Stephen Ellison

Raiders Finish on Low Note With Blowout Loss to Chargers

CARSON – Melvin Gordon slashed through the Raiders defensive front and into the second level. Safety Reggie Nelson, met the Chargers running back, reached in and pulled the ball out. It hung in the air a moment, before Keenan Allen snatched it at a full sprint and ran into the end zone.

A promising play went down in flames. Sounds a lot like the Raiders season, which mercifully ended with Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Chargers at StubHub Center.

So much optimism, so hope went unfulfilled on Sunday, and over the last 17 weeks. A team expected to challenge for AFC supremacy finished an uninspired 6-10 and, after last year’s step forward, the Raiders have taken giant leaps back.

All Things Silver and Black: Oakland Raiders 2017-2018 Season Highlights

There’ll be hell to pay for that.

Heads are gonna roll from the roster and coaching staff. At this stage it’s a matter of who and when, not if. And, of course, whether Jon Gruden becomes available.

This game was prelude to all that. We could go into greater detail about this latest defeat but, honestly now, how much do you care about Sunday’s action?

Not much, I’m sure.

No jobs were saved. None were lost those four quarters. Owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie will evaluate an entire season’s body of work. Sunday’s game is but one piece of a larger puzzle.

Coaches should know their fate soon. Players without guaranteed contracts in 2018 may have to wait a little longer, but it’s fair to expect a shakeup on the depth chart as the Raiders look for upgrades.

That’s mandatory following a season of disappointment. The offense stunk. The defense improved down the stretch, but never to the point it could win a game itself.

The magic and clutch performance under pressure that defined last year’s 12-4 campaign vanished save one comeback against Kansas City.

They had a chance to control their own destiny in Week 14 at Arrowhead Stadium and lost every game after. They didn’t deserve to be in the playoff hunt then, and deservedly fell off the map this winter.

The Raiders finished with a whimper, unable to generate consistent offense when it mattered most or create a major impact on defense.

This game was inconsequential, but serves as one final reminder that changes are required to get this team back on track.

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