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Sunday, December 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers:

What it means: The Raiders have lost five straight games and seven of eight after sitting at 3-4 on the cusp of the AFC playoff race. With so many rumors floating regarding Dennis Allen's coaching future, the Raiders did play hard. Just not very smart. And, the conspiracy theorist (and Raiders' radio broadcasters) would argue, against more than the Chargers. No matter the case, the lack of quality depth reared its head again. At least it was an entertaining game, no?

Stock watch: Falling -- discipline. Sure, the officials seemed to be flag-happy in throwing so many yellow hankies at the guys in Silver and Black (not all 13 were accepted as penalties, obviously -- before San Diego had three penalties), but many were also self-inflicted. Particularly galling was the 15-yard taunting penalty on Mike Jenkins for knocking the football out of Ryan Mathews' hand after stopping him for no gain. The Raiders finished with 12 penalties for 73 yards, and the Chargers with three for 24 yards.

McGloin's accuracy issues: Perhaps rookie quarterback Matt McGloin's greatest asset has been his accuracy this season. But it deserted him Sunday. McGloin, who finished 20-of-36 for 206 yards passing and an interception, was just off on several passes that were behind his intended targets. His accuracy seemed to suffer most when he has to wait for a play to develop, as opposed to dropping back and firing when his back foot hits. He missed a wide-open Jamize Olawale down the left sideline on a third-and-1 play, threw behind Andre Holmes on first-and-goal from the 2 and underthrew Rod Streater on a disputed incompletion in the fourth quarter.

Run DMC, remember him?: Darren McFadden played for the first time since Thanksgiving Day, and while he had only 8 rushing yards, he showed a glimpse of his old burst with a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Raiders a 7-3 lead.

What's next: The Raiders (4-11) close out their regular season with a home game against the AFC West champion Denver Broncos (12-3) and quarterback Peyton Manning, who established a single-season touchdown pass record with his 51st Sunday against the Houston Texans. Manning needs 266 passing yards against the Raiders to set a new single-season passing mark. The Broncos beat the Raiders 37-21 in Week 3, with Manning passing for 374 yards and three touchdowns.