Well, that was needed for this team. Interim Las Vegas Raiders coach Antonio Pierce said this week that an offensive explosion was coming at some point and it DID in a big way as the Raiders demolished the Los Angeles Chargers 63-21 at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders’ 63 points scored is a franchise record.
Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:
What it means:
The Raiders, who avoided a losing season with the win, and Chargers split the the season series for the fourth straight seasons. Unless six of the previous seven games, this one was not close. The win hurts the Raiders’ draft order status. They entered Week 15 on pace to draft No. 6 in 2024. But the draft can wait for now. Pierce is fighting to become the 2024 full-time coach and rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell is playing to keep his job that was almost taken away this week. This was a good night for their causes.
Most lopsided 1st half shutouts in NFL history:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 15, 2023
Patriots 45-0 vs Titans 10/18/2009 #Raiders 42-0 vs Chargers tonight
Packers 42-0 vs Bears 11/9/2014
This game was never in doubt. The Raiders scored 42 points in the first half, more than any total they scored in any game. Their 42-0 halftime lead was the biggest in team history. The Chargers fumbled three times early and should no interest in being there and Easton Stick had no chance in his first NFL start. It was an incredible display by an offense that had scored just seven touchdowns in the past five games. Oh, and kudos to the Raiders’ defense, that had back-to-back defensive scores, that put up another strong performance. Total domination.
The NFL will have an all-Black team of on-field and replay officials for the #Raiders-#Chargers game, first time in league history— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 15, 2023
This is also the first game in NFL history with three women on the same crew.
(h/t @fos) pic.twitter.com/xT73F0yw10
Linebacker Divine Deablo hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter.
NFL history was made Thursday night the on-field and replay crew was comprised of African-Americans for the first time in league history. Also, it was the first time a crew had three women on it. Excellent.
Former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was at the game, wearing Raiders’ gear, so his consultant work with the team has continued. Last week, he joined fellow former NFL coaches Tom Coughlin and Adam Gase who spent time with the team. Lewis was at Arizona State with Pierce and Pierce won a Super Bowl under Coughlin with the New York Giants. Interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree worked with Gase in the past.
Ugly streak over:
The Raiders scored a touchdown on their opening drive. It ended a five-quarter scoreless streak.
The Raiders’ forced a three-and-out on the Chargers opening drive. It was the eighth time the Raiders’ defense accomplished it. It leads the NFL. Impressive.
Third-year player Malcom Koonce has made big strides this year. He made a big strip sack of Stick in the first quarter. Tyree Wilson recovered. it set up a touchdown. Koonce had another strip sack and it resulted in a John Jenkins touchdown. What a night for Koonce. The Raiders had five takeaways in the game.
What’s next: The Raiders play at the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day. Kickoff is 10 a.m. PT.