line. Four plays later Nate Kaeding kicked a 47-yard field goal to put San Diego ahead for good.

· Tight end Zach Miller had it going early with a 63-yard touchdown reception from JaMarcus Russell but the two just missed hooking up again late in the fourth quarter when Miller slipped at the goal line and fell to the turf as Russell's pass sailed incomplete where Miller would have been. The Raiders had to settle for a field goal attempt.

· The second-half blues struck the offense again. After stalling out late in the fourth quarter against Buffalo, the Raiders managed just three points in the second half against San Diego and gained only 19 yards in the third quarter. San Diego, on the other hand, had only 85 yards at halftime but finished with 295 for the game.

· The major stumbling block for the offense continues to be third-down conversions. Oakland was just 3 of 15 in those situations against the Chargers, two of the conversions coming in the fourth quarter. BY THE NUMBERS

42: Combined points surrendered by the Raiders in the fourth quarter of their last two games when they blew leads of nine and 12 points.

76: The length of Sebastian Janikowski's field goal attempt just before halftime, the longest attempt of his NFL career.

58.8: Quarterback rating of San Diego's Philip Rivers, who threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.

3: Straight games the Raiders had gone without allowing a 100-yard rusher. The streak would have held up were it not for LaDainian Tomlinson's 41-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, which gave him 106 yards on the day.


· Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's fractured left elbow limited him to playing primarily on passing downs. Chris Johnson replaced Asomugha on most first and second downs because backup cornerback Stanford Routt was put on the inactive list prior to the game.

· Center Jake Grove appeared to get hurt while covering Janikowski's missed 76-yard field goal attempt and trainers rushed out to the field to attend to him, but the veteran offensive lineman walked off the field under his own power and played the rest of the game.

· Running back Darren McFadden didn't have the footing problems he had in Buffalo but his turf toe injury continues to slow him down. The rookie rushed for 20 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 17 yards but was missing the same explosiveness he showed two weeks prior in Kansas City.


· "I think he coaches his butt off every day. He's always there, focused on the game. Obviously (a coaching change) would disrupt our familiarity with how things are done. You hear about it mostly from the press. If you watch TV, if you watch the news, they love to talk about it but in the locker room we're focused on winning games. Coach Kiffin isn't worried about that. He's worried about trying to win the next game. There's no focus put on it. Guys aren't thinking about it so it's not a distraction for the guys on the team that I talk to."

-- Tight end Zach Miller on rumors head coach Lane Kiffin may get fired

· "The way we're playing right now I doubt change would happen. But if it does happen we just have to play through it. I was a part of an Atlanta team where Dan Reeves got fired there and we kind of hung in there. Matter of fact we ended up winning three of the last five games. I think this team's still on the brink of winning a lot of football games. Now it's just finishing and whatever they do in the front office will work itself out."

-- Fullback Justin Griffith, also talking about the Kiffin rumors

SB Report Top Stories