Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Former pitcher Wetteland up on child sex abuse charges; NFL Championships game predictions; plus more

Photo credit: @nypost

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Former Major League pitcher John Wettland, who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, was arrested for continuous sexual abuse with a child under 14. The abuse was reportedly to have taken place between 2004-2009.

#2 NFL Championships game and the road to the Super Bowl. London makes his predictions: New England and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.

#3 In the NFC Championship: The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints. One of these teams are just one game shy of getting into the Super Bowl.

#4 The Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will be replacing the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers in the Pro Bowl. In the regular season, Luck completed passes 67.3 percent of the time for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns.

#5 The NHL All-Star game will be in San Jose on Saturday, January 26 without Alex Ovechkin, who’s the Washington Capitals star.

London Marq does the Headline podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Wednesday

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Raiders GM Mayock wants to talk to coaches before making any moves; plus a look at the NFL Wild Card games

Photo credit: @theScoreNFL

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony talks about the hiring of Raiders GM Mike Mayock, who said that job was to get the coaches and personnel on the same page.

#2 Mayock was a former analyst on the NFL Network. How do you see him transitioning from TV analyst to GM?

#3 Mayock said he’s not going to make any judgements on anyone until he gets a chance to meet with the coaches.

#4 On the NFL Wild Card schedule, Tony makes his predictions Saturday’s matchups: Indianapolis at Texas for the NFC Seattle at Dallas. On Sunday: In the AFC, LA Chargers at Baltimore, and in the NFC, Philadelphia at Chicago.

Tony does Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Raiders three-point stance: Three takeaways from the Raiders’ home loss to the Chargers

Photo credit: @TheSportsNotes

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — For the second-straight game, the Raiders failed to score a touchdown while looking inept in their 20-6 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in front of 54,750 fans on Sunday afternoon. At 7-2, the Chargers have now won six straight games (four straight in the series after sweeping the season-series), while the loss for Oakland (1-8), extends their losing streak to five games.

Bottom line: the Raiders are beyond a mediocre football team. They are a complete mess. The team has been outscored 75-9 in the third quarter during the five-game losing streak, and have lost by at least 14 points in all five games.

Checkout my takeaways from today’s game below.

Quotable: “This will be a year that a lot of us will never forget,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said postgame. “It’s painful. It’s really hard. It’s painful. It’s going to be hard to sleep again, hard to get up in the morning.”

Derek Carr is getting sacked way too much this year
One week after being sacked seven times by the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was sacked four times by the Chargers on Sunday. Carr did complete 24-of-37 passes for 243 yards, but faced constant pressure from the Chargers for much of the day.

Through nine games, Carr has been sacked 28 times this season, tied for third-most in the league with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.  With seven more games to go, its a safe bet that Carr will be sacked more times this season than he was in 2015 where he was sacked 31 times according to ESPN Stats and Information.

The only game where Carr wasn’t sacked this season was in Oakland’s 42-28 loss to the visiting Indianapolis Colts back in Week 8.

Even in the loss, Carr did become just the third quarterback in Raiders franchise history to throw for 17,000 yards, joining Rich Gannon (17,585) and the Hall of Famer Ken Stabler (19,078). Carr entered Sunday’s game with 16,888 passing yards now  at 17,131 yards.

Melvin Gordon is a nightmare for the Raiders
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon continues to be a thorn in the Raiders’ side and it was on full display Sunday.

Gordon finished with 23 touches for 165 yards of total offense. The former Wisconsin Badger devoured the Raiders’ 32nd rush defense, carrying the ball 18 times for 93 yards.

Gordon was also hard to contain through the air for Oakland.

On the Chargers’ first possession of the second half, Gordon took a dump-off pass from quarterback Philip Rivers, broke a tackle by cornerback Gareon Conley, juked safety Reggie Nelson and raced 66 yards for a touchdown that extended Los Angeles’ lead to 17-3 after entering halftime with a 10-3 lead.

Rivers completed 18-of-26 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Gordon finished with five catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. In the Chargers’ 26-10 victory over the Raiders in Week 5, Gordon tormented the Raiders for 120 yards of total offense (58 rushing and 62 receiving) and one touchdown.

