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No rest for weary winless Raiders with short week

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Say that ten times real fast.

Donald Miralle

It's common for players and coaches to say they've put the last game behind them shortly afterward and moved onto the next one. But in the Raiders' case this week, they have no choice but to move on quickly - they have a game in four days.

Thursday the Chiefs come to town. That means the now 0-10 Raiders are immediately back to work Monday - instead of the usual Wednesday return to work - to begin prepping for that match-up.

It could be for the best, really, that they can't think about Sunday's game too long. A game in which they were at their worst yet again on offense in a 13-6 loss in San Diego. A game which saw the Raiders convert just 3 of 15 third down attempts (20%). A game that, outside of two consecutive rushing plays late in the third quarter, they totaled 34 net yards rushing.

That kind of offensive impotency put a lot of pressure on the defense to continue to trot onto the field and stop the Chargers offense. And they did it too. After the Chargers scored a touchdown on the third play of the game, the Raiders defense held them to six points on three field goal attempts the rest of the day.

As bad as the Raiders offense performed, the Chargers offense really wasn't much better. They also had 15 third down attempts and converted just four of them - one more than the Raiders. That defensive effort was fairly consistent throughout. And to come out of it with another loss makes the thought of going right back to work the next day that much more of a drag.

"Our fight was there all game," said Justin Tuck. "Guys were going fast and trying their best to make plays. It just didn't go our way today. We have three nights until we play one of the best teams in the country. As a man all you can do is prepare your body, prepare your mind, and go out there and play your best."

Last week against the Broncos, Tuck spoke of the big 51-yard touchdown play in the second quarter, saying it "took the wind out of our sails." At the time of that play, the Raiders had a 10-6 lead. And going against a high-powered offense like that was all it took for the defense to lose their edge.

Sunday against the Chargers, they kept their energy up because they were within a score most of the game and the Chargers offense was not doing much.

Thursday against the Chiefs will be closer to what they faced against Denver. The Chiefs just beat the Seahawks 24-20 with Jamaal Charles putting up 159 yards on the ground and two touchdowns and took a share of the AFC West lead with a 7-3 record.

No matter. Hope you had a good night's sleep, fellas. Back to work.