How the team performed in a 26-24 victory against the Chargers.
For the second straight week, Derek Carr led the team on what would prove to be a game-winning scoring drive. But it was some tough sledding until then. The Raiders were held to 78 yards rushing, although 18 came via rookie Josh Jacobs with 1:06 remaining to grab the lead for good. Carr finished 21-of-31 for 218 yards and a score, and the Raiders were just 4-of-12 on third down. They punted four times and at one point only had run eight plays to 31 for the Chargers. Jalen Richard (four catches for 43 yards) again proved a valuable asset in a final drive.
Yes, they again had all sorts of foolish penalties. At one point, amazingly, two rookie ends (Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby) had a combined three neutral zone violations on consecutive Chargers scoring drives. But the Raiders stood strong yet again when winning was at stake, stopping the Chargers on a final drive. Erik Harris had two first-half interceptions of Philip Rivers, returning one 56 yards for a score. Karl Joseph, who broke up a final pass in the end zone last week to seal a win against the Lions, intercepted a final heave from Rivers with 20 seconds remaining. The Raiders sacked Rivers five times.
Special teams: D
Those in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum held their collective breath after Daniel Carlson missed an extra point following the Jacobs score, allowing for a two-point lead and opening the door for the Chargers to drive for a game-winning field goal. Carlson also missed from 53 yards, and punter AJ Cole averaged a net of just 37.8 yards on four kicks.
Jon Gruden coached for much of the game as if his team featured one of the league’s best defenses and not an overly flawed one. But the Raiders found a way to win yet again and are now 5-1 in games decided by one possession this season. Given the mounting injuries on both sides of the ball, Gruden and his staff have have done an admirable job to get the team to 5-4 with games against winless Cincinnati and at the Jets on deck.
— ED GRANEY