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

The late Monday night game showcasing the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers was probably missed by fans of either team who reside on the East Coast as the contest ended after one in the morning. 

That was probably for the best as Oakland lost what looked to be a battle of ineptitude 22-14.

Early risers might have been fooled initially by the final score into thinking it was a close game, but don't be mistaken, this was an ugly one overall for both sides.

Despite the lack of entertainment value, one player stood out as the hero of the game.

That man would be Raiders' quarterback Carson Palmer.

For all the questions surrounding him, his age, his injuries, the conspicuous absence of offensive firepower and the apparent determination of some of his teammates to hand over the game, Palmer managed to keep the Raiders in it until the bitter end with his 297 yards and one touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.

Even a collapsing offensive line as the clock wound down didn't seem to faze Palmer as he continued to throw touch passes that Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady would have been envious of. 

Alas, if only he had receivers who could make leaping, acrobatic catches. Alternatively, Palmer probably would have been happy with receivers who could just catch the ball, but it wasn't to be.

On the other side of the coin, not many fans would point to their team's long-snapper as the player behind their team's defeat, but silver and black die-hards can place blame squarely on the shoulders of Raiders' backup long-snapper Travis Goethel. 

Goethel can most definitely claim the title of zero for this particular match-up.

After a possible concussion took Oakland's Pro Bowl long-snapper Jon Condo out, Goethel's two subsequent ground ball snaps and a missed communication on another punt led to three botches and excellent San Diego field position.

To the credit of the Raiders' defense, the Chargers could only convert the muffed punts into field goals A total of nine points. The Raiders lost by eight, so the math equals an Oakland win without the special teams slapstick.

Lets hope the Raiders get Condo back soon, and in the interim have Goethel doing nothing but practicing snaps.



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