Carr-Adams connection propels Raiders past Chargers
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The last time the Raiders played at home, they lost to an Indianapolis Colts team playing for an interim coach and Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr emotionally criticized some unnamed teammates for not completely buying in.
Carr had no trouble smiling Sunday following the Raiders’ 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The suddenly hot Raiders (5-7) are 3-0 since Carr’s teary news conference.
“Things needed to be said,” Carr said after passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns against Los Angeles. “Things needed to be handled. When you love a place so much, you put your heart into it. To see the way we’ve responded since then, it’s a proud moment for me. I’m happy about it, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
The loss was a significant setback for the Chargers (6-6), who are just outside the playoff picture.
Carr went back to longtime friend Davante Adams to turn a 13-10 halftime deficit into a 24-13 lead in the third quarter the Raiders never gave back.
Carr completed a 31-yarder to Adams for the first touchdown 32 seconds into the third quarter. Less than four minutes later, the duo hooked up on a 45-yard flea flicker for another score.
“The third quarter was where the game was decided today,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “That was the story, those two big passes.”
Adams caught eight passes for 177 yards, surpassing 1,000 yards for the fourth time since 2018. He also has 85 career touchdown catches, moving past Calvin Johnson for fifth most for a receiver in his first nine seasons.
“The stats mean a lot to me in the sense that I’m holding up my end of the bargain,” Adams said. “I’m doing what I’ve got to do. The efficiency part of it is big, too. We’ve got to make sure we’re being as efficient as possible and let the stats and of all that take care of themselves down the road.
“Ultimately, I wanted to get the ball so I can put the team in position to win games.”
Josh Jacobs rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown, and the Raiders improved to 5-1 this season when has 100 or more yards. For the season, Jacobs has 1,303 yards, the most in Raiders history through 12 games.
“Whenever you call something (where Adams or Jacobs) have a good chance of touching the football, you feel pretty good about it,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. “They’re the reason for that. They come through over and over again in critical situations.
“Two really gifted football players.”
That combination on offense backed an aggressive defense that sacked Justin Herbert five times and split their season series with the Chargers.
Chandler Jones entered with just a half-sack, but the defensive end recorded three in the first half alone. He also tackled Herbert a yard short of the first down on a fourth-and-2 in the first quarter.
Herbert completed 28 of 47 passes for 335 yards for this 20th career 300-yard game.
“They’ve got really good front seven, and they’re really well coached,” Herbert said. “It was unfortunate we didn’t make enough plays today. But those guys up front did a great job of battling and fighting all day. This is one of those things that you have to watch (video), get better at and learn from.”
Herbert nearly rallied the Chargers from a 14-point deficit. On fourth-and-10, he rolled right and fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen with 8:34 left to bring Los Angeles to within 27-20. It was Allen’s 50th career TD reception.
Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson played tight coverage on Allen, who told the Los Angeles Times last week that the Las Vegas defensive backs would be “barbecued chicken” if they played single coverage on him.
Allen, who caught six passes for 88 yards, missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury.
“The good thing about it is we won,” Robertson said. “I was hoping they could come back at (Allen) again. I told him, ‘The game’s on the line now.’”
Chargers: DT Sebastian Joseph-Day injured his right knee late in the game. Staley didn’t provide further information.
Raiders: CB Nate Hobbs and TE Foster Moreau were evaluated for potential concussions in the first half, but both returned.
Chargers: Host the Miami Dolphins next Sunday night.
Raiders: Play at the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.
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