Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant

Three Key Plays: Raiders' two defensive touchdowns steal the show in primetime

You could consider this week's Three Key Plays as more of a Three Fun Plays recap, to be honest.

Considering the Raiders scored a franchise record 63 points against the Chargers, there were more than enough plays made to go around for everyone. The Silver and Black had eight different players record a touchdown in this outing, the first time that's happened in the league since the Los Angeles Rams did it in 1950.

The three plays analyzed this week were instant highlights in the second half after the Raiders had taken a 42-0 lead at halftime.

Before we dive into those plays, I'd like to give an honorable mention key play to receiver DJ Turner, who stripped the ball out of Derius Davis' hands on a punt return in the second quarter, then recovering the fumble to put the Raiders offense in the red zone.

Raiders go up 49-0

Third quarter, 10:47

LV 2nd-and-3 at the LAC 3

The Raiders opened up the second half with a sustainable nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a touchdown pass to Davante Adams.

But that touchdown pass wasn't from Aidan O'Connell.

Before Jakobi Meyers was a record-breaking receiver at NC State, he was the starting quarterback for Arabia Mountain High School in Stonecrest, Georgia. And on Thursday night, he threw his third NFL touchdown.

The play itself was a work of art. With O'Connell in shotgun formation, Meyers lined up outside before motioning to the backfield with the quarterback and Zamir White. Once the ball was snapped, O'Connell immediately found Meyers in the backfield for a lateral pass. The play initially looked like a wide receiver screen, however, no blockers came Meyers' way to set him up for a run.

Adams, who lined up at slot receiver, ran a masterful zig route to the outside corner, freezing linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. in the middle of the field. Meyers rolling out to the right side drew the attention of cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., whose original assignment in coverage was Adams. Meyers threw a dot over the cornerback's head to No. 17 in the end zone, with safety Alohi Gilman a few steps behind.

"Just don't airmail it," Meyers said of what went through his mind on the touchdown pass. "He's right there, just let him touch it. We had [that play] up for a couple of weeks, we were just waiting on the right moment. Shoutout to [interim offensive coordinator] Bo [Hardegree] for calling it in that spot."

It also wasn't the first pass Meyers threw to Adams in the game, running a similar play for a nine-yard gain late in the second quarter.

"It was good to see Kob go out there and throw one, glad I was able to get in," said Adams. "The first pass on the sideline, we worked on that in practice and it kind of broke down the same way as it did there, so it's a real gratifying feeling to see those type of plays pay off."

It was Meyers' first touchdown pass since Week 16 of the 2021 season and he's the first Raider to have a passing and receiving touchdown in a single game since Marcus Allen in 1983.

Raiders go up 56-7

Third quarter, 0:12

LAC 1st-and-10 at the LV 46

The Raiders ended the third quarter in emphatic fashion on a group effort from the defensive line.

Chargers quarterback Easton Stick was lined up in shotgun trying to find a receiver open in the middle of the field. The defense, lined up in Cover 2 Zone, played each fit well in the secondary, not allowing Stick to get a good look at any receiver. While still waiting for the play to develop in the pocket, Maxx Crosby got pressure on the right side, drawing attention from the rest of the offensive line.

As Stick started to move out of the pocket to avoid Crosby, Malcolm Koonce came from the blind side like a Mack Truck, forcing his second fumble on the day. 

"It was all because of Maxx," Koonce said. "He forced [Stick] outside, I had a wide rush, came around and got the fumble."

With the ball still in play, 34-year-old defensive tackle John Jenkins recovered the football and the crowd went wild as he ran the ball back to the end zone 44 yards. It was the first defensive touchdown of his 11-year NFL career.

"Me being a nose tackle, a lot of times when we pick up the ball, the referee always blows the whistle and they don't believe we're in the right," Jenkins said postgame. "But for the first time, I just kept on going. I saw my dog Maxx gave me the green light, and I just took off and I didn't tilt my head back and just kept on going.

"I thought I was a little faster, but what can I say. Just next year, hopefully, be a little lighter. I'm probably the heaviest guy to run a touchdown in the NFL."

Raiders go up 63-7

Fourth quarter, 14:35

LAC 2nd-and-13 at the LAC 22

Sometimes you've got to be at the right place at the right time, which was Jack Jones' case in this moment.

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has been cooking offenses with his play-calling, as heading into Thursday night, the Raiders had allowed the ninth fewest points per game.

Up a whooping 49 points on the Chargers early in the fourth quarter, the defense recognized a formation and situation they'd already seen a few times throughout the game.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler did a pre-snap motion from outside receiver to the backfield. Graham and the Raiders defense jumped all over it, anticipating another screen pass to Ekeler in the flat. Jones jumped the route with the ball in mid-air, snatching it down with one hand. He jogged 16 yards to the end zone for the Raiders' fifth takeaway of the day and their second defensive touchdown in a span of 90 seconds.

"I give it up to Coach PG [Patrick Graham]," Jones said postgame. "He put me in the call to put me in position to make that play. Without that call, I probably wouldn't have been able to make that play. I just give kudos to PG. As soon as I caught it, I walked in the end zone and I'm just like, 'Oh my goodness!'"

The play-call from Graham is what Antonio Pierce considered " a good business decision." The coaching staff had a good feeling the screen would be coming, and all Jones had to do was execute the plan.

"That play has shown up – I've been here two years now, that's been one of their staples," Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce said of the Chargers. "Four by one, running back motions in, and we're all coming out with the screen and the screen is always next. We knew that but they didn't, and they stayed on track and sometimes as a player, you have a knack and a feel for it. ... It's an educated guess. It's not a random guess and I think that's good by our coaches. And obviously, Jack Jones took advantage of an opportunity."

View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 15 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium.

Latest Content