The game was smoky
Due to wild fires from Butte County, located 150 miles north from Oakland, the air quality for the game was at unhealthy level. The Air Quality was at 159 at kickoff,  which is in the unhealthy zone, and smoke could be smelled throughout the stadium and even in the press box. The NFL had monitored the situation but the AQI never got near 200, the level where the game would have needed to be moved.

Up next for Oakland: a trip to Arizona to face the 2-7 Cardinals next week, who lost to the Raiders’ bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs 26-14 at Arrowhead Stadium today.

The Chargers will return home for their second-straight game within the division as they will host the Denver Broncos (3-6) at StubHub Center.

Raiders lose fifth in a row, 20-6, to Chargers

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — Whenever the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers get together, you know that it is going be a battle between these two longtime rivals from the old American Football League.

Unfortunately, over the past two seasons, the rivalry has swayed towards the Chargers, especially after their 20-6 victory over the Raiders before a crowd of 54,750 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

With the victory, the Chargers have won six in a row, and now stand at 7-2, while the Raiders are going the other way, as they have lost five in a row and are now 1-8 on the season.

This is the Chargers fourth straight win in the series after the Raiders won the previous four in a row from the Chargers, that included a 19-16 victory by the Raiders over the Chargers that helped the Raiders clinch their first postseason berth since the 2002 season.

The Raiders still lead the all-time with a record of 62-54-2 since the series began in the first year of the AFL back in 1960.

Things started out well for the Raiders, as on fourth-and-5, punter Johnny Townsend faked the punt and scrambled 42 yards down to the Chargers 21-yard line to give the Raiders a glimmer of hope; however, the Raiders were not able to get any points on the board, as the Chargers defense held Derek Carr for a no gain on fourth-and-goal and the Chargers took over on downs.

“I have always said that I believe in that kid. In that fake punt, you can see that he is one of our fastest players. He is a tremendous athlete. He took his medicine for a while like a lot of us, but he is going to be a really good punter for us,” said Jon Gruden.

After the Chargers went three-and-out on their initial series of the afternoon, the Raiders wasted not long to get on the board.

Daniel Carlson got the Raiders on the board in the first quarter, as he nailed a 46-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead.

Following another three-and out by the Chargers, the Raiders mounted a drive of their own; however, Carr was sacked for an 11-yard loss by Melvin Ingram III and fumbled the ball and was recovered by Corey Liuget, who rumbled 24 yards down to the Raiders’ 40-yard line.

“We came up big. Everybody made hell of plays. It was a great team win. We have a great group of young players. Those boys are special. They came up big. When you have rookies that can step up and make plays like that, it’s big,” said Ingram.

The Chargers got all the way down to the Raiders’ nine-yard line, but like the Raiders were forced to settle for a Michael Badgley field goal that tied up the game.

The Raiders offense could not muster a first down, as they were forced to punt the ball back to the Chargers, who went down the field and it culminated with a Philip Rivers touchdown pass to former CAL star Keenan Allen for 11 yards that gave the Chargers a 10-3 lead with just 24 seconds remaining in the first half.

Carr just took a knee to end the first half, and the Raiders trailed at the end of the first half by a score of 10-3.

Melvin Gordon finally got in on the act for the Chargers, as he took a Rivers pass and ran 66 yards to the end zone to give the Chargers a 14-point lead just 2:28 into the third quarter.

After yet another punt by the Raiders, they got ball back in a hurry, as Rivers threw a long pass down the field; however, Safety Marcus Gilchrist picked off the Rivers pass intended for Allen at the Raiders 31-yard line.

“That’s part of things I’m talking about that we can do better, that can possibly change that ‘W’ and ‘L’ column for us,” said Gilchrist.

Unfortunately, the Raiders could only muster five yards on the ensuing series before they punted the ball back to the Chargers.

Once again, the Raiders defense came up big, as they held the Chargers off the scoreboard, as they were forced to punt.

Carr and the Raiders got rolling, as he found Doug Martin for a 23-yard gain, and then on the next play, he found Jared Cook for 31 yards that got the Raiders down to the Chargers 13-yard line.

Carlson got the Raiders within 11, as he nailed a 30-yard field goal.

