In a wild ending of Thursday Night Football, Oakland Raiders managed to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers with 26-24. Jon Gruden’s boys delivered a late go-ahead touchdown, which brought them the fifth win of the season, this one extremely important over a division rival.
Raiders were down 24-20 with 4:02 left in the game, when Phillip Rivers led a 12-play 80-yard drive, crowning him with a touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler for 6 yards. It was his second TD toss of the day, but this one gave his Chargers a chance to seal the game.
It was now time for Derek Carr to respond. And he did. The Raiders QB led a 75-yard drive, which ended with Josh Jacobs’ score. The rookie running back rushed for 18 yards through the middle of the field, setting on fire the Coliseum.
JOSH JACOBS. 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) November 8, 2019
Carr explained to the journalists the way he saw Jacob’s touchdown run.
“As soon as I saw it, I was just thinking, `Go!” he said. “I knew this would either be a big run or a first down and luckily it was a big run.”
But it wasn’t over, especially after Daniel Carlson missed an extra-point conversion. The Chargers were in the position to win the game with a field goal. However, three of Rivers’ passing attempts were incomplete, while Karl Joseph intercepted the last one.
It was the third pick of the game for Rivers, who finished last night with 207 yards, 17 for 31, two touchdown passes and a fumble. The veteran quarterback was also sacked 5 times for 38 yards, and in general, didn’t have such a splendid night against Gruden’s defense.
“That says a lot about our team,” coach Gruden said. “We have a lot of resilient guys. We compete. You may beat us. But we’ll be a hard out to get. We’ll battle.”
Chucky was asked at the press conference about his celebrations with the fans. Raiders coach stated that each time his team wins, he likes to share that with the fans.
“Every win, I’m going down there,” Gruden said. ” I got face paint all over me. I got to see some costumes I have not seen before at any football games. Awesome,” he added smiling.
River on the other hand, was very frustrated with the way everything ended at the Coliseum.
“You give a team 10 points at their place and then you have the ball with a chance to win at the end and you have eight snaps and go nowhere, it’s going to be tough to win,” he said.
The Raiders opened the game well, reaching a 10-point lead, keeping the guests at zero in the opening 15 minutes. Erik Harris intercepted Rivers with 6:02 left and returned the football all the way for 56 yards, to lift his team to 10-0.
The Chargers responded then, with two consecutive touchdowns, one by Hunter Henry following a 2-yard pass by Rivers, and the second after Melvin Gordon’s three-yard run.
But in the closing moments of the first half, the Raiders managed to get back the edge built in the opening quarter. Alec Ingold caught Carr’s 9-yard pass and with 21 seconds left, pulled the Raiders to 17-14. The teams would trade one field goal each in the third, keeping the same distance, before entering the fourth, and having a wild finish.
Derek Carr had 218 yards, 21 for 31, one touchdown pass, without interceptions or fumbles. Josh Jacobs didn’t have some of his usual nights, and the rookie posted 71 rushing yards on16 carries, while no other Raider had more than 4 yards on the ground. As for the receivers, Carr diversified his attack, with neither of them having more than four and less than three catches. Jalen Richard had 43 yards, Hunter Renfrow 42, Darren Waller 40, etc.
Now, the guy whose name needs to be stressed out was Erik Harris. Before the first interception, the 29-year old safety intercepted Rivers once more, and this time, he returned the football for 59 yards, eventually setting the position for Carlson to score a field goal.
The Chargers had more yards won, but that didn’t mean anything in the end. Melvin Gordon carried the ball 22 times, and posted 108 yards for a TD. Keenan Allen had 8 receptions for 68 yards, Mike Williams two for 55.
Anthony Lynn’s guys are now 4-6 and have a clash with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Mexico City. This will be a direct matchup with the division leaders who are 6-4, and if Rivers and the boys win this one, their playoff hopes would still be alive. If they lose, however, it would be very tough to reach the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are above .500, 5-4, and are hosting the Bengals, before traveling to New York to face the Jets. They have a nice chance to improve the record in these two games and make a push towards the top spot in the AFC West.