Raiders can’t dig way out of big hole against Chargers, lose 28-14

Leatherwood moves to guard
Oct 4, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) runs the ball against Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyler Fackrell (52) during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders have been good at erasing 14-point deficits this season on their way to a 3-0 record. But on Monday night, Las Vegas spotted the Los Angeles Chargers 21 first-half points.

It was a deficit too hard to overcome and the Raiders lost their first game this season, 28-14, in Los Angeles.

Justin Herbert threw for three touchdown passes and Austin Ekeler rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers.

Derek Carr had two touchdowns and 196 yards. He also was sacked four times and thew an interception. Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow each caught touchdown passes.

The win set up a three-way tie in the AFC West, with the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos all at 3-1. The Chiefs are 2-2.

The Raiders rallied with two touchdowns to cut the lead to 21-14 entering the fourth quarter, but weren’t able to get any closer.

The Raiders forced a Chargers punt with 12:26 left in the fourth quarter. Carr hit Henry Ruggs for 51 yards to set up a first down at the Chargers 35. Los Angeles held, however, and Daniel Carlson missed a 52-yard field goal. It was his first miss of the season.

After the missed field goal, the Chargers took possession at their own 42. Keenan Allen dropped a pass for on third down at midfield, but Los Angeles went on fourth down and converted on a Herbert to Cook pass for 13 yards and a first down.

The drive continued and Ekeler finished it off with an 11-yard touchdown run and Los Angeles led 28-14 with 4:51 left in the game.

On the next drive, Carr was intercepted by Derwin James. The Chargers ran the ball on their next drive, exhausting all three Raiders timeouts in the process.

On fourth and 10 from the Raiders 36, the Chargers set up for a field goal but kicker Tristan Vizcaino pooch punted the ball to the 10 yard line.

The Raiders took possession with 1:51 left in the game trailing by 14. Four plays later, the Raiders turned the ball over on downs and the Chargers ran out the clock.

Raiders get back in the game in third quarter

The Raiders came out in the second half, taking the opening kickoff and driving 75 yards for their first touchdown of the game. Carr connected with Renfrow for 10-yards to cut the lead to 21-7 with 9:01 left in the third quarter.

The Raiders forced a Charger punt and then went 81 yards for another touchdown. This one was Carr to Waller for three yards.

The two long drives ate up most of the third quarter clock and the Raiders entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-14.

Raiders dig big first-half hole

The Raiders have started in a 14-0 hole twice this season only to come back and win. In the first half Monday night, Las Vegas spotted the Chargers 21 points.

The Chargers took the opening drive 75 yards on 12 plays, scoring on a 4-yard pass from Herbert to Donald Parham Jr.

In the second quarter, Herbert connected with former Raider Cook on a 10-yard scoring pass. to raise the score to 14-0. The play capped a 6-play, 80-yard drive.

After a Raiders punt, Herbert hit Ekeler for a 14-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left in the half. That score put the Chargers up 21-0.