The Chargers then began a long drive that included a 42-yard touchdown run by Austin Ekeler that was nullified by a 10-yard holding penalty that was called on Russell Okung.

On the very next play, Rivers was sacked by Shilique Calhoun and Johnathan Hankins; however, Hankins was called for Roughing the Passer that gave the Chargers a first down at the Raiders’ 33-yard line.

“It’s one of those things. Where you look back on it and I just needed to get to him, get him down faster. If I get him down faster. If I get him down quick enough, I don’t have to worry about that penalty. It’s on me to make sure I complete the plat and finish the play out,” said Calhoun.

Rivers and Allen hooked up for a 18-yard completion that put the Chargers into field goal range, and four plays later, Badgley kicked a 41-yard field goal that gave the Chargers a two touchdown lead.

The Raiders got the ball back after the field goal, and began to drive down the field; however, the drive stalled, as Carr was unable to find anyone on a fourth-and-5 and was forced to throw the ball away, giving the ball back to the Chargers.

Carr ended the day by going 24-for-37 for 243 yards, while Jalen Richard led the Raiders in receiving with five catches for 52 yards.

Martin led the Raiders in rushing, as he carried the ball 15 times for 61 yards.

Rivers went 18-for-26 for 223 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on the afternoon for the victorious Chargers.

Gordon led the Chargers in rushing, as he carried the ball 18 times for 93 yards, and also caught five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Allen was the leading receiver for the Chargers, as he hauled in six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.

NOTES: Townsend became just the third punter since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to have a run of at least 40 yards and a punt of 50 yards in the same game, as joins Reggie Hodges of the Cleveland Browns in 2010 and Jeff Hayes of the Washington Redskins in 1983.

Martavis Bryant was forced to leave the game for the Raiders in the third quarter with a knee injury, an injury that Gruden fears could be serious.

UP NEXT: The Raiders head out on the road for their next two games, as they will face the Arizona Cardinals on November 18 at 1:05 pm PT and then the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 25 at 10:00 am PT. They return home on December 2 to face the Kansas City Chiefs at 1:05 pm PT.

Raiders to face Chargers Sunday at the Coliseum

Photo credit: @ChargersRHenne

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders will return home to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum this Sunday as they welcome the visiting Los Angeles Chargers to town in a Week 10 battle between these AFC West rivals. The 118th matchup between these two teams will kickoff at 1:05 p.m. PT, with the Silver and Black holding a 62-53-2 edge over the Chargers all-time, but the Chargers have won the last three meetings.

The Chargers defeated the Raiders 26-10 at StubHub Center in Week 5 and are going for the sweep in the two-game season series.

Oakland is coming off a humbling 34-3 loss on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9. In the game, the Raiders (1-7) scored on their first possession behind a 37-yard field goal by rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, but saw the 49ers (2-7) score 34 unanswered points. Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-21 passes for 171 yards while posting a 99.5 passer rating.  On the season, Carr has completion rating of 72.3, which ranks second in the NFL.

Oakland’s offense registered just 242 yards against the 49ers, who sacked Carr seven times in the game.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead had a team-high six tackles (five solo and one assisted) for Oakland. Four of Whitehead’s tackles were for losses. On the season, Whitehead leads the team with 57 total tackles (42 solo and 15 assisted).

The Chargers (6-2), are off to their best start since 2006 and have won five straight games.

Last Sunday, the Chargers went into noisy CenturyLink Field and defeated the Seattle Seahawks 25-17. Chargers starting quarterback Philip Rivers completed 13-of-26 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against Seattle. In his 15th season, Rivers continues to put up big numbers, throwing for 2,236 yards with 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Against the Seahawks, starting running back Melvin Gordon had plenty of running lanes to run through rushing for 113 yards on 16 carries and one touchdowns. Through the Chargers’ eight games this season, Gordon ranks sixth among all running backs in the NFL with 579 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen had a big day in Seattle, hauling in six passes for 124 yards, his first 100-yard receiving day since Week 1. Despite just having just one touchdown this season (which also occurred in Week 1), Allen leads the team with 47 receptions for 630 yards.

Fellow wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams (no relation), are tied for the team-high with five touchdowns apiece.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will head to Arizona to face the Cardinals. The Chargers will return home to take on the Denver Broncos, their second-straight game within the division.

