San Diego Chargers Bolt Past Oakland Raiders for 22-14 Win
The Oakland Raiders lost 22-14 to the San Diego Chargers to close out the NFL's Monday Night Football doubleheader, but they still managed to teach us one crucial, and obscure, lesson: Long snappers are important.
Examples of this are rare, but an injury to Oakland's two-time Pro Bowler Jon Condo made that abundantly clear.
After coming on as Condo's replacement, Travis Goethel skipped his first snap to Shane Lechler. The veteran punter was tackled, and the Chargers eventually cashed in the mishap for three points.
Chargers tight end Dante Rosario blocked San Diego's next punt attempt, despite a solid snap from Goethel. But the replacement snapper wasn't done making mistakes. He practically rolled his third snap attempt to Lechler, forcing the punter to abort another punt. Check it out:
With Ryan Mathews inactive, Philip Rivers threw the ball 33 times for 231 yards and one touchdown. He hooked up with Malcom Floyd late in the second quarter, but that's the only touchdown we would see Monday evening from the Chargers.
The Chargers substituted swing passes and screens for their traditional run game in Mathews' absence. They only ran the ball 20 times, and no ball-carrier cleared 20 yards on the ground.
If San Diego's offense was disappointing, Oakland's attack was just bad. Carson Palmer didn't have Jacoby Ford or Denarius Moore to throw to, and it was obvious.
Palmer managed to complete 32 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown, but he relied on running back Darren McFadden as his primary receiver. McFadden had 13 catches for 86 yards on top of his disappointing 32-yard rush total.
Which defense was more impressive?
The game was a combination of mediocre offense and tenacious defense. The Raiders controlled the trenches, but Rivers' arm provided just enough to lead his team to victory.
Oakland had a chance after Streater's score, but Sebastian Janikowski's onside kick was recovered by Chargers rookie Melvin Ingram to seal the win for the visiting team.
San Diego's defense kept big plays to a minimum, and Nate Kaeding's leg capitalized on Oakland's mishaps for five critical field goals.
A win is a win if you're Norv Turner and the Chargers. They failed to take full advantage of Goethel's poor snaps, but their defense picked up the slack.
Each of these teams has work to do moving forward.
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