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Comeback attempt stalled as Chargers hand Raiders first loss

The Las Vegas Raiders lost their first game of the season Monday when they traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, 28-14.

This loss ended the Raiders’ longest winning streak to start a season since the 2002-03 NFL season. That year they started with a 4-0 record on their way to a Super Bowl appearance.

The Raiders continued to shoot themselves in the foot over and over again throughout the first half of their Monday Night Football matchup. They had more penalty yards (54) in the first half than they had total offensive yards (53).

“I’m proud of our team for fighting, competing, giving us a chance in the fourth quarter,” said Jon Gruden, Raiders head coach. “It was a ridiculous way to start the game. I credit the Chargers, they’re a good football team.”

The offense couldn’t get any rhythm going when they had the ball. They were only able to muster up one first down during the first half and were forced to punt five times on seven drives.

Derek Carr finished the game with a season-low 196 passing yards. He was able to finally get the Raiders on the board in the third quarter, where he threw both of his touchdowns, however, in the fourth quarter he threw his only interception and it turned out to be a very costly one.

In the midst of a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, the Raiders needed a lot of yards in a short amount of time. While trying to stretch the field, Carr attempted a deep pass to his tight end, Darren Waller, but the throw was short and was intercepted by the Chargers’ safety, Derwin James Jr.

“We needed a play.” James Jr. said. “We know we’re up two touchdowns, they gotta get out of bounds. So, everything is going to be really outbreaking. My coach put me in great leverage and I made the play.”

Josh Jacobs led the Raiders in the ground game in his first game back from dealing with injuries. He finished with 13 carries for 40 rushing yards and pitched in 17 receiving yards on five catches. Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow helped lead the Raiders in the receiving category.

Waller finished with four catches for 50 yards and one touchdown, while Renfrow finished with six catches for 45 yards and one touchdown.

On the other side of the field, it was the Austin Ekeler Show. Ekeler, the starting running back for the Chargers, finished the game with 145 total yards and two touchdowns.

He had 117 rushing yards on 15 carries with one touchdown and added in three catches for 28 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Star quarterback Justin Herbert led the Chargers’ passing attack. Herbert finished the game with 222 passing yards to go along with his three touchdown passes. All three of his touchdowns came in the first half to give the Chargers their 21-0 lead heading into halftime.

The Raiders’ next game will be on Sunday, Oct. 10, when they host Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears.

The Bears will be coming off of a huge win against the Lions. This was also Fields’ first win as an NFL starting quarterback.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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