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Game Preview: Raiders vs Chargers – Week 9

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Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)  |  Los Angeles Chargers (2-6)

 

 

The Las Vegas Raiders hang on to win in a game that came down to the wire against the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

 

Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

For the first time in the 2020 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders were in a game that came down to one last play to decide it all. They put themselves in a good position, extending their lead to eleven in the third quarter. For those who follow the Los Angeles Chargers this season, it seems like they are always playing close games no matter who their opponent is.

After eight games, Los Angeles has lost by a combined twenty-four points, which is very low. Seven out of the eight games for the Chargers have been decided by one possession.

LA battled back in the fourth quarter to make it a one-possession game. They got the ball back with just under five minutes left on the clock; down 26-31.

 

 

With the game on the line, the ball on the Raiders 4-yard line with five seconds left, a touchdown could make or break it…

 

 

Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Ultimately, the defensive player of the game for the Silver and Black was cornerback Isaiah Johnson. 

The Raiders have been high on Johnson since drafting him in the fourth round in 2019. But injuries have slowed his development. Ironically, an injury opened the door for him Sunday as he took over for Trayvon Mullen in the second quarter when the starter left the game with hamstring trouble.

With five seconds left in the game, Justin Herbert and company targeted Johnson’s side twice. But the second-year defensive back out of Houston was up for the challenge. He contested the first end zone attempt to Mike Williams and broke up the second pass to Donald Parham Jr., who could not keep full possession of the ball on the way to the ground.

It was first ruled a touchdown, but after review, the Las Vegas Raiders come out of L.A. victorious. Las Vegas is now sitting on the sixth seed for a spot in the AFC playoff picture with yesterday’s win.

 

 

Not the best game on paper for the Raiders, but timely scores and stops will win you the game.

 

 

Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Derek Carr’s stats weren’t as good as the rookie Herbert, but it was the effort and highlight-reel plays that shifted the game’s momentum. As a matter of fact, DC had a slow start in the first half, only throwing for forty-four yards completing 6/10 attempts.

However, the offense came out firing in the second half. Carr had two long completions to Nelson Agholor (for a touchdown) and Hunter Renfrow, which got the offense in a groove. Although the performance does not always show up on paper, Carr was doing everything in his power, even hurdling over defenders to get those needed first downs. Carr showed his underrated athleticism several times when rolling out while the defensive line was breathing down his neck.

The Raiders’ quarterback didn’t have a huge stats day. He completed just 13 of 23 passes for 165 yards. But he had a huge third quarter and made plays with his arm, legs, and leaping ability. After the game, Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden said he was proud of Carr, and he is excited about the future with him. That was telling. So, perhaps we will have a quiet offseason on the Raiders’ quarterback front.

 

 

There is no time to slow down as this next stretch of games is crucial for the Raiders.

 

 

Raiders vs Chargers
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was another great duo production game from backs Josh Jacobs and Devonte Booker, who combined for over 130 yards on the ground and a touchdown each. The Raiders had 160 yards rushing and averaged 6.1 yards a carry. Jacobs had 65 yards on 14 carries, and backup Booker had 68 yards on eight carries. For the second straight week, the Raiders won on the road largely because of their ground game.

Las Vegas has another key matchup next week against division rivals, the Denver Broncos. The week after that is against the hated Kansas City Chiefs.  These next few games will be important in deciding the playoff race amongst the AFC. This is a great chance for the Raiders to extend the gap from wild card contenders like the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts, who they will also face soon.

 

 

The Las Vegas Raiders will look to make it three straight wins for the first time in years, as they are back home at Allegiant Stadium and go up against the Denver Broncos.

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Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: @Ayyeju5tin

Instagram: @Ayyeju5tin

 

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Raiders vs Chargers