Sunday the Raiders will face the Chargers for the second time this season. Last time was week five in Los Angeles in a game the Raiders had basically lost by halftime and quickly turned into a blowout.
The Chargers were up 17-3 at the half over the Raiders. And by the start of the 4th quarter, that lead had moved to 26-3. It was over well before the clock officially ran out. Just like their next game in London against the Seahawks which they lost 24-3 or last week in Santa Clara against the 49ers which they lost 34-3.
By all accounts those losses to the Seahawks and 49ers were brutal, devastating losses. Yet, Gruden sees something positive in the loss to the Chargers.
“We liked what we did the last time,” Gruden said of the Raiders previous performance against the Chargers. Though the only positive he seems to have been able to take from it is “we competed hard,” something he said even after last week’s Battle of the Bay massacre was not an issue for this team.
Instead Gruden went long on the things that went wrong. For which there were many, leaving very little to like about the performance.
“Obviously, they had a couple of big plays offensively,” Gruden continued. “They were able to sustain drives. I think we only had three possessions in the entire second half. Obviously a bad call by me on first-and-goal at the 1 [-yard line]. We had two false starts on third-and-2. We had a false start on first-and-goal at the 5. We had some critical errors that are inexcusable that really hurt us, but we competed hard. We played some good football against the Chargers.”
I feel like that Futurama squinting meme trying to find where Raiders played good football against the Chargers the first time they faced off this season.
Derek Carr was sacked 3 times. Which I guess is not as bad as the 7 times he was sacked against the 49ers or the 6 times he was sacked against the Seahawks. So there’s that.
The only touchdown they scored came after the game was out of hand. That drive represented 6 completions for 76 yards and a TD pass for Carr. Without that garbage time drive, Carr’s numbers would have been 18 for 26 for 192 yards and 1 Int.
Another four completions for 55 of Carr’s passing yards came on the Raiders’ previous drive with the team already down 20-3. That drive ended with Carr throwing an interception to Melvin Ingram in the end zone on first and goal at the one-yard line. That’s the play Gruden was referring to where the ball should’ve gone to Marshawn Lynch. Or, as Gruden said at the time, Carr shouldn’t have thrown it. Either way, not good times.
The defense did what the defense has done all season. Nothing. Melvin Gordon had over 100 yards from scrimmage, and the running backs had 179 yards and Philip Rivers threw for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. He had just five incompletions in the game.
Starting midway through the second quarter, the Chargers scored on each of their final five possessions. Over that same period, the Raiders possessions went punt, punt, fumble, missed field goal, punt, interception.
Even as good as the Chargers have been this season, there’s really nothing I can see that would suggest anything positive could be taken from the previous loss to the Chargers. Hard to see why anyone would even try to sugarcoat it.
To suggest that was “good football” is a pretty sure sign for how far down the bar has been lowered.