San Diego, CA- The San Diego Chargers rallied to defeat the Oakland Raiders 31-28 Sunday afternoon. Chargers improve to (5-1) on the season with their fifth straight win and the Oakland Raiders fall to (0-5) with their 11th straight loss.
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Undrafted rookie running back Branden Oliver scored the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run with 1:56 to remaining in the game and rookie 1st round pick Jason Verrett picked off Derek Carr for his first career interception to seal the win for the Chargers.
Carr let everyone know he was ready to duel Philip Rivers on their first drive of the game with a 77-yard touchdown pass to Holmes to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead. Rivers would match Carr and connect with Eddie Royal for a 29-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Rivers would connect with Malcom Floyd for a five-yard touchdown to begin the second quarter to give the Chargers a 14-7 lead.
The lead wouldn’t last for long as Carr would drive the Raiders down the field and connect with James Jones for a six-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14. Sebastian Janikowski would miss a 53-yard field goal to end the half and keep the game tied at 14-14.
The Chargers would drive the ball into Raiders terriory to begin the 2nd half, but multiple penalties took away a Nick Novak 54-yard field goal.
Carr would take advantage of the penalties and connect with Brice Butler for a 47-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 21-14 lead. Rivers would tie the game on a 1-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to tie the game at 21-21 to end the 3rd quarter.
Carr would take advantage of the Chargers injured secondary and connect with Holmes again to give the Raiders back the lead 28-21. Rivers would drive the ball into the redzone on their next drive, but were unable to tie the game and settled for a 30-yard field goal by Nick Novak to cut the Raiders lead to 28-24.
The Chargers defense would then step-up and force a three-and-out to give the Chargers back the ball and allow Oliver to score the go-ahead touchdown.
With Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown out with injuries, undrafted rookie Branden Oliver continued to carry the Chargers on his back with 101 yards on 26 rushes and scored the game-winning touchdown. Oliver’s stats don’t do enough justice for how well he performed today. Oliver over and over again provided the Chargers with hard-nose runs up the middle to move the chains for the Chargers throughout the game.