Three quick takeaways from Raiders' 26-10 loss to Chargers


Three quick takeaways from Raiders' 26-10 loss to Chargers


CARSON -- The Raiders finally won a game last week. It was a nail biter for sure when the Raiders finally finished strong.

Turns out that game was an individual entity, not something that kick-started a season turnaround.

The encore might’ve been the Raiders’ worst performance to date, and eventually became a 26-10 loss to the Chargers on Sunday at StubHub Center.

The Raiders proved deficient in every phase, and were flat beat by a good Chargers team.

Here are three quick takeaways from this result:

Blown out by the better team

The Raiders played four close games with only one victory to show for it. They hung tough against all comers, including a Rams team that is a bonafide juggernaut. They blew second-half leads in each one but struggled to finish strong.

That wasn’t the case Sunday. The Raiders were blown out by a superior team and couldn't bridge the talent gap clear in most contests.

The Raiders went down 20-3 late in the third quarter, dominated on most fronts by an explosive offense and a defense making do without Joey Bosa.

The season’s in peril -- not that expectations were high to begin with -- at 1-4 with a trip to London next week. Things could get worse before they get better, especially if the Raiders keep making similar mistakes from week to week.

Big plays still a big problem

Allowing plays of 20 yards or more have plagued the Raiders all season. They cost the Raiders a win in Denver and again in Miami, and they made last week's Browns showdown close well into overtime.

That has frustrated defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to no end, and he has vowed to fix the problem. One issue: He might not have enough defensive talent to stem the tide.

He definitely doesn’t have enough speed on the second level to prevent significant yards after the catch. The Silver and Black gave up three 20-plus plays in the first half alone, with countless chunk plays that didn't quite reach the mark.

The defense can be effective at times, forcing three-and-outs on a regular basis. Lapses have proven costly, and make life hard on the Raiders' offense.

Ill-timed turnovers

The Raiders were down 17 points in the third quarter, but they used a nice length-of-the-field drive to set up an ideal scoring chance. They had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line -- and chose a play-action pass that was intercepted.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has thrown three interceptions in the end zone over the first five games. That’s as costly as it gets, and his latest red-zone pick put this game to sleep at the start of the fourth quarter.

Carr’s throw was ill advised. There’s no doubt about that. Lee Smith was the primary target and never opened up, so Carr threw across his body for Derek Carrier, who was covered well. He never saw Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram, who easily picked off the pass.

Mistakes happen. That one was on Carr. But one has to wonder why Marshawn Lynch doesn’t get the football three times from the 1-yard line. The veteran running back was visibly upset after the turnover, faking to throw his helmet after the play.

Carr now has thrown picks in the end zone against the Rams, Dolphins and Chargers, which hurts a Raiders team that can’t afford mistakes like that.

Why Raiders might wade back into NFL trade market with rumors swirling

Why Raiders might wade back into NFL trade market with rumors swirling

ALAMEDA – The Raiders continue making roster moves throughout the season. The latest came Tuesday, when veteran middle linebacker Derrick Johnson was formally released.

There could be more alterations on the horizons as the Raiders try to improve.

“There’s going to continue to be roster changes, certainly, on every team in the league,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “That’s just the way the league is. Players get hurt. We’ll see what the medical report is when we return from the bye and we’ll go from there.”

Injuries certainly necessitate change. That’s how defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Clinton McDonald ended up on the roster. Justin Ellis went on injured and P.J. Hall was lost a few weeks, creating vacancies filled by guys who stuck.

That’s one way rosters change. The others? Performance or preferred compensation.

We’ll explore the latter in this post.

Jay Glazer reported Sunday on the Fox pregame show that the Raiders are shopping former first-round picks Amari Cooper and Karl Joseph in trades.

Other media outlets, including one prominent site, have thrown other names out there, assuming the Raiders are willing to part with anyone after a 1-5 start. We won’t repeat unsubstantiated names, or those associated with conditionals like “could” or “might.”

Generally speaking, it will be interesting to see how involved the Raiders are moving parts before the Oct. 30 NFL trade deadline. Trading Cooper especially would show the Raiders are clearing the deck for future picks and salary-cap freedom. Cooper should demand significant salary in his second contract, which could be extended this offseason or after he plays on a fifth-year option. Cooper has been inconsistent, making it tougher to pay him top dollar.

Joseph was the No. 4 safety before hurting his hamstring a few weeks back, so getting something for someone not high on the depth chart might be worth it to brass.

Glazer reports in The Athletic that the Raiders are looking for a first-round pick for Cooper, but would have a market for the dynamic talent should the price drop some. The Alabama product is working the through the concussion protocol, meaning he wouldn’t get dealt until he is cleared.

Gruden was asked about shopping Cooper after a 27-3 loss to Seattle on Sunday, during which the receiver was concussed.

”I don't know. I haven't heard that. I'm not -- I'm not -- you know, I'm just sorry to have to deal with a lot of these reports,” Gruden said. “I just hope Amari is okay. Like I said, he's going to be a big part of our pass offense and we'll see what happens here. Hopefully he's all right.”

Glazer reports “decent compensation” is being demanded for Joseph, though a market hasn’t really developed.

There are other short-term veterans who could get moved, even in a league where deadline trades aren’t terribly common.

The Raiders are on the prowl for upgrades now or, more likely, in the future. It’s possible they could part with a player of pedigree to acquire them.

Source: Raiders fined $20,000 for violating NFL injury report rule


Source: Raiders fined $20,000 for violating NFL injury report rule

The Raiders designated left guard Kelechi Osemele as questionable the Friday before a Week 5 contest against the L.A. Chargers with a knee injury. 

The Pro Bowl lineman then didn’t make the Saturday trip to Los Angeles with his team, leaving no chance he would play that Sunday at StubHub! Center. 

The Raiders didn’t downgrade his status, however, and that's a violation of NFL rules on injury disclosure. They were fined $20,000 by the NFL for that misstep, a source confirmed Thursday. 

A questionable player’s status often is determined the day before the game or in pregame warm-ups, but Osemele’s status was clear when he didn’t get on the plane. He should’ve been downgraded to out Saturday afternoon, per NFL rules.