By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — With the losing streak (dating back to last season) reaching 15 games, the Silver & Black will look to end the continuous losing as they head to San Diego for an AFC West battle with the Chargers Sunday. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. PDT.
Oakland (0-9), were demolished at home by the reigning AFC Champion Denver Broncos 41-17 in Week 10. Offensively, the Raiders were in a funk, finishing with 222 total yards and 10 first downs while only managing to convert 5-of-18 (27%) on third down.
Raiders signal caller Derek Carr struggled, completing 30-of-47 passes for 192 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. According to CSNCalifornia.com Raiders Insider, Scott Bair, the coaching staff thought about pulling Carr in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
“I should be out there no matter what, good, bad or ugly,” Carr said. “For a long time, it was ugly. For me, it was really important to continue to finish. I’m all about finishing, so it was really important to me to go out there and finish. I’m glad that they kept their guys in, because I would have been mad if they weren’t. I wanted to go out there and compete one last time and just try and correct the things we’d been trying to correct all game.”
Defensively, Oakland showed a glimmer of hope early in the game forcing two turnovers (both interceptions) off of Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning that helped Oakland take a 10-6 lead in the second quarter. But, it was short-lived.
Manning regrouped and took apart Oakland’s 24th ranked defense, tossing for 340 yards and five touchdowns while completing 31-0f-44 passes.
“They’re looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow and it hasn’t been there,” Oakland’s interim head coach Tony Sparano said after the game. “We have to stay the course and believe in the things that we’re doing and we’re getting better as a football team. I know this is not an indicator of that.”
Sunday won’t get any easier for Oakland, especially against a Chargers team that are coming off an embarrassing 37-0 Week 9 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins in South Florida.
San Diego (5-4), are looking to complete a sweep of the season series over Oakland. The Bolts defeated the Raiders, 31-28 in Oakland on Oct. 12. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
For the season, Rivers has 20 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. It is Rivers’ ninth consecutive season with at least 20 touchdown passes.
Players to Watch
Oakland, LB, Sio Moore. Moore has emerged as one of the few bright spots on a Raiders defense that has been bitten hard by the injury bug. The second-year outside linebacker is tied with teammate Miles Burris for the team lead with 61 tackles. Moore recorded seven tackles in the Week 6 loss to the Chargers.
San Diego, RB, Branden Oliver. Oliver torpedoed the Raiders back in Week 6, rushing for 101 yards on 26 carries including the game-winning one-yard touchdown run with 1:56 left to play.