The Oakland Raiders finally got their season under way, beginning a new era in Raider football. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it was not the beginning they were hoping for. The Raiders struggled mightily in their Monday Night Football loss to the San Diego Chargers. While the score was close, 22-14, the game was not. The Raiders looked out played, out coached and out classed in almost every facet of the game. Some may point to the fact that the Raiders were missing two of their top three wide receivers, but that is not an excuse to play the way they did. The Raiders simply did not look ready, and after the first quarter, were playing like a team who was still learning the rules of they game. After a game like that, the grades are just not pretty.
Offense: The Raiders offense looked about as predictable as you can get. Being without Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford meant that Darren McFadden had to have a big night. Unfortunately, the Raiders' offensive coordinator bought a little too much into that idea as the Raiders went to McFadden far too often, making it easy for the Chargers defense to shut down the Raiders offense. It is early, but the unimaginitive way the game was called is not reason to hope for good things on offense this season.
Defense: The Raiders defense was the ONLY positive to be taken away from the loss on Monday. The offense and special teams routinely gave up the ball with great field position for the Chargers. This was a game that easily could have gotten out of hand and been a big time blow out. The only reason it did not is because the Raiders defense was able to hold the Chargers primarily to field goals.
Special Teams: Easily the worst part of the night. The Raider special teams gave up big time kick returns, were unable to do anything in the return game, and was horrific in the punt game, having one blocked and two bad snaps that resulted in turnovers. Again, there were reasons for that, the Raiders' long snapper was injured and the Raiders were forced to use back up linebacker Travis Goethel as the long snapper. However, excuses are still excuses and that kind of play is still unacceptable.
Coaching: The Raiders coaching staff did not have a good night. While the defense did well considering the situation they were put in, the other two aspects of the game were pathetic. The offense showed no creativity and made no effort to adjust throughout the game as it became clear they were not able to put points on the board. The special teams coach should be fired, plain and simple.