Raiders Shock Chargers 35-27

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The Raiders blocked to punts in their 35-27 woion over the Chargers. AP Photo.

Holding onto a 28-27 lead, SS Tyvon Branch raced 64 yards with a fumble recovery with less than a minute to go to put an end to any Chargers comeback hopes as the Raiders defeated their arch-rivals 35-27 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. QB Jason Campbell came off the bench in relief of an injured Bruce Gradkowski and RB Michael Bush had 26 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Chargers won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. The Chargers started the game at their own 23 after the kickoff return. The Raiders held the Chargers to a three and out and RB Rock Cartwright blocked P Mike Scifres punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety and the Raiders took a 2-0 lead. The free kick went out of bounds and the Raiders offense took over at midfield. K Sebastian Janikowski capped a 5-play, 18-yard scoring drive with a 50-yard field goal and the Raiders led 5-0 with 12:03 left in the first quarter.

RB Darren Sproles fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone for a touchback. The Raiders held the Chargers to another three and out and Scifres came on to punt.  The Raiders blocked another punt and safety Hiram Eugene scooped it up and ran it in for the touchdown. The extra point was good and the Raiders took a 12-0 lead with 10:33 left in the first quarter.

The ensuing kickoff was downed for a touchback. The Chargers drove all the way to the Raiders 1-yard line before Mike Tolbert fumbled. Safety Mike Mitchell recovered for the Raiders and returned it to the 14. The Raiders went three and out and Sproles returned P Shane Lechler's 63-yard punt to the San Diego 28.

Again, the Chargers were driving when DT Richard Seymour recovered a fumble after DE Matt Shaughnessy sacked and stripped QB Philip Rivers. The Raiders took over at their own 19. Gradkowski was sacked and fumbled on the next play. The Chargers recovered and returned the fumble deep into Raiders territory. The Raiders challenged the ruling and won the challenge. Gradkowski was injured on the play and Jason Campbell entered the game at quarterback. The Raiders were unable to move the ball and Lechler's punt was returned by Sproles to the San Diego 23.

The Chargers got on the board when Rivers found TE Antonio Gates for a 19-yard scoring strike. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 12-7 with 10:07 left in the second quarter.

WR Jacoby Ford returned but fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but the Raiders recovered at their own 36. The Raiders went three and out and Sproles made a fair catch of a Lechler punt at the Chargers 19.

 The Raiders held the Chargers to a three and out but a roughing the punter call gave San Diego a first down. The Chargers took the lead with Tolbert cashed in on a 5-yard touchdown run to cap an 8-play, 81-yard drive. The extra point was good and the Chargers led 14-12 with 4:49 left in the 2nd quarter.

Ford returned the ensuing kickoff to the Raiders 33. Janikowski put the Raiders ahead 15-14 with a 30-yard field goal last in the 2nd quarter. The Chargers reclaimed the lead when K Nate Kaeding hit a 43-yard field goal to give San Diego a 17-15 advantage with one second left in the second quarter.

The Raiders went three and out, then forced a Chargers punt and then failed on 4th and 2 at the San Diego 37. The Chargers increased their lead to 24-15 when Rivers connected with WR Malcolm Floyd for a 41-yard TD pass and Kaeding added the extra point.

Campbell connected with TE Zach Miller for a 1-yard TD pass to cap a 12-play, 97-yard drive. San Diego challenged the ruling but it was upheld. The extra point was good and the Raiders cut San Diego's lead to 24-22 late in the 3rd quarter. The ensuing kickoff was downed for a touchback.

Kaeding increased the Chargers lead to 27-22 with a 34-yard field goal to cap a 9-play, 63-yard drive with 12:00 left in the 4th quarter.

RB Michael Bush capped a 14-play, 73-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run. The two-point conversion was no good but the Raiders led 28-27 with 3:39 left to play.

Michael Huff sacked Rivers causing a fumble which Tyvon Branch scooped up and returned 64 yards for the deciding score. The defense closed it out and Campbell took a knee to run out the clock.

The Raiders improve to 2-3 on the season and head across to Bay Bridge next week to face the San Francisco 49ers.

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