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Raiders Stay Alive by Demoralizing Chargers, 63-21

The Las Vegas Raiders (6-8) demoralized the Los Angeles Chargers (5-9) tonight 63-21 here at Allegiant Stadium, keeping their NFL Playoff hopes alive.

LAS VEGAS, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders remained alive in the National Football League playoff chase, and how!

Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the Silver Black forced five fumbles and scored the first 49 points in a 63-21 rout of the AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Raiders (6-8) snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 3-3 under Interim Coach Antonio Pierce since he replaced fired Coach Josh McDaniels. The Silver and Black improved their record against the Chargers (5-9) to 67-58-2 after losing to Los Angeles, 24-17, earlier this season at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

The Silver and Black scored the most points in a game in franchise history, breaking the record set in a 59-14 victory over the Denver Broncos in 2010 at Mile High Stadium in Denver when McDaniels coached the Broncos.

“We knew at halftime what the record was,” Pierce said. “We want to be aggressive regardless of what the score was. If we had 21 or 10, we were going to be aggressive. That was our mindset.”

Las Vegas scored the first three times it had the ball on running back Zamir White’s one-yard run, O’Connell’s 30-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Tre Tucker, who scored the first touchdown of his NFL career, and O’Connell’s 22-yard pass to diving wide receiver Jakobi Meyers for a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

Las Vegas Raiders Celebrate a Blowout Win Over the Los Angeles Chargers

O’Connell threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Michael Mayer, running back Brandon Bolden ran 26 yards for another score on a direct snap from center, and O’Connell hit Tucker from 20 yards out as the Raiders scored 21 more points in the second quarter to build a 42-0 halftime lead.

That tied the Silver and Black’s record for points in a half, set when quarterback Daryle Lamonica threw six touchdown passes to build a 42-7 halftime lead over the Buffalo Bills in 1969 at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Raiders moved ahead, 49-0, on their first possession of the third quarter by driving 75 yards on nine plays following the second-half kickoff, as Meyers took a lateral from O’Connell and threw a three-yard scoring pass to All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams. It was the third touchdown pass of Meyers’ NFL career.

The Chargers finally scored on the first play after the ensuing kickoff when quarterback Easton Stick threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joshua Palmer to make it 49-7 with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Las Vegas added two more touchdowns, the first when defensive end Malcolm Koonce strip-sacked Stick and defensive tackle John Jenkins scooped up the ball and rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the third quarter to make it 56-7.

On the first series of the fourth quarter, cornerback Jack Jones made an amazing interception of a pass by Stick and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown to make the score 63-7.

“We were kicking (butt),” Jones said.

The Raiders tied an NFL record set by the 1950 Los Angeles Rams, with eight players scoring touchdowns.

The Chargers drove 75 yards in 11 plays on the next series, with Stick throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alex Erickson after the Raiders had pulled most of their defensive starters. Los Angeles also scored another meaningless touchdown on Stick’s six-yard scoring pass to rookie wide Quentin Johnston with 2:38 left in the game.

The Raiders outgained the Chargers 378 yards to 326, most of Los Angeles’ yards coming after the game was out of reach. Las Vegas also forced five fumbles, recovering four to tie two franchise records, and added a fifth turnover on Jones’ interception.

All five turnovers were converted into Las Vegas touchdowns.

O’Connell, who lost the first start of his NFL career in that game against the Chargers earlier this season, completed 20 of 34 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He was sacked only once after Los Angeles sacked him seven times -- including six by former Raiders Khalil Mack -- the last time.

The Raiders played without star running back Josh Jacobs, the NFL’s defending rushing champion who has a quad injury, but White led the Raiders with a career-high 69 yards on 17 carries and the first touchdown of the game while adding three catches for 16 yards.

Running back Ameer Abdullah added six carries for 32 yards, and Bolden had 25 yards on his first two carries of the season, including the touchdown, as the Silver and Black for 124 rushing yards – going over 100 for the fourth this season, all under Pierce.

Adams led the Raiders with eight receptions for 101 yards and the touchdown, Mayer had four grabs for 39 yards and a score, and Tucker had three catches for 59 yards, the first two scores of his NFL career. Meyers caught two balls for 32 yards and the touchdown; in addition to competing for both passes, he threw to Adams for 12 yards and another score.

“It shows the resilience we have as a group,” Adams said. “You can easily let something like that get in your head and throw off the rest of the season. To bounce back in just a short amount of time in front of you, that’s the type of response we’re going to need.”

Stick completed 23-of-32 passes for 257 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in addition to losing two fumbles. In comparison, Palmer led the Chargers with four catches for 113 yards and a score, and running Isaiah Spiller led Los Angeles with 50 yards on 16 carries.

The Raiders held the Chargers’ leading rusher, Austin Ekeler, to nine yards on five carries, and he caught four passes for 29 yards.

“We got our (butts) kicked,” Ekeler said. “That’s all I've got for you.”

Linebacker Divine Deablo led the Raiders with 12 tackles. At the same time, Jones made five stops and the interception, and defensive end Maxx Crosby, linebacker Patrick Spillane, cornerback Jakorian Bennett, cornerback Amik Robertson, and defensive tackle Adam Butler all made four tackles.

In addition, Koonce had three tackles plus three quarterback hits, two sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks led the Chargers with 12 tackles and their only sack, as Mack was shut out in that department while making only three tackles as the Raiders offensive line stepped up without their two best linemen -- left tackle Kolton Miller and center Andre James, who was out because of injuries.

The Raiders have 11 days off before they play on Christmas Day against their AFC West arch-rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, after the Chiefs beat the Silver and Black, 31-17, at Allegiant Stadium on Week 12.

The following week, the Raiders will play their final road game of the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis before the last game of the season a week later on January 7 against their AFC West rivals, the Denver Broncos, at Allegiant Stadium.

In September, the Raiders defeated the Broncos, 17-16, in the season opener at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.

Once again, Raider Nation hopes there will be more after that.

The Silver and Black will return to action versus their AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Christmas Day in Arrowhead Stadium. Don't miss it on Monday, December 25, at 1:00 p.m. EST/10:00 a.m. PST.

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