Chargers’ 26-10 win drops the Raiders to 1-4 on the season

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Jeremy Kahn

Once again, the Oakland Raiders are full of excuses after yet another loss to a division opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers, during the 2018 season.

Philip Rivers found Austin Ekeler for a 44-yard touchdown pass, as the Chargers broke a 3-3 tie on their way to a 26-10 victory over the Raiders at Stubhub Center on Sunday.

That touchdown from Rivers to Ekeler started a 19-0 run for the Chargers, as the Raiders fall to 1-4 on the season.

Ekeler’s touchdown reception began very strangely, as Rivers bobbled the snap on first-and-10; however, he was able to get rid of it, while getting away from three blitzing Raiders defenders. The running back got away from two Raiders at the 40 yard-line, and then got a key block from Keenan Allen on his way to the end zone to the give the Chargers the lead for good with just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

That was one of four plays of 25 yards or more for the Chargers, who have 29 plays of 20 yards or more on the season. Only the Chargers cross-town rival, the Los Angeles Rams and long-time rival, the Kansas City Chiefs have more with 30.

Rivers ended the afternoon with 339 yards, and it was the 59th career 300-yard game since he joined the NFL in 2004. It was also the eighth 300-yard game against the Raiders, as he went 22-for-27 on the afternoon.

Melvin Gordon rushed for 58 yards and was on the receiving end for 62 yards, as he extended the Chargers lead up to 17-3 at the half on a one-yard touchdown run.

The Gordon touchdown was setup when Martavis Bryant fumbled the ball, and Jahleel Addae recovered the fumble at the Raiders’ 45-yard line.

Derek Carr was sacked three times, and the Raiders turned the ball over twice, giving the Chargers 13 points.

It was a tough night for Marshawn Lynch, who entered the game fourth in the NFL in rushing was held to just nine carries for 31 yards.

Carr went 24-for-33 for 268 yards with a touchdown and an interception that of course brought another excuse from Jon Gruden.

With the ball on the Chargers one-yard line, Carr threw an ill-fated interception instead of handing the ball off to Lynch and was reminded people of the Pete Carroll call at the end of Super Bowl 49, when Russell Wilson threw an interception instead of handing the ball off to Lynch and ended costing the Seattle Seahawks a chance at their second consecutive Super Bowl Championship.

“We had bad plays today,” said Gruden. “I think we pressed a little bit. The play calling needs to improve. That’s my job. We’ve got to play better collectively than we did today.”

In all four of their losses, Gruden has made excuses and yet here is another one just five games into the season.

UP NEXT: After the short trip to Southern California, the Raiders return “HOME,” for their next home game on October 28th at 1:05 pm PT; however, the game against the Seattle Seahawks is in London next Sunday at 10:00 am PT.

This is the Raiders second trip to London, with their coming during the 2014 season, where the Raiders lost to the Miami Dolphins before a crowd of 83,436 at Wembley Stadium.

Overall, this the fourth game that the Raiders will have played since 2014, as they defeated the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, by the final score of 27-20 in 2016 and then last season, the Raiders returned to Estadio Azteca, where they lost to the New England Patriots 33-8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Raiders three-point stance: Three takeaways from Raiders’ loss to Chargers in SoCal

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

CARSON, Calif — One week after exploding for 45 points to earn their first win of the season over the visiting Cleveland Browns, the Raiders struggled to find any offensive continuity Sunday losing to the Los Angeles Chargers 26-10.

Here are my takeaways from the Raiders (1-4) loss to their AFC West rival the Chargers (3-2):

Derek Carr and the offense didn’t show up
For an offense that ranks second in the NFL in total yardage coming into Week 5 averaging 441.8 yards per game, the Chargers’ defense held Oakland to 289 yards total for the game. The Silver and Black were pedestrian on third down, converting just 4-of-11 and were just 1-of-3 in the red zone.

Carr, who threw for 437 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions last week, took a step back against Los Angeles, completing 24-of-33 passes for  268 yards one touchdown. But it was the kiss-of-death interception in the end zone that Carr threw in the third quarter with Oakland trailing 20-3 that really stung Oakland.

