Needing a win to keep pace in the AFC playoff race, the Oakland Raiders welcomed the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers to town for Thursday Night Football. As is normally the case with these two teams, it was a hard-fought battle, but ultimately it was the Raiders that came away with a 26-24 win to move to 5-4 on the year.
The Raiders’ defense has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny in recent weeks, but they stepped up and won the game in this one. With the offense struggling early, Erik Harris came up with two big interceptions of Phillip Rivers in the first quarter, including one that he returned for a touchdown to give his team a 10-0 lead.
A lot of the credit goes to the Raiders’ pass rush as well, particularly rookies Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. The former had 10 pressures on Rivers on the night, the most for a Raider player since 2016, while the latter had a career-high 2.5 sacks.
Eventually, Derek Carr and the Raiders offense found some rhythm. They found themselves trailing late though so Carr had to put one last drive together to earn the victory. He did exactly that, finding Hunter Renfrow and Jalen Richard for a number of first-down passes.
It was Josh Jacobs that eventually scored the game-winning touchdown, taking it in from 18 yards out to give Oakland the lead for good. The leading NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate finished with 16 carries for 71 yards and added three catches for 30 yards as he continues his outstanding debut season.
The Chargers had one last opportunity to win it on their final drive, but Karl Joseph came up with an interception of Rivers, his third of the night, to seal the victory.