Chargers News: Bolts Flounder Late Lead In 23-20 Loss To The Raiders

Josh lambo (SDUT) missed kick week 16 raiders
Josh Lambo‘s missed FG proved to be costly for Bolts. Photo Credit: sandiegouniontribune.com

Oakland Raiders 23, San Diego Chargers 20

While last week was possibly the last home game for the San Diego Chargers in the Q, on Thursday, it was possibly the last game for the Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum. An emotion night for them and for their future Hall of Fame defensive back Charles Woodson, as he is retiring after this year following 18 years in the NFL. Both him and the Raiders fans were looking for one last home win.

The Chargers (4-11) are all to familiar with close games this year, as this one proved no different. The entire game was pretty sloppy over all as the Raiders (7-8) committed 16 penalties for 121 yards on the night, with the Chargers finding a way to lose yet again.

First Quarter:

The game started off great for the Bolts as Kendall Reyes deflected and then picked off Derek Carr on the game’s opening drive. It was a very athletic play by Reyes who saw the quick throw by Carr

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and stuck his big mitt up in the air and then tracked the ball down and made a tumbling catch.

Seven plays later it was Donald Brown taking it in from 1-yard out that put the Chargers up early with a 7-0 lead. Beside the TD, Brown had a tough time getting anything going, replacing the injured Melvin Gordon, running for 17 yards on 14 carries.

On Oakland’s next drive, it was Latavius Murray doing the heavy lifting. He had three carries and a 10-yard grab on the drive, but it was his run from 22-yards out that would tie the game at 7. He’s also the first Raiders’ running back to pass the 1,000 yard rushing mark since Darren McFadden in 2010. He would finish with 79 yards on 19 carries and the TD.

The Raiders’ dangerous wideout Amari Cooper was completely shutdown by the Chargers defense, grabbing just 2 catches for 10 yards.

Second Quarter: 

On the Chargers first possession of the second quarter, their drive started in Oakland territory after a face mask penalty on the punt moved them up 15 to the Oakland 33-yard line. Six plays later on a 3rd and 3, Philip Rivers found Dontrelle Inman on a quick slant from 7-yards out to give the Chargers a 14-7 lead.

On the Raiders following possession they would feature Murray again as he touched the ball 6 times on the 11 play drive that resulted in a 50-yard Sebastian Janikwoski field goal.

Dontrelle inman SDUT
Inman with a great game Thursday night. He was also forced to play Safety in OT. Photo Credit: sandiegouniontribune.com

After exchanging 3-and-out drives, Rivers would orchestrate a 2-minute drive, going 49-yards in 8-plays to set up a 47 yard field goal by Josh Lambo to give the Chargers a 17-10 halftime lead.

The Chargers were once again hit with a plethora of injures. Jason Verrett (hamstring), Eric Weddle (groin), Darrell Stuckey (knee) were all injured in the first half. Javontee Herndon (chest), Chris Hairston (abdomen), Orlando Franklin (concussion), and Trevor Robinson (concussion) also left during parts of the game and did not return.

Third Quarter:

The third quarter was pretty uneventful, save one play, as the teams combined for 7 punts. Every drive by the Raiders in the quarter was a three and out. Their one good play actually led to points as Philip Rivers was sacked in the end zone on a 3rd and 13 from their own 6 yard line. Denico Autry grabbed Rivers jersey and didn’t let him even throw the ball away as he was dragged down the safety, cutting the Bolts’ lead to 17-12.

Rivers safety week 16 wsbtv.com
The only scoring play in the 3rd. Photo Credit: wsbtv.com

Fourth Quarter:

This is where the game got interesting. After an incomplete pass on a third and 10 from the Oakland 20, the Chargers were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct which backed them up to the 35. Lambo was still able to convert on the 53-yard field goal, but Raiders’ linebacker Khalil Mack was flagged for holding, giving the Chargers a first down if they wanted to accept the penalty. They did, which I believe was the right call, why not keep the drive alive and try to get 7 points.

It looked like a great decision, because on the next play Rivers hit Ladarius Green for a 30-yard TD pass, but was reviewed and called an incomplete pass because the ball dragged along the ground.

The drive would stall a few plays later and on the 48-yard field goal attempt, Lambo missed it wide left.

Still working with a 5-point lead, the Chargers would get the ball back trying to salt the game away. With 4:47, Rivers completed a pass to super backup tight end David Johnson, who has caught two passes over the last two season. He spun and turned up field but the ball was punched out of his arm by Malcolm Smith and DE Benson Mayowa picked it up and rumbled 40 yards down to the 3-yard line.

On the next play Carr found Michael Crabtree on the fade route for the TD. Then Carr found Seth Roberts for the 2-point conversion giving the Raiders a 20-17 lead.

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Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson gettyimages

With just over 4 minutes to go, Rivers drove the Chargers down the field in 11-plays, including a 23-yard strike to Malcolm Floyd. Lambo then converted this time on the 45-yard attempt to tie the game with 55 seconds left.

Interesting coaching on these couple of plays to end regulation. The Raiders got the ball with 40 seconds left, on the 2nd down play Derek Carr was flagged for intentional grounding. Coach McCoy, with still two timeouts left in his back pocket, elected to have the 10-second runoff. Now, the Raiders were forced to punt with just 10 seconds remaining instead of closer to 30, and just needing a field goal.

Overtime:

Raiders would receive the ball in OT and drive 67 yards in 15 plays, including a juggling catch by Seth Roberts that picked up 33 yards. Dontrelle Inman was also forced to play safety because of the injury to Patrick Robinson, he attempted to make the tackle on Roberts but missed and he ran for anther 10 yards or so. Sebastian Janikowski would knock in a 31-yard field goal attempt.

It would be up to the Chargers offense to either tie or score a TD for the win. On 4th-and-3, Rivers called a timeout to draw up a play, then just got the ball off with 1-second on the game clock, 1 second! After a timeout, that’s just ridiculous. The play was a mess and

December 24, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) and free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrate after the game against the San Diego Chargers at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Woodson with his last home victory. Photo Credit: cbssports.com

Rivers’ pass fell incomplete with no receiver around.

Top Performers:

Philip Rivers – 31/49, 277 yards, 1 TD

Danny Woodhead – 11 carries, 55 yards / 8 receptions, 53 yards

Dontrelle Inman – 8 receptions, 82 yards, 1 TD

Up Next:

San Diego Chargers (4-11) @ Denver Broncos (10-4)

Quick Preview:

The Chargers are inching closer and closer to a top 3 draft pick while the Broncos haven’t been performing up to par, losing their last two in a row. If the Chargers can steal a victory in Mile High, there’s a chance the Broncos could actually miss the playoffs with the Kansas City Chiefs just a game behind for the AFC West crown.

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Nick Small
Nick was born and raised in San Diego where he became a Chargers and Padres fan, attending numerous home games throughout the years with his dad. He then went on to attend college at the University of Arizona. There he earned his degree in marketing and now lives in San Francisco where he dreams of the the sunny beaches of San Diego. Bear Down.

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