The Oakland Raiders did something this past Sunday that just may have broke the Silver and Black out of their seven year slump. The Raiders finally ended their 13 game losing streak to the San Diego Chargers. Winning the game 35-27.
The Raiders head coach Tom Cable described the importance of beating a team like the Chargers who have dominated the AFC West for the past several seasons.
The fifth game of the season the Raiders were ready for everthing and anything the Chargers brought on the table. It was the Raiders special teams that were responsible for all the points in the first quarter. When they blocked a punt for a safety, kicked a 50-yard field goal, and recovered a second blocked punt in the endzone for a touchdown, giving the Raiders a 12-0 lead. At the sametime Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell stepped in for the injured Bruce Gradkowski.
The Chargers continue to fight with touchdowns made by tightend Antonio Gates and fullback Mike Tolbert. And each team added a field goal as well in the second quarter. The Chargers took the lead by halftime 17-15.
Followed by 73 yard Raiders drive touchdown putting the Raiders in the front of the Chargers for good. With just under four minutes left Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers led his offense onto the field looking for win with a possible field goal. Instead Rivers was sacked by Michael Huff after the Chargers advanced the ball into Raiders territory. Suddenly the ball was forced out of Rivers hand as it came loose, Tyvon Branch picked up and ran it all the way to the touchdown putting the game out reach for the Chargers.
Raiders, came and faught despite giving up 430 yards and two touchdowns the Raiders defense and special teams did what it took to win.
The win, for the Raiders made themselves competive in the AFC west division as they all chase the surprise leaders the Kansas City Cheifs. This was one of the better wins in the last seven years of loosing season's. This excitement was shared by not only the players, coaches and fans of Raider Nation but open the eyes to some of their critics. The Raiders are only on their way up from here. Cable said, “ If you seen us play, its pretty obvious.” We don't back down. And the process of becoming a better team and winning and doing all those things, they're all steps”.
Next the Raiders travel down to the other side of the bay to take on the 0-5 San Francisco 49ers.