Raiders’ silent blight

first_imgOAKLAND – As Chargers defensive end DeQuincy Scott celebrated one last sack of Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins as time ran out, it was so quiet at MacAfee Mausoleum – er, Coliseum – you could hear a foot stomp. In this case, the right one belonging to Scott. For all the noise the Raiders generated with their offseason acquisitions of Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan, the only other sounds echoing through the stadium after Sunday’s 27-14 listless loss to San Diego were the familiar ones of wagons circling. The line may have already started. With two weeks to prepare for such a critical game, the Raiders showed the backbone of a jellyfish. When Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson caught a pass down the sideline – without a defender within 10 yards – and cruised into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown less than eight minutes into the game, it was enough to crumple the Raiders. “I think the swing pass to L.T. took the air out of some of the guys,” said linebacker Danny Clark, who watched Tomlinson run right by him. “We weren’t able to rebound.” The Chargers scored on their next three possessions. At the middle of the onslaught was Tomlinson, who has rushed for 153, 187, 164 and Sunday’s 140 yards in his last four trips in Oakland. Tomlinson was touched only on his shoetops on a 7-yard touchdown run and, after being stuffed on two running plays, took a handoff from Drew Brees and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Justin Peelle to put San Diego up, 24-7, with 2:39 left in the half. That’s when Raiders coach Norv Turner ran up the white flag. With the Chargers facing second-and-8 at their own 10-yard line, there was no timeout called after Tomlinson gained four yards. When Tomlinson was stopped short of the first down, the Raiders used a timeout but there were only 10 seconds left. “Go ask Norv,” Woodson said when asked for explanations. Even when the Chargers extended an invitation back in the game in the fourth quarter, the Raiders failed to oblige. When punter Mike Scifres dribbled the snap on his own goal line, he had plenty of time to pick it up because the Raiders didn’t rush anyone. There were few explanations from Turner, who mumbled his way through the postgame news conference. There was none from Moss. He left the game in the first quarter with a groin and rib injury, never returned to the sidelines in the second half and was out of the locker room by the time it was opened to reporters. Meanwhile, the Chargers had every reason to say no mas. Six days removed from the discouragement of their third last-second loss, their offensive line had lost two reserves – right tackle Leander Jordan and left guard Kris Dielman. Kick returner Darren Sproles was also out. Then again, they had Marty Schottenheimer, who is 24-7 against the Raiders, including winning the past four. No coach has beaten the Raiders more often. Linebacker Donnie Edwards, who also played under Schottenheimer in Kansas City, said he emphasizes enthusiasm against the Raiders. Others were more direct. “He hates the Raiders,” Chargers safety Terrence Kiel said. “It was something he talked about (Saturday) night. The Raiders don’t respect anybody.” These days the feeling appears to be mutual. Billy Witz covers the NFL for the Daily News. He can be reached at (818) 713-3621 or [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week It seems the Raiders will have to do it alone. The game was blacked out for the first time this season and large swaths of seats in the upper deck were empty, leaving the stadium well short of the 52,666 paid attendance. Those who bothered to boo, did so just like the Raiders played – halfheartedly. “If it’s people on the outside you lose, that happens,” said Raiders special teams player Jarrod Cooper. “If it happens inside, you’ve got problems.” To that end, before the coaches entered the locker room after the game, one veteran stood up before the team, according to Cooper, and admonished his teammates not to turn on each other, as has happened the last two seasons. Cooper wouldn’t identify the player. “Any time you have a losing record, it’s a topic amongst teammates,” Cooper said. “Before a word came out of anyone’s mouth, somebody brought it up. If you lose your family, you’re done. But there’s not one person here is cashing out. If they have, they can get the (expletive) out of here.” center_img The Raiders now sit at 1-4 in a season that, even before the clocks are turned back, is beginning to look like last year and the one before that. Since reaching the Super Bowl three years ago, Oakland is 10-27. “It’s away from us right now,” cornerback Charles Woodson said of the season. “We have to find a way to run it down.” last_img

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