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Chargers-Raiders Final Score: San Diego Chargers lose to Oakland Raiders 34-31

The Chargers traveled to Oakland needing a win to have any hope whatsoever of competing the rest of the season. They managed to lose anyway.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter

San Diego kicked off to start the game. As usual, they were trying for the touchback. It took two plays for the Raiders to pick up their first 1st down of the game. It was followed by an incompletion and an interception by the damn nose tackle Brandon Mebane.

The Chargers took over from the Oakland 30. Melvin Gordon was stuffed on his first attempt. Philip Rivers found Tyrell Williams for 8 on his first attempt. Antonio Gates caught Rivers’ next pass and got inside the 15, but he fumbled and the Reggie Nelson recovered.

The defense appeared as though they would get the ball back quickly as they forced a 3rd & 10. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper converted, though, and a long drive proceeded. The defense finally stiffened though from their own 2-yard line. Jack Del Rio opted to take the points on 4th & 2. Sebastian Janikowski gave the Raiders the first lead of the game.

On the Chargers’ first play of the following drive, Rivers badly underthrew a pass to Travis Benjamin that Sean Smith intercepted. The defense forced a three-and-out and Janikowski missed a 50-yard field goal to give the ball right back.

The Chargers appeared to be ready to trade three-and-outs with the Raiders, but they lined up to go for it on 4th down and Denico Autry jumped offside to keep the drive alive.

Second Quarter

Antonio Gates converted a 3rd down to get the Chargers inside the Oakland 30. Rivers found Williams deep down the field for six points.

The Raiders’ subsequent drive ran from their own 25 to the Chargers’ 8 and featured Joey Bosa’s first career tackle for loss before a pass bounced off Michael Crabtree’s facemask and forced a field goal attempt that Janikowski converted.

A Chris Hairston false start put the Chargers behind schedule to begin their next drive, but Travis Benjamin got that yardage and more back with a 54-yard catch and run in which he flashed his insane speed. On 3rd & 7 from the Oakland 23, Rivers hit Williams across the middle and he failed to get up field insisting on running parallel to the sticks. Josh Lambo came on to kick a 36-yard field goal on 4th & 2.

The Raiders proceeded to go three-and-out again. The Chargers started their drive from their own 24 and Gordon picked up nine yards on his first carry. On the next play, a horrendous crackback penalty on Dontrelle Inman made it 2nd & 16. Two plays later, Rivers was intercepted on a pass intended for Inman that never had a chance.

Joey Bosa picked up his first career sack and the Raiders decided t play it safe and try for a long field goal. Janikowski, of course, converted it.

Third Quarter

Chris Hairston got absolutely abused by Stacy McGee who sacked Rivers and forced a fumble. Hairston had the good fortune to fall on the ball. Hairston had the good fortune to fall on the ball. On the next play, Rivers hit Hunter Henry on a shallow route over the middle. Henry rumbled for 59 yards. A 3-yard Gordon run got the Chargers into the red zone. An 18-yard Gordon reception was good for six points.

A pair of incomplete passes aimed at Crabtree brought up 3rd & 10. Carr looked to him again on 3rd down and he converted with an acrobatic sideline catch. Adrian Phillips then got embarrassed for a 64-yard touchdown by Amari Cooper.

The Chargers were not to be outdone, however. Rivers launched a 50-yard pass to Tyrell Williams over the middle of the field. Sean Smith was flagged for holding, but it didn’t matter. Melvin Gordon broke a 24-yard run to the one-yard line that featured a terrific block by fullback Derek Watt. From the 1, Rivers had all day and found Hunter Henry for a touchdown.

Seth Roberts and DeAndre Washington both chipped in with first downs. Washington then gained 8 on 1st & 10. A Kelechi Osemele false start backed them up, but then Washington converted the 1st down with a 10-yard catch and run. Carr hit Steve Williams in the hands on the next play, but Williams could not hold on. It was almost a great play. On 3rd & 8 following another false start by Osemele, Carr and the Raiders could not convert. Janikowski came on to attempt a 48-yard field goal. He, of course, made it easily.

Melvin Gordon started the drive with a nine-yard run, but on his next carry fumbled without even getting hit. Khalil Mack recovered.

The defense looked like they were going to hold the Raiders to a field goal attempt, but Del Rio elected to go for it on 4th down. Crabtree pulled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to take the lead. Amari Cooper then added a 2-point conversion.

On 1st down, Rivers was sacked by McGee and Williams for a loss of three yards. On 2nd down, Benjamin dropped a long pass attempt. On 3rd & 13, Rivers had early pressure, rolled out and threw a pass that was deflected. Drew Kaser then completely shanked his punt to let the Raiders start in field goal range.

Fourth Quarter

Starting from the Chargers’ 32, Jalen Richard took a short pass 11 yards to the 21. Washington added six yards on a run off right guard. Andre Holmes chipped in with a 1st down reception to set up 1st & goal. A ridiculous defensive pass interference call made it 1st & goal from the 1. Jamize Olawale quickly punched the ball in to extend the Raiders’ lead.

A Gordon run for -1 yards was followed by a 1st down catch and run by Benjamin. Hunter Henry added another 1st down with a diving grab across the middle of the field. On 3rd & 1 from the Raiders’ 41, Derek Watt got the ball and he ran for the 1st.

A nifty little trick play ended with Travis Benjamin running after catch for 23 yards. Gordon continued to run hard as he plowed over Cory James for a 1st down inside the 10. Gates scored on a pick play at the goal line to pull back within three points.

Washington rushed for one on 1st down. On 2nd down, Bosa notched his second sack of the game. Richard nearly picked up the 1st on 3rd down, but the Chargers tackled in space and forced the punt.

With the ball back, nobody was open on 1st down and Rivers threw the ball away. On 2nd, he found Benjamin who broke a tackle and ran for a 1st down just short of midfield. Tyrell Williams beat Sean Smith for 25 yards down the sideline. Benjamin picked up another nine yards to set up 2nd & 1. Gordon was stuffed on 3rd down. McCoy decided to be a coward and play for the tie. His holder rewarded his cowardice by fumbling the snap.

The Raiders ran as much time off the clock as they could and punted with 20 seconds on the clock and the Chargers with no remaining timeouts. Dexter McCluster spent 9 seconds returning the punt. Rivers and the offense would have time for at most two plays. The stupid lateral play never really even got started before time expired.