LA’s Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler topple Las Vegas’ winning streak
The Las Vegas Raiders winning streak finally came to an end Monday after falling to the Los Angeles Chargers 24-18.
The Chargers’ Justin Herbert threw for three touchdowns, and Austin Ekeler rushed for a career-high 117 yards and scored twice as the team knocked the Raiders from the unbeaten ranks with a 28-14 victory.
The Raiders certainly had a few hurdles stacked against them in LA.
Like their previous game, the Raiders had a slow start. Despite SoFi Stadium having a roof, the start of the game was delayed 35 minutes due to lightning strikes. Since the stadium is considered open-air due to its north side being open on the upper deck, officials made the decision to delay the game for safety reasons.
The Raiders also had their share of injuries. Both Cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen Jr. and Damon Arnette were injured with foot and groin injuries respectively during the first quarter, and Cornerback Nate Hobbs suffered a concussion in the second half. None of these players returned to the game.
Herbert made all of his touchdowns in the first half as LA achieved a towering 21-0 halftime lead over the Raiders, who only produced 49 total offensive yards. The Raiders finally caught up in the second half after Carr threw touchdown passes to Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, bringing 14 points in for the Raiders.
“We cannot come out and take that many punches in the first round,” coach Jon Gruden said in a post-game conference. “We found a way to make it a football game and give ourselves a chance, but it’s just too hard in this league against good teams.”
Carr tried to rally the team in the fourth quarter with an attempted touchdown pass to Darren Waller but was intercepted by Chargers Safety Derwin James with 3:14 left in the fourth quarter –sealing LA’s victory.
“If anything, hopefully, this wakes us up a little bit. I think we need to start a lot faster if I’m honest,” Carr said in a statement. “We started the season great, but we don’t start games nearly good enough yet.”
The Chargers are now 3-1 for the first time since 2014. The team is also in a three-way tie in the AFC West with the Raiders and Denver Broncos. The Arizona Cardinals now remain as the NFL’s only undefeated team after four weeks.
The Raiders are hosting the Chicago Bears (2-2) at Allegiant Stadium this Sunday.
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