Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 9/11/12

SAN DIEGO (22) d OAKLAND (14)

The Headline: Chargers win the battle of who is the least incompetent.

The Story:

Every year that second game in the Monday night double header is always a brutal thing to sit through. Last year’s Broncos-Raiders game had fans suffering through a barrage of flags by the officials and this year we had a mistake-filled game where the Raiders had some ridiculously simple errors. When long snapper John Condo went out with a head injury (from his own teammate) his replacement Travis Goethel began what no doubt was the worst night of his career. After a shaky ground ball on one punt which prevented Shane Lechler getting a kick off, he appeared to get the next one right however Dante Rosario burst through the blockers and got his hands on the kick, then just for good measure he had another poor snap which rolled to Lechler. Let’s be honest here, in the NFL a backup long snapper is not really someone worth keeping a roster spot for but you can’t help but notice when they screw up if they ever get called into duty

While Goethel will dominate the headlines something must be done about the Raiders attack which looked impotent and clueless, especially without two of its bigger threats in Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Darren McFadden took over the workhorse role rushing 15 times and leading the Raiders with 13 catches (the next best total was Brandon Myers with 5 catches) however he was bottled up by the Chargers who seemed determined to not let him do anything. When the Chargers had the ball they looked in control throwing the ball but similarly inept running the ball as the replacement crew tried to duplicate Ryan Matthews production. There were plenty of encouraging signs for the Chargers however they will no doubt face sterner tests during the season.

Key Stat: San Diego, 0 Turnovers

When your opponent is struggling to produce anything offensively the Chargers just needed to not do anything stupid and we got to see a nice, measured performance where they didn’t give the Raiders a chance to gain any momentum back.

Key Play: Nate Kaeding 19 yard field goal to make it 16-6

In his return from tearing an ACL in last season’s opener, Nate Kaeding made 5 field goals on the night and played a key role in the Chargers win converting on the great field position from the Raiders miscues. This kick was especially important as it put the Chargers out to a two score lead that looked pretty safe given the performance of their defense to that point.

Man of the Match: Nate Kaeding

5/5 Field Goals (23, 28, 19, 41, 45), 1 XP.

Short of giving it to the Raiders backup long snapper who played the biggest role in the Chargers winning the game, the man of the match award has to go to Chargers kicker who, as mentioned earlier was playing in his first game post-ACL tear and coming back from that in a job where your leg is your livelihood deserves some credit.


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