Chargers Vs. Raiders: Thriller On Monday Night
Rivers answered a pair of go-ahead scores by Oakland by leading two touchdown drives and Darren Sproles scored the game-winner on a 5-yard run with 18 seconds left to give the Chargers their 12th straight victory over the Raiders, 24-20 Monday night.
This might have been the toughest one of the bunch. JaMarcus Russell had given Oakland a 20-17 lead with a 57-yard touchdown pass to rookie Louis Murphy with 2:34 left. But despite having two backup linemen in the game, Rivers calmly led the Chargers down the field for the winning score.
Rivers was six for seven for 79 yards on the winning drive before Sproles silenced the crowd with his run up the middle. This marked the Raiders' 11th straight loss in prime time and perhaps the most painful, considering how close they came.
Raiders offensive lineman Cornell Green let out Oakland's frustration with an expletive-laden outburst as he left the field, screaming that the Chargers got lucky to win.
They took a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski before Rivers drove the Chargers down and gave them the lead with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson. Then Russell's fourth-down pass to Murphy looked as if it would provide an emphatic end to a pair of losing streaks. Instead, it was just a footnote to Oakland's league-worst 73rd loss since the start of the 2003 season.
The Chargers offense looked overmatched for much of the night against newly acquired Richard Seymour and the Raiders defense. Injuries to center Nick Hardwick and guard Louis Vasquez in the third quarter made moving the ball even tougher for San Diego and the frustration led Rivers to commit a personal foul that thwarted one drive.
But the two last drives were the reason why the Chargers gave Rivers the big six-year contract extension with $38 million guaranteed last month. He finished 24 for 36 for 252 yards, playing his best when it counted most.
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