The Chargers re-newed their historic 59 year rivalry with Oakland, in what will be the last time the two teams face each other in the Oakland Colisseum.
The opening drive the Chargers offense got off to a hot start, with Austin Ekeler lining up at slot receiver and catching a post route for 23 yards, followed by a nice run by Gordon, then an incomplete pass, and then an interception that was intended for Keenan Allen. Fortunately a pass interference call erases that play, unfortunately, just a couple plays later following a sack, Rivers and Allen have a miscommunication and are intercepted with the ball returned down to field goal range for Oakland.
Oakland’s initial drive gets shut down after a single first down due to a holding call, as well as a 3rd down sack where Melvin Ingram splits a double team by essentially hitting Gabe Jackson with a crossover so fast that Raiders center Rodney Hudson could barely get a hand on him on a move so pretty it could make Beyoncé insecure of her appearance.
On the next possession, Philip Rivers throws yet another interception on a play where Trent Scott is doing everything he is capable of and throws a defender into Rivers lower body as he targets Hunter Henry who slips on the route and Erik Harris gets his 2nd interception of the quarter, bringing this one back for six.
Russell Okung left the game with an injury and the Chargers are now playing with Trey Pipkins at left tackle and Trent Scott at right tackle. It feels redundant to even mention this after that sentence, but since that combination has been on the field nothing has gone well in the passing game. Gordon and the run game still looks efficient, but Trent Scott allows more pressure, killing the drive which ends in a punt.
The Chargers defense holds strong yet again, forcing a holding penalty and a pair of incompletions.
The Chargers start the following drive with a sweep to Keenan Allen that picks up 18 yards.
The Chargers start the 2nd quarter on a 3rd & 1 set up after a 3 yard run and 6 yard reception from Allen. Gordon is met in the backfield initially, makes a great 2nd effort but gets a slightly unfavorable spot short of the sticks. Anthony Lynn then decides to go for it on 4th & inches at midfield around midfield, converting with a handoff to fullback Derek Watt, who made a similar 2nd effort to do so.
The Chargers eventually march this ball down the field for a touchdown on the 18th play of the drive that spans over 8 minutes long ending with Rivers finding Henry in the back of the endzone on third and goal.
Thursday must be seniors night, because on the ensuing drive Thomas Davis is playing like its 2007 today, putting the stamp on the Raiders 3-and-out as he shoots the gap and stuffs Jacobs for a loss on 3rd and 2.
Philip Rivers is picked off for his 3rd (4th) interception and the game takes a periodic break to induct Erik Harris literally on the spot for getting 3 interceptions in the first half of a football game.
Well, they were going to, but then Max Crosby lined up in the neutral zone. So there was a flag, and the very next play is Melvin Gordon walking into the endzone resembling the cool uncle at family gatherings, dragging what appears to be children clinging to each of his limbs.
Chargers 14 - Raiders 10
The Raiders offense starts the next drive off strong with a swing route to Jacobs that picks up 17 yards. Michael Davis is then called for PI on former Charger Tyrell Williams on the next play which leads to a little trash talk between the two.
After stopping Jacobs for no gain on the first down run, and a loss of one on his next reception, the Raiders come up just shy of the first down on 3rd and 11 at the Chargers 40 yard line. Coach Gruden elects to go for it and the Raiders convert on the ground.
Oakland would go on to finish this drive in the endzone, hitting rookie fullback Alec Ingold for his first career reception and touchdown on the same play. The Raiders admittedly worked the clock perfectly on this drive, leaving just 20 seconds before half time which the Chargers would later run out and send us to half time
Chargers 14, Raiders 17
The Raiders take the first possession of the 2nd half into field goal range following a 14 yard reception by Hunter Renfrow that tacked on 15 yards thanks to a Desmond King face mask penalty, as well as a 27 yard reception from Waller and extend their lead with a field goal.
Chargers 14 - Raiders 20
Philip Rivers responds with a 45 yard deep shot to Mike Williams, followed up by Melvin Gordon making defenders miss in the backfield and breaking tackles for 24 yards down to Oakland’s yard line. Unable to capitalize after a short pass to Keenan Allen on 3rd and goal isn’t enough to make up for Karl Joseph making a play for a loss of 4 on Gordon as well as a delay of game that should have been erased by what seemed like an obvious roughing the passer penalty. The Money Badger is the Money Badger.
Chargers 17 - Raiders 20
After another reception by Tyrell Williams, Nwosu ends the Raiders drive with a sack that results in a loss of 8 on 3rd down.
Not to be outdone, the Chargers respond by allowing their 5th sack on Rivers the first play of the next drive. Oakland bails the offense out by allowing their 4th offsides penalty of the day, making 2nd & 13 into 2nd & 8, converted thanks to back to back short receptions from Allen.
The Chargers offense lights up with exuberence! They remember they have Austin Ekeler and give him a carry for a gain of 5 in what feels like the first time . Keenan Allen gets a 30 yard reception, wiped out by a holding call on Trent Scott. Keenan Allen follows it up with a penalty-free 26 yard reception. A few plays later Trent Scott shows some growth as he gets away with a false start during a Mike Williams reception. After a pair of Melvin Gordon runs take the Chargers down to the Raiders 5 yard line. Austin Ekeler finishes the drive off, taking a drag route into the endzone.
Chargers 24 - Raiders 20
Jalen Richard and Hunter Renfrow take turns getting first down receptions from Derek Carr. After Richard gets his 2nd first down reception he is stopped for no gain as the clock hits 2:00.
Down 4 points with 2 minutes left at the Chargers 40 yard line.
Carr hits Renfrow yet again for another first down. After overthrowing Tyrell Williams a touchdown down the right sideline, the Chargers are still allowing Richard to burn them out of the backfield with a 9 yard reception. 3rd & 1 with 1:06 left from the Chargers 19, the Raiders come out in a heavy set and Josh Jacobs follows the left side of the line that pancakes Mebane and Bosa for a nearly untouched touchdown. However the extra point is no good.
Chargers 24 - Raiders 26
The Chargers need a game winning field goal with 1 minute left and all of their timeouts. Rivers is incomplete on all 4 downs, however the Chargers are bailed out by a defensive holding call that gives him a fresh set out downs. Still, Rivers can’t find anyone and on a desperation heave on 4th & 10 the game is sealed by a 3rd interception and the Josh Jacobs running out the clock.
Final: Chargers 24 - Raiders 26