Amidst all the bumbling and stumbling in the Raiders season opener versus the Chargers, there was some positives that could be taken from it. After all, it is not often that the loss of a long snapper is the end of the world. It just turned out to cause a one game collapse.
I am not one to make an effort to flip things over to look for the bright side. If it's ugly, it's ugly. None of those "If the Raiders hadn't lost their long snapper, they would've won this game" nonsense. Because that is far from any kind of certainty. There are no moral victories in this game. You either play well enough to win, or you don't.
But with that said, let's put on our sunshine hats and look at the bright side.
Defense: The Raiders defense had been touting how they were a top five caliber defense through much of training camp. Richard Seymour led this effort and his fellow defenders followed. They did pretty well to back up those words on Monday. The Raiders handed the ball to the Chargers in great field position four times and every single time, the Chargers failed to get in the endzone. Their one touchdown was ironically after Shane Lechler's biggest punt of the day (62 yards) with only a four yard return. Not ironically, it was because of penalties that the drive was kept alive. And they even got that under control.
Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer chemistry: The two of them were really enjoying finally taking the field together. McFadden was more than half the Raiders offense. He touched the ball 28 times on Monday and looked as lethal as ever. The Chargers defensive schemes made the Raiders pretty one dimensional which was playing with fire. They dared the Carson Palmer and the Raiders to take the underneath routes all day so the Raiders took them. McFadden has great hands and great speed. One missed tackle on those underneath routes, and he would have been gone. They will need to take down his touches a bit but these two are certainly going to be hooking up a lot.
Key players absent now returning: Denarius Moore, Stefen Wisniewski, and Juron Criner were all healthy enough to go for the Raiders but they didn't play because they hadn't practiced but a week. Wisniewski took more first team reps at center this week and is expected to start. Palmer was under a lot of pressure in the game and having Wisniewski back should help with that. There was also an issue with the receivers not being able to get open downfield in the game. Denarius Moore is the Raiders' primary deep threat and Juron Criner has shown himself to be great with the jump ball. The speed and catching abilities of Moore and the jump ball abilities of Criner would have come in handy on Monday had they been in the game. As it stood, the Raiders didn't score a touchdown until it was too late to make a comeback.