Charging Back: San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders 2012

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

BFTB looks back at the first game of Norv Turner's last year in week one of the 2012 season: a Monday night Football victory over the hated rival Oakland Raiders.

There was anger in San Diego knowing Norv Turner and AJ Smith were still leading the team. Opening the season in Oakland with a victory would do little to calm that anger. Not to mention, Jared Gaither's back (I named my fantasy team that) would limit the offense somewhat for Philip Rivers for who knew how long. He took three sacks, but managed to complete a 2013-like 24 of his 33 passes for a 2012-like 231 yards and a touchdown. That, along with five Nate Kaeding field goals gave the Chargers a 22-14 victory. How did that victory come about?

The Raiders started out hot, advancing to the Charger's 38 yard line, when then rookie Melvin Ingram forced a Rod Streater fumble that was recovered by Antwan Barnes. After taking one of the three aforementioned sacks, the Charger offense went 3 and out and Oakland responded with a field goal a few plays later. Thanks to a 46 yard bomb to Roland Meachem, the Chargers responded with their own field goal. Then things got fun.

Taiwan Jones did this to spark the debut TDNLA (and ultimately, shamefully win TDNLA play of the year).

Chargers1_medium_medium

Aaah, Raiders football. Still funny. After a punt on 4th and 21, Rivers led the Chargers on a 90 yard touchdown drive with a pass to (get well soon) Malcom Floyd. Oakland responded by running the clock all the way down to seven seconds on a field goal drive, going into halftime with a one point deficit. It would get worse.

The Chargers opened the half going three and out, but the Raiders had an injured long snapper to deal with. On their next possession, after crossing midfield, they would attempt a punt. The snap dragged across the ground to Shane Lechler's feet, and he had no choice but to... well, enjoy the gif.

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The Chargers capitalized on their great field position with a field goal to take a 13-6 lead. Oakland was forced into a 3 and out and on their ensuing punt had something similar to the gif above, except Lechler got the punt off... into Dante Rosario's hands. Corey Lynch recovered and the Chargers had 1st and goal. Ridiculously, they'd turn that into a field goal.

Oakland responded with another three-and-out series, but this time they got the punt off. After getting into Oakland territory, the Chargers opened the 4th quarter with another field goal. Oakland's ensuing drive stalled, and they failed again on a punt. Once again in Oakland territory, the Chargers would get to the redzone only to fall back and attempt a final field goal for a 22-6 lead. Thanks to two stupid 4th down penalties by Antoine Cason and Melvin Ingram, the Raiders managed to score a touchdown in garbage time, along with a two point conversion. The Chargers ran out the clock and started the season 1-0.

This year, the Raiders look inconsistent. Assuming the Chargers can continue their spectacular play, they should be able to hold off their aggressive play style. Division games are always tough, and the Chargers run defense is still a weakness. As long as they don't let Oakland run wild, Rivers should do enough to win the game.

Prediction: Chargers 31 Raiders 20

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