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Raiders' loss to Chargers marks 10th straight in primetime

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- In the wake of the Oakland Raiders' latest blowout loss in prime time, star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha questioned whether all his teammates care enough to turn things around.

In the background, other players could be heard laughing and joking, not exactly the type reaction Asomugha or interim coach Tom Cable thought appropriate after a 34-7 loss to the rival San Diego Chargers on Thursday night.

"It's always been a concern to me," interim coach Tom Cable said Friday. "I think anytime you get beat, I don't know if there is anything to laugh about. I don't think there's anything that makes you feel good when you get beat. If it hurts when you lose then you feel right about the game. If it's OK and you can accept it, it's tough for a lot of guys in that locker room to hear that or witness that. So it's difficult. And I thought he was very fair with his comments."

The latest loss officially knocked the Raiders (3-10) out of playoff contention and put them in some ignoble company. Oakland joined Tampa Bay (1983-94) and Detroit (2001-06) as the only teams in NFL history with double-digit losses in six straight seasons.

With one more loss the Raiders will become the only team to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons. If the Raiders fail to win any of their final three games, they will have a 22-74 record since going to the Super Bowl following the 2002 season, matching the Bucs (1983-88) for the most losses in any six-season span.

The loss to the Chargers summed up all that has gone wrong the past six seasons for Oakland. There were four turnovers, four personal fouls, no offensive touchdowns and too many big plays allowed.

"We wonder why we don't get prime-time games and this is why," Asomugha said after the game. "You just wonder how many people care and how many people are upset. You can't go out and play the way we played and expect to win."

The Raiders have lost their last 10 appearances in prime time, dating to the start of the 2005 season. And most of those games haven't been close, with Oakland being outscored 151-33 over its last six times in the national spotlight.

Now it's officially time for the Raiders to start looking to the future -- again. The last three weeks could help determine whether Cable stays as coach and are important in the development of quarterback JaMarcus Russell and running back Darren McFadden.

Russell left late in the first half Thursday with a sprained right ankle. He went 9-13 for 68 yards before the injury, but turned over the ball three times in the half.

In his first full season as a starter, Russell has just one touchdown pass in his last 111 attempts and has completed just 51.4 percent of his passes.

Russell also drew the ire of the announcers from the NFL Network, who mentioned during the broadcast Thursday night that the quarterback missed a production meeting with the crew the night before the game. Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said that Russell did come to meet the announcers at the team hotel, but they had left already.

Cable called the missed meeting a "big deal" and spoke to Russell about it Friday morning.

"You have to teach them perception becomes reality," Cable said. "And if you get perceived as a guy that blows things off or you don't respect the wishes of the media that way, they'll treat you that way. And so I think it's important. And he learned from it. He understood it when we talked about it with him this morning. He feels bad about it."

McFadden, slowed earlier in his rookie season by a pair of turf toe injuries, was barely used against the Chargers. In fact, he had as many tackles after turnovers -- three -- as he had touches on offense in the game. McFadden finished with two catches for 8 yards and one carry for no gain.

Cable said it was hard to use McFadden because the team got behind early and was forced to pass and the rookie is not as reliable a pass blocker as veteran Justin Fargas.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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