Raiders lose to Chargers 24-16

News and notes from the Raiders' 24-16 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

-- Hard to think the offense could get much worse than it has been this season. While the running game looked good at times, particularly the spark that Justin Fargas seems to always bring, the positives were few and far between.

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell completed 14 of 22 passes for 109 yards but was sacked five times and threw one interception. Tom Cable said he saw progress from the third-year QB but clearly it's not the type of stuff the team had in mind when they made Russell the first overall pick in 2007.

-- Two receivers colliding together? Are you kidding?

-- Kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the best scoring threat the Raiders have. He had three field goals (48, 41 and 28 yards) and is 12-for-12 on the season.

-- Nice to see kickoff return man Jonathan Holland finally break one. The youngster has been way too tentative since taking over the job early in the season but he got loose for a 60-yard return against the Chargers, the longest of his career. That gave the Raiders the ball at San Diego's 37-yard line but they weren't able to go far and had to settle for a Janikowski field goal.

-- Creative play-calling by San Diego had running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles being covered by cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson, leaving the linebackers matched up with the wide receivers. That's a clear advantage in the Chargers favor and they exploited it well.

-- Speaking of which, how did Vince Jackson get so wide open for his second-quarter TD? Shouldn't someone be covering the opponent's best wide receiver????

-- Oakland's wide receivers caught exactly two passes, though one was by Darrius Heyward-Bey, so that might be considered progress.

-- Johnson is clearly being targeted by opposing offenses and not just because they're trying to avoid Asomugha. Johnson had a good run after replacing DeAngelo Hall after eight games last year but is getting burned on a weekly basis this year. He did get an interception but that came on a pass that was deflected off the receiver's hands. Finding a new cornerback has to be a priority in the offseason.

-- Khalif Barnes has not looked comfortable at right tackle and could be headed back to the bench when Cornell Green returns, which may happen this week. Barnes had two false starts against San Diego.

-- Rookie Matt Shaughnessy had the best game of his rookie season with five tackles, two for losses, a sack and a quarterback hurry. With Greg Ellis' knee limiting how much he can play, Shaughnessy has been a boost to the defensive line.

-- Tommy Kelly, one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the NFL: 4 tackles, zero sacks. Desmond Bryant, an undrafted free agent making $310,000: 3 tackles

-- Oakland's longest offensive play went for 15 yards. San Diego had seven plays that long or more, all but one of them passes by quarterback Philip Rivers.


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