Chargers miss playoffs, Raiders fire coach
CARSON, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers were out of the playoff picture despite beating the Oakland Raiders 30-10 at the StubHub Center on Sunday.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was out of a job minutes after his squad lost their fourth in a row. Del Rio revealed in his postgame briefing that Oakland owner Mark Davis had relieved him of his duties.
“I appreciate the opportunity he gave me,” Del Rio said. “It was a great honor for me to lead the organization.”
Philip Rivers led the Chargers by throwing for three touchdowns, Keenan Allen had a pair of scores and Los Angeles completed its season sweep in front of a pro-Raiders crowd of 25,430.
Despite the Chargers (9-7) winning for the sixth time in seven games, they didn’t qualify for the postseason as an AFC wild-card team. Saddled by an 0-4 start, the franchise missed the playoffs for the seventh season in eight years.
“There is a lot of disappointment,” Rivers said. “Because we know we let some games get away.”
The Raiders (6-10) ended a disappointing season with their fourth straight loss as once again they struggled on offense. It was their fourth consecutive game in which they scored 17 or fewer points.
“It was a microcosm of our year,” Del Rio said. “We had opportunities, but there was just a lack of production.”
Rivers competed 28-of-37 passes for 387 yards and three scores as he lifted his lifetime mark against the Raiders to 16-8. But it wasn’t enough to extend the season.
“We are a pretty hot football team,” Rivers said. “But we are going home.”
Allen had a game-high 133 receiving yards on nine catches.
Marshawn Lynch of the Raiders paced all rushers with 101 yards on 19 carries as he became the 31st player to reach the 10,000-yard mark.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr scuffled as he hit on just 19-of-28 passes for 243 yards with a touchdown and interception.
“We were fighting and competing, it was there,” Carr said. “But it was the details of the assignments that we were missing.”
Travis Benjamin hauled in Rivers’ third touchdown pass, a 62-yarder in the third quarter for a 30-10 edge.
Nick Rose, whose first two efforts, a field goal and extra point, were blocked, was good from 25 yards out in inflating the Chargers’ cushion to 23-10.
L.A. converted Carr’s career-high tying 13th interception into six points just before the half. Rivers connected with Allen from 6 yards to push the Chargers ahead 20-10, as the extra point was blocked.
Rivers clicked with Tyrell Williams on a 56-yard scoring pass as the Chargers went back into the lead 14-10. Williams slipped behind the Raiders’ secondary unencumbered and scored easily.
The Chargers’ season-long kicking woes surfaced midway through the second quarter when Rose’s 50-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Justin Ellis and recovered by Keith McGill II. Giorgio Tavecchio’s 40-yard field goal pushed the Raiders ahead 10-7.
Oakland tied the game 7-7 on Carr’s 87-yard strike to Amari Cooper down the middle of the Chargers’ defense. It was a blown coverage by the safeties that the Raiders exploited as Jahleel Addae thought he had help on top from safety Tre Boston. Instead, Cooper went in untouched in the second quarter with his career-long reception to energize the pro-Raiders crowd.
The Chargers broke the scoreless tie two minutes into the second quarter on Allen’s unlikely touchdown. Melvin Gordon had scampered 13 yards when the ball squirted from his grasp during a tackle. Allen, running to Gordon’s left, plucked the ball from midair and ran it in 27 yards for the touchdown. It capped a season-high 99-yard drive.
But Sunday’s win couldn’t earn the Chargers the last AFC playoff invitation.
“You only play for one reason and that is to win a championship,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. “Who cares if you end up in second or third place, let’s be honest. Right now I’m just disappointed that our season is over.”
NOTES: Raiders CB Sean Smith started in place of David Amerson (foot) as he sat out his ninth straight game. ... DE Mario Edwards Jr. (ankle) was forced from the game. ... Chargers DT Corey Liuget (knee) couldn’t play and was replaced by Darius Philon. ... QB Philip Rivers became the ninth player to reach 50,000 passing yards.