Everything came down to this game and honestly, I was very optimistic. The Chargers already thrashed them earlier this year, and the Raiders had since lost their HC and had a ton of injuries. The Chargers, meanwhile, were finally back to full strength. Everything had come together and it just seemed perfect. Well....
The Chargers just had nothing. No offensive rhythm, a shit ton of penalties, and a lot individual errors by the weakest players on defense. As far as players go, Chris Harris Jr. basically lost this game all by himself. Carr, who is a wizard of drawing PI on untouchable or under-thrown passes, goaded Harris into committing an insane contact in the endzone, and the Raider's got a touchdown right after. A few possessions later he gets roasted by Renfrow for a touchdown. Actually, I can't say roasted. Renfrow literally just turned and Harris was asleep at the wheel.
Meanwhile, Kenneth. Murray Jr. drew his own boneheaded PI call, and got juked out of his shoes for not one but two 3rd down conversions. On offense, Storm Norton had his lunch eaten by Crosby for the entire game. Schofield wasn't much better, but it felt. like Norton was getting destroyed every offensive snap.
But everything that happened this individual game is only part of the problem. Bottom line, this team was never going to win a super bowl. Their defense hasn't been consistent enough, especially vs the run. Lombardi has struggled to make adjustments at halftime when his script wasn't working. They got blown out by the fucking Texans just two weeks ago for Christ's sake. So it wouldn't have mattered if they won because they aren't a championship team until their defense gets sorted. This is a really shitty way to end the season because the Raiders are the Raiders and this could have been the cap on an impressive year by Staley.
Some side notes:
- People throwing everything on that last second timeout by Staley is weird to me. The Raiders were 100% going to attempt a FG as time expired regardless and they were lined up to run another play before Staley called the time out. It would have been a 4 yards to go and Jacobs was wrecking anyway. At worst, you could say that Staley's decision made the field goal 10 yards easier, but that is also assuming that the Raiders were not going to gain any yardage on their last play before taking a time out and kicking.
- The 4th down call in their own 30 in the first half was insane. Not because of the actual decision, but because of the playcall. Ek had been fucking STUFFED on the 3rd down run in the same exact spot. One reason I have always been down with 4th and Staley is that he said the reason he goes for it on 4th so often is because he wants the game to be in the hands of Herbert. Well, when you run the most basic-ass Madden iso left play in your own backyard, that trust gets broken
- It's very scummy that the Raiders and/or the NFL didn't suspend Nate Hobbs. Dude got a DUI on Monday and you might think that, after what Ruggs did, they would be a little more eager to punish a player for doing that.
- On the plus side, Justin Herbert is still a fucking god. He was unreal in this game and kept the team alive in spots where so many other quarterbacks would have died out. 6-6 on 4th down even when he was getting fucking thrashed thanks to Norton.
- It is kind of insane how many ex-Chargers are starting for the Raiders. Heyward, Perryman, Teamer, Philon, Fayscon, Ty Johnson. Even former DC Gus Johnson is their current DC.
P.S. The Raiders are going to get fucking smoked by the bengals anyway so their win is useless. I take that as small pittance of a victory