Photo credit: @Raiders
By Jeremy Kahn
Who would have thought after losing their last two games, the Oakland Raiders would still be in the hunt for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC Playoffs?
Derek Carr threw for 291 yards, as the Raiders defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 in the final game at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Coming into the game, the Raiders playoff hopes were on life support, but losses by both the Pittsburgh Steelers to the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans to the New Orleans Saints, those playoff plans stayed alive. If the Raiders win next Sunday against the Denver Broncos on the road, and get a lot of help, the Raiders would clinch the last spot in the AFC and would be only their second playoff appearance since 2003.
Carr went 26-for-30 on the afternoon, and 86.7% is the second highest for the six-year pro since coming into the league in 2014. This was also the fifth time in his career that Carr topped the 80% completion rate in his career.
Hunter Renfrow returned to the field after missing last weeks loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and ended up with seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. It was the first 100-yard game for Renfrow.
DeAndre Washington was the leading rusher for the Raiders, who were without the services of rookie Josh Jacobs, who sat out the game with a shoulder injury. Washington gained 85 yards on 23 carries.
In what was supposed to be a good season for the Chargers continues to go downhill, as they fell to 5-10 on the season and have lost five out of their last six.
Melvin Gordon scored two touchdowns for the Chargers, and Philip Rivers went 27-for-39 for 279 yards in what could be his last game for the Chargers. Rivers, who was traded to the Chargers from the New York Giants for Eli Manning after the 2004 draft, will see his contract expire after the season.
Before a pro-Raiders crowd in Carson, the Raiders got it going early, as Carr found Renfrow for a 56-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game.
Daniel Carlson, who missed a big field goal in last weeks game against the Jaguars essentially clinched the game, as he hit a 48-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 24-14 lead.
Michael Badgley cut the Raiders lead down to seven with 1:29 in the game, as he nailed a 27-yard field goal; however, the Raiders recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
NOTES: To make the playoffs, the Raiders would need to win on the road against the Broncos, and need losses by the Titans against the Houston Texans, the Steelers against the Baltimore Ravens and a win by the Indianapolis Colts over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That would create a four-way tie, and the Raiders would win the tiebreaker over the Steelers based on strength of victory and the Colts by virtue of its win in Week 4. The Colts would eliminate the Titans by having a better division record.
Trayvon Mullen left the game after colliding with Curtis Riley on a catch by Andre Patton in the fourth quarter, and was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Next season, the Chargers will move into the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track, where they will share the stadium with the Los Angeles Rams.
UP NEXT: The Raiders close out the regular season with a road game against the Broncos on December 29.