After Chargers safety Derwin James was called for defensive pass interference in the end zone while defending Raiders tight end Jared Cook, setting up Oakland with first-and-goal at the Chargers’ 1-yard-line, Carr didn’t see Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram drop back into the end zone and threw the ball right to him.

It was Carr’s league-leading eighth interception of the year, one of two turnovers for Oakland on the day.  Carr was also sacked three times.

Running back Marshawn Lynch, who at the age of 32 (when running backs are expected to be passed their primes) should be carrying the football 20 times a game, had just nine carries for 31 yards after his 20-carry, 130-yard rushing performance last week.

Inexcusable.

Amari Cooper is a week-to-week wide receiver
I’ve noticed a glowing pattern in Amari Cooper’s games this season that is alarming. Whenever Cooper has a tremendous game one week, the very next week he follows it up with a dud:

  • Week 1 against the Rams: 1 catch for 9 yards 3 targets.
  • Week 2 against the Broncos: 10 catches for 116 yards on 16 targets.
  • Week 3 against the Dolphins: 2 catches for 17 yards on 5 targets.
  • Week 4 against the Browns: 8 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown on 12 targets.

Can you guess what he did against the Chargers today? 1 catch for 10 yards on one target.

There’s no question that Cooper has special talent with game-changing ability, but what gives? How can anyone say that Cooper is a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL if he has the knack for missing in games?

Backup running back Jalen Richard led Oakland with six catches for

But good news for Raider Nation heading into Week 6.

Next week, Cooper should have a big day against the Seattle Seahawks when the Raiders travel to London for a “home” game.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense sliced up the Raiders’ defense
Rivers carved up the Raiders on Sunday, throwing for 339 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions on 22-of-27 passing. The 15-year veteran from North Carolina State was sacked just once by Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin, but had time to find his receivers for most of the game.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen was the main beneficiary of Rivers’ passes, hauling in eight passes (on 9 targets) for 90 yards. Backup rookie running back Austin Ekeler (44-yard touchdown) and backup tight end Virgil Green (13-yard touchdown), caught both of Rivers’ touchdowns.

Rivers has now thrown 43 touchdowns against the Silver and Black, the most Rivers has thrown against one team.

Starting running back Melvin Gordon was all over the field Sunday rushing and catching the football for Los Angeles. Gordon finished with 120 all-purpose yards against Oakland (19 carries for 58 yards and one touchdown; 4 catches for 62 yards on 4 targets).

Los Angeles piled up 412 total yards offensively on Oakland and controlled the time of possession, holding onto the football for 34:40 minutes to the Raiders’ 25:20.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead had a game-high nine tackles (6 solo) for Oakland.

Raiders head to Southern California for AFC West matchup with Chargers

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders hit the road again, their third road game in the last four weeks, when they travel to StubHub Center to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in a classic AFC West battle. Kickoff for this Week 5 matchup is set for this Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1:05 p.m. PT.

Los Angeles owns a two-game winning streak over Oakland however, the Raiders own a 62-52-1 record over the Bolts. In their previous meeting last season, the Chargers took down the Silver and Black 30-10 in Los Angeles.

The Raiders (1-3) finally got into the win column last week, defeating the visiting Cleveland Browns in thrilling fashion 45-42 in overtime. With Oakland trailing 42-34 with 1:28 left in the game and with no timeouts, Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr engineered a 6-play, 53-yard drive in 58 seconds that culminated in a 7-yard touchdown throw to tight end Jared Cook. It was Cook’s second score of the game. Carr would hit wide receiver Jordy Nelson for the 2-point conversion that would tie the game up at 42-42 heading into overtime.

On the final possession of overtime, Carr orchestrated an 11-play, 70-yard drive where he completed passes to four different receivers to setup undrafted rookie kicker Matt McCrane’s game-winning 29-yard field goal. It was Carr’s 14th game-winning drive in the fourth quarter and overtime, second-most in the NFL since Carr’s rookie season in 2014.

Carr finished the game completing 35-of-58 passes for 437 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions as the Raiders recorded 565 yards of total offense against the Browns (1-2-1), the most by any team this season.

Through four games, Carr has thrown six touchdowns and is third in the NFL in completion percentage (71.0) and fourth in passing yards (1,373), but has thrown seven interceptions, the most by any starting quarterback this season.

