The Oakland Raiders dropped their fifth straight game in typical fashion with too many penalties and mental miscues. The San Diego Chargers keep their playoff hopes alive heading into the final week of the NFL season with the 26-13 win.
Penalties have long been an issue for the Raiders and it hurt them Sunday. Oakland committed 12 penalties for 73 yards which led to missed opportunities and extending Chargers' drives.
In the first half, Oakland forced three San Diego turnovers, but only cashed them in for 10 points. With a 3-0 led, quarterback Philip Rivers botched a bad snap by center Nick Hardwick and Miles Burris recovered for the Raiders. Matt McGloin found tight end Mychal Rivera, who made a nice off balance 37 yard reception. On the next play, Darren McFadden went through the middle for a five yard touchdown to give Oakland the 7-3 lead.
The lead held up until McGloin was intercepted by safety Eric Weddle at the Oakland 20 yard line. He finished 20-36 for 206 yards and the interception. A roughing the passer on Burris set up a Ryan Matthews seven yard score to put San Diego in the lead, 10-7. He finished with 99 yards on 25 carries. The Raiders were forced to punt on their next possession and received a gift from punt returner Keenan Allen, who muffed the kick and Shelton Johnson recovered for Oakland. The Raiders only cashed it in for three points on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal to tie the game 10-10 at the half.
The first score of the second half came from San Diego. After a Raiders three and out, Rivers took the Chargers on a 12 play touchdown drive. He found a wide open Keenan Allen over the middle for the four yard score.Cornerback Mike Jenkins, who had an interception in the first half, was flagged 15 yards for knocking the ball out of the receivers' hands well after the whistle and another defensive holding flag which gave the Chargers a first down. That was the beginning of the end for the silver and black.
Another Raiders three and out led to a Nick Novak 48 yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, returner Greg Jenkins fumbled the kickoff recovered by San Diego. They cashed in with another Novak field goal, this time from 28 yards to give them a 23-10 lead.
Both teams exchanged field goals to begin the fourth quarter, The Raiders had a chance to pull within a score driving late in the quarter. The Raiders traveled 67 yards on 17 plays that saw Rod Streater make a catch, take two steps, fall into the endzone then have the ball ripped out late. It looked to be a 39 yard touchdown, but the call on the field was incomplete pass. After the challenge, the call stood. The officials had all kinds on issues managing everything late in the game and the Raiders had costly illegal formation and false start penalties deep in San Diego territory. Eventually, they faced a fourth down where McGloin was under immediate pressure, escaped, and put it up in the endzone for Marcel Reece, who let it fall through his hands.
The Raiders have one last shot at a win against the Denver Broncos this season. They finish the year with three AFC West division games and are on the brink of losing all of them.
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