Chargers Survive Tenacious Raiders 24-20

M.T. RobinsonCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders looks to pass against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

I was wrong.

I admit it, I predicted the Raiders were dog-food on Friday, and would play accordingly on Monday night.

WRONG. That was the best Oakland has played the Chargers in years, and I give credit where credit is due. 

The Bolts barely got out with the 24-20 win, and are extremely lucky that they are not 0-1.

In a battle of defense, Oakland showed that they would not be pushed around.

The Chargers just could not find a rhythm until the 4th quarter, where Phillip Rivers finally seemed to hit a stride.

Up to that point, the Raider defense dominated the Chargers powerful offense. A physical contest saw several players on both sides taken off the field, and may have cost the Bolts starting center Nick Hardwick for an extended period.

Ladanian Tomlinson watched from the sidelines in the 4th quarter, as Darren Sproles took over as the Chargers designated Raider killer.

Sproles kept the Chargers hopes alive all night with big kick returns, big gains after the catch, and the big run to win it with just a few seconds left on the clock.

This game was an epic struggle, fittingly played in AFL throwbacks that lent a historical air to the proceedings.

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That makes it 12 in a row for the Chargers over Oakland, but anyone can see that the Raiders are getting better.

I am exhausted, what a battle.

Once again, I give the Raider Nation some props, if you guys can play like that every week, the sky is the limit. See ya down the road at the Q. GOOD GAME.

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