Raiders winners and losers in 27-20 victory vs. Chargers

The Raiders nearly wasted a dominant performance on offense and defense against the Chargers but came out on top, 27-20, at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

After a slow start that included two early turnovers, the Raiders offense averaged nearly seven yards per play against Los Angeles, led by wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Josh Jacobs. The Las Vegas defense didn’t allow a touchdown until the fourth quarter, hounding Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert along the way.

It added up to a 27-13 fourth-quarter lead, but the Raiders defense had to stop a last-gasp effort by the Chargers to earn a close win, Las Vegas’ third-straight.

Here are the winners and losers for the week, as the Raiders put a dent in the Chargers’ playoff plans and improved their own record to 5-7.

Winner: DE Chandler Jones

This season has been disappointing for defensive end Chandler Jones, but on Sunday, he did his best to make up for it.

Jones had a huge impact early as the offense sputtered in the first quarter. He got his first full QB sack of the season on the Chargers’ first drive, and he followed that with a big 4th-and-2 tackle that stopped Herbert short of a first down on LA’s second drive.

He ended up with three QB sacks, with his second being the most impactful. The play held the Chargers to a field goal try and a 10-0 lead.

The offense got cooking after that, and thanks to Jones and the defense, QB Derek Carr and company were within striking distance when they did. Jones ended his day with those three sacks, two tackles for loss, a pass defensed, four QB hits, and six tackles.

Winner: RB Josh Jacobs

Jacobs racked up 144 rushing yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, once again proving to be a key cog in the Raiders’ offensive machine. He had one of the Raiders’ two early turnovers, a fumble after a nifty reception, but he didn’t lose focus, and coach Josh McDaniels didn’t stop feeding him the football.

Jacobs demoralized the Chargers with several high-effort runs, refusing to go down at first contact. He’s the perfect compliment to the Raiders’ other explosive option on offense, Davante Adams.

Winner: WR Davante Adams

The Raiders offense didn’t get on track until Carr and McDaniels targeted Adams in the second quarter. From that point forward, Adams dominated. He ended up with 177 receiving yards on eight receptions, including two touchdowns. His performance set an all-time mark for Raiders wide receivers.

He was a threat all over the field and both of his touchdowns were from further than 30 yards out, including a 45-yard grab on a flea flicker.

After turning to Adams, Carr found his groove and more than made up for his early interception, which the Chargers returned for a touchdown.

Winner: Raiders defense

From the Chargers’ first play from scrimmage, it was clear Herbert would have his work cut out for him, as defensive end Maxx Crosby forced a fumble that the Chargers recovered.

The Raiders went on to play their finest game on defense, not allowing a touchdown until the fourth quarter. The defensive front built on their solid performance last week (as did the Las Vegas offensive line), and was an imposing force all afternoon.

The unit had five sacks, five tackles for loss, and 14 QB hits. The pressure allowed the defensive backs more room for error, and Herbert had just one touchdown and a pedestrian 88.5 QB rating.

Winner: DB Nate Hobbs and S Duron Harmon

The Raiders took control of the game in the third quarter, and it started with a forced turnover from the silver and black. Cornerback Nate Hobbs, in his first game back from the injured reserve, recovered a fumble after safety Duron Harmon punched the football loose.


Adams caught a 31-yard TD on the very next play and Las Vegas was ahead for good.

Loser: CB Amik Robertson

Chargers WR Keenan Allen said the Raiders secondary would be “barbequed chicken” if they covered him one-on-one on Sunday. But for much of the day, Allen was quiet — until Herbert made an incredible touchdown throw to Allen at the expense of cornerback Amik Robertson.

Robertson’s coverage was solid, but he took the “L” on this play, as he was all alone with Allen in the end zone. Thankfully for him, Robertson’s squad got the “W” and put a dent in Allen’s plans for the playoffs.

Loser: C Andre James

Center Andre James and the offensive line allowed zero QB sacks and just two QB hits, but James is on the Loser list for a high snap as the Raiders’ offense was still trying to hit its stride.

It was on a 3rd-and-5 play as Las Vegas trailed, 10-7. The Raiders still notched a field goal on the drive, but anytime James botches a snap, he’s in danger of earning an “L” from this column.

Loser: Kicker Daniel Carlson

Kicker Daniel Carlson was 2-for-3 on his field goals and hit all of his extra points. But he missed his first-ever kick at Allegiant stadium, breaking a streak of 47 makes in a row.

His record was impressive, however, in comparison with other kickers in league history. He rebounded nicely, too, as he returned to hit a fourth-quarter field goal that gave the Raiders a seven-point lead.

This was the Raiders’ finest performance of the season, and though it appeared they might blow it late, as they have in other games this year, Las Vegas held on. Just like last week’s win in Seattle, they overcame a slow start and got an impressive win.

Perhaps the rest of their season can unfold in a similar fashion. The Raiders got off to an awful start and dug themselves a 2-7 hole. But after three straight wins, Las Vegas has an opportunity to finish strong and maybe even earn a winning record.

McDaniels has to have his team ready to play Thursday night against the struggling Rams, but Las Vegas should be favored to win that game, just as they were favored against the Chargers. Can they win four in a row? Right now, I wouldn’t bet against them.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire