USA TODAY Sports
We've covered the Ballers. Now we move on to the Busters for the Raiders week 17 loss to the Chargers.
This is long overdue. The Raiders' special teams play has been the worst I can remember seeing it. In this game, the Raiders started behind the 8 ball due a 99-yard return touchdown on the opening kickoff. Then the Raiders got their chance at a return and were stuffed at their own 14-yard line. Early in the second quarter, the Raiders defense held the Chargers to a three and out but on fourth and one, the Chargers faked the punt and picked up the first down. Hoffman and the Raiders were completely oblivious to it. The drive kept going and resulted in the Chargers' second touchdown of the game. The Chargers final score was set up by a dud of a punt by Shane Lechler who is completing one of the worst seasons of his career under the tutelage of Hoffman. The punt gave the Chargers possession already inside Raiders' territory and they scored on four plays. The coverage teams could only manage to stop one of Lechler's six punts inside the 20-yard line. The Raiders best field position off kickoffs was the 23-yard line and they averaged 4.8 yards per punt return. This is a typical game for this season and Hoffman was very rightfully fired Monday.
It was the first start of his career and he has played pretty well overall this season. But there is much room for improvement. On the Chargers' second drive, he gave up a catch on a zero route and then missed the tackle for an 11-yard pickup. The drive resulted in a field goal. On the Chargers next scoring drive, he gave up an 8-yard catch and a 4-yard catch on a third and three to keep the drive alive. It ended with the Chargers second touchdown and a 17-7 lead. In the third quarter, he was burnt by Chargers receiver Damorrio Alexander for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Chargers a 24-7 lead. That means he gave up a first down catch or touchdown catch on each of the Chargers three scoring drives.