Raiders Hold On, Defeat Chargers

It wasn’t pretty, but for the fourth time in five games, the Oakland Raiders pulled out a victory after they were able to hold on, unlike Drew Kaser, and defeat the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders won 34-31 to earn their first home victory of the season.

The Raiders fell into a bit of luck as Kaser fumbled the ball on a snap which would have set up a potential game-tying field goal for Josh Lambo.

The Oakland Raiders, however, rode their kicking ace, Sebastian Janikowski to points early on as he would make three of his four field goal attempts in the first half. That would be all the offense the Raiders would muster in the first half, trailing 10-9 at the break.

The Raiders offense would awaken in the second half as Derek Carr would throw touchdowns to Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.

The touchdown to Cooper was his first of the season and was a 64-yard catch and run that put Cooper over the 100-yard mark for the first time since week one at New Orleans. Cooper finished the day with six catches for 138 yards. The 138 -yard total is Cooper’s new career-high in yards in a single game. Prior to Sunday, his highest was 134 yards against the Browns last season.

For Crabtree, it was the fifth time he got into the end zone this season.

The duo for the Raiders have now totaled a combined six TDs and 811 yards of receiving for Oakland. That’s almost 60 percent of Carr’s total yards thrown (1,383).

At the end of three, the Raiders had a 27-24 lead over the Chargers as the offense turned it on in the second half.

The Raiders started the fourth quarter with the ball and got into the end zone one more time les than three minutes into the final quarter as Jamize Olawale punched in a touchdown.

Oakland’s defense still hasn’t shown it can truly stop anyone, but the team has proven they can salvage out victories. The Raiders were the recipients of four San Diego turnovers and a couple of them were, simply put, hand-delivered.

But, in the NFL, all that matters is no one have a good time — err, all that matters is winning. Sorry.

Player of the Game:

This week the award could have gone to a number of players, including Cooper, Jalen Richard who had 97 total yards of offense or Perry Riley Jr. who made his first start of the year at linebacker. But, I’m giving it to rookie safety Karl Joseph. Joseph tied for second in the game in tackles with six total and had the first interception of his career. Joseph has been outstanding at his position since starting for Oakland the coaches have all seen the talent he possesses. He can be a star for the Raiders.

Room to Grow:

The Raiders run game wasn’t exactly at its best this week with Latavius Murray injured, but the two=headed monster of Richard and DeAndre Washington will need to get into a rhythm to give the Raiders a dominant ground attack while Murray is out. Richard had a 3.9 yards per carry average on the ground but Washington was held to only 2.6 yards per carry.