Yes,it's disappointing and frustrating to only score 9 points against a winless team but it's not unusual at all. There have been a lot of games like this for teams throughout the history of the NFL and AFL. It just happens.
The fact that the Raiders should have played better is a broken record by now. None of us have any memory cells left for the number of locker room quotes from players saying the same thing.
There is no question this was the biggest failed opportunity to show some respectability by achieving a .500 record, winning back to back games and one upping their Bay Area rival. Putting ourselves in better position within the division would have been nice too but this is the Raiders we're talking about so really, is a bad loss that unexpected?
Let's review some facts:
1. The Raiders did not play great when they beat the Chargers. They had a few big plays that don't happen regularly for any team (two blocked punts resulting in TDs and an interception for a TD late in the game as a result of hitting the QB's throwing arm). That's 21 points. Without these big plays the Raiders did not appear to have enough offensively to beat Phillip Rivers and his passing game.
Not all teams choke on horrendous special teams play. There was nothing overpowering about those blocked punts. There was no blocking on the Chargers OL period. If you think the Raiders should be dominant on special teams why was that the only success getting to a kicker they have enjoyed thus far this season?
Ya think it comes down to a Chargers deficiency more than a Raiders strength?
The much maligned Michael Huff made a great play to seal the win against the Chargers. He doesn't do that often. The defense did not do anything great to win that game otherwise. Typical up and down, decent but prone to giving up the big play and massive chunks of yards.
3. Gradkowski is not a great QB. He's not an answer at QB. He's average and he's reckless. That's why he did not make the Bucs roster, the Rams roster and the Browns roster. That's why he's injured and that's why he was injured in the off-season. How many QBs tear a pectoral muscle in the weight room? How many QBs take hits from defenders past the line of scrimmage? The guy needs to get a grip, lay off the sugary snacks and stay within his means.
5. DHB and Louis Murphy are decent at times but they are not going to carry a team's receiving game. The fact that those two guys play every down and the offense is reliant on them for big plays shows we're not going to score a lot of points. Zach Miller is going to get a few touches and make the most of them but he's just one guy. That's not enough. There's a weak receiving game in Oakland.
6. Bush can't carry the running game by himself. McFadden is needed at his best and he's predictably injured right now.
Let's not even review the previous games this season. The point is clear. The Raiders are not a good team. They are ok sometimes but they need a lot of help. Help in the form of the other team to hand them the game. It didn't happen against the Niners.
So why is it a surprise when they can't score a touchdown in a game? That really surprises you?