Against Cleveland, Oakland registered a 400-yard passer in Carr, a 100-yard rusher in running back Marshawn Lynch (who finished with 20 carries for 130 yards), and two-100 yard receivers in wide receiver Amari Cooper (8 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown) and the aforementioned Cook (8 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns). It was the first time since 1964 that the Raiders achieved that milestone.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Raiders are the first team since the 2013 Denver Broncos to achieve the same milestone in a game.

Along with Minnesota and Tampa Bay, the Raiders have recorded a 100-yard receiver in four straight weeks this season, the only teams to do so in the NFL, according to NFL metrics.

Oakland is averaging 24.2 points per game, which ranks 13th in the NFL, but the Raiders rank second in total yards (441.8) and fourth in passing yards (333) per game.

Defensively, the Raiders forced four turnovers off Browns’ rookie quarterback, Baker Mayfield who made his first career start against the Silver and Black. Mayfield fumbled twice (losing both and recovered by defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins) and intercepted twice, one being returned 36 yards for the game’s first touchdown by second-year cornerback Gareon Conley in the first quarter.

Veteran linebacker Bruce Irvin and rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst each recorded a sack for Oakland, who will need to apply pressure to Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers. The Raiders rank 27th in total defense, but 31st in points surrendered per game (30.8).

Now in his 15th season, Rivers is off to a hot start for the Chargers and doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Through four games, Rivers has passed for 1,156 yards with 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions while sporting a blistering 110.8 passer rating this season.

Rivers and the Chargers (2-2) picked up their second win of the season, defeating the San Francisco 49ers by a slim score of 29-27 last Sunday at StubHub Center. Rivers completed 25-of-39 passes for 250 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

In his career against the Raiders, Rivers owns a 16-8 record. Rivers has thrown for 6,055 yards, 41 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 24 games against the Silver and Black. The 41 touchdowns against Oakland are tied with the Denver Broncos for the most touchdown passes against one team for Rivers.

Running back Melvin Gordon had a productive day against San Francisco, rushing for 104 yards on 14 carries. Gordon also hauled in seven catches (tied for the game-high with wide receiver Keenan Allen) for 55 yards and one touchdown.

Gordon can do it all for the Chargers both as a runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield. In fact, Gordon is tied with Allen for the team lead in catches (24) and tied with wide receiver Mike Williams for the team lead in touchdown catches with three through four games.

The fourth-year running back from Wisconsin is the team’s leading rusher with 54 carries for 276 yards and two touchdowns.

Allen leads the team with 282 receiving yards this season.

In the past, the Chargers’ defense were headlined by defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey, but rookie safety Derwin James has become a force for Los Angeles this season.

The 6’2″, 215-pound James leads the team with 20 tackles, one interception and has recorded three of the Chargers’ eight sacks this season. The Chargers have been thrilled with the Florida State product the they selected him 17th overall in April’s draft.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to London, England for a “home” game against the Seattle Seahawks at Wembley Stadium in Week 6, the third straight season the Raiders will play in the United Kingdom.

The Chargers head to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Sunday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Niners Lose Close One 29-27 with Beathard

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

By: Joe Lami

CJ Beathard’s return to the starting role brought a similar outcome to the San Francisco 49ers, as they lost 29-27 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

49er faithful packed the stands of the StubHub Center in Southern California on Sunday only to see more injuries, missed tackles, and drops that continue to be the demise of the red and gold that included dropping an early 14-0 lead.

San Francisco lost both Joe Staley and Dante Pettis for the entirety of the game to knee injuries in the first half. Reports following the game appear to be good news for San Francisco, as they don’t seem to be as severe as initially feared. Both Staley and Pettis are scheduled for MRIs on Monday back in Santa Clara to confirm.

The back-breaking moment came on the second drive in the third quarter for San Francisco. Four straight pass completions and a penalty later, Beathard did a great job of airing the ball out; only to be let down by his receivers. Beathard looked into the direction of Garrett Celek inside the ten-yard line, but the tight end couldn’t handle the pass and popped it up for an easy pick. Trevor Williams nearly brought it back to the house but was tripped up at the 12.

