Rising Chargers square off with reeling Raiders
Two longtime AFC West rivals headed full speed in opposite directions meet Sunday afternoon when the surging Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) visit the tail-spinning Oakland Raiders (1-7).
The clubs met in Week 5 in Los Angeles, with the Chargers forcing two critical turnovers en route to a 26-10 victory that was their third straight over the Raiders.
The win began a four-game run of allowing fewer than 20 points by the Los Angeles defense. The Chargers are coming off a 25-17 win at Seattle last week.
The Chargers are tied for 12th in the NFL in points allowed at 22.5 per game.
Los Angeles scored just three touchdowns in the earlier win over Oakland, two of which were set up by turnovers.
The Chargers recovered a Martavis Bryant fumble in the second quarter, then needed just six plays to cover 48 yards, a drive culminating in a Melvin Gordon 1-yard run and a 17-3 lead 1:39 before halftime.
The Raiders threatened to cut into a 20-3 deficit late in the third period before Derek Carr threw an interception to Melvin Ingram in the end zone.
The Chargers then went 96 yards in eight plays for Philip Rivers' 13-yard, game-clinching TD pass to Virgil Green with 9:42 left in the game.
Los Angeles' Caleb Sturgis connected on two field goals but missed one of his three PAT attempts. After not connecting on two of three PATs and his only field goal attempt in the win at Seattle, he was released by the Chargers, who have promoted Michael Badgley off the practice squad.
"We feel like we gave (Sturgis) a fair shot," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said to reporters this week. "We stayed with him as long as we could. It just came down to performance."
The Raiders haven't recovered from the loss to the Chargers, limited to three points in two of their next three games, a 27-3 loss to Seattle in London and a 34-3 shellacking at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in a nationally televised game last Thursday.
Things have gone so far south for the Raiders, coach Jon Gruden made a simple goal for his team this week: Do better than in the San Francisco debacle.
"I just want to see some improvement," he said. "I want guys to continue to work hard and develop. I'd like some guys to get healthy so we can be all we can be."
--Field Level Media
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)