(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editors Desk]: The first day of October marked the arrival of the (1-2) Las Vegas Raiders into SoFi Stadium to take on the Chargers, also with a (1-2) record in an AFC West Divisional match-up. The mood in the Stadium was upbeat in spite of the easily seen Silver & Black jerseys, as well as all of the other famously out-fitted and legendary Raider fans who descended in mega-packs of fans from all areas known to be Raider strongholds here in the City and from other significant areas of California.
[PRE-GAME SUMMARY]: Declared officially “Out” of this Week #4 match-up for the Chargers due to injuries were the following players: Austin Ekeler (3rd in a row), Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Jr., Alohi Gilman, & several more. Significantly, destined to be “Out” for the Raiders were QB/Jimmy Garoppolo & six others.
[1st Quarter]: Raiders won the coin toss and deferred to have the Chargers receive. On the 1st possession for the Bolts from their 14 yard line, Herbert called a run play that resulted in a quick crowd roar after a big 51 yard run by #12/Derius Davis, on a flanker around play, that put them immediately into Raiders territory. The new line of scrimmage was the Raiders 35. A couple of plays later, they were in the Red Zone for appearance #1. Their drive resulted in a 10 yard Touchdown run by #10/QB Justin Herbert, and the PAT was good by #11/Cameron Dicker. Score was quickly (7-0) Chargers. The scoring drive took 9 plays, covered 86 yds, and used (4:22) of clock, coming officially at (4:22) in the period.
Towards the end of the quarter, the Raiders managed to put their own drive together and it resulted in 1 yard QB sneak by Rookie, #4 Aidan O’Connell. The PAT was good tying the game at (7-7). The score game at the (14:15) minute mark.
[2nd Quarter]: The Bolts started the period with an apparently good 18 yard reception, only to have it ruled incomplete by the Referee. It was appealed by Chargers Head Coach, Brandon Staley and he won, keeping their drive alive. With (10:45) left in period, the Bolts settled for a 25 yard field goal by Dicker after their drive stalled inside the 10 yard line, now making the score (10-7), Chargers.
After a Raider fumble by QB O’Connell, the Bolts sized things up nicely and began a short drive. On a huge and consequential scramble play in their favor, Herbert was blasted after going out-of-bounds at the 30 yard line by Raider, #90 Jerry Tillery who was also ejected for this unsportsmanlike penalty.
The ball was then placed at the 14. Herbert then hit his top Wide Receiver, #13 Keenan Allen, on a crossing pattern for a 7 yd TD. The PAT was good once more by Dicker, for a (17-7) Chargers lead. This all came with (7:20) left in the half.
With time winding down to end the half, a sack fumble was caused by All-Pro D-Lineman, #52 Khalil Mack, that was ultimately recovered on the Raiders 35 by teammate, #98 Austin Johnson. This was the 2nd consecutive turnover by the Silver & Black. The Bolts once again pounced on that opportunity and drove it in for another score when Herbert hit his All-Pro target, Keenan Allen again on a very short slant pattern in front of the goal post for an easy 7 yard TD. The score came at the (3:05) mark.
[HALF-TIME]: Chargers 24 Raiders 7
[3rd Quarter]: It was the Raiders ball by Head Coach’s plan to start the half and it almost cost them as there was yet another near-fumble on the initial snaps of the series. They were then forced to punt and move to defend against the ever-dangerous Herbert and his quick strike passing attack. However, the Bolts had to punt on their first possession. The Raiders then mustered a drive that put them into position for a field goal and they scored when Kicker, #2 Daniel Carlson, made it from the 22 yard line. It came with (4:51) left to play in the period. The Chargers gave up possession on their next series when Herbert threw an interception as the quarter was winding up.
[4th Quarter]: On this occasion, the Raiders had possession to start the final quarter and were working on a drive, but then had to punt. The Chargers took over and they had to do the same thing, and ping-ponged it back to the Raiders. Finally, the Raiders were knocking on the touchdown door with (5:15) left and were on the Bolts’ 2 yard line. It was a 4th and goal from the 1 when Coach McDaniels called on #8 RB/Josh Jacobs to carry it in for the TD. This made the score (24-17) with just (3:59) left to play.
Then, with the Raiders taking over on downs, they threatened to score at the (2:30) mark, however, the Chargers’ big wish for a defensive stop was answered when cornerback, #26 Asante Samuel, Jr., saved the day and preserved the win for the home team with a timely interception at the 5 yard line, and thus moving them to a (2-2) record. The game essentially was over at that point as the Chargers just had to run out the clock.
[FINAL SCORE]: Los Angeles Chargers 24 Las Vegas Raiders 17 [Attendance]: 70,240
[Of Significance]: A good and solid defense was played by the Unit, and without several key players not suiting up, such as Linebacker. #97 Joey Bosa, and # 34 Alohi Gilman, they accomplished their game plan. On offense, Herbert, despite throwing an interception, was good in and outside of the pocket as usual, but did have some moments under severe pressure that led him to scramble, while picking up key first downs. The fans held their breath momentarily when #90 Tillery blasted him out-of-bounds while on the white colored bench area of the field. Tillery was also ejected from the game. The Bolts have a Bye Week on Oct. 8th and return to action on Oct. 16th for a Monday Night Football appearance against the Dallas Cowboys.
[NEXT UP]: Oct. 8th -Bye Week; Oct. 16th – Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, ESPN.