AP Pro Football Writer
OAKLAND (AP) — Derek Carr engineered another late winning drive. Karl Joseph delivered the sealing defensive play.
It may not have come easy, but the Oakland Raiders managed to pull out another dramatic victory that has put them squarely in the AFC playoff race.
Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run with 1:02 remaining and the Raiders pulled out their second thriller in five days, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 on Thursday night.
“We just found a way to win. That says so much about our team,” Carr said. “Some nights are just tougher than others. This was just one of those nights that was just tougher. You see our team with the resilience. No one cared, No one flinched.
It was a repeat performance from Sunday when Carr’s late TD pass to Hunter Renfrow and Joseph’s pass breakup in the end zone delivered a 31-24 win over Detroit. This time the late-game heroics came after Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard pass to Austin Ekeler that gave the Chargers (4-6) a 24-20 lead with 4:02 remaining.
Carr completed three passes to Jalen Richard and two to Hunter Renfrow to start the game-winning 75-yard drive before Jacobs finished it off with his seventh touchdown of his rookie season, running through a big hole created by center Rodney Hudson and guard Richie Incognito.
“As soon as I saw it, I was just thinking, ‘Go!'” he said. “I knew this would either be a big run or a first down and luckily it was a big run.”
Daniel Carlson missed the extra point, putting more pressure on the tired Raiders defense to stop Rivers. Trayvon Mullen was called for holding on a fourth-down pass to extend the drive, but Joseph then intercepted a fourth-down pass from Rivers to seal it.
“That says a lot about our team,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We have a lot of resilient guys. We compete. You may beat us. But we’ll be a hard out to get. We’ll battle.”
Rivers threw interceptions on his first two drives, falling into a 10-0 hole when Erik Harris took the second back 56 yards for a TD . But Rivers responded by throwing two TD passes, including the go-ahead score to Ekeler in his final start at the Coliseum. But he fell short at the end.
“You give a team 10 points at their place and then you have the ball with a chance to win at the end and you have eight snaps and go nowhere, it’s going to be tough to win,” Rivers said.
The Raiders blew a chance to open up the game in the third quarter, settling for a field goal after driving to the 4 on the opening drive and then missing a 53-yard field goal in the next drive after DeAndre Washington got stuffed for no gain on third-and-1.
The Chargers settled for a field goal after getting inside the 10 later in the quarter.
Melvin Gordon had 22 carries for 108 yards and a TD that put the Chargers up 14-10 in the second quarter.
The Raiders responded with their first sustained drive of the game and took a 17-14 lead at the half on Carr’s 9-yard pass to rookie fullback Alec Ingold with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter.