Raiders look like same old Raiders on Monday Night Football
The Raiders have an extensive history of shooting themselves in the foot with injuries, penalties, and other actions that many would describe as "boneheaded."
Anyone who stayed up until nearly 2:00 a.m. (Eastern) to finish watching the game knows the story in this one - special teams. If you're not a Raider fan, you probably don't know who Jon Condo is, but Raider Nation certainly does. The Raiders signed the Pro Bowl long snapper to a three year deal worth over $3 million, so it's obvious that they value his special teams ability.
When Condo was ruled out with an injury after taking a knee to the head early in the game, I wasn't too concerned for the special teams unit. I figured that every team would have a guy who practiced long snapping during the week, just in case something like this happened. Apparently, the Raiders didn't. Linebacker Travis Goethel, who reportedly does not practice long snapping, was thrown into the game - and he bombed.
The Chargers got the ball in Raiders' territory from the punt team three times, twice due to snaps that looked like ground balls on the baseball diamond, and once due to a blocked punt. While one may be hesitant to blame the blocked punt on the long snapper, the long snapper is the quarterback of punt protection. When there is overload to one side, the long snapper calls out the necessary adjustments to block it. Lechler stated that the block probably wouldn't have happened with Condo recognizing the way the punt block unit was set up.
The Raiders lost by 8 points, and they gave up 9 points off of the backup long snapper's miscues. While that is painfully disappointing, it wasn't the only thing keeping the Raiders from a victory.
When it comes to the most single season penalties of all-time, the Raiders hold six of the top eight spots. This is something that new coach Dennis Allen felt he had to address, and he has. Players have stated that Allen gets annoying about stressing penalties, but when they see the results on the field it's all worth it. For the most part, the Raiders did see good results on the field, only being flagged six times for 35 yards, but it was the situations in which they were penalized that hurt them.
On the Chargers lone touchdown drive of the evening, Raiders defensive tackle and captain Tommy Kelly jumped offsides on a 3rd and 1, and on a 3rd and 4. Those two penalties allowed the Chargers to continue their drive and ultimately score a touchdown, which perhaps the Raiders could have prevented should they have had the chance to force a fourth down on those two plays.