Oakland Raiders: Takeaways from 31-28 loss to the the Chargers


The Oakland Raiders came back from the bye week ready to face the San Diego Chargers in what was a memorable AFC West shootout. Unfortunately, the Raiders came up short losing by three points in a 31-28 final despite four TD’s from Derek Carr. Some people put the blame on the 4th quarter interception thrown by Derek Carr. Others blame the missed field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. There were more mistakes in this game. Penalties, missed tackles, and dropped balls cost the Raiders a real shot at winning this game. The offense has gotten much better and Derek Carr is taking control of this team. What we saw from the Raiders was a good fight and that is a good sign towards the future of this team.

Here are my takeaways from the game.

Derek Carr is taking control

I liked what I saw from the Carr today. He was not afraid to throw the ball down the field. He challenged Brandon Flowers until he got hurt. He pumped up his team and the crowd. Carr ended the game 18 of 34 for 282 yards with 4 touchdown passes and 1 interception. There are positives from that interception. No mistake made is made in vain if you learn from it. Carr has shown that he can learn from his mistakes and get better. It also shows that he wants to win. Carr could have handed the ball off to McFadden and got the first down. Instead he took a shot down the field at Brice Butler who could have caught the ball. Carr wasn’t going for the 1st down, he was going for the win. It may have been a rookie mistake, but it sure was a bold move.

Receivers need to catch the ball.

There were way too many drops. There is no reason that these very capable receivers should be dropping catchable balls. This is one area the Raiders need to focus on. Just as well as they could go out and look for better receivers, they can also coach the present receivers to catch. Almost all the balls that were dropped were easy throws. They need to get better.

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The Raiders are constantly shooting themselves in the foot. Today, the Raiders had 11 penalties for 79 yards. Many of them were stupid mistakes that could have been prevented. The Raiders need to make this a point of emphasis, especially when the referees are calling more penalties this season. The rookies need to understand what they can and can not do. This team can not afford to wipe away or give away first downs.

Defense needs to step up

I am completely fed up with this Raider defense. There were way too many missed tackles. They constantly let the Chargers breeze down the field and score. They are not getting off the field on third down. They are not holding them in the redzone. There was no pass rush and there was no pressure on the quarterback. Phillip Rivers had all day to throw. The secondary was terrible. Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers were getting burned down the field numerous times. The Raiders spent a lot of money on this defense and I have yet to see much productivity. These veterans know how to win and they need to transfer that onto the field or they will be the next ones to go. On the positive side, T.J. Carrie played well in the conerback position, almost coming up with an interception. Khalil Mack also looked good.

New attitude of the team

I don’t know if it was the new head coach, rest during the bye, or humiliation in the UK but something put a spark in this team, mostly the offense. There was some fight in this team. It  was a hard-fought game. At one point, the Raiders could have won this game. I hope to see this fight in the rest of the games this season. If the Raiders can stand up to one of the best teams in the league at the moment, this season won’t be completely lost.