Six years and counting.
13 straight losses with no end in sight.
You can set your watch to this rivalry. About the only things guaranteed in Oakland these days are losses to the Chargers and smear campaigns by ESPN.
The Raider put forth one of their better efforts of 2009. Still, it was not enough as the Silver and Black came up short in a 24-16 loss, their 6th of the season. Another streak is also within sight for Tom Cable’s Raiders. With just two wins in eight games, this franchise is well on its way to yet another year of 11 losses or more.
Though the season is far from over, it is going to take a complete turnaround if Cable is going to snap the most wretched six – going on 7 – year stretch in the history of pro football.
This game went according to plan as if it was scripted.
Like clockwork, JaMarcus Russell threw a first quarter interception. That pick turned into six points on the board thanks to a 53-yard completion to Malcolm Floyd and eventually a TD run by you know who (L.T.).
Another given is that Justin Fargas was going to abuse the Chargers. The most consistent performer for the Raiders not named Nnamdi converted a San Diego turnover into six points. It would be the only time the Raiders found the end zone and the first time in just over 9 quarters of football. At that point, it appeared that the game was on.
Of course, the truth was that the game was over.
Another L.T. TD, a few more three-and-outs from the Russell led offense and three more Sebastian Janikowski field goals kept the game within reach.
With a chance to tie the game late, the Raiders melted down at the most inopportune time. Just as they let victory slide through their grips in the first installment of this series in ’09, the Raiders were left wanting again against the Bolts.
With the game on the line, Russell led a drive that moved backwards after reaching mid field. Thanks to yet another JaMarcus special (a fumble) and Khalif Barnes doing his best Cornell Green (false start), the drive ended before it ever got started. For good measure, Johnnie Lee Higgins and Louis Murphy did the work for the Chargers as the two young receivers ran into one another, taking two targets away from their young QB.
The next time you the see Raiders, they’ll be trying to end another streak. This one is a turf war in which the Kansas City Chiefs will try to notch their 7th consecutive victory in Oakland. Cable and company will have a week to dwell on this loss as the Raiders will enter their bye week having posted a 2-6 mark in the first half of the season.
There were plenty of bright points in this game but the result is the only thing that matters. With efforts like this, more wins will come. The problem has been getting these types of performances consistently. The defense was stout. The special teams played its best game of the year. Once again the offense left much to be desired as drive after drive stalled.
At some point, things have to change in the East Bay. Right?
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