You never miss your long snapper until he's gone. Guys play with broken arms to avoid leaving the field; that's how dire it is to go to a backup longer snapper.
Punting is not necessarily the percentage play. It's really crazy when you just lost your long snapper and the backup hasn't snapped since high school. You know what happened next. The Raiders incurred a penalty before even snapping the ball in a punt formation, and then Travis Goethel threw a ground ball to Shane Lechler.
It shouldn't be that hard to pick up a short-yardage conversion. The Raiders were at midfield where the benefits of a punt are mitigated. Yes, part of Goethel's nightmare night as a fill-in long snapper could have been avoided.
Goethel went on to snap three more times. The next time it was on a fourth-and-one. The ball was on the Raiders' 29-yard line, but it still would have made sense to go for it considering the circumstances. The punt was blocked.
In the end, Goethel went 1-for-4 in his attempts. Allen tried to play things safe, but his lack of trust in the Raiders' offense ultimately hurt Oakland's chances of surviving an injury to a player no one missed until he was gone.