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The Los Angeles Chargers received the opening kick off and for a moment it looked like things were going to go their way as they were gifted a 1st down by the defense on the second play from scrimmage. Unfortunately Corey Liuget Color Rush Jersey , three plays later Philip Rivers lofted an errant pass that was intercepted by Isaac Yiadom.Neither offense came to play, though, and two Broncos punts sandwiched a Chargers punt before the Chargers took over on offense again. Tyrell Williams injected some life into the offense with a 17-yard catch and run. Mike Williams followd that with a 14-yard reception. Things once again appeared to be trending in the right way only for Rivers to throw another ugly pass that was picked off by Willie Parks.The teams then traded two punts a piece. Case Keenum and the Broncos offense took over from their one 20-yard line and started to put together a drive. A 5-yard carry from Royce Freeman was followed by a 10-yard reception by Andy Janovich. A holding penalty looked to derail them, but three plays later they had a new set of downs. That’s where the wheels came off, though. Back-to-back holding penalties by Garrett Bolles created a 1st & 30. Trying to play it safe, Keenum looked to dump the ball off, but it was a backward pass that his receiver was unable to handle and Kyle Emanuel scooped it up and scored a touchdown.When the Broncos got the ball back, they proceeded to move the ball down the field. River Cracraft hauled in a 44-yard pass to set up a 1st & goal from the 6. Two incomplete passes were followed by a Jahleel Addae interception that had a chance to put the Chargers firmly in control of the game, but for some unknown reason Addae pitched the ball toward a teammate who was looking to throw a block and ended up giving the ball right back to Denver.The defense continued to stay strong and held the Broncos offense to a field goal attempt which they converted before the half ended.The Broncos offense got the ball to start the second half and despite a 21-yard play to Tim Patrick, they still ended up punting the ball away from midfield.Starting from their own 11, the Chargers got Benjamin involved with an endaround that he turned into a new set of downs. Holding called on Virgil Green wiped out an impressive 19-yard run by Gordon, but Mike Williams moved the sticks with a terrific catch on 3rd down. With things going well, Ken Whisenhunt dialed up that terrible reverse call he likes so much and the drive was dead following an 11-yard loss on the play. Donnie Jones punted the ball back to Denver.Two plays into the Broncos’ drive, Adrian Phillips ripped the ball away from Patrick and it landed in Joey Bosa’s hands to give possession back to the Chargers. Rivers and co. only needed four plays to cover the 16 needed yards for a touchdown. Mike Williams capped the drive off by getting wide open in the end zone for six points.After the touchdown, both teams traded punts again with both drives featuring botched snaps.A 25-yard pass to Courtland Sutton quickly put the Broncos in Chargers’ territory. A few plays later, a 20-yard reception by the full back was six points. Down 5 following the score, Vance Joseph elected to go for 2. Keenum tried to go to Sutton, but Hayward picked him off Dan Feeney Color Rush Jersey , broke a tackle from Sutton and raced the full length of the field for 2 points.After a touchback, the Chargers offense took the field and methodically marched 75 yards for a touchdown. The drive featured a 41-yard run by Ekeler, a 21-yard catch by Allen, and perhaps the most impressive contested catch of Mike Williams’ young career. Ekeler was the one who put the points on the board with a 1-yard run. Melvin Gordon also appeared to suffer an ankle injury on the drive.On the kick off, Desmond King punched the ball out along the sideline and the ball died just short of the boundary to allow the Chargers to recover it.And then it was Geno Time with 5:40 left in the game. Geno Time was... not great. Geno Smith almost immediately fumbled the ball away while trying to throw on the run. It was ugly to watch. The defense was then forced to take the field again. The Broncos offense continued to be ineffective, though, and they eventually turned the ball over on downs.Smith and the offense then came back on to try to run out the clock. Opposing defenses are learning that Austin Ekeler is just as effective a running back as Melvin Gordon for the Los Angeles Chargers.The second-year running back scored his third touchdown of the season on a 44-yard swing pass from Philip Rivers to lead the Chargers to a 26-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.