The 49ers defense stood tall deep in their red zone and held LA to three points, but the ten-point swing gave the Chargers all the momentum with their 20th unanswered point to give them a 26-17 lead.

Beathard was mediocre in his 2018 debut, passing 23-of-37 for 298 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. His play by any means wasn’t the deciding factor in the loss. However, his play isn’t strong enough either to make up for the many glaring holes across most positions.

Tight end, George Kittle continues to be a bright spot despite who’s at quarterback. He connected with Beathard on the longest play of the day on an 82-yard touchdown. He finished with six catches for 125 yards and the score.

The defense helped him out early on too. On the first drive of the game, on an immediate third down, Antone Exum jumped a route and brought the ball back for his first career pick-six.

It was the only play the Niners really made against Philip Rivers, who finished 25-of-39 for 250 yards, three touchdowns, and the pick.

Just a day after being downgraded to questionable, Exum had his strongest performance as a Niner, finishing with the TD, while adding three pass deflections, and three tackles.

Minus Exum, the linebacking core continues to carry much of the weight for the 49ers. Fred Warner and Ruben Foster combined for ten and seven tackles respectively.

Coming into the week, tackles were a major concern for San Francisco, as they lead the league in missed tackles. It continued to be the storyline on Sunday too, as too many missed tackles led to big plays for LA.

Melvin Gordon gave the Niners fits, finishing with 104 yards on 15 rushes in the loss.

San Francisco needs to regroup and look forward to next Sunday, where the 49ers have a must-win game against the 1-3 Cardinals.

Niners fall late to Chargers 29-27, but Beathard does better than expected

Photo credit: espn.com

By Jeremy Harness

The 49ers were certainly up against it facing a very good Los Angeles Chargers defense with a backup quarterback that has not shown much in his young NFL career, but C.J Beathard rose to the occasion. Well, sort of.

After going 1-4 last season as a starting quarterback before Jimmy Garoppolo took over, Beathard gave a very good account of himself on Sunday, keeping the 49ers in the game until the very end. However, the end result was another loss that dropped them to 1-3, this time going down 29-27 at the StubHub Center.

Beathard completed 23 of his 37 throws for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However, he was also tagged with a pair of interceptions, the last one coming on the 49ers’ final possession of the game and thwarted a chance for at least a game-winning field goal, the interception coming as his arm was hit as he threw.

His main target on Sunday was tight end George Kittle, who hauled in six passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, with a few more of those catches putting the 49ers deep in Chargers territory and set up scores later. Pierre Garcon also got into the act, catching four balls for 52 yards.

However, they didn’t get much from their running game. Matt Breida was the leading rusher with 39 yards on nine carries, while Beathard was the second-leading runner with 19 yards on seven dashes.

The 49ers got out to a 14-0 lead when safety Antone Exum, who was questionable for Sunday’s game with a thigh bruise, picked off Philip Rivers and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown, and Kendrick Bourne caught a short touchdown pass in the back of the end zone.

However, the lead would not last long, as Rivers picked away at the lead before the two teams went into their respective locker rooms with a 17-17 tie at halftime.

The Chargers grabbed the lead when Rivers passed to Melvin Gordon for a 6-yard touchdown and would have had more if Beathard was not able to track down cornerback Trevor Williams after a long interception return. The Chargers still got the ball deep in 49ers territory, but the defebse was able to hold them to a field goal.

Later in the quarter, the 49ers struck quickly as Beathard found Kittle over the middle, and he made a couple of nifty moves and beat the Chargers secondary to the end zone for an 82-yard score to get the 49ers right back into the game.

Robbie Gould kicked a 33-yard field goal early in the fourth to give the 49ers the lead, but five minutes later, Caleb Sturgis came back with a 21-yard field goal to re-gain the advantage for the Chargers.

Meanwhile, the never-ending injury saga continues to haunt the 49ers. A week after losing Garoppolo for the season with an ACL tear in his left knee, the 49ers had two more key players leave Sunday’s game.

Rookie receiver-kick returner Dante Pettis suffered a knee injury on his first punt return of the game in the first quarter and did not return. One quarter later, left tackle Joe Staley also left the game with a knee injury of his own and did not return, either.