By Liz Alper
Photos courtesy Joel Price
October 10, 2016 (Oakland) - For week four, the Chargers traveled north to face the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders. The Raiders started the scoring midway through the first quarter with a field goal from Sebastian Janikowski, good for three points and the Raiders took a 3-0 lead.
But in the second, Philip Rivers and his arm made their presence known with a long pass to Tyrell Williams right into the endzone for a score. 7-3 Chargers after the extra point. The Raiders crept closer when Janikowski hit another short field goal to make the score 7-6 Chargers. But Josh Lambo put the Bolts further up with a field goal and they led by four, 10-6. Janikowski nailed a 56-yard field goal at the end of the half, but the Chargers went to the locker room with a one point lead, 10-9.
In the second half, the Chargers abandoned the field goal in favor of the touchdown machine, as he was called on the broadcast, Melvin Gordon, who caught a short pass for a touchdown and the Chargers went up 17-9 after the extra point. But the Raiders came back in a big way when Derek Carr launched a 64-yard pass to Amari Cooper for Cooper’s first touchdown of the year and the Raiders were within one, 17-16. Hunter Henry answered again with a short one-yard pass into the endzone to get the Chargers out ahead 24-16. Janikowski went to work again with a 46-yard attempt that was good and the Bolts still led 24-19. But the Chargers still weren’t able to escape their second half woes. After a fumble by Gordon that was recovered by the Raiders, they went for it on fourth down and Carr’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree was complete and the Raiders were ahead again after the two point conversion 27-24.
In the fourth quarter, after a lengthy discussion by the referees on whether there was another Raiders touchdown (the play eventually resulted in pass interference against the Chargers), Jamize Olawale ran it in at the one for another touchdown. 34-24 Raiders. The Chargers got some reprieve when they worked their way downfield and Rivers tossed it to Antonio Gates and the Bolts were within three after the extra point, 34-31. They had a chance to tie it on a field goal, but Drew Kaser bobbled the snap on a field goal attempt and the Bolts would fall to 1-4 as they lose this one 34-31.
The Chargers have the Thursday Night Football slot for week five and will be home at Qualcomm taking on another AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos.