Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/11/12

It's not your fault, man.  It's not your fault.

I blame Travis Goethel.

The Raiders were fighting it out with the Chargers when Jon Condo, their long snapper (who made the Pro Bowl last year), went out with a head injury.  The Raiders don't have an officially designated backup long snapper, so backup middle linebacker Travis Goethel was chosen for the task.

The ESPN broadcasters mentioned that Goethel had not been a long snapper since he was in high school, and could be a little rusty.

The first snap simply rolled along the ground.  Shane Lechler, former high school star quarterback and all-time career punting average leader (47.3 yards per punt), tried to pick it up and punt it.  By the time Lechler gathered up the ball, he had a Charger in his face, and wisely just protected the ball and gained as many yards as he could.

So with 8:43 in the third quarter, the Chargers got the ball on the Oakland 39 yard line.  They would gain 29 yards on 7 plays, and kick a field goal.

Oakland would go three and out, and attempt another punt.  This snap came back cleanly, but Dante Rosario would come through the line untouched to block the punt.

So with 2:31 in the third quarter, the Chargers would get the ball at the Oakland eight yard line.  They would gain seven yards on four plays, and kick a field goal.

Side note: I had Nate Kaeding playing against a 22 point lead in one of my fantasy leagues.  I had assumed it was over, but at this point in the game I sat up and pulled up the score.  It was close, but Kaeding got to 18 points in that league and didn't get another kick.

The third punt worked out fine, but after San Diego put up yet another field goal and the Raiders responded with yet another stalled drive, Goethel would roll another snap, and Lechler would not be able to bring this one in (although one of his blockers would get it)l.  This led to another short Chargers drive that would end with a field goal.

So, the count stands at 9 points handed to the Chargers because of the long snap issues.

The final score of the game was 22-14 (Palmer would lead an 80 yard drive for a touchdown and convert the two point attempt).

Such a small part of the game, yet it caused the loss.

Any bets on whether or not the Raiders set aside some practice time for a backup long snapper?

The author expected to miss this game, but got off work early.  You can make fun of him drafting Kaeding because he forgot that Nick Novak was still on the Chargers' roster on Twitter (@RGDSports) and Facebook (RGDSports@yahoo.com).  You can also apply for the cookie he will give you if you can name the team on his hat.



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