WHAT WENT RIGHT
· Justin Miller provided the Raiders with their only points and their lone highlight of the night when he returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown just before halftime. Miller, picked up only three weeks ago, did most of the work on his own, making a nice cut through a host of San Diego defenders before breaking toward the sideline and outrunning a pair of Chargers into the end zone.
WHAT WENT WRONG
· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell had a rough first half, throwing two interceptions and fumbling once before leaving the game with a right ankle injury. Russell didn't get much help from his receivers or offensive line but the second-year QB hurt himself by forcing passes into coverage and down the field rather than taking the underneath stuff San Diego was willing to allow.
· LaDainian Tomlinson has had the Raiders' number in the past and although he didn't have the huge game he's used to having against Oakland, San Diego's veteran running back did enough to extend the Chargers' dominance to 11 straight wins over the Silver and Black. It wasn't so much his touchdown but rather the steady pounding up the middle that wore the defense down.
· The Raiders inflicted more damage upon themselves than the Chargers did and injuries were a huge part of that. There was Tommy Kelly's personal foul in the first quarter that extended a San Diego touchdown drive; a late hit call on Darren McFadden and Kwame Harris' false start and facemask penalties. The total bill: six penalties for 70 yards. The worst part is that these type of things have been going on all season and there's no end in sight.
· While there wasn't much support from the offense, Oakland's defense also was equally ineffective and equally liable for the loss. Rob Ryan's boys surrendered a 99-yard, 14-play touchdown drive in the first half, gave up a 59-yard touchdown throw from Philip Rivers and pretty much allowed the Chargers to do whatever they wanted. The breakdowns came all over, from cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson to the defensive line which put very little pressure on Rivers and had no consistent answer for Tomlinson.
· Oakland's pass protection was terrible and only added to the offensive headaches. The Raiders surrendered three sacks and allowed the QBs to get rushed numerous times. It wasn't just while JaMarcus Russell was on the field; Andrew Walter also got knocked around plenty. The easy targets were tackles Kwame Harris and Cornell Green, both of whom got manhandled at times, but Justin Fargas was also beat for a key sack that led to an Oakland turnover.
BY THE NUMBERS
6: Consecutive seasons with 10 losses or more for Oakland, making the Raiders just the third team in NFL history to do so. Tampa Bay and Detroit are the others.
163: Yards of total offense for Oakland, compared to 372 for San Diego. The Raiders managed just 54 yards on the ground and 109 through the air.
8: Catches for tight end Zach Miller, matching his career-high. With 45 receptions on the season, the second-year player is on pace to finish with 55 catches which would be the most ever by a Raiders second-year tight end.
· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell left the game with a right ankle injury after getting sacked late in the second quarter. Russell was hit by Shaun Phillips, who blew past Cornell Green and delivered the big blow that knocked Oakland's QB out of the game. X-rays proved negative but no other details were released.
· Tight end Zach Miller had a scary moment on the same play where Russell got hurt when he got blindsided by a San Diego defender and laid on the ground with what appeared to be a neck injury. Miller had to leave the game but eventually returned and finished the game.
· Wide receiver Ashley Lelie did not play as a result of a lingering headache that prevented him from practicing in the days leading up to the game. Without Lelie, the Raiders went with veteran Ronald Curry and rookie Chaz Schilens, neither of whom made much of an impact.
THEY SAID IT
· "It's real frustrating around here right now. I don't have an answer. I don't know what to say. This is getting ridiculous."
-- Raiders punter Shane Lechler on the latest Oakland loss
· "Something's gotta be done. This is week in and week out. It's embarrassing, not only for the players, but the fans must be livid. Something's gotta break."
-- Former Raiders safety Jarrod Cooper, commenting on a Bay Area television station following the game
· "A lot of the penalties were for holding, facemask, those type of things. We just have to find a way to cut down on the penalties. They've been killing us all year."
-- Tight end Zach Miller
It gets ugly in San Diego
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