So many problems keep showing themselves for the Raiders that it is really hard to reasonably make sense of them. The one thing Dennis Allen's teams have been known for is a lack of penalties but now even that has gone out the window. It is almost like he is going down the list of things that he has done well now and slowly trying to cross them off one by one.
For the game against the Chargers there were a lot of penalties and not all of them were fair but in the end the Raiders lost because they did not play well enough. The Rod Streater TD catch that was called off for the follow through rule was by far the most frustrating call of the game, but for them to then take almost 4 minutes afterwards to try and score was almost as frustrating.
The Streater play happened at 4:46 and the Raiders final play of the game happened with just 0:59 left on the clock. No matter what the case for the Streater play was, taking that much time off the clock afterwards is not doing your team any favors. There needs to be far more urgency at that time, but the Raiders just did not move quickly. The refs made a controversial call there that felt wrong, but taking that much time off the clock afterwards while trying to score seemed wrong too.
It just seems like Oakland has failed to learn from their mistakes enough this year. There are too many times where they make a mistake over and over again, such as time management where they had screwed up similarly in the NY Jets game just 2 weeks earlier. It is a similar problem as the lack of half time adjustments, if they are learning from these things then they need to apply that knowledge quicker.
Whether this coaching staff will have the chance to apply their knowledge from this season is a hot topic for sure. They are not doing themselves any favors when they play games like they have been to finish this season. This game wasn't embrassing like the Chiefs game was, but it featured things that the coaches had previously been doing well get worse.
This game against the Chargers was very frustrating to watch them lose because they had opportunities to win. They were the inferior team to San Diego but had they not shot themselves in the foot over and over they really did have the chance to steal a victory. In the long run losing is better for the Raiders because of it helping their draft stock, but still this one was wanted really badly for the win column.
Matt McGloin again had moments in the game that were exciting, but it was not enough to insure that he will be the starter in 2014. He has one more game this season to prove that he deserves the confidence to not bring in another strong competitior for the position but is very unlikely that he will be able to stave off that decision. He will have his shot to win the job in training camp next year, and maybe he has enough moxie to do it, but the Raiders will definitely be bringing somebody else in through either the draft or free agency.
How about the people he has to throw to though? Rod Streater and Andre Holmes both have really come on at the end of the year and it is a lot of fun to watch them play. It is important to identify the players that have ability for the team and both Holmes and Streater are true keepers. Mychal Rivera also is showing up big as a 6th round rookie, he had a leaping catch in this one while being blanketed that shows the type of player he has the chance to become. The three of them are all reasons to be excited for next year's team.
Now the Raiders have one game left in order to improve their record from last year and it is against the Denver Broncos so the outlook is not encouraging. The best chance for success next week would have been if the Broncos had nothing to play for but they do have the chance to lock up home field advantage with a win so they will have their starters.
If the Raiders lose and fail to improve their record they will be one of only 2 teams since 2002 to not increase their record from the previous year when they had only won 4 or fewer games. This was an uplifting stat coming into the year as a reason to believe they could improve on their record, now it looks like a daunting task that will just end up being a further negative from a dismal season.
The most exciting thing to come out of this game against the Chargers is that it is over. There is just one more Sunday to this lost season and then we get to move on to being optimistic again for the next season. Though it is hard right now thinking about the current state of the Raiders, in just one week's time the current state will become getting ready for the influx of cap space and the talent.