SAN DIEGO (AP) Amari Cooper caught the screen pass from Derek Carr, stumbled a little and then went racing through traffic to complete the 52-yard touchdown play.
It wasn’t quite halftime yet and the Oakland Raiders were embarrassing the San Diego Chargers 30-3.
”It was just a perfect play,” Cooper, the Raiders’ first-round draft pick out of Alabama, said after the Raiders beat their possible future stadium mates, 37-29 Sunday. ”When I caught the ball I saw I had a lot of room, kind of began to stumble. When I got my footing back I saw the guys coming and I made some moves on them.”
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With about 10 yards to go, Cooper deked San Diego safety Jimmy Wilson to the ground.
That’s pretty much how it went for three quarters for the Chargers, who lost their third straight game.
”That first half was pathetic,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. ” No excuses it starts with me. Put it on me.”
Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes and Oakland turned two interceptions of Philip Rivers into 10 points on its way to victory in what could be the last showdown between the AFC West foes played in San Diego.
Here are some things that stood out when the Raiders (3-3) beat the Chargers (2-5).
LA-LA LAND: It was the first meeting of the Raiders and Chargers since their owners announced plans to build a $1.7 billion stadium in an industrial Los Angeles suburb if they can’t get new stadiums in their home markets.
The Chargers’ future in San Diego is uncertain. They walked away from negotiations with city and county officials for a new stadium in mid-June and have been focusing on getting to Los Angeles. The Chargers and Raiders apparently were spooked into action after St. Louis owner Stan Kroenke announced plans for a stadium in Inglewood. It’s also possible that either the Raiders or Chargers could end up as a tenant in Inglewood.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: For the second straight home game, the Chargers’ opponent seemed to be anything but the visitor. At least half the crowd was cheering for the Raiders.
”It was pretty strong support. We heard people talking about it during the week,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.
”It felt like a home game,” Carr said. ”Give credit to our fans.”
MOSTLY GOOD, SOME BAD: Carr, the second-year pro out of Fresno State, also threw touchdown passes of 23 yards to Clive Walford and 25 yards to Michael Crabtree. Carr was 24 of 31 for 289 yards.
The Raiders didn’t have to punt until midway through the third quarter. They kept the Chargers out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
”Coming out of the bye was big for us to come out hot, come out rolling,” Carr said.
However, the Raiders allowed 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Veteran safety Charles Woodson said that ”was almost like a blueprint for how not to finish games.”
CHARGERS STUNNED: ”It was sickening in how fast it happened,” said Rivers, who was coming off a 503-yard performance in a gut-wrenching, 27-20 loss at Green Bay the previous Sunday and had 336 against the Raiders. ”Shoot, it was 30-6 at halftime.”
The Chargers got in trouble right away in their third consecutive loss.
Oakland’s Malcolm Smith intercepted a tipped pass on the game’s third play and returned to the San Diego 2. Latavius Murray scored on a 1-yard run two plays later.
MELVIN GORDON: The rookie didn’t play in the first half, apparently more punishment for his two fumbles in the loss at Green Bay. Gordon was benched for the second half of that game after losing one of the two fumbles. He has lost three of four fumbles this season.
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