The Oakland Raiders moved into temporary sole possession of first place in the AFC West Thursday evening as they snapped a two-game losing streak and took down the San Diego Chargers 24-17. It was an up and down game that saw both teams making plenty of mistakes, but the Raiders held on in the end. The Raiders are now a half game up on Kansas City in the AFC West and await the result of Sunday's Chiefs-Broncos game.
There were numerous heroes on the evening for Oakland. The Raiders offense will get plenty of love, but the Oakland pass rush was intense all night long. Philip Rivers rarely had time to get comfortable in the pocket and it cost him over and over again. Kamerion Wimbley had a career day as he sacked Rivers four times as part of the Raiders six sack effort. It was fitting that the game ended with back-to-back sacks by Wimbley and Tommy Kelly. It was emblematic of Rivers evening.
While the defense was huge, the offense deserves plenty of praise for going after the Chargers early. The Raiders punted on their first two drives, but they quickly found their footing and were off to the races. Michael Bush was the workhorse on Thursday, rushing 30 times for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also was integral to the passing game as he caught three passes for 85 yards, including two huge screens.
While the Raiders looked great in the more physical aspects of offense and defense, the passing game looked solid once it got things sorted out. Carson Palmer completed 14 of 20 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one interception and fumbled another play, but otherwise looked especially solid on the evening. His main connection was to wide receiver Denarius Moore who had a monster game, finishing with five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The Raiders did suffer a few injuries, with the most notable being Jacoby Ford who suffered a sprained foot. It was a tough loss but the Raiders rebounded quickly en route to the victory. The severity of the injury is not yet known, although Ford was on crutches for the second half.
The Raiders now get to sit back through the weekend and wait for more AFC West fallout. The Raiders will travel to Minnesota in week 11 to face the Vikings. For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.