Raiders come up just short against Chargers despite strong effort

By Jerry McDonald

Poised to end a 10-game losing streak, the Raiders fell 31-28 to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday when Brenden Oliver scored on a 1-yard run with 1:56 to play at O.co Coliseum.
Oliver’s score and a 30-yard field goal by Nick Novak erased a 28-21 lead for the Raiders, who fell to 0-5 in a rousing but ultimately unsuccessful debut under interim coach Tony Sparano.
San Diego’s winning drive covered just 39 yards, with Keenan Allen returning a punt 23 yards to the Oakland 39. Oliver had consecutive runs of 12, 10, 6 and finally 1 yard into the teeth of the Oakland defense.
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr threw four touchdown passes for the Raiders, finding Andre Holmes for scores of 77 and 18 yards as well as a 6-yard strike to James Jones and a 47-yard scoring pass to Brice Butler.
Carr completed 18 of 34 passes for 283 yards.
On the Raiders’ second-to-last possession, however, they had a costly three-and-out. After San Diego took the lead for good, Carr’s final throw intended for Butler was intercepted by rookie Jason Verrett at the 5-yard line with 1:13 to play.
San Diego escaped with a 5-1 record, with quarterback Philip Rivers completing 22 of 34 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Oliver carried 26 times for 101 yards.

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Gannon watching all of Raiders practice not long after critical rant

Former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon was highly critical of the Raiders in a recent rant on his radio show. Raiders fullback Marcel Reece implored Gannon to watch a practice before he questioned the team’s leadership, work ethic and commitment.
On Friday, Gannon showed up as soon as the media were permitted access to practice and watched the proceedings. Gannon is part of the crew assigned to broadcast the Raiders game against the Chargers on Sunday.
At one point, Reece and the rest of the running backs went through a drill 30 feet or so away from Gannon. No words were exchanged.
The day after Gannon railed against the Raiders, he said via Twitter that he “lost himself” in his rant. He acknowledged that there are people within the organization that want to win.
Reece was a guest on Gannon’s show earlier in the day, before Gannon went off on the team he played for and guided to a Super Bowl appearance in 2002.
After Reece heard about the rant, he said:
“My question to Rich is, when is the last time Rich actually came to watch us practice and watch the work that we put in? And for Rich to be a guy who people love, Raider fans love him, the organization has showed him a ton of love and he’s talking about the organization that gave him a chance and let him do his thing here and now he’s just bashing us.
“I’m in the business of fixing problems and not causing them. I invite Rich to a practice, come see how myself and my guys work every day, day in and day out and the excellence that we do demand of each other. That’s what I ask him.”

– In on-field news, quarterback Derek Carr is moving around well at practice and showing no obvious signs of the left knee and ankle sprains he suffered against the Dolphins in London.
Linebacker Sio Moore and fullback Marcel Reece also don’t appear limited in any way, which bodes well for their playing Sunday against the Chargers.
The same can’t be said for right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, who isn’t at practice once again. Therefore, it seems almost certain that Menelik Watson will get the nod Sunday.
Beyond that, everyone else appears healthy and ready to go, with the possible exception of cornerback Keith McGill. He wasn’t spotted during the media-access window. We won’t know for sure until coach Tony Sparano speaks with the media later today and the injury report is released.

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