While Thursday night’s battle of AFC West foes was marred with flag after flag from the officials, the back and forth nature of the game made for an entertaining night up until the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The host Raiders built a quick 10-point lead in the first quarter thanks to multiple mistakes from Chargers QB Philip Rivers, one of which was returned by Oakland’s Erik Harris for a 56-yard touchdown.
The Chargers responded in the second quarter as Rivers settled down and led consecutive touchdown drives. First, Rivers hit TE Hunter Henry standing all alone in the back of the end zone. The second score came on a short run from RB Melvin Gordon, who looks all the way back from his post-holdout slump. Oakland regained the lead as QB Derek Carr hit FB Alec Ingold for a nine-yard score. The Raiders led 17-14 at the half.
The two teams traded field goals in the third quarter before things really heated up in the final period. The Chargers executed a long drive, spanning over eight minutes and nearly 70 yards, ending with Rivers hitting RB Austin Ekeler for a six-yard score. That gave the Chargers a four-point lead with just over four minutes remaining.
Carr and the Raiders started the drive at the seven-yard line and made play after play to get into a position to take the lead. They did just that as rookie RB Josh Jacobs burst up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown. Raiders K Daniel Carlson then botched the extra point, giving the Chargers hope.
With only a minute remaining, a field goal would win the game. Like he did early in the game, Rivers and his teammates committed multiple mistakes, including the one that sealed the game. On fourth and 10, Rivers sailed one over his receiver’s head into the arms of Karl Joseph for an interception. The Raiders held on for the 26-24 win.
Carr did just enough to lead his team to a win, passing for 218 yards and a touchdown, while Jacobs rumbled for 71 yards on 16 carries, along with three receptions for 30 yards. RB Jalen Richard led the Raiders in receiving for the second straight game, totaling 43 yards on four catches, most of that coming on the final game-winning drive. TE Darren Waller was held in check with a 3/40 line and WR Tyrell Williams, playing in a revenge game against his former squad, caught three passes for 25 yards.
Rivers played one of his worst games of the year, tossing three interceptions and taking five sacks. Of course, not all of that was his fault as his protection broke down and OL Russell Okung left the game with an injury. Rivers did pass for two touchdowns and 207 yards.
Gordon rushed 22 times for 108 yards and added a 25-yard reception, along with his touchdown. RB Austin Ekeler still enjoyed a solid role despite Gordon’s success. Ekeler totaled 48 yards and a score on eight touches. WR Keenan Allen caught eight passes for 68 yards, his best game in weeks and WR Mike Williams added two grabs for 55 yards. Henry finished with four receptions for 30 yards.
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Green Suffers Setback, Out Indefinitely
After he was not traded at the deadline, the assumption was that the Bengals would have veteran WR A.J. Green back on the field in Week 10. Green has missed the entire season so far after suffering a sprained ankle. The optimism about Green’s status was dashed when HC Zac Taylor responded with, “We’ll see,” when asked if Green would suit up against the Ravens this week. Reporters then asked Green about his status and he admitted that his ankle was swollen, and he would not play. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that Green had experienced a setback and would be out indefinitely. Green’s time away from the team has been filled with trade rumors, reports of a contract dispute and plenty of Bengals’ losses. All of these combined suggest Green, a free agent following this season, may never play for the Bengals again.
Cooper Seeing Specialist
Cowboys WR Amari Cooper missed Thursday’s practice and was sent to see a doctor about his injured knee. Cooper first suffered the injury in practice last week and then aggravated the issue during Monday night’s game against the Giants. Cooper was ultimately diagnosed with a bruised knee, but Cowboys official suggests that Cooper is still expected to play in Week 10 against the Vikings. This will be a situation to monitor at the very least.
Chargers S Derwin James (foot) is expected to return in Week 13. … Saints HC Sean Payton said he fully expects RB Alvin Kamara to play in Week 10. The superstar back hasn’t played since Week Six, but did get in a full practice on Thursday. … Jets RB Le’Veon Bell (knee) was limited in practice. … 49ers K Robbie Gould is dealing with a quad injury and seems unlikely to play against Seattle, forcing the team to sign K Chase McLaughlin. … Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) didn’t practice Thursday and is not expected to play against Dallas in Week 10. … Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) was limited at practice, though he is expected to play this week…Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds (hamstring) did not practice and is not expected to play in Week 10. … Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was absent from Thursday’s practice as he is reportedly dealing with an illness. … Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (knee) was limited in practice. Early reports suggest Brissett will try to play this week. … Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey was limited in practice and will be good to go this weekend against the Packers. … Panthers WR Curtis Samuel (hamstring) practiced in full. … Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is not expected to play against the Rams in Week 10. Conner sat out last week and has practiced this week but reportedly hasn’t progressed enough to play. … Titans WR Corey Davis (hip) remained sidelined from practice. … 49ers TE George Kittle missed Thursday’s practice with knee and ankle injuries and team officials have been noncommittal on his Week 10 status. This will be a story to watch as we near the weekend. … Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (knee) was added to the practice report but is expected to suit up against the Vikings. … Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) remained sidelined, as expected. Hilton is expected to miss multiple weeks with the injury. … Jets TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) was again limited at practice, though he is expected to make his season debut this week. … Falcons QB Matt Ryan (ankle) remained limited in practice, though he is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. … Falcons RB Ito Smith (neck) missed another practice and will sit out again this week. … Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle) is practicing in full and will return to the team. He’ll likely share the backfield with new Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake. … Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (hamstring) is practicing and will return after two missed games…Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) is fully practicing. … Packers WR Davante Adams (toe) was limited at practice, but expects to suit up this weekend. … Steelers backup RBs Benny Snell (knee) and Trey Edmunds (ribs) each missed practice Thursday. … Seahawks new WR Josh Gordon was limited in practice due to an ankle issue. Gordon is still expected to make his Seattle debut this week on Monday Night Football.
Veteran free agent WR Antonio Brown is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week to further discuss the off-field allegations against him in an effort to get back into the league. Brown suggests there are multiple teams interested in signing him once any legal issues are cleared up. … Veteran TE Eric Ebron initiated a meeting with HC Frank Reich to discuss his role in the offense. After a career-year in 2018, Ebron has taken a major step back this year. … The Redskins placed T Trent Williams on the reserve/non-football injury list. This ends Williams’ season and means Washington does not have to pay his salary. This one remains headed for a nasty divorce. … The Browns rewarded 28-year old C J.C. Tretter with a new three-year, $32.5 million contract extension, including $23 million guaranteed.