By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 23rd, 2013 at 12:18 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders based on their performance against the San Diego Chargers in a 26-13 loss. Here are McDonald’s grades and critiques:
Matt McGloin completed 20 of 36 passes for 206 yards with no touchdowns and an extremely costly interception — a ball he couldn’t get over safety Eric Weddle that came after the Raiders had secured an interception of their own. It led to a Chargers field goal. San Diego bottled up Rod Streater (1 catch, 2 yards) and McGloin had his most success going to Andre Holmes (five receptions, 71 yards). McGloin did not get downfield to the extent he has in past games.
Rashad Jennings had 45 yards in 10 carries with a long gain of nine yards. Darren McFadden had four carries, eight yards and did a nice job on a 5-yard touchdown run. In the end, the Raiders were a subpar 3.5 yards per carry and weren’t nearly the operators on the ground as they have been in many games this season. The Raiders had only three rushing first downs, their lowest total since getting three on Sept. 29 against Washington.
Mike Jenkins had an interception off Philip Rivers, who mostly played it safe with 19 completions in 29 attempts for 201 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen. There were defensive holding penalties on Jenkins, Chimdi Chekwa and Tracy Porter. The Raiders were vulnerable on third-down throws, as has been the case the last five games. The pass rush was non-existent, with Jason Hunter getting the lone sack on Rivers. The Raiders at least forced Nick Novak to kick four field goals.
San Diego stayed stubborn with the run even when the passing game looked open and although the Raiders were able to make some stops for losses, San Diego ended with 37 rushes for 148 yards. Ryan Mathews had 99 yards in 25 carries with a long gain of 34 and a 7-yard touchdown run. Danny Woodhead got more consistent yardage in terms of yards per carry with eight carries for 52 yards. San Diego had seven rushing first downs.
Greg Jenkins, who replaced Taiwan Jones (who replaced Jacoby Ford as kickoff returner), lost a kickoff that led to a San Diego field goal. Marquette King hammered the ball high and deep all day long, with a spectacular 54.7 gross and a 47.2 net, although Allen did get loose for a 28-yard punt return. Sebastian Janikowski converted both field-goal attempts from 20 and 42 yards and the Chargers did no damage on kickoff returns.
The Raiders can’t be faulted for their effort, but whether it’s because of the uncertainty surrounding what happens in the offseason, players who are trying too hard or too much youth, they’re simply not capable of doing what it takes to win a game. A third-and-1 deep pass attempt to fullback Jamize Olawale resulted in an incomplete pass and a punt. The Raiders struggled to run but there were no plays for Terrelle Pryor, who has jump-started the running game as a reserve. Too many penalties — a season-high 12 for 64 yards.