In their second game versus their division rivals, the Oakland Raiders fell to the LA Chargers, 20-6. Unlike the first outing, the Raiders played with more fire and emotion. In addition, the defense looked markedly better. With the loss, the Raiders fell to 1-8. With seven games remaining, this game serves as a reminder that better days need to arrive. Although Oakland played better defensively, this team still requires massive upgrades.
In 2018, Derek Carr became an accurate passer. Under Gruden, Carr cut down on the floating deep balls. Instead, he chooses the safe confines of the Gruden offense. In this game, he continued the path of least resistance (24/37, 243 yards). With the Chargers still missing Joey Bosa, Carr still faced pressure In all honesty, his blocking let him down
Again, with Marshawn Lynch sidelined with an injury, few expect anything from Doug Martin and Jalen Richard. Yet, the combination managed 68 yards on 18 carries. In the passing game, they totaled eight catches for 83 yards. In a seemingly meaningless game, these two sparked an otherwise dim and dismal offense.
With the revolving door at end, the Raiders looked typically poor versus the pass. As a result, perennial nemesis Philip Rivers tallied 222 yards versus the Raiders. The pass rush cannot get home consistently. Meanwhile, rookie DT Mo Hurst continues to impress. Hurst dropped Rivers for the only sack of the game. Arden Key and the other ends mustered very little across the board.
Karl Joseph finally saw extended playing time. In return, he notched six tackles and provided the crowd an ahh with a devastating hit. Finally, Paul Guenther decided to deploy Joseph. If you watch Joseph’s approach, he plays with nothing to lose. With the roster’s future in limbo, Joseph can relax and focus solely on the job
Like most 2018 games, this felt like a glorified preseason game. As the Raiders search for talent via free agency and the draft, this game provides another stark reminder of impending change. Despite a few skirmishes, you can see little fight from this team. On the other hand, Kolton Miller and Mo Hurst allow fans to look at the future with actual optimism
With the Raiders plodding through 2018, they will encounter the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards look like they are in the midst of an overhaul as well. Although not pretty, this game represents another chance for the Oakland Raiders to win their second game.