Friday , December 15 2017

Janikowski leads Raiders to victory over Chargers – Woodson walks out a winner in final home game of his career

San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) is tackled by Oakland Raiders strong safety Taylor Mays (bottom), during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, California on Dec 24. (AP)
San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) is tackled by Oakland Raiders strong safety Taylor Mays (bottom), during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, California on Dec 24. (AP)

OAKLAND, Dec 25, (RTRS): Sebastian Janikowski made a 31-yard field goal with 8:04 left in overtime, and the Oakland Raiders held on for a 23-20 victory against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night at the O.co Coliseum.

The Raiders (7-8) triumphed in what could have been their final game in Oakland. They are one of three NFL teams expected to apply for the right to move to the Los Angeles area.

The Raiders and Chargers have joined forces for a new stadium in Carson that they would share. The St. Louis Rams are seeking to relocate in the Los Angeles area and build a stadium in Inglewood.

Raiders safety Charles Woodson played the final home game of his 18-year career. On Monday, he announced that he would retire after this season.

The Raiders took the opening kick in overtime and appeared ready to self-destruct, drawing three costly penalties.

However, on second-and-29 from the Oakland 20-yard line, quarterback Derek Carr completed a short pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman drew a 15-yard penalty for his hit on a defenseless player, giving Oakland a first down at the 43.

On third-and-8 from the San Diego 43, Carr completed a 33-yard pass to wide receiver Seth Roberts, giving Oakland a first down at the 10 and setting up Janikowski’s chip shot.

The Chargers (4-11) took over on their 20 but were stopped on downs after gaining only 7 yards. Quarterback Philip Rivers’ pass on fourth-and-3 fell incomplete, sealing the Raiders’ win.

Raiders running back Latavius Murray carried 19 times for 79 yards, giving him 1,033 yards for the season. He also scored on a 22-yard run.

Carr completed 24 of 39 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

Rivers completed 31 of 49 passes for 277 yards and one touchdown. Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman caught eight passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers led 17-12 and had the ball at their 38 with under six minutes left when Rivers completed a short pass to tight end David Johnson.

However, Oakland linebacker Malcolm Smith forced a fumble, and defensive end Benson Mayowa recovered it and returned 41 yards to the 3.

On first down, Carr hit Crabtree in the left corner of the end zone, giving Oakland an 18-17 lead with 4:42 left. The Raiders went for two, and Carr converted with a pass to Roberts, extending Oakland’s lead to 20-17.

The Chargers roared back, quickly marching into Oakland territory. On third-and-10 from the Raiders 45, Rivers threw incomplete to Inman, but cornerback DJ Hayden was flagged for interference, giving San Diego a first down at the 30. The Chargers gained only 3 more yards in three plays, but Josh Lambo kicked a 45-yard field goal with 55 seconds left, making it 20-20.

The Chargers built a 17-10 halftime lead, but Oakland sliced it to 17-12 when defensive end Denico Autry sacked Rivers in the end zone for a safety with 2:11 left in the third quarter.

Lambo kicked a 53-yard field goal with 8:48 remaining, but Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack was flagged for holding, and the Chargers accepted the penalty, taking three points off the board.

On first down, Rivers threw an apparent 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ladarius Green. However, after a video review, the pass was ruled incomplete because the ball hit the ground when Green landed in the end zone.

The Chargers wound up settling for another field-goal try, and this time Lambo missed from 48 yards.

San Diego capitalized on a Raiders turnover to take a quick 7-0 lead as running back Donald Brown plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 9:09 left in the first quarter.

Facing second-and-5 from Oakland’s 36, Carr tried to hit fullback Marcel Reece with a short pass, but defensive end Kendall Reyes deflected the ball at the line of scrimmage and made a diving interception.

The Chargers drove 32 yards in seven plays. Rivers hit running back Donald Brown for 23 yards and Inman for 12, giving the Chargers first-and-goal at the 1 before Brown scored.

The Raiders answered with a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive, Murray scoring on a 22-yard run with 3:27 remaining in the opening quarter.

Carr completed all five of his passes for 58 yards on the drive, while Murray carried three times for 33 yards.

Rivers put the Chargers ahead 14-7 with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Inman with 11:05 left in the half, capping a six-play, 33-yard drive. Rivers went 4-for-4 for 35 yards on the drive.

The Raiders cut San Diego’s lead to 14-10 with 6:03 left on Janikowski’s 50-yard field goal. The field goal was Janikowski’s 52nd of 50 or more yards, tying Jason Hanson for the NFL record.

San Diego countered with Lambo’s 47-yard field with 31 seconds left in the half, making it 17-10.

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