Is there a team in the entire NFL more snakebitten than the Raiders? Literally from the very first play, the offense played like they knew they were doomed. Derek Carr fumbled what must have been a flubbed snap from Stefen Wisniewski, and of course the Chargers fell right on it, scoring an easy touchdown just a couple of plays later.
Another solid defensive effort turns out to be all for naught, as the offense continues to struggle. A glimmer of hope came late in the game, as Latavius Murray finally got a few carries, including one for 23 yards, incredibly the longest by a Raiders running back this season (Derek Carr had a run for 41 yards against Houston in Week 2). It’s a safe bet that the entire Nation hopes that Tony Sparano and Greg Olson see the spark Murray provides, and either start him or at least work him more into the offense against the Chiefs on Thursday. Murray has been a subpar kickoff returner, but clearly brought something to the running game in his four carries (for 43 yards total) that McFadden (8-21) and Jones-Drew (4-6) continue to lack.
Third-down conversions are improving for the defense (San Diego converted only 4 of 15), but are worse for the offense (3 for 15). Between the non-existent run game and the inability to sustain drives, Marquette King has to punt 9 times yet again, and the time of possession is barely 25 minutes for this game. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the team will not win until those things improve; Derek Carr can throw for 500 yards, but unless he finds the end zone and the run game develops as well, it won’t matter.