When it came down to the wire Sunday, the Oakland Raiders appeared to get bolted by the officials. That still won’t change the final score.
Visiting Oakland lost to the San Diego Chargers 13-6 though a replay showed that they should have been allowed one more attempt down the field to score.
It would have been a longshot, though, with 59 yards to go on a single play.
Second-year running back Latavius Murray saved the day, with 41 yards on four attempts and three receptions for 16 yards.
The defense kept San Diego’s potent offense honest, with five tackles for a loss and two sacks. Rookie Khalil Mack got in on the party, his first career sack coming late in the fourth quarter and two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
In the end, though, it wasn’t enough. Head coach Tony Sparano said:
“Just our inefficiency to string drives together. … We didn’t start the game well running the football. There was a lot of pressure early, which is exactly what they did to us the last time.”
The last time the two teams met, in Week 6, San Diego won by a slim 31-28 margin, in another game that came down to a deep pass to Andre Holmes.
Derek Carr threw for 172 yards with 16 completions on 34 attempts. Six of those attempts were intended for Holmes, including the final Hail Mary, though only two were caught.
That’s been the story all season for the Raiders offense, and something center Stefen Wisniewski elaborated on:
“Inconsistency is probably the best answer. Second half we were running the ball alright, but first half, we didn’t at all. It’s really a lot of self-inflicted areas I think, It’s just a different thing every time, a different guy every time. You got to have 11 guys executing their jobs or it’s not going to work. It’s the NFL, you can’t have one breakdown. I really think that’s what has been getting us.”
Now officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Raiders are still looking for their first win. Kansas City visits Oakland Thursday at 5:25 p.m.