Well, the Raider season didn’t quite get off to the start they were hoping for in their 22-14 defeat to the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. Out of all the things that may have done them, what would you have guessed? Quarterback Carson Palmer throwing interception after interception? Darren McFadden getting nicked up and not making an impact? The defense getting carved up like a pumpkin by Philip Rivers as they did on New Year’s Day? Nope, what did the Raiders in was the injury to long-snapper Jon Condo, resulting in the Raiders inability to complete three punts in the second half, giving the Chargers ideal field position and, essentially, derailing the entire game for the Raiders.
Only to the Raiders, it seems. For a team that is trying to start a new identity in a post-Al Davis era, this was not the start they had hoped for. It looked bad to the naked eye out there, watching them bumble away punt after punt. However, to the football eye, things didn’t seem as bad as they looked. In fact, I took away many positives from the game. I kept receiving text after text from my Raider-hating friends throughout the game mocking me for my team’s ineptitude on the field (mainly in snapping the ball on punts). Instead of getting my usual annoyed and/or upset, I smiled. Because I knew these idiots were looking for anything to grasp and hold on to in hating the Raiders.
What I saw, was a defense that was put in precarious situation after precarious situation due to the special teams failures. Each time the Chargers were gifted with great field position due to bad snaps, the defense held their ground and only gave up field goals. No doubt in my mind, that with last years defense and personnel, those field goals would’ve been touchdowns. However, under new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and with new personnel, the defense looked pretty stout out there. Philip Rivers got his, but the Chargers run game was non-existent.
Offensively, the Raiders looked merely, okay. There is major room for improvement on that end, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Palmer was extremely accurate, completing 32-46 passes for 297 yard, one touchdown and no interceptions. This was all without starting wide-receiver Denarious Moore and slot receiver Jacoby Ford, who were both out nursing injuries. Moore, who tweaked his hamstring in OTA’s, tested it out in warm-ups and conceivably could’ve gone, but the Raiders opted to play it safe. In his place was undrafted rookie free-agent Rod Streater, who promptly fumbled on the Raiders opening drive. He did catch a touchdown and two-point conversion late in the game.
So Raider fans, don’t get too down on this game. Yes, it was hard to watch Travis Goethel repeatedly fail snapping the ball on national TV. It’s hard to listen to the haters have their day. But the Raiders loss was a fluke, in my opinion. Let’s hope there’s not anymore flukes down the road.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.