There just isn’t a whole lot to say about this one.
The Chargers fell to the Raiders 63-21 on Thursday night in what may have been the worst defensive performance in franchise history. Actually, based just on points allowed, it was. The Raiders’ 63 points was the most ever scored in a game in franchise history. On the flip-side, it was the most ever allowed by a Chargers team in franchise history.
In a game where almost no one expected anything more than one, maybe two touchdowns, the Raiders burst out to a 42-0 lead in the first half. The Chargers matched the Raiders with 21 points each in the second half but the damage was already done.
The Chargers turned the ball over five times. The Raiders turned the ball over zero times. That’s an easy recipe for a lopsided loss.
There’s truly no point to relive much of anything from this game. It’s a “burn the tape” game and the fans are the last people who want to go back over it. But as things stand, the Chargers may have a new head coach and/or general manager by the end of the work week. If and when that happens, catch us right here covering all the madness.
For the compete quarter-by-quarter recap of today’s game, continue on below.
The Raiders won the toss and chose to defer. Easton Stick and the Chargers offense was up first.
Stick couldn’t muster a first down on the first drive of the game. A short screen was snuffed out by edge rusher Maxx Crosby and Stick’s third-down pass was late over the middle to Gerald Everett. The Raiders broke it up and forced a three-and-out to begin the game.
On the other side, the Raiders finally got a monkey off their back.
With several third-downs converted, Aiden O’Connell and the Raiders offense marched down the field in 12 plays before running back Zamir White plunged in from two yards out to score his first career touchdown. Not only that, but that score was the first by the Raiders offense in their past 20 possessions. Around seven minutes into the game, the Raiders held an early 7-0 lead.
The Chargers pulled a first down out of their hat with an improvised scramble by Stick leading to a dump off to Everett who sprinted past the chains. A few plays later, edge rusher Malcolm Koonce got home on a sack which forced a fumble by Stick and the Raiders recovered.
O’Connell hit tight end Michael Mayer to move the chains once and then hit another rookie, wideout Tre Tucker, on a deep post route for a long touchdown over the head of safety Derwin James. With just under five minutes in the period, Las Vegas now led 14-0.
On the very first play of the ensuing Chargers drive, Joshua Kelley took a handoff up the middle and had the ball ripped out of his grasp. It was recovered by former Charger Jerry Tillery and once again the Raiders started in Chargers territory. Three plays later, O’Connell hit Jakobi Myers up the right sideline for his second touchdown.
Two turnovers by the Chargers have turned in to 14 points and the Raiders led 21-0 still in the opening period.
As the quarter closed, Stick was sacked by Tillery on third down.
The second quarter started off on a quiet note for both teams. Each team traded two punts on the first four drives of the game but then the chaos started again for the Chargers.
On the Raiders’ second punt of the period, rookie returner Derius Davis was stripped and recovered by Las Vegas inside the Chargers 15-yard line. It took two plays for O’Connell to find rookie tight end Michael Mayer who strode untouched into the end zone from 11 yards.
After yet another three-and-out by the Chargers, the Raiders went right back down and found the end zone for the fifth time in the first half. Fourth-string running back Brandon Bolden took a wildcat handoff up the left side and found the end zone from 26 yards out.
Just like that, it was 35-0 Raiders before the two-minute warning had even hit.
And like a broken record, the Raiders scored again after forcing another Chargers punt. Tucker hauled in another long touchdown pass from O’Connell and the Raiders led 42-0 as time ticked away in the first half.
The Raiders took the opening kickoff of the second half and rammed it right down the Chargers’ throats. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce told sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung at halftime that he wanted his team to keep their foot on the pedal during the second half and that’s exactly what they did. Less than five minutes into the quarter, the Raiders had extended their lead to 49-0.
The Chargers quickly retaliated with a long touchdown pass from Stick to Joshua Palmer who took advantage of a blown coverage to sprint 79 yards into the end zone. Don’t call it a comeback, but the Chargers were now down just 42 points.
On the final play for the third quarter, Stick was sacked by Koonce who knocked the ball loose for the quarterback’s second fumble of the game. The ball was corralled by defensive tackle John Jenkins and he rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown.
On the first play of the quarter, Raiders defensive back Jack Jones broke on a screen pass before Stick even called for the snap. Jones was so fast across the line that he plucked the ball out of the air with one hand while moving at full speed and coasted with ease into the end zone.
The Chargers were now down 63-7.
Stick and offense managed to find another scoring drive with Alex Erickson catching an impressive dart thrown between two defenders. The points made the score a little bit more palatable at 63-14.
The Chargers forced a three-and-out and were back at it moving the ball down the field. They went 55 yards in 10 plays before Stick found Johnston in the end zone for his second touchdown of his career. Derius Davis had what looked like his second punt return touchdown of the season prior to the whole drive but Stone Smartt held the punter for some reason and it brought the offense back to the Los Angeles 45-yard line.