Novak’s late kick leads Chargers past Raiders 17-16
OAKLAND, California (AP) — Nick Novak kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play of the game and the Los Angeles Chargers took advantage of a key missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio to beat the Oakland Raiders 17-16 on Sunday.
The Chargers (2-4) had been done in by poor kicks this season, losing twice on misses by former kicker Younghoe Koo. Novak missed a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter, but it was a missed extra point by Tavecchio — after a high snap by Jon Condo early in the fourth quarter — that proved to be the difference in a fourth straight loss by the Raiders (2-4).
Philip Rivers took over at his 8 with 4:09 to play and used two long passes by Hunter Henry to move the Chargers into field-goal range. Five runs by Melvin Gordon and two kneeldowns moved the ball to the 14 and drained the clock, setting the stage for Novak’s winning kick.
The Raiders had taken the lead on a 47-yard end-around by Cordarrelle Patterson but that and the return of quarterback Derek Carr weren’t enough to end this slide. Oakland last lost four in a row during an 0-10 start in 2014.
Carr, who missed last week’s game with a broken bone in his back, threw for just 171 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown.
Rivers went 25 for 36 for 268 yards with one touchdown. Gordon ran for 83 yards and scored twice.
The Raiders appeared in good shape when Dexter McDonald forced a fumble by Tyrell Williams that was recovered by David Amerson and the offense crossed midfield looking to build on a three-point lead. Coach Jack Del Rio opted to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the 41 but Carr threw an incomplete pass. Rivers then drove the Chargers to the go-ahead score on a 6-yard pass to Gordon.
ROLLER COASTER START
Carr got off to a rough start in his return to the field, throwing an interception to Trevor Williams on his first pass of the game. The play didn’t cost the Raiders because Novak missed a 48-yard field goal. Carr then rebounded in his next drive and capped it with a 23-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree.
The Raiders defensive issues on third down returned on a TD drive by the Chargers late in the first half. Rivers converted three third downs of at least 7 yards on the drive and Los Angeles tied the game at 7 when Gordon leaped into the end zone on fourth down from the 1.
Chargers: Host Denver on Sunday.
Raiders: Host Kansas City on Thursday night.
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