INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Justin Herbert threw for three touchdowns, Austin Eckeler rushed for a career-high 117 yards and scored twice as the Los Angeles Chargers lifted the Las Vegas Raiders from the ranks unbeaten on Monday night with a 28-14 win. defeated.
Los Angeles is 3–1 for the first time since 2014 and is part of a three-way tie over AFC West with Las Vegas and Denver. The Raiders’ loss means the Arizona Cardinals are the only undefeated team in the NFL after four weeks.
Chargers first-year coach Brandon Staley was happy with his team’s aggressive balance as well as staying within the game plan. Los Angeles had the ball for about 35 minutes, with three of their four scoring drives running nine or more times.
“We used to be patient, I thought we had a good mix of runs and passes. Justin was extremely patient and Austin came alive tonight,” he said..
Herbert, who completed 25 of 38 passes for 222 yards, was responsible for all of his TD in the first half as the Chargers took a 21-0 halftime lead. The Raiders drew within a touchdown on their first two properties of the second half, but Akeler gave Los Angeles some breathing room with an 11-yard run off left guard. Herbert had the main game of the drive, with Jared Cook completing a 13-yard run on fourth and -2 from midfield.
Herbert achieved some milestones in the victory. He completed his 500th pass on his 19th start, becoming the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to reach it before his 20th start. He has 10 touchdowns in his first three prime time games, tying Patrick Mahomes and Dan Marino.
Eckeler, who had a total of 145 yards, also had a touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Derek Carr was 21 of 34 for 196 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The Raiders could only manage 48 yards running against the Chargers defense for the last time in the league in the run-up.
“We can’t take so many punches by coming out in the first round. I’m proud that our men are showing a rigor to stand up and keep fighting, but it was ridiculous tonight,” said Raiders coach John Gruden. “They got on us and they got behind us on all three stages , and we found a way to make it a football game and give ourselves a chance, but it’s very tough against good teams in this league.”
The Chargers took the opening kickoff and covered 75 yards in 12 plays. Herbert completed all six of his passes on the drive, including a 4-yard shot past the end zone to put Donald Parham in the top 7-0 in the tight end zone.
Los Angeles extended their lead to 21-0 with a goal in the last two drives of the first half. Herbert’s 10-yard TD to Cook by completing 41-yard wide open Stephen Anderson was set up 12 three plays ago for the Raiders.
After three more dismissals by the Raiders, Herbert led the Chargers on a nine-play drive. He completed his last five passes, including a 14-yard screen, to Eckeler for the score.
Las Vegas was placed first down and 51 net yards in the first half, but made adjustments at halftime and scored on the first two properties of the second half. The Raiders took the third quarter kickoff and scored when Carr found Hunter Renfro for a 10-yard touchdown.
Darren Waller then drew Las Vegas to within a TD when he caught a 3-yard pass in the third with 1:44 remaining.
The Chargers have a terrace above the home of Hollywood Park, but the start of the game was delayed by 35 minutes due to lightning in the area. Sophie Stadium is classified as open-air due to the upper deck being open to the north. It rained heavily in the Los Angeles area about an hour before kickoff.
“I’ve never seen an indoor stadium with a power delay. It’s a bizarre night for all of us,” said Gruden, who said he found no explanation for the delay.
Joy Bossa recorded his 50th career sack during the first quarter when he brought down Carr for a 9-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by Las Vegas guard John Simpson.
Bossa, who is in his sixth season, reached this in 67 career games, faster than any Chargers player since the sacks were retained as an official stat in 1982.
Raiders: Cornerbacks Damon Arnett (groin) and Trayvon Mullen Jr (leg) were injured during the first quarter and did not return. Cornerback Nate Hobbs suffered an injury in the second half. Tight end Derrick Carrier (pectoral) was also injured during the first half.
Raiders: Host the Chicago Bears (2-2) on Sunday.
Chargers: Host the Cleveland Browns (3-1) on Sunday.