The San Diego Chargers won the coin toss and elected to defer so the Oakland Raiders got the ball first. It's the 2nd home game for Oakland and the first without a baseball diamond on it thanks to the Athletics season being over. No team really likes starting off the season with 3 out of 4 games on the road but it actually was a good thing for the Raiders because they only had to play on the dirt for one regular season game.
It was a pretty whacky beginning to the day for this game. Derek Carr threw his 2nd interception of the season on a screen pass that was intercepted by Brandon Mebane, the Chargers Nose Tackle. That gave the Chargers the football starting in Raiders territory and they quickly got inside the 20 yard line. However, on the play that got the Chargers into the redzone, Raiders MLB Perry Riley punched the ball out of Antonio Gates hands and Oakland safety Reggie Nelson recovered it.
Jalen Richard was the star of the Raiders next drive, he had several good plays on the drive including a 22 yard catch and run on a 2nd and 21 play. Oakland got all the way down to the Chargers 4 yard line on the 16 play, 87 yard drive that took over 8 minutes off the clock but they had to settle for a 20 yard field goal to make the score 3-0. They almost got Amari Cooper his first touchdown of the season on a fade route to the back of the endzone but he just barely couldn't get his 2nd foot in bounds for the completion.
On the first play of the next drive by the Chargers Philip Rivers tried to test the Raiders defense deep, but the underthrown ball was intercepted by Sean Smith who played the ball perfectly. He also had a nice return of 28 yards on the play to get down to the Chargers 32 yard line. Oakland failed to capitalize on it though, they didn't even get a first down on the drive (2 false start penalties didn't help anything) and then Sebastian Janikowski badly missed the 50 yard field goal.
The Chargers faced a 4th and 1 at midfield on their next drive, but the Raiders defense gave them the first by being offsides on the play. After that the San Diego offense really got going well, and it culminated in a 29 yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Tyrell Williams who easily got behind the Oakland secondary. The 8 play, 60 yard drive only took up 3 minutes and 20 seconds of the clock but gave the Chargers the lead 7-3.
Again, Oakland put together a really solid and long drive but failed to get it into the end zone. The deja vu was extra strong when Amari Cooper ran another fade route and again just barely wasn't able to get his second foot inbounds. Janikowski kicked the 26 yard field goal through to make the score 7-6. The drive went 11 plays, 67 yards in just under 6 minutes, putting the Raiders with a time of possession advantage at this point of 17:31 to just 5:28 for the Chargers yet San Diego still leads by 1.
Part of the reason that San Diego doesn't have much time of possession is because they have had bigger plays when they do make them. Point and case, they started off their next drive with a 54 yard reception to Travis Benjamin to get down to the Oakland 26 yard line very quickly. The Raiders defense held strong after that though and kept the Chargers to just a field goal on the drive. The 38 yard field goal for the Chargers made the score 10-6 San Diego.
The next drive for the Raiders was a 3 and out thanks to a drop on 3rd down from Michael Crabtree leading to the first punt for the Raiders today. The 48 yard punt from Marquette King had no return to it so the Chargers started their drive at their own 24. They ended up in a 3rd and 16 when Rivers let loose with an ill advised long ball that looked more like a punt when it ended up being intercepted by Karl Joseph for his first career interception.
Oakland started their possession at the Chargers 44 yard line, but the first play of the drive was a 12 yard loss thanks to a Joey Bosa sack on a strange looking broken play. They managed to get to the Chargers 38 yard line thanks to a 15 yard catch and run from DeAndre Washington on a 3rd and 19 play which gave the Raiders a chance at a 56 yard field goal. Sebastian Janikowski's kick looked like it could have been good from 10 yards farther out because he booted it so well.
The kick was the last play before halftime and made the score 10-9 Chargers at the half. San Diego will get the ball first to start the 2nd half because they deferred the opening kick when they won the coin toss.