“He’s got some juice now. He can really run,” Rivers said. “I think he’s one of those, you don’t realize how fast he is running until you have to chase him, which I never have, but I’ve seen a lot of guys do it. That was impressive.”Ekeler, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017, made two Oakland defenders miss at the Raiders 40, got a block from Keenan Allen and then went up the left sideline, putting the Chargers ahead for good.“Moves into open space, that’s how you can make your money in this league as a running back,” Ekeler said. “That’s where I think I excel and what I’m going to keep doing, winning one-on-ones.”Ekeler has 410 yards from scrimmage Kyle Emanuel Color Rush Jersey , with 207 coming via receptions. He has six touchdowns in his career and is three away from tying Dan Reeves for most TD catches by an undrafted player in his first two years in the league. Reeves had nine with Dallas 1965-66.“You wish we would have signed him. He’s running hard, he’s making people miss,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “He has the flexibility to line up in the backfield or in the slot. He’s a sharp customer who knows how to play the game.”Ekeler and Gordon are averaging 201 yards from scrimmage for the Chargers. Gordon is third among NFL running backs at 119 yards per game, and Ekeler is 12th at 82.Gordon had 120 yards from scrimmage against the Raiders (58 rushing, 62 receiving), including a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Chargers up 17-3.Rivers was 22 of 27 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and a 143.4 passer rating. He completed passes to seven players, but as he noted, no one had a big yardage day.“It wasn’t an eight-catch, 150-yard day for anybody, but you look up and there’s 330 yards passing and a lot of guys touched the ball,” Rivers said. “It was efficient. We ran it well enough and we didn’t turn it over. When you do that you have a good chance for a win.”Here are some other things to know from Sunday’s Raiders-Chargers game:STURGIS’ FUTURE IN DOUBT?The Chargers signed punter Donnie Jones last Tuesday to also be the holder on field goals and extra points, thinking that it would help solve Caleb Sturgis‘ struggles. If the results of one game are any indication, it hasn’t.Sturgis made two field goals, but he also missed his fourth extra point of the season and was wide left on a 48-yard attempt on the last play of the first half.The sixth-year kicker has missed four extra points this season, equaling the amount he had over three seasons in Philadelphia from 2015-17.“The extra point did bother me a little bit, but we’ll figure out what happened there,” said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn when asked about Sturgis’ struggles. “He’s been kicking with a lot of confidence, so I’m not concerned about it.”ON THE LINEThe Raiders had a pair of rookie tackles starting in a game for the first time since the 1970 merger Brandon Mebane Color Rush Jersey , with Kolton Miller at left tackle and Brandon Parker on the right side. Oakland allowed three sacks, but quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t ready to single them out.“I thought they played really well for it being a tough environment for them, against a great blitz package,” Carr said. “Everyone has plays. It’s easier to just find, ‘Ah, rookie offensive tackle, let’s blame him.”COSTLY MISTAKEOakland was putting together a nice drive during the third quarter and got to the Chargers’ 1 before Derek Carr threw an interception to Melvin Imgram in the end zone. A touchdown would have brought the Raiders within 10 with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter, but it basically ended all hopes for a comeback.Carr has more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven) after the first five games in Gruden’s offense. Gruden says that the fifth-year quarterback is progressing, but Carr admitted after the game that he needs to quit pressing.“Those are the kinds of things where with my aggressiveness and his aggressiveness, we are learning and he does a great job communicating with me after stuff like that,” Carr said. “He doesn’t want me to stop being aggressive, but at the same time not forcing them, not pressing and sometimes to not make too many plays.”LONDON CALLINGBoth teams have “home” games at London’s Wembley Stadium the next two weeks. The Raiders will face the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday, while the Chargers take on the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 21.Oakland will practice at its facility before flying to London later in the week. Los Angeles will stay in Cleveland for four days after facing the Browns next Sunday before making the trip abroad.___Follow Joe Reedy at www.twitter.com/joereedy___
 
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